I had shoulder surgery today for a torn rotator cuff. All plans were going well up until this point, but then an ice storm hit town yesterday. I’m already running low on time off from work and here I had to take yesterday off when I wasn’t planning on it because the roads were so bad.
Even so, my surgery was still scheduled to go on this morning. I was to arrive at 6 AM for a 7:30 AM surgery. Overnight the roads had gotten even worse when more ice rain fell overnight. Driving in at 5 AM was scary. There was a lane of tire tracks on the interstate that we followed, but there were more cars on the road, and using more lanes than I was happy with.
When we got close to downtown there was a slight slope under an overpass where a lot of cars started losing control. We started to spin as well. And as we did so, a semi truck came up next to us. I thought we were going to slide right into it. Needless to say, I was scared shitless and started to and have a panic attack and cry. Why the hell was I driving on such treacherous roads at 5 AM for surgery?
With the help of God, we got to the surgery center exactly on time without being in an accident. I was skeptical the staff was even there, because we sat in the lobby area for a little while before anyone even showed up to assist us. As it turned out, the office staff called out because of the ice, but all the surgeons and nurses were still there.
I was prepped for surgery. First I was given a Novacaine shot in my wrist for the IV. The Novacaine shot hurt like hell, but I did not feel the IV at all. So I will take a Novacaine shot over the IV any day.
After a long discussion with the anesthesiologist, they injected something in my IV so that I would not feel the nerve block they were injecting into my neck. Thank goodness, because I’ve heard they hurt like hell. I did not feel the nerve block at all, in fact, I didn’t realize they had even done anything to my neck.
I was then wheeled into the surgical room, the first surgery where I had ever been awake to see the surgical room. I had to help the team move me from my bed to the surgical bed. They had me shift me onto my left side, and just as they got me right where they wanted me, I was out like a light. I did not even remember hearing or seeing anything after the second they told me I was in the right spot.
During surgery I have no idea where I went. All I know is whatever I was dreaming was a very pleasant dream and I did not want to be woken up. But unfortunately I was abruptly awaken as I was tapped on the foot and told to wake up. Bummer. After being given some time to wake up, I was given a sling and a shoulder compress that pumps ice water through it to keep my shoulder area cooled. I won’t feel my shoulder for several hours, they said maybe 12 hours. It feels like a complete dead limb that I am carrying around. When I touch it, it does not feel like my own hand, it feels like somebody else’s. To me it also feels hot to the touch but I am told that is just an illusion to me.
We got home much easier than we got to the surgery center, even though there were many cars off the road, due to the ice. Having felt better, I lay down in bed and watched a movie. Halfway through the movie I felt what felt like a couple pricks in my shoulder and the sudden inability to breathe. Not being able to breathe put me into a panic attack and made it worse. I called for help. By the time help arrived, I was in an all out panic attack, not able to breathe and crying. The worst part was in order to calm down from a panic attack, you have to be able to breathe deep. The nerve block I was told would make it hard for my diaphragm to allow me to breathe deep. So it took several minutes for me to actually be able to calm down and breathe again.
I was told I would not need a pain pill until later this evening to make sure that I didn’t feel anything when the nerve block started to wear off. Even though it is still quite early, and because I felt the few pricks in my shoulder (and they were quite painful), I took a pain pill.
Part of me planned on not being able to do much for myself. But part of me was also very hopeful that this would be very easy. Now today I sit here with the use of only one hand and I feel helpless. It doesn’t help that the one hand that I can use is my left hand, and I am right-handed. So it is the oddest feeling to not be able to control much. I know this will all be short-lived, and in a day or two it will be almost like nothing happened except for the fact I am not supposed to move my shoulder for a couple days. I will go back to the doctor tomorrow and get an update to find out exactly how long it is I’m not supposed to move it. But until then, I sit here in my helpless state, drugged up.
On a positive note, I will get to catch up on many movies I have been wanting to see, and TV shows that I had let slip away. Let’s not forget the schoolwork I need to do this week. That may take some help from the children. Due to the icy conditions throughout Tennessee and additional bad weather expected tonight, there will be no school the rest of the week. This will also be helpful as I will have both my girls home to help me all week without me needing to keep them out of school. Oh, and if you’re curious, voice to text is a great invention. I was able to blog this without having to type it. but having said that, please forgive me for any typos.