The surgery

I had my shoulder surgery a few days ago, and also experienced Newton’s law all in the same day. I was told the surgery would be fairly simple and take about three to four weeks recovery; this was great news since I also have to have my left shoulder done as well. Given the recovery time I would be able to squeeze both shoulders in before the new season and be ready to go by January.

The long and short of it was they were going to scrape and clean my shoulder joint do it arthroscopically, in and out as they put it. Oh of course barring any complications.

I am going to give you some hospital vocabulary, and the true definitions of said language, so that you as a non-doctor, non-medical type can familiarize yourself with and then know what to expect. Oh don’t thank me, I want to do this for you!I must also tell you that if you are shy or have any dignity just leave it at home it will do you no good in the hospital, no matter how well you plead your case. Shoulder surgery or whatever you will get naked, and be forced to don the ever private hospital gown. I can only say I wish my house had as much air-conditioning. And maybe if I were still in college and single I would not have minded all the help during my cloths to gown exchange.

Ok I am ready for surgery and being prepped on what to expect and what comes next. To say I am a bit concerned is an understatement, it’s not that I am afraid it is just the fact that I do not like to be knocked out while people are hovering over me with a scalpel and a laser talking about their golf game or the Browns blowing another win. The nurse told me it was time for the IV while making the point that I had very nice veins, as though this was some type of relief.

The nurse explained to me, she was going to put the iv in the back of my hand and was kind enough to tell me that it would hurt more than if she put it in my fore arm. I said the fore arm would be great, while the harpoon dove into the back of my hand, a couple of seconds later nurse one said to nurse two, “oh I have a floater.” I was told, “don’t worry, we will get it.” Then nurse one said to nurse two, “I need another twenty.” Which I will tell you does not mean a $20 dollar bill, but really meansanother 20 gauge needle for try number two!So then aFLOATER means if at first you don’t succeed try, try again. Now I was patient and understood sometimes things happen, with the IV now in my fore arm we were ready for step two.

The nerve block. I was told this was a simple procedure that is not to painful, and would only take a couple of minutes. Basically the anesthesiologist is going to insert a needle into my neck and fill some void near a nerve with some type of fluid, which will deaden any feeling I have from my shoulder to my fingers. I was told my only job was to let them know if the pain went down my arm to my elbow, in which case she would back the needle out a bit and continue. “This is to prevent any nerve damage, so don’t be a hero, I must know where the pain is,” she said. The nurse was also kind enough to let me watch the procedure on the ultra sound. Well as I turned and saw this Y-shaped contraption with two enormous cylinders on each side and a giant needle in the middle. I became concerned.Anesthesiologist 1 said, “you can watch the ultra sound and see what I am doing.” As if this was comforting to me.

I have to say it is kind of cool to see the inside of yourself, gives you a new appreciation for knowing who you are inside and out. The doctor then says, “you are going to feel a little pinch.”A little pinch, means we are going to drive a 9 penny nail into your neck.

The next thing I know is a very sharp pain rifling to my elbow, so I inform the doctor and she says, “Ok I am going to back the needle out a bit and once I have it in the right place your arm is going to twitch a little, don’t worry it is supposed to do that, that is how I know the block is going into the right place.” So suddenly, uncontrollably and with no warning my arm has a demon in it! And twitch it does. I actually start laughing out loud because this was one of the strangest things I ever felt.

The doctor said, “don’t be alarmed that is exactly what we want, ok now you will feel a little pressure and then we will be ready to put you out for surgery.” Let us go back to a twitch.Twitch, what that really means is your arm is going to flop around like a smallmouth on the deck of your boat! Oh and a little pressure this means we are going to fill your neck cavity with enough pressure that could fill your truck tire with air!

Now that my 3rd world torture test is complete I merely wait, not for an applause or a good job, but for the anesthesiologist to put me into never never land. Isn’t that a ranch somewhere? Anesthesiologist 1 says I am just going to put this into your IV to calm you a bit, and then we will go into surgery.Calm you a bit means, GOOD NIGHT!

The long and short of the surgery is the doctor had to cut my bicep muscle move it and re-attach it to another location in my shoulder. The shoulder pain for the last two seasons resulted in my bicep fusing itself to the bone, so when I used my shoulder it would impede the movement and wedge into my joint. I will only have one shoulder done this season, the other next year.

I awake to find my wife sitting by my side. She calmly says hello. I like in a coma say nothing. Not because I don’t want to, I can’t. I awake again to find my wife sitting at my side. She calmly says let’s try this again. I reply, “oh, it is aFloater.”

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