Cutting Remarks

Note: This post is by Dymphna, pasted in here by the Baron on our way out the door.

Surgical toolsI am not looking forward to the repair of what my orthopedic surgeon calls a “massive” tear in my rotator cuff. The adjective is a bit alarming.

So is the idea of having my arm in a sling for a month. You know the expression “it’s like losing my right arm”? Well, that is more or less the case here for awhile. Typing with one hand, perhaps. Or dictating to the Baron… actually I like the idea of dictating to him. He’ll have to do “Sieg Heils” and such, just to get in the proper frame of mind.

This is supposedly an outpatient operation, lasting an hour and a half. It is followed by the insertion of a catheter with a nerve block that lasts 48 hours. I like the idea of the second procedure very much. NO morphine — hooray.

Then tomorrow we begin rehabilitation of the shoulder. I guess they start so soon to keep movement in the joint. Or perhaps Freud was right and surgeons are all secretly sadists.

Actually, I like this doctor very much; pleasant fellow. I like even better that he’s done more than five hundred such procedures. The lucky bugger is probably sitting down to breakfast right now, whereas I may not have so much as a sip of water. I had the Baron make his morning coffee last night so I wouldn’t have to smell it this morning and have my stomach thinking that caffeine was on the way.

Blogging will carry on without me for the time being. I’m sure the blogosphere will manage somehow.

Wish me luck!

[end of this story, for now]

13 thoughts on “Cutting Remarks

  1. We’ll fall apart without you, Dymphna! 😀

    Good luck with the operation, I’m sure it won’t be as bad as you think.

  2. My wife has had two rotator cuff repairs that sound at least a little like yours.

    As a by-stander let me make two observations:

    1. You will be glad (when the recovery is finally over) that you had the repair done.

    2. The degree to which you will be glad is directly proportional to the amount of effort you put into the rehab (and the rehab won’t be much fun).

    On the first repair the surgeon “didn’t believe in rehab” so didn’t have her (or let her) do any.

    The second surgeon (on the other side) encouraged her to go full tilt at it (she had learned from breast-cancer surgery some years before the first shoulder that vigorous rehab is crucial) and she is now trying to get into too-late rehab (and DIY rehab) for the first cuff.

    Get a cheering section that understands what the limits are to make sure you go to the limits frequently.

    You will be glad you did.

  3. Best of luck and hopefully you will be back soon. I like reading Dymphna’s post. Here’s to a speedy recovery.

  4. I hope you still like your doctor after it is all over. My impression is that they usually lie to you big time about how much pain, suffering, etc. is involved in these things. If they told the truth, they would be out of business in no time because no one would do it.

    Here’s to a speedy and relatively painless recovery!

  5. get well soon. What Larry said about rehab too. The more use you can give the shoulder, the better.
    I’ve had several RC injuries and two of them repaired themselves (against all expert predictions) simply by working the shoulder in a most bloody-minded fashion.
    Painful, though.

    The Navy has a tradition of helping their own. Elroy day, a former bubble head has an incredible story to tell. He was blinded in a home invasion in North Carolina in 1995. He recently applied for and was accepted into the Purple Heart Service Foundations job training program to teach him how to become an at home call center agent. Against all odds, working with a disability that would stop most everyone else, he graduated. He completed 600 hours of hard training and now he is reaching out to other blind and vision disabled veterans to tell them about the opportunity that he had. He wants other blind veterans to come and join him. You see, he has a dream of opening a blinded veterans call center. Staffed by former members of the US military who are now blind, for what ever reason. You can help with his dream, just spreading the word. If you know of any veteran who is vision disabled, have them contact Elroy Day immediately . They can email him at
    And remember, the Navy has a tradition of helping their own.

  7. Dymphna

    I was one told that physical therapists are like drill sergeants without the sense of humor. :- ). Having watched them help others in the past few years, that is a libel, they know what there doing and they’re friendly as well, but insistent.

    Hope the operation goes well and you have a speedy recovery.

  8. I used to call them “physical terrorists”.

    I don’t anymore.

    Not after what they did for my wife (see above) and what they did for me (which was “probably saved my life”) when the cardiolgist showed just how badly I had treated myself.

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