Post-Shoulder Surgery Update

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Hello from the otherrr siiiiiddddeeee…of shoulder surgery! I’m sorry I haven’t posted in a while and I’m really sorry if this post is a weird jumble of thoughts that don’t make any sense – you’ll see why that may be the case in a moment.

I had surgery to fix my shoulder last Wednesday, November 1. If you recall, my orthopedic surgeon was not sure exactly what procedure they would be doing since he wasn’t sure the MRI was showing him everything that he needed to see. However, he was pretty sure that it would be a simple clean-up procedure to remove scar tissue and fix some micro-tears.

The reality ended up being somewhere in the middle of the best case and the worst case scenario. It wasn’t a simple clean-up procedure, but I also didn’t need major repair to significant tears in my labrum or rotator cuff. My surgeon ended up cutting off part of my collar bone (which had deformed due to years of chronic issues in my shoulder and possibly the fracture I had as a teenager), removing my bursa (a protective sac that keeps the bone and tendon from rubbing together), and cleaning up a bunch of micro-tears in my rotator cuff. When bursa become inflamed for long periods of time, they can become incapable of returning to normal size. The inflammation can cause nerves to pinch and a host of other problems. However, bursa regenerate! So, if you remove an inflamed bursa, it will grow back in a few months and be back to normal. Yay!

I started physical therapy (again) two days after my surgery, and it’s going well. I’m very diligent about doing all of my exercises, icing as told to, and basically just being a good patient. I’m seeing improvement every day and while my shoulder is very sore still, my range of motion is getting a lot better. It’s certainly hard to imagine lifting weights anytime soon, but I know I will get there eventually. So, the shoulder part of the recovery is going well!

What’s not going well is the recovery of the rest of me. I have been completely and totally wiped out by this surgery. I have nearly fallen asleep while standing up on multiple occasions, have no appetite whatsoever, and am having a hard time forming coherent thoughts. Entire blocks of time are completely forgotten in a weird fog. We went to a wedding in New Jersey this past weekend (2 days after my surgery…bad idea) and let’s just say I have little to no recollection of the entire thing. I’m sure it was nice, though.

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It looks like I’m hiding a breast feeding baby but I assure you, I am not

Lest you think it’s the painkillers, it’s not – I haven’t taken any in the past few days, and even before that, they are the same painkillers I take for my back. I’m used to them and they have never affected my thoughts or energy level in any way. I honestly feel kind of like I felt when I had pneumonia before I went to Africa, except that I can breathe. It’s that full-body exhaustion and I can’t seem to shake it. That’s why I haven’t blogged, posted to social media, etc – it just seems too tiring. The thought of even filming a 15 second Instagram story is currently beyond me.

So, recovery has been…weird! But, I’m very optimistic about my shoulder feeling a lot better once this is all over. Now, if only I could stay awake past 8 pm and had any inclination to eat before dinner time, that would be great.

6 thoughts on “Post-Shoulder Surgery Update

  1. Glad to hear your surgery went well and that you’re being such a good recovery patient.
    As for exhaustion, that will pass. Just rest and sleep and don’t worry.

  2. Thanks for giving us an update, Danielle. I hope you keep feeling better and that recovery gets easier. You’re right that any surgery or hospitalization takes a ton out of you… not just that body part but you as a whole. Get all the rest you need!

  3. Thanks for the update and glad that:
    (a) the surgery was NOT worst case!
    (b) the healing process is proceeding well
    (c) you are sticking to the plan
    (d) that you are not so out of it that you had a baby under your shirt at the wedding … 😀

    Sorry the recovery is weird – I know it happens (Lisa has had too many minor surgeries, and some are easier to recover than others!) Hopefully things smooth out for you soon!

  4. What have the docs said about your reaction? This doesn’t sound in the least bit normal. Painkillers would do it, or a reaction to the painkillers, but this being so many days later and you barely taking them… worries me.

  5. Wow. That is really weird! But, not all that surprising given the surgery and medication to put you under. And, healthy people usually have kind of severe reactions to drugs since our bodies and minds are palaces of health!! I’m glad you posted (and the energy to do it!) and hope you get your energy back soon!!

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