06 November 2009

A SHOULDER TO CRY ON

Did it again! Shoulder popped out and it took them nearly 8 hours to get it back in this time. Yuck.

At about 5:30 on Monday morning, as SWMBO rolled out to go for her morning walk, I reached over to give her a hug. “Crunch.” I yelped and finally got to a sitting position. The shoulder was definitely out—for the second time in 6 weeks.

SWMBO took me to the ER at the VA hospital where I got great treatment, but there was a lengthy delay when a vet suffering a “mere” heart attack interrupted my treatment. (Tongue firmly in cheek—I was praying harder for my brother than for myself.) SWMBO later commented on the rapport of the other beaten up vets in the waiting area—and how we looked after one another.

After x-rays confirmed that the shoulder was all the way out, I was referred to a local hospital for anesthesia and assistance in getting the shoulder back in. The ER doc was a young woman (probably younger than my older sons), but a charmer and a damned fine doctor. They finally knocked me out, but she couldn’t get the shoulder to stay in, so she called for an orthopod.

About all I remember is SWMBO, the Doc and the nurses repeatedly telling me to breathe (I would apparently “forget” to perform that little function). They were confused when I kept asking for Gibby (my radio operator), so we’re even.

Yesterday, the orthopod looked me over. The 23 year stretch between my first and second dislocations argued for waiting and seeing. Five weeks between dislocations 2 and 3 changed that argument all to blazes!

It seems that over the years, as I have partially and fully dislocated the shoulder, I have worn down one side of the ball, which allows it to slide out of the socket with ease. The next step is an MRI, but first they have to x-ray my leg to make sure that all the shrapnel is out, lest the MRI’s magnet suck it out! Yow! If there is still shrapnel in there, they’ll do a Cat Scan instead.

Then, the fun begins. They cut through the humerus and either rotate the ball to make use of good bone or they remove the ball and put in an artificial shoulder. I am good to go on that—cannot stand the thought of another dislocation—which says a lot about how much the dislocation hurts.

Soooooooo, I’ll be leaning on other peoples’ shoulders for a while.

5 comments:

Presbyterian Gal said...

Oh my gosh, Mac, what an awful thing for you!

You have my prayers for the best solution.

Quotidian Grace said...

Oh, no! It sounds so painful, Mac. I hope they find a permanent solution for you soon.

Word verification: psyco.

Not making this up, either. Even blogger is thinking about that Major who massacred his own comrades in Kileen yesterday.

Rev Kim said...

Oh, Mac! I'm praying for you.

And if you're anything like Dave when he's under the weather, praying for SWMBO, too! ;)

Reformed Catholic said...

And I thought a thumb joint repair was a big deal.

Sounds like a replacement joint is the best way to go, but the rehab is going to be a bear.

Prayers heading your way !!

Alan said...

Had a member have both shoulders replaced. It's a lot less painful than them hurting all the time he says. Be praying for you Mac,

Alan