bunchofgrapes: (Adm Nelson - what now)
Elbow is coming along. I can't believe it's been two weeks since the surgery. Had my first physical therapy a week ago yesterday and got my sutures out a week ago today. Dr. told me he removed the bone spur that was causing a lot of issues, removed damaged tissue (debridement), and then drilled into the bone (microfracture) to increase the blood flow and create new cartilage. Even after two weeks there's still some pain and swelling but the pain is generally random instead of constant. I'm mostly taking Advil now but at night I'm taking 1/2 a Vicodin so I can sleep.

Getting comfortable in bed so I can fall asleep is probably the hardest. I still can't cut things, touch my right hand to my shoulder, the top of my head, or my mouth (have to eat left-handed, which has been a good thing) but I can shave my left armpit - yay! I'm not allowed to type for more than 5 minutes with my right hand, which is probably good because my arm gets tired and achy for anything longer than that so yes, I'm typing this post with my left hand. Lots of corrections to make. The hardest restriction though is that I can't lift anything heavier than a pen/pencil with my right hand. Yesterday's PT consisted of stretching my rotator cuff in my right shoulder because it hurt more than my elbow. I had this shoulder pain before surgery and it probably contributed to my elbow problems. So my fear is that after my elbow gets better, I'll be back at the doctor for my shoulder. It really is better today though. Yesterday I couldn't lift my right arm at all. Today I can but it still feels weak.

Boredom set in last week but luckily my friends and co-workers have helped. My manager and the business management team came by last Thursday for lunch. I really like our team so I was very happy to see them. Friday I had lunch with my former neighbor and that was a lot of fun. Saturday my parents took me to dinner and then we hit the outlet mall for tax-free shopping. Since I still can't cut things, my dad had to cut my meat for me at the German restaurant we went to. I felt like I was five. Yesterday after PT I met my manager for lunch and in between I had a long chat with a good friend and Voyage to the Bottom of the Sea marathon, which was a hoot! Yep, I admit that I still have a major thing for Richard Basehart and watching those episodes made me want to write Voyage again. Except that I can't type (or write) at the moment. I feel like Burgess Meredith in the Twilight Zone episode, Time Enough At Last.

Speaking of Voyage, I have several fics that were hosted on a website that went away. I want to re-post them but I can't decide whether I should create a new pen name or use my CSI fic name. I'm leaning towards a new name so I can keep them separate but at the moment, I can't think of one. I have a website but I think I'd also like something that gets more traffic. Also, fan fic.net or An Archive of our Own? I'm kind of leaning towards AO3 because it's not so restrictive. Thoughts?
bunchofgrapes: (Paul G - teh hawtness)
I've never in my life had a worse dry throat as I had after surgery. People are constantly talking to you in recovery, wanting you to talk to them so they know you're okay, but it's kind of hard to talk when your lips are stuck to your teeth and your tongue is glued to the roof of your mouth. Not even the three cups of water helped. I don't think the dryness went away until Thursday.

Weirdest thing about taking major pain meds is that you do things and seem to be very conscious of doing them and then later you think, "did I do that? If so, when?" because you have just a faint memory of actually doing it. And this is after reducing the dosage from every 6 hours to every 12 hours and taking Advil in between instead. This is why driving would not be a good thing. Well, that and navigating a large automobile seems like way too much effort at the moment.

On the plus side I think the pain in my elbow was definitely worse before the surgery. Now it just hurts in a different way, which either means I'm still jacked up on pain meds or the pain isn't nearly as bad as it was (I'm thinking I'm still jacked up because there has been some decent pain). Sure, there are things I can't do, like lift my hand/arm to my chin or wiggle my fingers, either because my arm doesn't want to do it or it hurts too much but there's a lot I can do that doesn't hurt at all. There's an exercise the doctor wanted me to start yesterday, once the splint came off, that's not so bad. But about that splint coming off. No one told me that taking off all the bandages would make me queasy and light-headed. I mentioned this to my boss today and she apologized for forgetting to tell me. She's had four knee surgeries and she said she felt nauseous when she took the bandages off after each one. After about an hour the queasiness passed and it's been fine ever since.

Off to sit on the sofa and wonder when I fell asleep because there's something different on TV than there was five minutes ago. I'm sure that later tonight or tomorrow I'm going to wonder when I wrote this.
bunchofgrapes: (Paul G - teh hawtness)
Surgery is in the morning. They had me scheduled for 7:30 but I got a call this morning and it's been bumped to 10am. Can't say I'm disappointed because I have to be there an hour and a half before surgery and the thought of getting there at 6am was not pleasant. Now I don't have to be there until 8:30.

More under the cut )
bunchofgrapes: (Paul G - teh hawtness)
I'm having surgery on my right elbow in 10 days. I'm right-handed so I've been practicing doing things with my left hand. The challenges will be getting dressed (stretchy pants, loose t-shirts will be dress code for a while), getting into bed, making the bed, changing the sheets (nearly impossible), using a roll brush with the hair dryer (also nearly impossible), shaving my left armpit, writing, and cutting things with a knife. As it is now many of those things are pretty difficult but not impossible. The good news is that I'll be off work for at least 4 weeks and the pain I have will be a different kind of pain. I hope.

I have lateral epicondylitis (tennis elbow - I don't play tennis) that's never gotten better and a pretty significant calcification, most likely the result of playing softball for many, many years. The pain started over a year ago. I went to the doctor in the Fall because it wasn't going away and by then the pain had become nearly unbearable. I should have gone earlier but I've decided that women tend to tough it out longer than men. The first visit I got a cortisone shot, which killed the pain but not before some really, really bad pain, a script for an NSAID, and then a 6 week stint in physical therapy. Shot wore off in January and the pain came back. I even remember the date because the pain was that bad. Went back to the doctor. He wanted to try the same thing as the last time only this time with a different NSAID so it was another cortisone shot and another trip to PT. I got this cortisone shot late in the afternoon and then headed to a Caps game. I remember the pain was so bad after this shot that a couple of times I thought I was going to have to turn around. It did get better but for most of the night, I could barely use my right arm. Thankfully, the pain went away after several hours. PT went well and I actually did feel like it helped this time but over Memorial Day weekend, the second shot wore off and the pain returned.

While the results are good, cortisone shots are bad so I'd already decided (and been told by everyone including the physical therapist) not to have another one. The only option left was surgery. I was trying to put it off until mid July because I knew it has a long recovery and mid-July thru August tends to be the slowish time at work. So here I am, working through a long list of things to get done before I won't be able to do them. I'll be in a splint for two or three days (no driving) and then after a week, when the sutures are out, I'll start physical therapy again. Since my job is spreadsheets, one of the abilities I want to get back sooner rather than later is the ability to use the keyboard and mouse. When I mentioned this to my doctor, he made a point of saying the full recovery time for this surgery is 4 to 6 months. Makes me wonder if I'm being a little optimistic about getting back to work...

On the plus side, I hope to see some movies and watch a lot of old TV (I recently got Daktari on DVD - loved that show when I was a kid) while I'm out. Maybe I'll even take a trip to the botanical gardens, something I've wanted to do for years.

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May 2015

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