Recently posted quotes:

"There is no distinctly American criminal class - except Congress." Mark Twain (1835-1910)

“Be thankful we're not getting all the government we're paying for.” -Will Rogers (1879-1935)

"Stability in government is essential to national character and to the advantages annexed to it." -James Madison (1751-1836)

"Liberty must at all hazards be supported." -John Adams (1735-1826)

Friday, January 23, 2015

What’s Been Happening? – 23 Jan 15

Hey! I am sorry to report that I have been out of commission for a while and have not been able to post anything due to a shoulder problemI just have not been able to get my left arm high enough so my hand can work properly on the keyboard. I have tried to do a considerable amount of one handed/finger pecking, but it takes a great deal of effort to maintain a decent frame of mindforget about the typos and words left out, etc.

My problems begins back in October of 2004 when I had my left shoulder completely replacedarthritis being the primary culprit. They originally estimated that the fix was good for 15 to 20 years; I gambled that I would be OK with that. A little over a year later (Dec 2005), I had the right shoulder completely replaced. The relief I received from the constant pain was unimaginable. I felt that I had made the correct decision and still do. The thinking on shoulders, knees and hips was pretty much the same at that timealthough the physical rehab was significantly longer for shoulders than knees and hipsby a factor of 2X.

Do not get complete replacements confused with rotator cuff surgerythe contrast is like comparing kindergarten to a master’s degreethe incision gives you the best clue: rotator cuff is arthroscopic and a complete shoulder incision runs 9 inches or more.

Well, come to find out, 10 years down the road; shoulder replacements durational length is running about 10 years. I was at 10.2 years when mine began to fail. I have 11 months prior to my right shoulder hitting the average and really hope I am not looking at the same trouble a year from now.

The first week of last December (2014), I began the current trouble. For the first two days, I had zero use of my left armnone at alland the pain was so bad that I just sat on the couch and did not move at all. This was typical of problems I had experienced prior to having both shoulders replaced. There were days when I had to be fed, the pain so bad that I could not begin to assist myself. I will say that I still did not miss a day of work during these complications. I do not remember how I managed to get to work, but I did. That was all put behind me after December of 2005 and pretty much forgotten.

After the first two days of my current troubles, I began to be able to move my left hand and after several days, I could use my left forearm and hand. My wife says I favor my shoulder and I guess I must. Having decided that the mind and body working in conjunction with one another, my left arm immobilizes my shoulder and uses the remaining parts to accomplish the minor tasks I manage to accomplish.

I started the rounds of Doctors in mid-December, starting with my primary care physician. At the time, I had not been feeling well at all and figured that the shoulder was just part of the problem. As it turns out, I did have some bronchitis and my Doc gave me some stuff that knocked that out fairly quickly. Not so with the shoulder.

I tried to get in to see my Orthopedic Surgeon (same guy who had fixed the original problems) and could not get an appointment until mid to late January. Well, this wouldn’t do. I finally got them to recommend another comparable doctor and I made an appointment with him for mid-December. His evaluation was that what was happening was more complicated than what he or my other doctor had the skill to fix. He gave me the name of the ONE doctor in the Austin area that had the required skill.

I was still in a frame of mind that told me I still should get into my original surgeon, at least for a second opinion. When I called I found out that he was departing on vacation the next day (this was after Christmas by now) and the first time I could see him was now mid-FebruaryI took the appointment.

Well, yesterday, I saw the PA for the ONE doctor who supposedly has the skill locally. He was grim about the prospects and sounded out several concerns. The surgery is complicated and time consuming. His biggest worry is the amount of bone that will remain when they pull out all of the previous fixtures (plastic cup, titanium ball and shaft) that are there nowthis has to be accomplished to be able to insert the “reverse fixtures” that are needed to make the extremity work able again. From a regular complete replacement, the only option is a reverse replacement so all the old has to come out.

The PA’s guess right now, pending the CT-Scan I have yet to get (another week off) and the 14 day culture study they think they need (may be some other problem internal: infection, etc.) is that the lack of remaining bone will require a surgery to place a bone graft into the area where the shortage exists. But that discussion is still over three weeks out in the future. How long a graft takes to med with my internal structure, I have no idea.

Let’s just say this takes 3months That means that, barring any delay between mending and replacement surgery I have 6 more months following that surgery prior to my life and limb getting back to the condition I maintained prior to all this starting.

OK, so assuming that a graft is required, that will probably not happen prior to mid-March (where newest doctor is booked currently; probably even later). Another 3 months for graft to mend; that takes us to June. Assuming there is not a long wait time for the revision reverse replacement surgery, my physical rehab would be complete next December and complete healing would finish up midyear 2016a full year after surgery and a year and a half (plus) after experiencing the somewhat debilitating problem.

Hard to imagine!

I will try my best to do better with timely postings as my condition gets better.

No comments:

Post a Comment