Today I had my first post-op visit with the surgeon. He showed me the scope photos again and said that I now have a very stable shoulder. The amount of damage you can see in the “before” photos is very impressive. He said that the goal over the next 6 weeks will be to get it moving through active range of motion to my tolerance.
The different types of motion are passive range of motion- where someone else (usually a PT) moves it for you, active-assistive range of motion- where you move it yourself with assistance from something or someone, and active range of motion- where you move it yourself. Given the nature of this injury and my hypermobility we want to preserve some of the stiffness created by the surgery so we’ll be going slow, sticking with active range of motion, and not pushing motion too aggressively. According to the orthopedic, the goal at 6 weeks will be to be able to lift my arm to the side to 90 degrees. So slow going.
I also had my bandage removed and stitches taken out today. I’m super pumped about that because now I’m allowed to shower. Also I can use electrical stimulation and I’ll actually be able to get it cold with the cold therapy unit without that big thick bandage in the way. This will help immensely with pain control and maybe I can get off all these meds.
At the moment I’m taking Percocet- an opioid pain killer combined with Tylenol, Gabapentin- a nerve pain medication, Flexeril- a muscle relaxer, and ibuprofen. Since we added the ibuprofen the pain has gotten much more tolerable, but I want to get off that as soon as I can since it delays bone healing. The other 3 meds are making me sleepy and giving me brain fog. So looking forward to decreasing some of that!
I’m feeling pretty optimistic at the moment about my shoulder. So many people have offered to help by bringing meals for my family or doing whatever else is needed. It’s hard for me to accept help. It’s just not in my nature. So this is a good learning experience to accept help when I need it. Also, looking on the bright side, it’s awesome to see people show up for me. I’m also starting to feel glad that the surgery is behind me, instead of regretting it like I did Monday night into Tuesday when I was in so much pain. Now there can be some forward progress in recovery.
I have my first PT visit on Monday with a former coworker. Once again, a privilege of being a PT is that we know the best health care providers!
Stay tuned for the next post where I’ll tell you how PT went!