As I have been writing these blogs, I feel as though I have started to sound redundant. I am not trying to sound this way in the least. The problem is certain years had a lot of surgery while others did not. The last time I didn't have a lot of surgery in a year was in 2009 & 2012; there were only 2 surgeries in each of those years. However, in 2008, I had 5 procedures done; there was one in February, April, June, October and December. The cycle of my life (especially in 2008) is sign up for classes, get a diagnosis, get ready for surgery, have surgery, recover from surgery, go to physical therapy and get diagnosed again. In the meantime while all of that stuff is going on, I am trying to incorporate some sort of "normalcy" in my life while coping with the idea of having to need another procedure done. It's hard to find a balance between dealing with the medical aspect of life and being involved in typical day to day activities. It is hard to maintain good grades in school and it is hard to maintain friendships because it takes a lot of effort. Let's face it, most people do not live this way. Depending on circumstances and what is going on, the medical aspect of things is more important than a social life. It is a good thing for text messaging because without that, I know I wouldn't be in contact with my friends as often as I would like. Living this medical life has become my "new normal." I do not know one person that lives relatively close to me, and is in my age group that lives this way.
Do you have any idea how hard it is to relate to people when you are living a very medical filled life? I feel like the people I relate to the most are people who have gone through a lot of hardships. Just a few examples: people that have had close family or friends that have had cancer, people that have had a lot of surgery, individuals that have physical scarring, and the same individuals that I have seen going to pt for a lot of years trying to get better. It isn't always easy for family/friends to understand this type of medical lifestyle. I think a lot of times, people do not know what to say half the time and there is an elephant in the room. I am very lucky to have a group of friends who are able to see beyond the medical stuff. They are able to see that I am more than just a person who seems to have surgery all of the time; it just takes time to get to know me. However, that's with anyone; you don't really know anybody unless you take the time to get to know the person. I am a completely different person now than I was 7 years ago when I was playing soccer. I have a different outlook on life, and my personality is different. Luckily my close friends are used to my "crazy" methods of getting things done, my medical blabber, making fun out of my situation and helping me if I need assistance. Those that know me best know that I am a crazy Chicago Blackhawks hockey fan, they know I yell/cheer like a loon if there is a bad call or when we score. They know I like to go out to eat, go to the show, go downtown, mini-golf with one arm (if I'm in a brace), and draw. I realize I can't do everything they want to do, but thank you to everyone who picks activities that they know I can participate in.
So now it is time to wrap up 2008; geeze did a lot happen that year!
After the surgery on my left shoulder in October, I was not in my typical "Yay it's almost Halloween mode." I didn't want to dress up in the least. That was the first sign that I felt terrible. Usually I am dressed up and painting my nieces faces. I love decorating for Halloween. I always have and probably always will. That year I put on an orange shirt and figured that was good enough.
Finishing up the fall semester after that surgery was very hard. My left shoulder and shoulder blade felt swollen, bruised and had a lot of pain. My right side was subluxating and I was still having a lot of pain in my shoulder from when the "thing" popped in pt back in June (I was scheduled for surgery Dec. 30th in KY). The classes I took required a lot more concentration and effort than the previous semester did. Pain medication very much alters your ability to concentrate on tedious details. I did pass all my classes, but I set a high standard for myself and was not happy with my grades. I ended up with 2 A's and 2 C's. I would have gotten a B in my bio class but my teacher failed me on a lab because I wasn't there since I was in surgery that day. When I talked to him ahead of time, I was told it would be okay. Obviously it wasn't since he failed me because I wasn't allowed to make-up the lab; that C still annoys me haha.
On December 30, 2008 I had surgery down in Kentucky with Dr. B; the New Year was right around the corner. For this surgery I had an open anterior capsular shift with capsular plication as well as a Bankart repair (labrum tear at the front/bottom of joint). I was diagnosed with multi-directional instability of my right shoulder joint at this time. Our New Year's celebration entailed watching the ball drop in New York City on T.V Of course the King family can't celebrate a holiday like a typical family does. As I watched T.V I was miserable all night long. My parent's offered to bring me to the ER but I was just being stubborn and was going to watch that damn ball fall. I mentioned in a previous blog, you don't always think straight when you are in pain; this is one instance. So there we were in the hotel room. My parents sat on the couch and I laid miserably on the bed. Not a good time for any of us. After a long miserable night of waiting for Dick Clark to do the countdown the ball finally fell. With that, I then looked at my parents and said, "There. Now we can go to the ER." It's funny how your mind just doesn't want to give up the traditional holiday. So within the first few minutes of 2009, my parents and I sat in the emergency room. When the ER physician asked what I was given for pain control, he told me, "Know wonder you are here. This stuff isn't going to touch you with the work you had done." Good to know I wasn't being melodramatic. He gave me a nice shot of "happy" meds and some oral medicine. He then told my parents, "You have 10 minutes to get her tucked into bed before this medicine puts her to sleep." He was right...Happy New Year!!
To this day I can still remember going to Dr. K for my post-op appointment down in Chicago to have my staples removed. I remember him sitting on the chair reading my operative report. As he read, he surprisingly said, "You had a Bankart lesion!" I looked at him and nodded my head yes and then said, "Is that what I felt pop in pt back in June?" Dr. K looked at me with wide eyes and moved his head up and down. He said, "Yes." That stupid Bankart lesion occurred because my physical therapist at the time didn't listen to me when I said there was a lot of pressure in the joint and to stop. I know everyone is different and some people need to be pushed; I just wish there was some sort of radar lie detector ability that pt people/doctors could have because I wasn't being dramatic. This error caused me a lot of suffering. Again, it just goes to show you, only you knows your body and its limits best.
So good-bye 2008. It sure was a blast "reliving" you :) Now it's time to move on to 2009...