Tuesday, May 7, 2013

Of Course the Procedure Changed

After finding out from Dr. K that I needed to go see Dr. B sooner rather than later to find out what was going on with my shoulder blade, I notified all of my teachers. Luckily with the way my school schedule was, my parents were able to pick me up after class on a Thursday and from there we drove down to Lexington, Kentucky. This worked out well because I didn't miss any class and I would be back home Sunday to be back in class on Monday. Exactly one week after finding out I needed to go to Kentucky, I was in the Dr. B's waiting room with my parents. It is very odd when you go into an orthopedics office in a big shoulder brace on your one arm but you are seeing your doctor for the other side.

When Dr. B walked into the exam room he looked at me and asked how my shoulder was doing. He was under the impression I was seeing him for the shoulder that was braced and had surgery a few weeks prior. I told him my right was doing well all things considered but my left shoulder/ scapula was being problematic. When he heard this, Dr. B made the, "Oh, S#%!" face. Dr. B had me stand up and examined my left side. He felt the anterior (front) and posterior (back) instability in my shoulder; he also saw I had really bad scapular winging and something was not right with it.

It was at this point Dr. B said we could sit down. He took a deep breath and told me my left scapula would require surgery because the muscle was not fully attached. Dr. B also said the scapular procedure had changed so when he goes in, he is going to have to cut all the way down to the bottom of my shoulder blade and do a latissimus dorsi transfer. I was then informed before I could have the scapular surgery done, I would have to have my left shoulder joint addressed first because the bracing was different. Finally on top of that, since the procedure changed this meant I would have to have surgery my right scapula again as well because it too was winging funky at the bottom. Talk about feeling a bit overwhelmed!

When we got home from Kentucky, it was time to kick it into high gear and finish the final stretch of the semester. Between physical therapy and school, it made for a very busy time. In the midst of all the craziness, I met with Dr. K. Since the instability was getting so bad on my left side, it was decided we should operate at the end of May to get it fixed. I completely realize there wasn't necessarily enough healing time for my right shoulder. The problem was my left side was falling apart daily. Every single day, either my mom or my dad, would have to manipulate my shoulder back into place because it was either shifted out the front or out the back; not to mention all of the scapular winging that would occur. If you are not living with this issue, it may be difficult to completely understand why you would opt to have surgery this soon. Those couple months hurt like no other and it was both physically and mentally exhausting. My left shoulder was like a ticking time bomb; we never had any warning if it was going to shift out out of place.

May 26, 2010 I had left shoulder surgery once again. This time I had an open anterior and open posterior capsular shift. So basically the same exact thing that I had done on my right shoulder a few months prior. It was the longest overnight stay in a hospital that I have ever had. Since I already had this procedure done before, I knew what type of brace I was supposed to be in. Unfortunately, whoever put me in the shoulder brace after this surgery put me in the wrong one. On top of that, the brace was way too small. My arm was laying flat across my stomach when it should have looked like I was shaking hands with someone. Due to the positioning, the pain in my shoulder was excruciating. My mom was with me and I told her to take the shoulder brace off of me. She looked at me like I grew horns on top of my head. I told her this was the wrong bracing. My mom called the nurse to my room and insisted that she call Dr. K because there was no way I could stand being in that brace all night.

The nurse came back to the room 10 minutes later. She walked in with a VERY surprised look on her face. The nurse said she had just spoken to Dr. K on the phone and he said to let me do whatever I want to do. SCORE!! Thank God Dr. K knew I had enough experience at this point and knew something was wrong with this brace. So a few minutes later, my mom and the nurse took the brace off of me and helped me prop with a ton of pillows to get my arm in the correct position. Wow, what a relief. Was there pain? Yes. Was the pain as intense? No. The worst part was when I would get up to use the restroom and my mom literally had to hold my arm in the right position. Talk about a LONG, painful night.

The brace was way too small. The brace should cover my
entire hand. Only the tips of my fingers should be sticking out
if anything.

When Dr. K came to my room in the morning he caught me at one of my finest moments...Not. I was really, really crabby and bickering with my mom as he walked through the door. I saw him and thought crap. I literally huffed at him and said, "Hi Dr. K." My mom spotted the coffee in his hands. Dr. K was so kind and said, "Oh, I should have brought you a cup." How nice of him. Dr. K came to the side of my bed to see what the issue was. I handed him the sling and wished him good luck as he held it up and just stared at it. He put it on my arm to measure the length. Dr. K took in a deep breath, and a big long sigh afterwards. Oops. Someone's in trouble. Dr. K looked at me and said, "We'll get this fixed."

After I was released, I was sent to Dr. K's office where he had already arranged for a representative to drop off the proper brace. Good job Dr. K! While in the exam room, my mom and I teasingly asked Dr. K if we could just go to his house to recover because our house is loud and chaotic. He chuckled and said, "I wouldn't rest that well because he has two boys." My mom burst out laughing and said, "We live with Meg, myself, my husband, my 2 granddaughters, my other daughter, my 88 year old father, 2 dogs, and a fish named Cubby." We all chuckled and Dr. K said, "You're right. It would be quieter at my house." At that Dr. K got up to leave the room. Before doing so, he took a step back and gave me a quick hug. What a nice doctor. This is why I've been with him for now almost 7 years. He cares.

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