January 25, 2017
TMI Sports Medicine
I’ve known, for two weeks, that I would have this to go through. On Wednesday, January 11, the day after my surgery, Dr. Seroyer told me he needed to see me in two weeks to do a dressing change. He said something about therapy. What I did not hear him mention was snipping out nineteen staples he had used to sew up my shoulder.
This morning, after another set of x-rays and a long wait afterwards that sent my Lifetime Movie Network imagination down a rabbit hole, the doctor strolled in and pulled up the x-rays.
“Your x-rays looked excellent. Ready to get your stitches out?”
“Am I ever!” I said. “The sooner, the better.”
Up to two weeks ago, I’d had only one other surgery in my life and a set of stitches on the top of my head. Although I had dreaded their removal, they only tickled a little when an aide removed them with bandage scissors. But those were merely stitches sewn with surgical thread. These rascals, on the other hand, were industrial-strength staples. Like in a Home Depot staple gun.
“Okay, I want to see you back in a month. And you’ll be starting therapy here on Monday,” said the doctor, flapping an appointment card into my hand.
When Lisa, the PA, started removing them, I sucked in my breath. Cringed. Winced, even. In fact, I was such a weenie that I reminded myself of the little “piggie” who went “wee-wee-wee all the way home”. Only, in my case, it was more like “owee-owee-owee!” as I endured the nineteen hard pinches and as many sharp nips.
Deep breaths, Kim, I told self, until I heard the last staple go ker-plunk into a cup.
After swabbing my incision with iodine and applying steri-strips on it, Lisa removed the wearisome stabilizer that had held Dr. Seroyer’s handiwork intact and slipped back on the sturdy sling.
“What do you want me to do with the stabilizer?”
“Burn it,” I spat.
“It’s yours, you know. You can do whatever you want with it.”
On the way out, we stopped at the Physical Therapy window to set the first appointment for ten o’clock on Monday morning. As I walked out to the car with my husband, I felt as if I had been handed a whole new start. For the first time since eleven o’clock p.m on New Year’s Eve, I would once again be able to take showers, again, instead of settling for sponge baths. Shampoo my hair. Apply eye make-up. Wear “human” clothing. And sleep in our bed, again, instead of the recliner.
Most important of all, I’ll finally be able to wrap both arms around Jeff who has been selfless in his caregiving.
To come in Part 4, the final and most rigorous step in my journey: therapy. The “given” is that I’ll go twice a week for one hour per session. The number of weeks I will have to go is up for discussion between my physical therapist and me. The number of weeks I go remains to be seen.
Bottom line: pain sucks. Although I have managed to adapt to the situation, and learn shortcuts and “workarounds” during my recovery, I am all packed and ready to return to the land of the “functional “.