which shoulder was it again?

The thing about surgery that cracks me up is the number of times they ask you “What are we operating on today?”  I know that they are required to, but it still strikes me as funny.  The first time I had shoulder surgery, I was appalled that they wrote “YES” and “NO” in black Sharpie across both of my shoulders.  I’ve read more about it now and am familiar with the practice, so it was less shocking, more amusing.  I was joking with my family that I should write “YES” on my right arm and then “Just kidding!” on my right shoulder.

Clearly, no one had informed the poor nurses that by 7.15am on a normal day I have usually biked, run, or swam, consumed at least one (sometimes two) breakfasts, and showered.  I went in with one goal: not to tell the anesthesiologist that he looked like a monkey.  You see, ten years ago, when I had my first shoulder surgery, I had a (very nice) anesthesiologist who bore a slight resemblance to a monkey.  Certainly nothing absurd, just one of those things where when you looked at him, “monkey! monkey!” ran through your brain.  In a normal mental state, I would have thought nothing of it; however, once he pumped me full of drugs, I apparently felt it necessary to share the inside of my brain with him.  As it turns out, one of the drugs he gave me during surgery was something that I was allergic to (causing me to break out in hives on the operating table).  A quick dose of another drug and I was fine, yet it did give him a chance to go tell my parents “your daughter called me a monkey, so I gave her hives.”  Hey, at least he had a sense of humor about it! 🙂

Anyhow, with my one goal in mind, I changed into my lovely hospital gown, gave my belongings to my family, and chilled on my bed, waiting for the surgeon and nurse to stop by.  When the anesthesiologist came by, I was a) relieved to  see he didn’t even look like a money and b) reassured by how willing he was to talk with me and find out what he could give me to help.  When I told him how nauseous I usually was after surgery, he came up with a plan of four different drugs plus an ear patch to see if he could fix it this time.  Needless to say, I was certainly NOT going to say anything rude to him 🙂

About 9am, 15min before my surgery was scheduled, the ER nurse came in to introduce himself.  He was wonderful and explained everything that was going to happen.  As my mother made some comment about how I was nervous about what I was going to say when I was being sedated, he jokingly asked if there was anything they wanted to know.  I started to panic about what he would ask/what I would tell him!!  But then the anesthesiologist came back, along with Dr. Z and his assistant.  I said “see ya later” to my parents and the anesthesiologist told me I would get very dizzy shortly.  Sure enough, about 30 seconds later as they were wheeling me through a door I said “Gee, you weren’t kidding, this is worse than after I downed a bottle of wine!”  I remember the inside of the OR and then I remember the nurse waking me up.

And so begins my road to recovery!!  I’ve been taking it easy since Wednesday, which has been hard.  It’s hard not to stress about what fitness I’m losing or how much muscle is melting away.  Instead, I’ve occupied my time planning my race schedule and looking at classes for next quarter.  It’s strangely calming to come up with checklists for IMCdA, hotel reservations for future marathons, and thoroughly analyze the vitamins I’ve been taking.  I went for a walk today and am planning on resuming my morning hikes tomorrow (however, I will go a little later and take the chair lift down rather than allowing my clumsy self to trip and fall on my shoulder).  I am also looking forward to getting to ride my bike on the trainer now that I can shower post-workout!!

Dr. Z cleared me to begin running as early as three weeks from the surgery.  So with a combination of stationary bike, pool running, and running, I am hoping to be able to run my marathon on October 16th!

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One Comment to “which shoulder was it again?”

  1. I’m glad the surgery is over and done with. Returning to semi-normal working out will feel so good! Good luck with the rehab and recovery!

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