Tuesday, June 4, 2013

My Shoulder Surgery and a Preemptive Apology

Tomorrow I will be undergoing rotator cuff surgery. This will be only the second surgical procedure of my life, the first being the open heart variety ten years ago which left a 7 inch scar running down the middle of my chest and quite the lasting impression on my psyche. Shoulder surgery, by contrast should be a comparative breeze since A. It’s not life threatening, and B. It’s being done arthroscopically leaving behind only a suspicious hole. Not only that, but it’s an outpatient deal; I’ll be home in my own bed tomorrow night.

Only thing that is worrisome about this business is how often I am being reminded by everyone I know and even by complete strangers in bank parking lots, of how painful the aftermath of shoulder surgery can be. The descriptions I have heard have ranged from the polite to the hysterical. The following is but a small sample.

My Doctor: Quite painful

Nurse I know: One of the worse pains ever

Client: The worst rehab ever, thought I was gonna die.

Client: Shoulder surgery (screws up face in horror) so sorry to hear that.

Random man in bank parking lot wearing sling two weeks after his own rotator cuff surgery: Hurts like a m***** f*****!!

My Doctor: Quite horrible actually, which I feel qualified to say since I had this exact procedure done two years ago. But, you know what they say…no pain no gain (fake grin).


I consider myself something of a tough guy, but I don’t mind telling you that after all of this doom saying, I have felt compelled to ask my doctor about pain medication. His reply wasn’t encouraging. “Well, of course we will provide you with strong pain medicine during your recovery, but that’s just dull it the best we can.” Hmmm…

About a week ago I wrote a blog entitled, Things Are Never as Bad as They Seem. I hope I don’t have to change that title to…Things Are Never as Bad as They…GGGAAAAAAACKKKKKK, what the hell was that???!!!

Hopefully, all the dire predictions will prove to be wrong, and I will sail through this business with ease. However, one thing can’t be avoided and that is that my typing proficiency will be cut in half, reduced from hunt and peck to merely peck, which combined with heavy doses of pain meds might produce some bizarre blogs in the coming weeks which I would like to apologize for in advance. If you read that I have become a liberal democrat, have decided to leave my wife, or have become a huge soccer fan, blame it on the Percocet.