Surgical Report

Well I'm back in the saddle. Have an appointment next week for partial work release. What the docs don't know won't hurt them right???? Thank you all for the messages support and prayers. Thought I'd give you all a blow by blow mostly because I was amazed how much things have changed from the patient stand point. There have been tons of changes from the provider stand point, but even though I am involved on a daily basis in those changes I had no clue what the sum was. Hopefull what follows can be helpful for anyone having shoulder surgery.......

I was a nervous wreck before the surgery (Which is not my nature.) We actually had 2 snow days the weekend in the public schools and cancelled classes at the University for the first time in 65 years. We had 50 MPH winds and 3 feet of snow. I was scheduled for tues. The blizzard ended. Mon. But my mind was going in circles. how are we going to get there (roads were solid ice) how am I going to get home, what if I slip walking to the house almost unnatural fear. My wife solved it. We went skiing the morning of my surgery when we got to the road my number 3 son was there with a back hoe and truck load of gravel.

Check in pre-op was the same as always the big difference was the 15 year-old anesthesiologist came in early and did a sonogram guided nerve block. This was incredible I was pain free except for small patch by my shoulder blade for a few days. the nerve blocks are standard now. Heres what I learned. Life can take a sudden turn for the worse when the block wears off. This varies from person to person as to when and how. Mine wore of gradually. The next door had his turn off like a switch at 2:00 AM. The small patch by shoulder is critical. If it hurts your shoulder hurts despite the block. Stay on top of pain control The size of the patch may grow. This is your first clue as the block wears off.

The procedure went as expected BY ME. I warned the guys there would be a lot of bleeding as its pretty common with PsA. being surgeons of course they had to blow me off (some) We placed a $20.00 wager. I collected. It was good thing because I had arranged for Pizza to be delivered to the Recovery Room nurses station. at lunch time (also my expect arrival) I'm sure they enjoyed the Pizza, but I never saw the recovery room. I went to ICU instead. So much for Bribery.

In our hospital all post surgical medication is handled by the on staff unit Pharmacists/pain management team. Its critical you meet with these people and/or with the hospitalists before your surgery. In one of the better moves They understood that surgical pain was NOT the primary issue but rather the fact I was off all my PsA meds prior to the surgery I was likely in a flare or on the Cusp of a big one. If one starts flaring with a big surgery, things can be really bad. I started torodol with in minuts of leaving the OR and they kept it up for my max 6 doses. We started an NSAID immediately and scheduled two predi bursts. What a huge difference.......

Pain meds were handled very well primary meds were pills from the start and IV meds for break through pain. That way you can play with the pills and get the right one.....

I was put in the Orthopedic rehab unit. So much for the sympathetic caring surgical unit nurses. You will be cared for by children, who likely are still wearing their soccer shin guards to save time after work. I knew I was in trouble when the unit charge nurse came down to thank me for the choclolates I had delivered for each shift. She also informed me that If I like any of them by the time I was discharged, they would feel they failed.

When they tell you CALL: before you move they mean it. I decided I could do my chair Yoga better from the chair. That all went pretty well. finished my exercises. That's when I accidentally trashed my room. Apparently when I was raising my bed so I could get into it easier it caught the edge of the tray table which fell over. It caught the IV pole which also fell over. While I was grabbing a towel to stop the bleeding from the IV that pulled out and clamp of the IV that was now pouring on the floor. I accidentally bumped the side table and knocked over the rather full urinal.(I was supposed to call for that too to get measured) Did you know they have alarms the can strap on you that go off when you get out of bed. They can also start IVs in your thumb so you can't grab on to thing that lowers your bed rails....

I'm sure they appreciated the flowers. The housekeeping department told me that it was the first time they ever had Pizza delivered........... Fortunately the IV pump was still under warranty. The room needed painting anyway.

Also they have an ambulation team in charge of your day. These people are recruited at Biker rallies. I however won an argument with them - the highlight of my stay. Lots of students around. They have meetings. Its is amazing how many people can squeeze into one hospital room. A challenge of I don't care HOW MANY student nurse you bring to help I am NOT going to take a shower is not likely to go unmet. I showed the entire group my open Psoriasis and explained why I felt the infection risk of the shower room was too great. However I was perfectly willing to be the test subject for a sponge bath unit.......

Anyway I passed out mardi gras beads wore my NOLA hat. One of the gals got to do her first blood draw. She did a great job. She got it on her second try. But they still wouldn't move the IV.

There was also a new development, that may or not be applicable to everyone. Take Home meds can no longer be dispensed by the hospital pharmacy (especially if they involve narcotics) The do have an onsight 24 hour retail pharmacy in most hospitals. They do require payment of at least your copay, and keep things clean it can't be added to your bill or there can be trouble with all of you hospital meds. You might want to plan a head for this. The last thing you want to do is stop at your regular pharmacy on the way home and wait while the fill the scripts. I was told this was a "benefit" of the AHCA.

One other thing to keep in mind if Like I you bring a tab and plan on streaming Pandora or similar through bluetooth head sets. (I usually use a whitenoise/relaxation app) there are part of the hospital where its not allowed. bring a wired set in case. also although most facilities do have WiFi for a number of reasons it logs you out regularly. A call to the hospital IT can log you into a different feed that doesn't auto log you out.

Good to have you back Lamb.

This is the second post by you I have read today and one of two things will have to happen if I continue to read your posts. 1.) You will need to replace my current laptop or

2.) I shouldn't be drinking anything that I do not want sputtered over my screen due to laughter

You certainly are a sweet dream and a nightmare all rolled up into one huge personality lol. I wish you a speedy recovery and also extra insurance for the damages you cause the hospital when you are there. Take care of yourself and try to stay off the skis for a little while at least

Sounds like they really know how to take good care of you and keep you from being a danger to yourself. Great tips for being in the hospital, as well as the need for pre-planning. Glad you're out, and hope that you have a smooth recovery.

What a great way to make your leave on the day of the surgery!

Welcome back, lamb! We sure did miss your rapier wit. Hoping that your recovery continues apace. And so glad to hear that they listened to you regarding your PsA flare. But, then again, who COULDN'T listen to you!

It sounds like the entire process was quite an adventure!

About the meds - a friend of mine arranged her post-op at home meds with her doctors ahead of time so her husband could pick them up on the way to pick her up. That seemed to work well for them, but I'm not sure every doctor would do that.

These are for Mardi Gras, Sybil! NOLA (New Orleans, Louisiana) And for the secret to the beads, follow this link:

sybil said:

('Anyway I passed out mardi gras beads wore my NOLA hat.'

I'm particularly impressed by this bit of information which might as well be in Serbo Croat.)

We watched pre-season football the night of my surgery--that was about all I was good for. On Saturday, we were home before the night Bristol NASCAR race came on, which was my goal. :-)

The part of mine I wish I had bet on was when I went in for my "pre-op consultation" on Monday, I told the nurse that when I came out of the anesthetic, I would need to at least hear my husband. She poopooed that notion. The day of surgery, Margaret, my recovery nurse, evidently got really tired of me wanting to know where my husband was and asking to see him. The first thing she said when I really got back to myself was he's around. I need you to breathe. I'm thinking, I *am* breathing, lady, I made it through the surgery alive, now where is he? To get me out of her misery, she finally called him and put the phone up to my ear...

My anesthesiologist didn't think my claustrophobia was bad--until he put that nerve block in. Yep, I was tugging on that thing before we went back to surgery and kept on tugging until it came out around noon the next day.

Then, sometime during the night, the nurse was surprised I hadn't used more morphine. I kinda got this nerve block which is working well, well, other than the dang wires. Of course, when we got home later Saturday evening, I was asking why they didn't send you home with the morphine pump WHEN YOU REALLY NEED IT! :-)

Good to "see" you back.

I told them up front I would NOT leave the hospital until the nerve block was over and done. What I don't undesand is why you can't get seconds...........

Ok lamb, I've been in and out of hospitals all my life, and it has NEVER occurred to me to send pizza, chocolates, or flowers to the staff. BRILLIANT!!! I'm usually a favorite patient by the time I leave, thanks to my endless stream of jokes, lots compliments to the staff, chatting about their lives (people love to talk about themselves and I love to listen) and extraordinary amounts of "please", "thank you", and other niceties.

The only time I wasn't a great patient was after childbirth. Ugh.

I younger than you (42), but when I needed a day surgery last November, I also felt like my anesthesiologist was 15 years old! It's really a shock!! I can't wait until my dr.'s are the same age as my kids, like your rheumy LOL.

I can say lamb, that I have never taken out a hospital room. Way to go! I think you must get some sort of Xbox Live type achievement unlocked for that special event LOL

I'm an easy bleeder (family tendency + the PsA). Usually my surgeons down to the phlebotomist I saw today for a draw are really good at listening. I shudder at what happened to you because they didn't listen.

After I finished your post I was left with one question: did the nurses do their job?! Did you end up not liking them by the time you left?!

Glad to have you back. You were missed. And I'm really glad your surgery, rehab, and pain management went well!

I am so glad you are back Lamb ! That was a hoot.

Sending healing thoughts your way and wishing you a speedy recovery Lamb, what an adventure!

The mental playback I have in my head of you trashing your room is priceless lol.

Good plan with the constant supply of pizza etc to the staff I know that is always well appreciated…the only thing healthcare staff love more is…unusual pens!! I kid you not, once we got flashing pens from a patients son, we were putty in his hands :wink:

So glad you’re back lamb :slight_smile:

You are such a crack up!!! But also such a wealth of info... Glad your surgery is done and you are home. Let the healing continue!!!

I'm a little concerned about her. We have been buddies since 7th grade started dating in grad school, raised 9 kids, she taugh Jr. High 35 years so should cope with anything right? Some how she accidentally bought a non refundable set of tickets to take another cruise the end of the month. Suppose shes getting that brain thing???/

Laura E D said:

Lamb, wonderful to hear that you are on the other side of this one. And now for the really important question...How is Mrs Lamb coping?

Well, never fail to entertain. If they had emoticons on this thing, there would be LOL's and ROFLMAO's all over the place this response!

All kidding aside, I'm really really glad things went well. We missed you around here. (**Making mental checklists of things to do to bribe the hospital staff next time I have to have surgery)

Oh yeah...and leave those wolves alone, already! :) Your going to end up messing up your other shoulder and have to go through it all again!


I have forgotten, if I ever knew: does health insurance cover the damage deposit, or do you have to buy a separate policy for that? I hope you ordered the janitorial staff pizza and a 12-pack! Glad to hear you (and the hospital) are on the mend.

As for what you said about getting prescriptions filled at the hospital, I've never been able to do that. It's been a pet peeve of mine for years. Whether it's a discharge after surgery or childbirth or a 3 AM exit from the emergency room there's nothing like having to stop at the pharmacy on the way home.

Lamb, so great to hear you are back on board :slight_smile:

The non-refundable cruise, well maybe your wife’s sense of timing is more acute than yours, and she is just making sure you enjoy thst shoulder when it’s shiny and new!

So if you tell us the name of the ship and the sailing date, maybe a whole bunch of us will come along to lend our moral support to Mrs. Lamb. Tee hee.

tntlamb said:

I’m a little concerned about her. We have been buddies since 7th grade started dating in grad school, raised 9 kids, she taugh Jr. High 35 years so should cope with anything right? Some how she accidentally bought a non refundable set of tickets to take another cruise the end of the month. Suppose shes getting that brain thing???/

I'm not going.............