So I survived getting hit by a bus. And while I survived I was not left without residual effects. I had a constant ache in my shoulder what became more severe with use. This was due to the massive amounts of bone that needed to be cleaned out, which resulted in a loss of about an inch on the left humerus.
This x-ray, taken after months of healing and physiotherapy, still has a massive gap between the head of the humerus and the socket of the shoulder. This caused massive instability which left me unable to cycle very long, an hour and a half being the maximum and it hurt the whole time I rode.
I spoke to the surgeon after the one year consultation and asked what else I could do. He proposed a lengthening, where the humerus would severed and a piece of bone would be put in between and then everything bolted back together. The piece of bone would come from my hip in what is termed an iliac crest bone graft.
I said, let me think about it.
Surgery isn’t something undertaken lightly, there are obviously risks and for me, I was concerned with having to go back to square one. I had spent a year getting most of my life back to normal. I was working again after 3 months off, I was beginning to cycle again. In truth I was not very keen on the idea at first.
But being smart enough to know when I need the opinion of someone smarter than me, I got copies of all my records and sent to them to my brother-in-law who is a sports physiotherapist. I explained what I understood Dr. Nauth was proposing and asked for his take. He said, it didn’t make sense to him since the rotator cuff was what held everything in place. Later that evening he called me back and said, “your surgeon is a very clever man.” that he understood exactly what he was suggesting, that it would work and that without it I would be looking at arthritis (and still will be but hopefully less severe) and that planned surgeries rarely have the same recovering time that accidental ones do.
So I called Dr. Nauth’s office and said I would like to proceed.
I had to wait two and a half months for the surgery but that’s just the way it goes. I arrived at the hospital at 6:00 am as instructed and within 15 minutes was brought into a gurney room. I was instructed to undress and put on a gown. After another wait a nurse came over, hooked up the heart rate monitor, put in the IV and drew some blood. After a few minutes a young doctor came by, said he was the anesthesiologist resident and that I had a number of pain control options. I said , “I’ll take them all!” Last time was such a shit show I didn’t want to ever to feel that way again if I could help it. He gave me a nerve block, which required an ultrasound on my neck and a needle but by the end of it I could not feel my arm. It was awesome. They also gave me some anti-anxiety meds and by the time I was on my way to the OR I was feeling pretty good.
This brought to mind what happened the first time. Already it was night and day. The first time it was 30 minutes before I was supposed to be on the table before they even had me change. They had forgotten about me, and as a result it was so rushed I never got to speak to anyone. The IV didn’t go in until I was already in the OR. No nerve block, no anti-anxiety meds, no nothing and all because someone forgot about me.
The operation was simple, for me anyway. I was out of recover and in a room by 1:00 pm to find Zuimei and Mark waiting for me. I had a morphine drip for the next 20 hours which was, I must say, pretty amazing. I was nauseous because of the analgesic and unable to keep anything down. However in this situation, pain meds win, hands down.
Last time I only had the morphine for about 14 hours and I am not even totally sure it was working properly because this was so much better. The room was better too. Last time I was in a room of four with a junky yelling every hour about his meds, and this time I had a room to myself. Even the nurses were different this time.
In two weeks I am getting the staples out. Already the arm is moving better than before. It feels more solid than ever, and I have begun moving it already which is days if not weeks ahead of where I was last time at this point in the healing.
Plus the scar is over the old scar so hopefully it’ll look more badass.