April 13, 2016 Post-Op Day 1:
|Possibly sleeping or I'm just laying with my eyes shut|
It started off with my mom showing me a picture of the sun rising over Lake Michigan to start my day with a "happy" because the night was very long. I was in a lot of pain, and because of that, I didn't get much sleep (my mom too for that matter). One of my parents always stays with me when I'm inpatient in the hospital because of the lack of function that I have in my arms. As awesome as the nurses are, they can't be there every second to hand me my drink because it's an inch too far, or scratch the top of my head because I can't reach. I am so fortunate to have amazing parents that help me as much as they do. The first several days following surgery are always difficult and this time was no different. No matter how many surgeries you have, dealing with everything that goes on during the post-op phase never gets any easier.
|The "Happy" sun rising in the morning|
|It's hard to tell in these photos the darker tinges around my eyes|
are the bruises
In the morning, my nurse told me at some point during the day, physical therapy was going to come by to get me moving a little bit, and have me sit in the chair. I knew I had to do this because it's the only way I was going to get better, and I knew it was the best thing for me from prior surgeries. To be completely honest though, I did not want to move at all. I knew how I felt when I stood up the day before, and I didn't want to feel the pain in my neck, and I was scared to feel the same searing pain in my scapula. I knew if I felt that same searing pain, something was wrong with my scapula because I've had the same exact pain before.
Knock...knock...knock on the door. "Hi Megan. We're here from physical therapy. Do you want to try to take a few steps to sit in the chair?" In my head I'm thinking, "No, not really, but thanks for asking" but instead my mouth opens and I quietly say, "Fine".
|It was about 3 or 4 steps from my bed to the chair. It seemed much farther than that.|
|Wiping away the tears that started flooding from my eyes from the pain inflicted in my neck & L scapula from being vertical|
|Simply surviving and trying to come to terms with this new reality, and the possibility that my L scapula may be injured once again.|
|Now that I was out of the gown, one of my parents was able to get a picture of the bandage so I could see.|
|You can see the smile on the nurse's face on the left|
|It is moments like these when I wish my shoulders weren't trashed. It was so hard to slowly ease myself into the chair while putting pressure on my arms like this.|
In my experience, post-op day 3 is usually my worst day. As luck would have it, that day the medical staff had me up and moving more than they did the previous day. It was quite irritating trying to explain to the physical therapy staff that the main reason being vertical/walking was so hard was because of all the scapular pain that I was having, and that I needed some sort of support for that arm. As always, I got the response, "You didn't have surgery on your shoulder. You had surgery on your neck." In my head I thought, "Well obviously. The halo is a pretty good indicator that something was done to my neck." Regardless, my left shoulder was weak. Since I couldn't hold it up, it was pulling on my neck and it was a vicious cycle that created more and more pain. Finally, a different physical therapist came up with the idea to use a walker that had arm supports. Did it solve the problem? No. Did it help? A bit. Once again, the problem comes down to crappy shoulders/scapulas that aren't capable to really push things. I was/am thankful that she was trying to think of something to help me.
|The physical therapist that thought of using arm supports to help me. She helped push the walker for me which was much appreciated.|
|Sheer exhaustion and pain from the walking|
|Managed to get a tiny smile|
|My mom & I|
|10 screws down, 4 more to go|
|Finally a STABLE neck. Only took some bone chips, 2 rods, and 14 screws later.|
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