Well, in about one hour and forty-five minutes I will become a ‘patient’ myself. That’s because at midnight, I can no longer eat or drink anything until after I have had my left shoulder operated on in the morning. I am NOT looking forward to that, but I also cannot stand putting up with the aggravation of waking up in the middle of the night screaming in pain (my wife really appreciates that) and not being able to reach behind and tuck my pants in properly without catching myself in the middle with a gut-wrenching ‘spasm.' It’s the ‘surprise’ attacks that get me the worst when I reach or bump into something in just the wrong way or the fetal shoulder dystocia hurts me worse than it does the baby. Anyway, I am not telling you all this for sympathy (but I will take your thoughts!). I am telling you all this because I got about 25 comments in my email box today stretching back a week or so, and I may be a little slow to respond over the next few days.
I am actually a lousy patient myself. I had a stretch of about 20 years when I didn’t go for a doctor’s visit. I also don’t know how I have done this to myself, but the same thing came up about 5 years ago on the right side as well. When the insurance company asked my wife if this was a “work-related injury” she laughed and told the interviewer that “if you consider operating on one too many 400+ pound pregnant woman over the years a 'work-related injury', then it probably is.” The interviewer didn’t know whether to laugh too or move on…she finally decided to laugh. After she thinks about it though, she'll probably try to squeeze my employer for 'work-related' benefits so the insurance company can back out of the expense of the procedure. OMG, orthopedists charge a heckuva lot more for 1-2 hour procedures than I ever imagined possible.
I am kind of scared about the surgery, not so much for the pain afterwards, but because of the pain MEDICATION and anesthetic side-effects. I don’t do well with either. I could never become addicted to narcotics because they all make me so nauseated that even the thought of taking some starts my stomach churning. Fortunately, I respond VERY well to ibuprofen. And, if that doesn’t work, there’s always Johnnie Walker (I didn’t say that!).
Anyway, time to go to bed and try to get some rest before 0500 rolls around. Really looking forward to my Hibiclens shower in the morning! I will probably start to go through caffeine withdrawal about halfway through the operation. Guess I should warn my orthopedist and anesthesiologist about that. I wonder if they have a patch for that, or maybe IV Starbucks Pumpkin Spice Latte – no, don’t hold the whipped cream! Talk to all of you again soon. XOXOXOXOXOXOXXO Dr T