still pecking away with one hand, almost 3 weeks post shoulder surgery.
‘your arm should be a limp noodle for 6 weeks’ my surgeon admonished me.
limp noodle, limp noodle, limp noodle -my sexy new mantra
I was also forewarned the first days after the procedure would be painful. uh, check…and that recovery from rotator cuff surgery is slow.
I’m not exactly the most patient patient in the world, but I think I’m doing as well as can be expected. many thanks for your emails and kind wishes!
I’ve also discovered there’s an awful lot of people who experience this type of injury at some point, so i thought i might share a few of the things i’ve learned while going through the process.
be forewarned; this is not a pretty post by any means. don’t worry, i’m not going to share my photos or the surgery DVD i was sent home with ( to think i used to be happy leaving a doctor’s office with a plastic ring and balloon) i haven’t the stomach to watch my movie yet (i get squeemy if my pierced earrings don’t go through on the first pass) but i’ll let you know if my performance was award-worthy once i do.
i’m just saying…there’ll be no flowers or shoes and little fashion on this post.
you’ll just have to deal.
10 Tips for being a Successful, Semi-Productive, One-Armed Bandit for 6 Weeks;
*note; a couple of these tips are gender specific. you can decide which ones.
1) let’s get the nitty gritty out of the way first; lest this might not cross your mind, it’s a great idea to wax your underarms to within a centimeter of their lives the night before surgery. you will be unable to shave for at least a few weeks after.
2) a mani-ped the day before is mandatory.
3) invest in a good back scratcher-they’re a life-saver.
4) load up on elastic waisted sweats, p.j.’s and slouchy, easy to put on tops. your arm and shoulder will be big and swollen for several days. arm-holes will be an issue and surgery = bloating.
5) Channel your inner Julian Schnabel and also get yourself at least one decent set of ‘going out’ pyjamas, just in case you simply must make a social appearance
my ‘street jams’
6) before surgery you should get set up with one of these ice machines that pulse freezing water through a large pad that clamps your arm & shoulder and attaches with velcro bands around your torso. have a couple of practice sessions before your surgery with whoever will be nursing you during recovery.
once you come out of your pain-killer haze, if you’re anything like me, you’ll start to regard this device with extreme aversion
Don’t. the creature is your friend, and it really does help. it can also be used on knees, thighs, hips, elbows (and possibly faces) so at $195 it’s a good investment.
i warned you this wasn’t going to be pretty.
all men look away now.
7) one of the hardest things to deal with after surgery is getting dressed, but by the second week i’d devised a pretty genius bra positioning system, even if i do say so myself.
ps. this is how much i love you that i would share this photo of my old M & S strapless bra.
let’s have some trust here people-i don’t want to see this on Pinterest! (at least not credited)
here’s what you do;
a) get a huge t-shirt that pulls on & off easily
b) place the bra (strapless or not, depending on how much you can bear on your shoulder) around your waist over the t-shirt and do it up at the front. if you’ve been suffering from a bad rotator cuff for awhile you’re probably already well versed in doing your bra up like you did in grade school.
c) pull the t-shirt up with your good hand, very gently, starting from around the chest region. the bra will follow. continue until the bra is in desired location.
d) remove t-shirt over head. voila.
don’t you think i should write instructions for Ikea??
8) buy some slide on hair bands. there is no way, no how you will be able to put your hair up or out of the way yourself for several weeks. it’s impossible.
God bless my male nurse-i love him to pieces and he’s been brilliant, but he did not miss his calling as a hair dresser.
I hand him my scrunchie and it’s like I’ve given him the plans to build Gaudi’s Sacrada Familia
come to think of it, this does resemble one of his loftier follicular efforts
9) buy several of these rubber kitchen things you use for taking items out of the oven or getting a grip on tough to open jars. keep one in the kitchen, bedside (or recliner side), in the shower and one where you apply your makeup. these will allow you to ‘get purchase’ on containers (including child-proof prescription bottles) from the bottom and open them with your one good hand. just place the bottle on the pad, push down and turn.
I wish i’d discovered this little trick before my Neely O’Hara “Valley of the Dolls” incident one painful, sleep challenged night.
i’m still finding pills on the floor.
When I look at the ‘post op’ list i’d compiled of all the things i was going to do from my recovery recliner I have to laugh.
The early days are attention deficit theatre. Practice my French? c’est fou! organize photos? don’t be ridicoolus. eat an Elvis inspired deep-fried peanut butter & jelly sandwich while under the influence of pain-killers? Even that never happened.
I crossed virtually nothing off, save watching the first 4 episodes of “Homeland”, two instalments of “The Returned” and I’m half-way through reading “Empty Mansions; the mysterious life of Huguette Clark”
but you know what I did watch a ton of??
10) hellooo…the “Kitchen Cousins” John Colaneri &
George Clooney Anthony Carrino
where have I been? it’s great!
my favourite thing about the show is that it doesn’t reek of staged, oh-so-faux drama and deadlines. we needn’t name the multiple offenders here…you know who you are.
no, really-that is my favourite thing.
they arrive, they knock down the kitchen, design a new one, build it on time and within budget (in fact i don’t recall budgets even being discussed) and move on, hopefully to a town near you
I couldn’t, in all good conscience, leave you with no pleasant visuals!
how did I end up with men carrying heavy lumber in a ‘post-shoulder surgery tips’ post?
your guess is as good as mine, but it is entitled “The Painkiller Diaries”
it had to eventually go off the rails…
Have a great, healthy & happy week!
ps. many thanks to my great surgeon Dr. Richard Ryu and the cute staff at Elite Physical Therapy in Montecito!
Blast from the past; a fun post on wearing your pyjamas out; Slumber in the Streets