Surgical Update

I met with the orthopedic surgeon this morning, and he smiled as I deliberately shook his hand. The short version is that he is (very) pleased with how things are going. So much so I can now start to work on moving my hand behind my back (within limitations), using weights, and even joining a gym. In short, I can start working towards resuming normal activities.

He is also willing to back the request by the physical therapist to my insurance company for additional PT sessions. I hope we can start work on that paperwork tomorrow even. Within the limitations, lots to do but it’s a challenge I can deal with. So long as I continue to have flashes of discomfort and little to no real pain, life is good.

During my surgery, I had asked him to take a photo and he did. Sadly, can’t share it, but I now know why I’ve had so much pain and mobility issues. The X-rays showed a lot, but the photo drove it home. One side of the ball was a mass of adhesions, spurs, and similar delights. The rest of the ball, well, no cartilage and instead of smooth white bone it looked like the lunar surface.

I’ll go back to him in six weeks, and if all is still going well, we are going to talk about going ahead and doing the left shoulder. I have a practical criteria for if I am ready (involves activities around cooking), but will also be getting input from PT and maybe others.

While we didn’t really get into it, don’t see any easy solutions for the neck, lower back, or hands. Osteoarthritis just doesn’t get the research other forms do, and so there are not a lot of viable treatments even for advanced severe osteoarthritis. All the more reason I need to move West ASAP. For insurance reasons, need to get anything I can dealt with now. Sadly, really need to hit the lotto to try regenerative medicine options.

That said, got a reminder last night of the need to get moved soon. The basement — thankfully not my living area — flooded again for the first time in more than a year. So glad we don’t have cameras downstairs as the sight of me running around in my boxers while wearing Matterhorn hazmat boots and a scapular would be interesting. I’m focused on being proactive to prevent more, the landlord seems more in denial in some ways. Then again, I’m not the one who’s probably dropped around $40k on re-doing sewers and drains.

The house was built in the late 30s/early 40s I think; the area sewer system dates from the 1930s in this area of the city (maybe even the 20s); and, we have that lovely steep drive down to the basement garages characteristic of homes from that era. The way things are done, rain from most of the driveways (both sides of the house) is essentially focused into going down that slope, which is why there is a trench drain at the bottom. Problem is it can get overwhelmed so we actually have a sump pump in it to pump rainwater out, up, and down the front away from the house. When it works, it’s good but I’m not sure it cut on last night.

Oh well, we will survive. I really want to be out West ASAP, but may have to do an intermediate step to get out of Indy and the ring counties for now. That said, it is convenient being a city block from the doctor and hospital where the ortho work is getting done. On a nice day, it takes me about ten minutes to walk to appointments.

In short, thankful for how well things are going. Looking at next steps on several levels, and in getting as much taken care of as possible. Going to pick up some additional PT items just to be safe.

More soon.

5 thoughts on “Surgical Update”

  1. LW, my sympathies for your osteoarthritis. I have just enough of it (much less than you) to “get it”. One small suggestion: I have found that taking two Lyrica 75 mg a day (cheaper generic is Pregabalin, which works well) helps reduce pain. It apparently partially blocks nerve pain messages, if I understand at all correctly. It requires an Rx, but you could ask. Best of luck.

    1. It is coming along, thanks! For all I wish it were faster, and with less discomfort, it has gone amazingly well. Bit up today, hopefully more tomorrow.

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