As most of you know, I had an x-ray and an ultrasound on my shoulder last week to try to figure out what’s going on. It was an incredibly painful experience, maneuvering my arm into all sorts of crazy positions. I saw the doctor on Friday to get the results and he recommended I see an orthopedic surgeon. Luckily the surgeon had a cancellation yesterday so I could get in much sooner than expected. 

He told me it’s not looking great. I have a complete tear in my supraspinatus tendon, which is part of the rotator cuff. It’s the tendon that attaches the muscle that allows you to move your arm up and away from the body (like flapping imaginary wings). Since it’s a complete tear, the two parts can’t reach each other and so it can’t mend itself. 

On top of that, I also have bursitis and tendonitis – fluid filling up the shoulder joint and very inflamed. 

Surgery is the only option to repair the damage – they attach the tendon with little prosthetic screw things apparently. It’s all done via keyhole surgery, only spending one night in hospital. Two weeks off work (since I have a desk job, he thinks two weeks will be enough), six weeks in a sling, three months (!) of rehabilitation and not fully back to normal for about 12-18 months. 

He made sure to inform me that the pain post-surgery is much much worse than the pain I’m currently in and that even the drugs won’t kill that pain. Can you imagine how excited I am? 

So, now I’m working out the logistics and timelines but need to get this done soon, probably next month. My mum has said she will come down for a couple of weeks to help me in the recovery phase. Bless her. What would I do without my mum?

Thank you again for all your messages of support, I sincerely appreciate it.

Love you guys.

x desleyjane

Posted by:desleyjane

photographer, blogger, planner, scientist, dog lover, frequent flyer, daughter, sister, BFF, human

53 replies on “A Shoulder Update

  1. I’ve had two rotator cuff surgeries (racquetball is a brutal sport). I can attest to the long recuperation period, but also to recovering (but no more RB for me).

    Good luck with the surgery.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yes.

      The first one was a combination of playing and me having a bone spur that frayed the tendon, pretty much shredding it. The second was a small tear four years later.

      It’s a long read, but you can skip to the photos of the incisions:

      The second operation did not seem as bad, but I also knew what to expect, plus, the first one also had the knee. I didn’t find a painkiller that worked. We tried both Vicodin and Percocet, and neither did anything for the pain – took a few of them and then stopped – so I just took Advil for the inflammation. On the second operation, they gave me a medicine ball, but it turned out the feed had slipped out, so it never did anything either.

      The first week or so is not pleasant but bearable. Subsequently, it’s the exercises and therapy that hurt, but again, not unbearable. Find things to occupy your mind, and it helps.

      Liked by 1 person

    1. I’m not certain. I think the final straw was lifting a very heavy bag from behind the couch, while sitting on the couch. So – a very stupid angle. But likely years of carrying heavy bags and suitcases started it. I’m really not sure. Thank you 🙏🏻

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Ouch. I’m sorry to hear all of that, hun.
    At least all is happening very fast and you’ll get rid of this problem, despite the prospect of a long rehabilitation, pain and discomfort.
    Bless mum!
    I’d volunteer to enlist as your helper, if I’d live down under.
    Stay strong, my friend. Lots of love.

    Liked by 2 people

  3. I’m pleased to hear you got to see the specialist so quickly but sorry about the resulting surgery. I hope you are feeling ok. Your mother is a real trooper coming down to look after you. Take care and rest up. X

    Liked by 2 people

  4. Desley–the pain you go through from this surgery will be all worth it, though. I have screws in my neck and even though my mobility is severely limited, I have no more pain from the cancer that was there. Once they fix this, you will at least be pain free. Keep thinking those happy thoughts. There is a light at the end of this tunnel. Drugs will help. Just remember to keep on top of the pain; don’t chase it. Meaning, take those drugs on a steady rotation to keep the pain dull. You can do this!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks Lois. That means a lot to me. I’m staying on top of it mostly at the moment. I missed one last night when I got stuck at my desk getting some work done, and you really pay for it afterwards! I’m happy. I’ve come to terms with it, and the surgery seems fairly routine. Looking forward to getting it all sorted out. Actually I’m very relieved just to have a plan 😊 Thanks again for your encouragement! X

      Liked by 1 person

  5. Gosh DJ, that’s really tough news. So sorry to hear about all the damage and I really hope it can be fixed satisfactorily and that the recovery period is not too difficult. Having ‘nursed’ my son through his recent operation and recovery period I can only say ‘that’s what mums are for’. No matter how old you get, we are always there for our kids. Sending lots of love and warm hugs to you ((( ))) ❤ ❤
    Jude xx

    Liked by 2 people

  6. Oh no Desley, surgery, but at least you know the problem and have a solution. Thank goodness for mum’s and I have to say, I do like your doctor’s honesty – prepare for the worst and hope for the best! xx

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Thanks Mara. I appreciate your wishes. Helpless is about right. I keep trying to do things with one arm, since I’m going to be in a sling for 6 weeks, and it’s so hard even just to put your pants on! Or get out of bed! I suspect it will be a very interesting and frustrating few weeks. But I’ll get used to it and then it’s Christmas holidays yay! X

      Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks Adele. While the pain has been there in the background for a very long time, it was only recently that the final “snap” happened and the pain really stepped up a notch. Lots of nerves in that bicep area I’m told. I believe them! Thank you so much for your well wishes and I’m happy to see you back xox.

      Liked by 1 person

  7. Wow 😦 triple whammy. I’m so glad you can get the op quickly, and that your mum will be able to help out. Jude is right; that’s what we mums do, and do with love. Take care and do all the nurturing things you’re told to so you get better soon.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. So sorry to hear of your injury and as you say now you know and have a plan, although it sounds a painful one, it is better than not knowing and living in pain. Hope all eventually comes good. Hugs and best wishes. And 3 cheers for Mum.

    Liked by 1 person

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