Surgery Day – August 30th

Today I will receive rotator cuff surgery. Three things will be done while the surgeon is in there. He will:

  1. Repair the medium tear in the rotator cuff.
  2. Remove loose fragments of tendon, bursa, and other debris from the space in the shoulder where the rotator cuff moves (debridement).
  3. Perform Subacromial Decompression.

I arrived at the hospital at 5:50 AM. I was the first to have surgery this morning. The hospital receptionist showed up at 6:00 and checked me in. At 6:05, an OR nurse called for me to come in to get prepped for my surgery.

Two failed attempts were made by two different RN’s to get my IV inserted, even though they both told me that I had “good veins.” They managed to get enough anesthesia in me to knock me out, and reinserted my IV after I was unconscious.

While I was still conscious, they verified information such as what was to be operated on (rotator cuff) and which shoulder was to receive the treatment.

I awoke in the recovery area at 10:20 AM and was then loaded into a wheelchair and pushed out to our car and my waiting wife.

I now had a large bandage on my shoulder that made it look like I had a football shoulder pad on one side. It had a thick padding on it and was very conspicuous. This will come off in 72 hrs. when I am allowed to take my first shower.

I arrived at home in a very groggy, but pain-free condition. I did have a very sore throat and my mouth was as dry as dust. I ate a piece of toast, but had to wash it down with plenty of water.

For the next 12 hours, I felt pretty good. The anesthesiologist had given me a nerve block, which had lasted this long. But now that was wearing off, and I was beginning to feel pain.

I had been warned by several  people to “stay ahead of the pain” with my pain meds, and so I began taking strong oral pain medication at this point. I found that one pain tablet was not sufficient to cut the pain. I eventually took another tablet and also applied an ice pack to my shoulder. I was able to get minimal sporadic sleep on this first night.

I am very glad that I did thorough research prior to my surgery to prepare me for what I was to undergo. I was well prepared for the unpleasant aspects of this operation. I knew that I was in for some pain and suffering, and so there were no surprises.

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