Today is Saturday, September 5th. It has been 10 days since my surgery. Some things are improving.
One of my major problems was what to do about pain management. There are several ways to deal with the pain.
- Strong prescription pain medication (Percocet, Norco, Tramadol) The problem with these is that, as soon as you start taking these (Percocet / Norco), your next problem is constipation. I’m not taking very much of it now (only at night), and I started using Miralax (which my anesthesiologist says is the “nuclear option).” I tried a combination of several other “remedies,” but they didn’t work. This stuff worked quickly and very effectively.
The other problem for me with these drugs was that I would wake up with “morning sickness.” I would get up and have terrible nausea. Because of these side effects, I was encouraged early on to avoid their use.
- Non steroidal anti inflammatory drugs (NSAID’s) – These include Motrin (ibuprofen), Tylenol (acetaminophen) and Aleve (naproxen). The problem I was having with these is that if I took the recommended dosage, it either: a.) didn’t help much or: b.) gave me a terrible stomach ache. These can be used to allow you to come off the stronger pain meds when the pain subsides somewhat. I couldn’t use these, even if I took them with food. They didn’t help me with my pain very much, and they gave me yet another problem to have to deal with. I finally quit trying to use these.
- Ice packs – I have a Colpac ice pack, which a friend from church (who is a physical therapist) gave me when I had my other shoulder surgery. This is what helps me to get some sleep at night. At first, I couldn’t use this because the weight of the ice pack gave me even more pain, but now it works great.
So, things are slowly improving. I’m even using both hands to type this today – a first! Also, providentially, the US Open Tennis Championship has been on, and I’ve been watching a lot of matches. This helps a lot to pass the time, since there is little else I can do at this point (including driving, which I can’t do for 6 weeks). What’s great about the tennis is that I can watch it into the night (last night until 1:30). Since I’m not sleeping well, this helps me through the night.
On Wednesday, I’ll go in for my post-op appointment with my surgeon.