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Feb 18 2014
By: Jdurg I Only Post Everything 926 posts
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Having Surgery....

18 replies 168 views Edited Feb 18, 2014

So how many people have had surgery before?  If so, what was your experience like?  Previously, I only had "surgery" once.  I have been "blessed" by genetics to make it so that when my adult teeth were coming in, they lacked the enzyme required to dissolve the roots of my baby teeth.  As a result, ALL of my baby teeth either had to be knocked out due to being young and reckless, or had to be pulled out.  When I was about 9 years old, x-rays from the dentist were mucky and when I had to have my top front incisors pulled, they didn't know if they would have to dig into my skull to get my adult teeth in the right direction.  So they decided to put me under general anesthesia in order to perform the reconstructive surgery if it was needed.  Thankfully, when they pulled out the baby teeth and did x-rays in the OR, they saw that my adult teeth were actually in the right spot and didn't need to cut into my skull.

 

Still, I remember when the gas was given to me, they had me count backwards from 5 and when I got to 4 I was totally knocked out.  I woke up FREEZING cold and nauseus afterwards and wasn't too fond of it all.  That was the only time I had to have surgery, until now.

 

Last year, while going to the gym in order to lose fat and build up muscle, I ignored the offer at the gym to be "trained" on how to use the machines since I figured I knew what I was doing.  Big mistake.  I was using the machines while not adjusting them properly, and was lifting weights a bit too heavy for me at the time.  Yes, I put on some muscle, but while doing an overhead press I felt a knot "pop" in my left shoulder.  I figured it was just normal muscle soreness and worked through the pain.  It wasn't super severe, but then again I have a very high pain tolerance and only seek out a doctor when the pain keeps me from sleeping.  Hell, four years ago I SHATTERED my right foot to the point where it was swollen, purple, and painful to walk on, yet I didn't see a doctor for two weeks until a co-worker threatened to drag me to a doctor if I didn't go on my own.  Turns out, I broke 8 bones in the middle of my right foot but tried to walk through it.  Suffice it to say, I'm never going skiing ever again.  Lol.

 

So after a year of slowly increasing pain, I finally decided to get a primary care doctor and got it looked at.  The pain wasn't severe, but when I was going to bed at night it was aching and hurting me more and more.  My range of motion in the shoulder slowly became reduced, and lifting things with my left arm was very painful.  The doctor assumed it was bursitis and had me take a ton of Ibuprofen and physical therapy.  (This is because insurance refused to pay for an MRI unless I had physical therapy first).  The therapist worked with me for about 8-weeks and the range of motion only improved by about 2% and the pain actually became a bit worse.  The physical therapist suggested I get an MRI as the pain and lack of motion suggested something was severely wrong.

 

On Superbowl Sunday, I finally got an MRI done.  The day after, which I had taken off of work since I was partying that Sunday, I was awoken early in the morning by my primary care doctor.  She said that even though she wasn't an orthopedic specialist, the MRI images clearly showed a tear in my labrum.  Crap.  I was immediatley referred to an orthopedist and got a chance to go over the MRI results with him last week.

 

Upon reviewing the MRI with him (which was TOTALLY cool seeing what my shoulder looked like on the inside), he showed me a few areas in the shoulder that were not normal.  The bursa sac, a fluid filled sac that acts as a shock absorber in the shoulder joint, was many times its normal size.  The labrum had a tear in it which isn't a full thickness tear, but large enough to cause problems.  The acromion, an extension of the shoulder blade which makes contact with the collarbone, had a great deal of bone spurs on it (growths formed due to damage to soft tissues in the area), and was also in an elevated position which put pressure on my rotator cuff.  The tendons in my rotator cuff and the long arm of the biceps muscle were also very frayed.  The rotator cuff was also much less thick than it should be due to it being impinged by the acromion and inflammed bursa.  

 

So I will be having surgery sometime in the next 2-3 weeks.  The surgeon will arthroscopically go into the shoulder and shave off the bone spurs and a good chunk of the acromion in order to create space for my rotator cuff tendons/muscles to live.  The tear in my labrum will be stitched up, and the frayed parts of the rotator cuff will be cleaned up.  In addition, the bursa sac will be drained and re-structured to provide proper cushioning in the area.  While the rotator cuff isn't torn, the doctor did say that there may be damage that can't be seen in the MRI but will be noticed once he gets in there.  I will have a nerve block applied by injecting the nerve sheath in my neck that houses the shoulder/arm nerve bundles with blocking agents.  This will keep my arm/shoulder "dead" for a good 24-36 hours after surgery which is generally the most painful period post-op.  I will also have a water cooled compression sleeve put on the arm to eliminate swelling and help the healing process speed up.  I was actually quite impressed to hear that after the surgery, I'll be able to move my shoulder and arm minimally just a few days after surgery.  The surgeon said that I'll be starting 6-8 weeks of physical therapy about a week after surgery and will be back to my pre-injury status upon completion.

 

While I'll be nerve blocked, I'll also be HEAVILY sedated for the 3-hour procedure and pretty much won't remember much.  Instead of general anesthesia, which leads to the shivering and nausea I remember, I'll be put into a state of sedation/sleep akin to when you are just about to fall asleep.  It means I won't feel pain, won't move around, and won't really remember any of it.

 

Still, there is always some nervousness any time something this invasive takes place.  Later this week, I'll find out the date of my surgery and have the pre-op consultation where they'll do a routine physical to ensure I can have the surgery, and also explain the procedure in greater detail and have me sign the informed consent.  The doctor also finally prescribed pain medication for me so that I can get a good night's sleep for the first time in almost a year.  I've been on the meds for about 5 days now and the loopiness and funkiness is finally gone.  I can now sleep a full night and although I know I'm still hurting, my brain just doesn't care.  Smiley Very Happy

 

Anyway, how many here have gone through surgery before?  What was your experience like, and how was the post-op recovery?  I know I'll be fine and the success rate of this type of surgery is basically 100%.  I just have the expected anxiety about being cut open, drugged up, and having a needle in my neck.  Smiley Tongue

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Welcoming Committee
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Re: Having Surgery....

Feb 18, 2014

I had a colonoscopy/endoscopy done (through both ends...)

 

I sort of count it as a surgery because of the endoscopy. But it was no big deal. Now, the medicine you have to drink leading up to a colonoscopy is the worst thing you will ever suffer through. You have this gallon of disgusting medicine that will make you gag numerous times. I probably vomited up half of the medicine. The point of it is to clean out your bowels. And that part was no big deal either. Just that drink...I can still taste it if I think about it too hard.


Welcoming Committee- "The business of gaming is business"
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Fender Bender
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Re: Having Surgery....

Feb 18, 2014
Lol I can't believe you kept me interested long enough for me to read that whole post.
But the only surgery I was ever in was when I got my wisdom teeth taken out.

Which was not a big deal at all
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Re: Having Surgery....

Feb 18, 2014

I have a few words of advise.

 

First and foremost, don't let them cheat you out of the good pain killers.  My personal favorite is codeine.  Some people, it knocks them out.  Not me.  In fact, it doesn't slow me down a bit.  I think I may be unique in my reaction to codeine.  I can still feel every ounce of pain but I just don't care.  Instead of killing the pain, it deactivates the part of my brain that cares whether or not I'm in pain.  I'm not numb or sluggish in the least.  Two thumbs up on that particular drug.  Specifically it was Tylenol 3 with codeine if you want to get technical.

 

Secondly, if they tell you to take it easy for two months, then take it easy for two months.  Don't go rock climbing or anything.  You have to let it heal.

 

Third, don't let it heal naturally.  Force it to heal faster.  Get some quality bodybuilder protein and take it daily.  What is surgery?  It's tissue damage that needs to heal, much like after you lift weights.  Take the protein but don't lift weights.  Let the surgery knit faster.  Also get plenty of bed rest.  Muscles (and tissues) heal while you're asleep.  Sleep a lot.

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Fender Bender
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Re: Having Surgery....

Feb 18, 2014
Lol after inhad my surgry he told me to take it easy for a couple of days,

But I felt fine the day after so I played some basketball. The. I felt the horrible pain the next day
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I Only Post Everything
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Re: Having Surgery....

Feb 18, 2014

DrGadget wrote:

I have a few words of advise.

 

First and foremost, don't let them cheat you out of the good pain killers.  My personal favorite is codeine.  Some people, it knocks them out.  Not me.  In fact, it doesn't slow me down a bit.  I think I may be unique in my reaction to codeine.  I can still feel every ounce of pain but I just don't care.  Instead of killing the pain, it deactivates the part of my brain that cares whether or not I'm in pain.  I'm not numb or sluggish in the least.  Two thumbs up on that particular drug.  Specifically it was Tylenol 3 with codeine if you want to get technical.

 

Secondly, if they tell you to take it easy for two months, then take it easy for two months.  Don't go rock climbing or anything.  You have to let it heal.

 

Third, don't let it heal naturally.  Force it to heal faster.  Get some quality bodybuilder protein and take it daily.  What is surgery?  It's tissue damage that needs to heal, much like after you lift weights.  Take the protein but don't lift weights.  Let the surgery knit faster.  Also get plenty of bed rest.  Muscles (and tissues) heal while you're asleep.  Sleep a lot.


Yeah, that's generally what opiate medications do.  Codeine is unique in that the compound itself is NOT an active pain-medication.  For most people, an enzyme in the liver metabolizes codeine into morphine which is what does the job.  However, there is a significant percentage of the population which is unable to convert codeine into morphine, and as a result if they take codeine they feel no pain releif and get itchy as the codeine gets deposited into cells in the body.

 

Right now, I'm on a 10.5/325 Hydrocodone/APAP regimen.  One tablet in the morning, one during lunch, and one before I go to bed.  As you have mentioned, it's not getting rid of the pain but it's making my brain not care at all that it's hurting.  That's really the purpose of the meds.  Of course, I have to take some days off of the medication so I can poop.  Heh.  Opiates slow down the peristalsis in your digestive track causing you to become constipated unless you stop taking the meds for a bit, or eat a LOT of fiber.

 

I'll take your advice and ingest a bunch of protein powders and more multi-vitamins during recovery.  I'm happy that the doctor said recovery would only be about 8 weeks instead of the 12 months that I had read during my internet research.  

 

I had wisdom teeth pulled previously (and I have to laugh as throughout life every dental x-ray said I didn't have the buds in my jaw which lead to wisdom teeth, but one day ten years ago I was picking popcorn out of my back molars when I felt a tooth coming in), and I remember the doc giving me Xanax to take 30 minutes before coming in.  I didn't physically feel any effects from it, but when he put the 18" needle into my upper jaw to inject the lidocaine and I didn't care one iota, the doctor kind of laughed when I said I wasn't bothered and told me "Thank Xanax for that".  lol.

 

Can't wait to find out the date of the surgery so my recovery can begin and I can get back to my pre-injury state.

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Gaming Beast
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Re: Having Surgery....

Feb 18, 2014
I had knee surgery after a bad soccer injury. I tore a ligament and chipped cartilage off the inside of my knee which became lodged in my knee cap. The surgery stitched together the ligament and removed the cartilage from my knee cap. They then took cartilage from a less vital area of the knee and places it in the area where I lost the cartilage. This was because the cartilage that grows back isn't as tough as the original.

My surgery was 1 week before my freshman year of higschool started the pain got better quickly and I got good on crutches but it took 2 months on crutches and 6 months of physical therapy before I was perfectly healed.

Goof luck on your surgery I hope you a good and quick recovery
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I Only Post Everything
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Re: Having Surgery....

Feb 18, 2014

far-zan wrote:
I had knee surgery after a bad soccer injury. I tore a ligament and chipped cartilage off the inside of my knee which became lodged in my knee cap. The surgery stitched together the ligament and removed the cartilage from my knee cap. They then took cartilage from a less vital area of the knee and places it in the area where I lost the cartilage. This was because the cartilage that grows back isn't as tough as the original.

My surgery was 1 week before my freshman year of higschool started the pain got better quickly and I got good on crutches but it took 2 months on crutches and 6 months of physical therapy before I was perfectly healed.

Goof luck on your surgery I hope you a good and quick recovery

Thanks far-zan.  Yeah, in my junior year of high school I learned the hard way that you shouldn't try and walk when your leg is asleep.  Had a nasty fall and snapped my left tibia.  This was winter so it sucked even more.  Lol.  Always funny how you never really need to learn to use crutches until you're in a position where failure is not an option.  When I was finally out of the cast and off the crutches, my upper arms and shoulder muscles were HUGE!  Lol.

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Survivor
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Re: Having Surgery....

Feb 18, 2014

bob-maul wrote:

I had a colonoscopy/endoscopy done (through both ends...)

 

I sort of count it as a surgery because of the endoscopy. But it was no big deal. Now, the medicine you have to drink leading up to a colonoscopy is the worst thing you will ever suffer through. You have this gallon of disgusting medicine that will make you gag numerous times. I probably vomited up half of the medicine. The point of it is to clean out your bowels. And that part was no big deal either. Just that drink...I can still taste it if I think about it too hard.


May I ask what it was for? I remembered when I had a really bad stomach ach to the point where I was thinking of going to the E.R. The pain lasted for several months and I had strong nausea. I was thinking I had cancer and I would die a legend. Pain started in the upper left side. The pain went to my back and my arm and lasted for about an hour till it went away. I had a bunch of studies and in one it said that I peed out blood. I was sure I had cancer and I would die a legend but legends never die. Finally got a upper G.I. and I had nothing. Then the pain slowly went away and I got some pills and stuff for a few months and more studies. 

Busty brunnette
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Fender Bender
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Re: Having Surgery....

[ Edited ]
Feb 18, 2014

 I had surgery three times. First time when I was 4, but I don't want to explain it in too much detail. I actually remember being in the hospital and I remember waking up after the surgery and looking at my stitches, and then freaking out. Then the nurse held me until I calmed down, and I went back to sleep. Second time I needed dental surgery to remove my wisdom teeth because the bottom ones grew side-ways right into my jaw bone. The third surgery was to correct a lazy eye. They had to tighten the muscles around it. I remember waking up after and being in a lot of pain. So much pain that I couldn't even open my eyes. Then they gave me some strong pain killers. I had my first black eye from it and it looked like I had been in a fight. I also had double vision for a few days while my eyes were healing and needed to realign themselves.

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