Monday, July 18, 2005

Shoulder Work In Progress

I'm home from the hospital, and I brought pictures with me.  I even scanned them and thought about sharing them, until I decided that they are yucky pictures only an orthopedic surgeon could love.  The procedure is called a Right Shoulder Subacromial Decompression.

The operation was painless, and the Enloe Hospital staff is great. 

The check-in was at 5:30 this morning.  The check-in clerk thought I was an in-patient, that I was going to stay overnight, because my papers were in a folder color-coded for in-patient.  She had trouble finding me in the computer.  Oh no, I thought, and had visions of an old George C. Scott movie called "Hospital" about hospital screw-ups that cost people's lives.  When I told her I was an out-patient she found me and things went smoothly from then on.

The charge nurse that gave me the fetching hospital gown was named Steve and we made sure I was the patient that went with the papers.  We made sure the right name was on my wrist band.  He gave me a pen to mark ('X') the correct arm.  He put my own flowered robe in a bag to wear home later, said bag with my name on it..  Now I was feeling a little better about hospital procedures at Enloe.

Another person came by and inserted an I.V. and started dripping Ringers into me to keep me hydrated,  Somebody else painted all over my shoulder with iodine.  Somebody else wheeled me into the recovery room, where I would wait before and after the operation.

The anesthesiologist explained that he would give me a nerve block so my arm would be numb after the operation, which it was, like having a shot of Novocaine for my arm.  Then I was rolled into the O.R. and somebody started the anesthesia.  The next thing I knew I was in the recovery room.

I remember seeing the surgeon, very briefly, who told me it went well.  Eventually Jan rescued me and took me home, where I began reading "Charlie and the Chocolate Factory" and napping.

About 7:30 tonight the nerve block began to wear off and I took my first Norco for pain. 

Tomorrow I get to swing my arm a little. Whoopee....

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