I had surgery Tuesday morning. I came home from the hospital Wednesday evening. I've meant to do an update, but I have to admit it wasn't very high on my lists of things I was motivated to do with one hand and an abundance of pain.
Thank you to all of you who left well wishes in the comments of the last post. They mean a lot to me.
Let me explain the injury first. I didn't realize how bad the break was until I met with the orthopedic surgeon in pre-op. My surgery was scheduled over the phone, so I never met with a surgeon prior to the morning of surgery. The first hint it was bad was when two different people referred to it as a "high velocity" break. Meaning the bone was blown apart more like what would happen in a car or motorcycle accident. The neck of my humerus bone was in ten pcs. Luckily, the humeral head in the shoulder was intact and all the bone fragments were aligned correctly. This meant that with a stainless steel plate and some screws, it could be reconstructed.
The surgeon said getting it rebuilt and then seeing if it will heal would be the challenges. I asked if all that happens, when I would ride a bicycle again. He estimated 4-6 months. GULP!!! That hit like a rock. I won't ride again until springtime at the earliest.
The surgery went off very good. I had a very good surgeon, from what I've been hearing. This is a major regional trauma center, so it draws good talent. Susan met with the surgeon while I was in recovery. She saw before and after X-rays of the break and the repair. She said it looks amazing. Everything back in place with the plate in. The surgeon was also upbeat that the surgery had gone well when I saw him on Wed.
Now comes the healing. I'm on some strong pain meds that I take every 3 hours. The pain level is significant. If I miss a dose by an hour or two, I'm suffering pretty bad. The arm is in a sling, and will remain that way for months. I sleep a lot. During the day I'll be up for only 2-3 hours before I need to nap for 2-3 hours. The days go by fast, pretty much in a blur. I've been realizing how little I can do for myself with this injury. I'm not sure what I would have done without Susan's help. She was up and ready to go back to work Thursday morning when I came down have breakfast with her. When I almost passed out from the pain just getting to the table, she decided to stay with me for the rest of the week. She's taking family medical leave. Thank goodness I have over 300 hours of sick time in the bank, because I don't have any disability insurance.
I have a follow-up appointment set for next Thursday. I'll be home at least until then.
I'm in good spirits knowing this is temporary. I will heal. I may lose a small amount of range of motion in the shoulder and arm. And I may always have some pain in that arm. But I will ride again. Okay, need to nap, my forehead is getting sweaty again.