Archive for April, 2006

Shoulder update

Thursday morning, I took the catheter out.. ~8cm under skin. I followed Dr. Katan’s advice and started on the pain medication before removing it – good idea. Over the next 24h, I consumed about 12 Tylenol 3s. Ugh. I don’t understand why anyone would use codeine recreationally – it just makes me slow and uncoordinated.

Friday I took the bus out to see Dr. Liew, who explained what he did, etc. As far as I understand, the problems were that my shoulder ball could rotate a certain way then pop out forward because the capsule was loose. He fixed this by somehow attaching the ball to the capsule. It will still rotate, which is good, but not pop out. I don’t fully understand the explanation.. I’ll ask him to explain it again next time I see him. After that, I walked home via the market, which took a while but I had nothing better to do :) 3 t3s during the day, then 2 right before bed – finally a decent night’s sleep.

Saturday I walked to Ontario Medical Supply (near the train station) for a new immobilizer. The one I’ve been using over the years is almost completely worn out and the one they gave me after surgery sucks: it’s supported by an elastic waistband over my diaphragm, which is uncomfortable, and it doesn’t provide any elbow support. They only had a large, which was too big for me, but I bought it anyway and ordered a medium. I’m now using my old one with the straps from the new one, which is acceptable. Onto Advil.. 10 for the day. Not bad :)


surgery update

those of you who know me well know about my shoulder problems: I have dislocated my right shoulder ~10 times since 1997, and the situation showed no signs of improving.. each dislocation required a trip to the hospital and weeks in a sling, followed by months of not doing much (no rock climbing for example.) so anyway, after over a year on a waiting list, I finally had surgery on tuesday.

my day: got up at 4:00, finished off some Linux 1394 work I’d been trying to get done for weeks, hopped on the 99 to the hospital just after 6. filled out forms, lay in a bed for a while, then got wheeled in to the OR area. after a short wait, met up with Dr. Katan, an anaesthesiologist wearing an awesome sushi hairnet. dr. k and his assistant set me up on an iv, shot me full of fentanyl (an opiate I’ve had now and then due to shoulder problems.. quite pleasant), and started work on a nerve block. this is fairly new tech and pretty neat. they stick in a metal needle, insulated apart from the tip, and pulse electricity to mke your muscles twitch until they find the correct nerve. then inject a whole whack of drugs to essentilly turn the nreve off.

after that, waited a few mins in the hall for my surgeon, Dr. Liew, who it turns out is also a climber. talked with him briefly then thry wheeled me into the or and put me under anasthetic, and did crazy stuff with arthroscopes and lasers – not exactly sure what, since I have not talked with Dr. liew since the op.

then into recovery for a bit then mort picked me up and drove me to his house – not allowed to be home alone that day or niht.

at the time, my whole arm was numb due to the nerve block. they discharged me with a cateter to the block, containing ~48h of fluids in a plastic container that looks something like a baby bottle. it un-numbed gradually overnight and by now (3:45 night 2) is entirely back to normal. the pain is just starting as the baby bottle runs low. I am on t3s and using ice and very bored… about the only thing I can do easily is watch movies, but I’m sick of that and can’t sleep so I’m pounding out this poorly-capitalized semi-lucid blog entry on my laptop one-handed.

what now? ~2 weeks of doing vrey little, ~6 weeks total in a sling, and Dr. Liew estimates I will be climbing again in 4 months, soon enough to catch the tail end of the outdoor season here. w00t.

obviously i won’t be writing much email for a while at least (this entry so far took me >30 min) but I will be reading it a few times/day. So leave a phone# if I don’t have it already and you want a response.

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