This fall snuck by me with all the great events and travel (and sadly doctor appointments), and I now find myself on the other side of the new year with many announcements, but limited physical ability.*Surprise!* I went out on medical leave on December 20, 2018 for total shoulder replacement. I'm a little over 2 weeks post op, and I'm just now able to sneak in short bursts with my special ergonomic keyboard and lapdesk, and my arm safely in my sling.
If you're wondering when the original announcement came of my extended medical leave for shoulder surgery, you can stop wondering. I didn't make the announcement via my blog or website at all, virtually. I made very sparce mention of it on Fetlife and Twitter. Looking back, I suppose I was trying to avoid the inevitable question I was starting to get a lot of. "How old are you?", "I'm 47 about to turn 48, why?" "You're awful young to need shoulder replacement surgery. Must be how much spanking you do" *sighs* "No, actually spanking is what is saving my dominant arm from needing the same surgery".
This whole thing started in my early teenage years, I grew fast, I grew tall, and I grew up "double jointed". Double jointedness doesn't mean our hinged joints go in 2 different ways as the name of the condition might imply. It just means that our joints, fingers, legs and arms in particular, are more flexible than "normal", a superlaxity of the muscles. Well, I gotta tell you that when this nerdy, bullied Catholic school girl discovered her new ability to "dislocate" her shoulders and hips at will, it turned into a wonderful party trick/break-the-ice activity with her new public school friends. That was a costly acceptance!
Eventually, it became a nervous tick, happening when I wasn't even aware, and that's when my Mother told me I would "ruin my shoulders doing that!", and I had better stop. Fast forward 30 hard-on-the-shoulder years, and you have what I have....SEVERE post traumatic, repetitive injuried osteoarthritis; multiple large bone spurs and bone-on-bone friction; several unhealed rotator cuff tears. The first doctor told me I had the shoulders of an 80 year old. I got used to living with a lot of pain, as it started in my 20's, and I'm not one for taking pain meds (let's see, explosive vomiting or pain relief? Not much of a choice)
Since I've been on this mission of self care since the summertime, I figured it was time to stop ignoring a problem (that wasn't going to go away), and face my fears and hope for the best. So, for those inquiring minds, or for the fellow joint replacement survivors out there, I have had a shoulder arthroplasty with resurfacing. I have both metal, as well as plastic components in my new shoulder, so I'm hoping with much rehabbing over the next 6 months hard, I'll officially be the "Bionic Beater"! As it is, I have been royally "screwed"! lol