I slept better last night (Saturday) so I thought that I’d tell you about my second operation while it is fairly fresh in my mind. Just like last time I opted to have the surgery using a nerve block and no general anaesthetic, so I was awake during the whole procedure.
The nerve block being inserted into the side of my neck just above the shoulder-blade for me (both times) was the most painful part of the whole procedure and seemed to take the longest, although I’m sure it only felt like that to me as various tubes and what felt like miles of tape were applied to my neck and a small amount of my hair, despite it being tied away at the opposite side. Last time the tape gave me a rash when it was removed so this time they used a different type.
The surgery experience this time was a little different. Last time it sounded like carpentry going on in a room next door and I felt little connection to my body during the surgery. This time felt “more involved” as I the screen was clear plastic (although I could only make out the blurry images of what appeared to be a small army, due to the fact I had to remove my specs). I also felt my shoulder being “rebuilt” and the connection of various tools to my body but NO PAIN whatsoever. My arm also felt different immediately after the surgery too. Last time the nerve block left it feeling as though it was pointing towards the ceiling, but this time it felt like my right hand was resting across my body and my “ghost hand” was freezing cold. I also felt as though someone had hung an extremely heavy “fake arm” around my neck and I kept looking at it, touching the hand amazed at how warm and lifelike it was – before remembering that this heavy arm was actually the one attached to my body! As if that wasn’t bad enough I was also given a “bowling ball” to carry in a little bag on my left side – this is the nerve block which gets smaller as it feeds pain medication to the shoulder and will be removed on Monday.
In recovery immediately afterwards was different too. Last time i was really cold and they used a warming blanket to raise my temperature before taking me back to the ward. This time i felt fine so i sent a couple of emails to Steve and my sister Lorna from my iPod while i waited to be wheeled back to my bed – they were both amazed that it was all over as they didn’t know what time i was going to theatre!
Thankfully by yesterday (Saturday) the “ghost arm” had gone and normal sensation returned to the real one. The physiotherapist has been this morning so now for the tricky part – not to overdo it. I’m finding my book useful as a peek into what to expect next. Although I am also aware that every arm is different at least it gives me a rough guide, whereas last time Steve and I just muddled along the best we could.
If anyone has read my book it is possible to leave review on Amazon, even if you have not experienced it yourself. I’d love to hear your feedback.
Thank you for taking the time to read and for all your words of encouragement. It’s taken all morning to type this on the kindle with my left hand so bye for now, more to follow no doubt 🙂
Well done Michelle. As you say, each op is different. I still don’t know how you had the courage to stay awake! Although I had a nerve block with my second shoulder, I was very thankful that I knew absolutely nothing until I woke up in recovery. I must say however that the nerve block was better than a general where you feel woozy for at least 24 hours and going to the loo is an experience whilst still attached to machinery! Any idea how long you will be in? I was in 4 nights first time round but only 3 last time – and I thought that 3 was enough. I was able to get in and out of bed unaided by then and wander around being a nuisance to the nurses!!! Keep up the good work.
PS are you taking arnica tablets? I found them invaluable to deal with the bruising and my lovely consultant was happy that I took them.
💐💐Brave lady stay positive xx