Today it is the third anniversary of my very first operation – the total replacement of my left shoulder joint. I can’t believe that the time has gone so quickly, its hard to remember just how difficult things were three years ago – its only when I re-read my blog that I can remember how I struggled with normal day-to-day tasks, like brushing my teeth and lifting a mug. Today things are a lot different although I will admit that I have not been doing the exercises for my shoulders and as a result of that (and the weather turning colder), I’m finding that I get some pain and aching – especially in the left shoulder where I tore the rotor cuff tendon and had to undergo a second operation. This shoulder will always be weaker as a result but it’s so much better than it was so I can live with a bit of pain and discomfort.
So now I’d like to share some of my blog statistics with you all. Since I started it three years ago it has achieved over 20,500 views by over 3,000 visitors in 44 countries all over the world – with over half the views in the United States. I have also corresponded with dozens of people who have contacted me through my blog, some of who I still keep in touch with. My books, both kindle and paperback are also selling, much to my surprise – with almost 200 sales to date.
So I feel quite proud that so many people have found this blog useful – I thank everyone who reads it and will alway be happy to answer any questions if you want to contact me directly through the contact page.
Now I’m off to do my exercises ……….. 🙂
STM Quality Limited said:
Nice post baba xSent from my Samsung Galaxy S9
You’ve done so well
It is unbelievable how quickly time has passed. Who would have thought you could achieve so much in three years. Not only health-wise but also your wonderful charity work. Well done sweetheart. From aunt lil and uncle Peter.
You have come a long way love x
Peta E Jellis said:
Well done Michelle. And well done with your blog which has helped so many people including me. Shoulder replacements are not well-known and I am still regarded as an alien from Mars when I tell people that I have had two replacements! Both of which are doing very nicely and kept moving with my morning half mile swim!
Karla Kinnear said:
I had shoulder replacement in 2010. Went to a physio following recovery and found very little help. Started swimming, mainly freestyle. Up to one kilometre every day. Now nine years on, would not know I have a replacement. The doctor is my hero, did such a fantastic job.
Peta E Jellis said:
Hi Karla and Michelle. I too swim half a mile every day (breast, back and crawl strokes) and I am pleased to report that both replacements are working very well. I do think that swimming is one of the best exercises as you can start off gradually and stop when necessary! The danger of going into the gym is that you get too ambitious and up the weights or similar and that is when you might do some harm. I was swimming withing 4 weeks of my first replacement – gentle breastroke and was much more pleasurable than the exercises given by the physio – but I did those too! With all operations, the support from a good physio is so important and to do the exercises given. Of course, I had the very best surgeon too and the only disadvantage I have found is that I no longer see him or his lovely secretary!
Alison Jolly said:
Hello to Michelle and all concerned.
I too have found a dearth of first-hand, practical writing about shoulder surgery and am so glad that I discovered your forum and blog! This morning I bought and read Michelle’s book on kindle and, along with the other contributions on this site, I am left feeling more optimistic than for some time. It’s so good to read such positive accounts of experiences that make many people spread misery and I hugely appreciate that!
I’m now aged (just) 73 and am a former sportsperson who was diagnosed with widespread OA some thirty years ago, Being convinced that I know my own body pretty well I’ve managed to stay as active as possible, with cycling and swimming being my main forms exercise now that high-impact activities have become difficult.
Fifteen months ago, at a Walking Netball evening class I slipped and fell heavily on my left side resulting in three fractures to the head of L humerus. (Plus fractured ribs.)
My OH was summoned to take me to the nearest A&E where I was equipped with a sling and referred to the next shoulder clinic. On my second appointment there the x-rays showed that the shoulder fractures had become displaced so they were fixed with plate and screws. The very experienced surgeon was totally frank with me and warned that this might not provide a long-term solution but things seemed to go reasonably well and I was discharged at six months with the proviso that, should I not be happy with things by a year post-fracture, he would see me again.
It never did feel ‘right’; physiotherapy exercises made things worse so I abandoned them and even swimming became too uncomfortable to continue so, after the year expired I requested referral back to the hospital shoulder clinic. New x-rays showed a problem with one of the screws plus a new arthritic bone spur impinging on the metalwork and the options for further surgery were clearly explained. The best way to effect a long-term solution would be a reverse total shoulder replacement with removal of the spur, for which I have the pre-op appointment in a few days’ time.
Having done masses of internet browsing and learning exactly what is involved in the surgery I am collecting together the things I know will be essential for the first few weeks – my husband’s large front-fastening shirts, loose-fitting jogging bottoms, poncho etc. My one concern is the immediate post-op pain as last time it appeared that the nerve block had failed and my time in the recovery room was excruciating – but I’ll raise this at my appointment.
All your down-to-earth writing has raised my spirits no end and I am genuinely looking forward to getting the procedure behind me so the grumpy cow can finally be sent to an abattoir and I should again be a cheerful wife, mother, grandmother and friend.
Thank you all so much!
Peta E Jellis said:
Hi Alison. I am sure Michelle will be replying to your contribution in more depth. Us 70+ ladies do realise how determined we must be to get back to full health and I am sure you have all the determination needed! Just a couple of points. My surgeon more or less insisted in an ice pack https://www.vivomed.com/en/IceBand-Shoulder-Brace/m-7563.aspx and I must admit that I did find it so very helpful in dealing with the pain, particularly if I was not yet due for a pill, and later on, I used this simply to stop taking pills. Secondly a friend from my gym had to have a replacement (not reverse) as she had a spur and all the tendons etc were twisted around the spur. I think the operation was a bit tricky but she has made a total recovery – and can now pick up her grandchildren! So keep those spirtis raised – I am sure you will be fine/
Hi Alison, I feel so proud when I hear that my blog has been useful to someone and I do hope that you get your surgery soon. I would be happy to answer any questions you may have at any time and I’m sure Peta will also be happy to share her experience, she really is an amazing lady – definitely an inspiration. If only I could swim but sadly despite trying many times, I swim like a brick!
Best wishes, Michelle
Alison Jolly said:
Three weeks post-op for total reverse shoulder replacement and I am so grateful for all the practical advice given in Michelle’s story. Apart from a nasty allergic skin reaction all has gone way more smoothly than I anticipated and I am feeling entirely positive and very happy with my decision for surgery.
The reverse procedure, as opposed to ‘standard shoulder replacement’ brings some different results and challenges, which is interesting, but I ditch the sling today and start ‘physio proper’ next week.
As someone inclined to push physical boundaries as far as possible I have Michelle’s warning about duvets and dire consequences ringing in my ears so will continue to re-read her sound advice and to value the personal Email contact I now have with her and Peta. (Will update them in more detail later.)
Hi Alison I’m so pleased to hear about your progress and I feel proud that what started off as a type of online diary to act as a personal reminder, has become something that has been viewed over 24,500 times worldwide. It’s nice to have been able to help. Good luck with your recovery 😀
Sharon oloughlin said:
I’ve just found out I need shoulder replacement after 2 years in pain.. it’s now booked in and I am in total shock about it. I live on my own and I am starting to worry about how I’m going to manage to dress myself and put on my make up lol. So nervous about it but I know it’s the only way I can be pain free
I understand you’re shocked – when I was told I thought the doc was joking, I didn’t even know that they could replace shoulder joints! However here I am with two new ones at 55 so chances are I’ll need another couple eventually 😀😆
Peta E Jellis said:
I am sure all will be well Sharon. Do have a look at Michelle’s Hints and Tips to get ready for your op. Good luck. https://shoulderreplacementblog.com/hints-and-tips-for-surgery/