The shoulder and my drug-induced daze

It was like finally coming out of a long, very dark tunnel into a warm, bright day. It was wonderful.

But then the road led me into yet another tunnel.

It sounds a bit overdramatic. I’ll admit I generally tend to overdramatize. I’m a storyteller. What can I say?

But that really was what it felt like. I was out of the tunnel for two and a half glorious days.

Pain sucks. It really does. I had a couple of wonderful, almost pain free days but it’s back.

I’ve tried posting updates on my shoulder situation a couple of times in the past two weeks, but each time the writing was very dark and morbid. I’d write a whole page and then decide there was no way I could post that crap even if it was how I truly felt at the time. What I should have done was post something while I was still at hospital just after I had finished my shoulder operation. I was hilarious during those two days – or so I think. I messaged my kids saying, “Who wants to speak to their mother while she’s high on drugs?” The youngest was the only one interested, but he giggled quite a lot while we spoke.

Let me tell you, morphine was a huge disappointment until they took me off it. When the nurse told me she’d give me morphine to help manage the post-operative pain, I got excited. I’m a goodie two-shoes. I’ve never even remotely considered trying any sort of drug. So this was my first legal chance to try something I figured was hard-core. The pain remained and I was put into a disturbed and very superficial sleep. It was awful. The oral morphine was absolutely useless. The intramuscular morphine worked much faster, but in addition to the troubled sleep it made me feel sick and completely annihilated my appetite. Losing my appetite might have been the scariest thing that ever happened to me. I had ordered some great hospital meals (and a chocolate fondant dessert with ice cream) for that day. But when they arrived, I couldn’t put a thing in my mouth. I’m still upset about that.

I went home after two days in hospital. I wasn’t given morphine to take home with me. All it took was 24 hours and I was screaming for morphine. Ok. That’s me overdramatizing things for storytelling purposes. I didn’t scream for morphine. What really happened was that my brain registered that morphine actually had taken away some of the pain sensation and that I wouldn’t have minded being given another dose even if it meant more troubled sleep and zero appetite. But that wasn’t going to happen. Instead, I called my GP who added a commonly used anti-inflammatory drug to my other pain medications. It actually made me feel better.

Two weeks later, and I’m off the anti-inflammatory but still on codeine. I’ve tried doing without the codeine twice. Each time was agony and I went running right back to it. I’m hoping I won’t need it for more than a few days. The last thing we all want is Nadia turning into a drug addict.

Nowadays, my major accomplishments involve me holding my bad arm with my good arm and managing to direct it above my head. You have no idea how accomplished that makes me feel. When I get my arm above my head, even though it’s assisted, I feel like I can do anything. I’m still struggling to move my arm by pure muscle power into various positions. I’ve lost so much strength since I dislocated my shoulder four months ago. But I am now working on regaining range of movement. I don’t yet have the same range of movement that I have in my good shoulder. But I’m working on it. I’m working hard on it. And I’m enduring lots of pain in the process.

The operation I had was to break away lots of scar tissue that had frozen my shoulder joint in place. I had lost significant movement in my right arm because of it. I still have lots of work to do and there are no guarantees that my shoulder won’t freeze back up again. But I’m doing what I can.

It’s been a real challenge to stay positive throughout all this. It would be so easy to allow myself to go to really dark places because of the pain and frustration. But I’ve been forcing myself to stay away from the dark places.

But I have found something positive from it all. I’ve had to slow down. Actually, I’ve had to stop. And I’ve had to reconsider all the plans I had for myself for the coming year. I had lots of activities and a big adventure planned that I’ve had to cancel. This has made me realize that there are other things out there in life that I’d like to do.

This blog post sucks. It doesn’t ooze the wisdom or even the hilarity I was hoping for. It’s the codeine and the pain. My head isn’t clear. But I’m going to post this anyway.


One comment

  1. You know what, reading your posts about your shoulder makes me think, about olanning in life and having ti make change of plans, in your case it was a shoukder that crippled your plans a little, and it made you see and realize how we have to always have other plans and options in life we cant depend on one thing… i have a friends brother who got paralyzed at the age of 18 i can’t imagine how his perspective of life can be, reading your post really made me think about him… you should write an article about that… about hope nonmatter what…

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