Monday, March 8, 2010

Looking Back................ the Treatment

Part 1

While I felt the initial contact of both doctors' hands, I don't remember a thing from that point forward. My last memory was a smidgen of the pressure as I felt the docs begin to pull on my arm and shoulder. From there my memory went blank.

I don't remember one single thing about the entire effort to relocate my shoulder or pulling the bone back into proper position. I don't know if it hurt........and frankly I don't care. I have no memory and that's probably best. I do know that Dave told me later he could hear me screaming clear out in the waiting room. (Today, Dave has no memory of the particulars about the exam cubicle or the waiting room. Guess that tells how traumatic if was for both of us.)

As I was told later one of the side effects of the drug I was given is a temporary state of amnesia during it's use although I remained conscious and coherent during the entire time. Once the drug wore off, I was able to remember events from there forward. I have no memory of the actual tug o war itself. The docs didn't volunteer how it all went other than to say "Good" and I didn't ask.

I have been told that I was returned to X-Ray a number of times throughout the procedure. The docs needed to see how close they were getting to having the bone back in proper position. Even with that they were never able to line the bone up perfectly.

Because the break was right at the end of the ball portion that fits into the socket of the joint, the bone could not be pinned in place. The only thing they could do was get the two pieces to line up as close to perfect as possible.

Then my arm was positioned into what they called a "gravity" cast. My shoulder was rolled far forward. My arm bent across my body with my hand nearly under my chin. The bone would have to "hang" in the proper position to heal.

That meant any and all movement would affect how the bone "hung." The more movement there was the longer it would take for the break to mend because the rebonding of the bone would be constantly disrupted. It was going to be a long long healing process.

Looking at later X-Rays perfect was with a slight rotation in the ball portion of the bone. The two pieces of bone did not fit flat together. It was like setting the puzzle piece almost where it belongs but not quite fit together. The two pieces of bone did touch on one side but at the other there was a gap. It would take longer for this portion to heal because that gap would have to be filled in.

There was another issue about this process. The correct way to heal from a dislocation is to begin physical therapy immediately. That was a contra indication of what was good for the break. It was out of the question to do what was right for the dislocation. The break took precedent.

Because the shoulder issues couldn't be addressed until the bone was completely healed, there were going to be major recovery issues with the dislocation. The longer it set without use, the more difficult those issues would be.

Due to the nature of this break, it was the worst possible scenario for the dislocation. A gravity caste is the least effective of all means to stabilize an injury. It was impossible to avoid movement of the bone so the mending of the bone was going to take much longer than a normal break. I was pretty much scr*wed no matter which way you looked at it.

To be continued..................

pic is Dandy and me when he's about two months old.

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  1. My goodness you really did a bang up job of it! I presume it is healed as well as can be expected now?

  2. Yes, how are you doing now? My husband doesn't have any problems or issues with his arm. I nearly fainted when I saw his bone sticking out. ACK!

  3. Dandy is so adorable at that age.

    Nice going MiKael, I always say if you're going to do something do it right. Sounds like you couldn't possibly have had a worse scenario for the dislocation and break. I'll bet the recovery was painful too.

  4. When did this happen? As in what year?

    There is probably nothing more uncomfortable than dislocation. I did it to my heel when I came off my mare and shattered my ankle. The ankle was in so many pieces the doc, literally, couldn't count them all. They started me on PT the day the pins came out. Of course mine was considerably different from your break.

    I don't remember anything about the relocation either, but people tell me I was pretty loud.

    drugs are good, good drugs are really good! Can you imagine what this would have been like in the 1800's?

  5. fernvalley, you assume correctly. Although I am writing about it now because it is the reason for my current situation.

    Cheryl Ann, I'll be posting about that soon. I'd probably faint too if I saw an injury like that.

    Arlene, I agree with you. Dandy was the most adorable baby.

    Unfortunately everything about this injury was painful.

    Holly, this happened when Aidol was a youngster. He is now 23.

    Ouch! Your injury sounds pretty darn painful too. How was your recovery??

  6. Unfortunately, your decision to forego the surgery probably was not the best one. I suffered a very similar injury about a year ago. The doctors gave me the same two options, have them set it and wait for it to heal, or surgery. I elected to have the surgery, I have a plate and 9 screws in there now. I was able to start therapy within two weeks of the injury and now pretty much have full normal use of my arm (the plate does pinch a bit when lifting straight up from my side). In looking back now, would you have chosen differently? How much of the residual issues you're dealing with now are due to the bone not being set properly and the dislocation not being worked soon enough?

  7. C, pinning the bone together was never an option for me. If it had been, I probably would have allowed them to do surgery.

    I don't know if that would have been the case had it happened today or not. But this happened nearly twenty years ago. Back then there wouldn't have been any difference in outcome if I had elected the surgical method. The break couldn't be stabablized either way and I would not have been able to begin physical therapy until the break was completely healed. That's why I chose the less invasive form of treatment.

  8. i feel like i'm missing a chapter, and i think i've read them all.

    how did you get aidol?

    please go back and feed me more details!


  9. How we got Aidol is here somewhere. LOL He was the second horse we bought after I finished paying for Scandalous.

  10. From your description of the "amnesia" drug they gave you, sounds like the same thing I got when my horse threw me off backwards and I broke my collarbone, wrist, and put a gash in my head. I screamed and fought them during the setting of my wrist but I can't remember it.