My left shoulder

Those of you in the know will be familiar with the accidents and injuries that I have done to my left shoulder.

I fell over and hurt my left shoulder

I fall over and hurt my left shoulder

It has taken the brunt of a couple of falls as well as the odd stumble.  The first dislocation happened in January 2013 and then another visit to hospital in February this year when I dislocated it again.

It is my fault

Footdrop in the left leg and a poor sense of balance, I tend to fall onto my left side so the arm and shoulder do get more than their fair share of abuse. I’m not very kind to my body; I do not give it the care and respect it deserves.

My shoulder is not quite right

By April my left shoulder was feeling very delicate and the shoulder joint became disengaged a couple of times at exercise classes. It always slipped back into place when I sat up but in my mind I had a slightly uneasy feeling that my left shoulder was not quite right.

Professor’s advice

Prof G (my empathetic MS consultant) told me at a preceptor conference that I would need some surgery. So being a good boy I saw my GP and told him my story of injuries, this was in mid-May. The doctor sent me the paper work that allowed me to refer myself to one of several hospitals for further treatment.

Which hospital?

The hospital waiting list for both Stoke Mandeville and Watford was 60 days and that’s just for an initial  appointment! The Chilterns hospital, near Amersham, only had a 12 day waiting list. I know it is used for medical referrals by insurance companies so it seemed like a good bet for an NHS patient. Actually it was a no-brainer.

I saw the consultant in early June, MRI scan a couple of weeks later then back for another appointment in early July.  Now that’s what I call a good service.

Keyhole surgery?

The consultant showed me the MRI scan and said I had torn a rotator cuff tendon attached to the humerus and chipped the humerus where it rotated in the scapula. I added that my shoulder looks a bit second hand, the consultant nodded in agreement. As I suspected I was going to have to have an operation. I hope it will be keyhole surgery but I suspect it will be a scalpel job.

The consequences

So I am going into hospital on August 21st, general anaesthetic so I will have to stay overnight, it’s all booked. The really bad bit of news is that I will have my arm in a sling for the following six weeks. It sounds positively awful; I might well end up going a bit stir crazy. No adventures on my Travelscooter or with my rollator. No trips upto London or visits to Waitrose to do the shopping. Life will be so boring.

6 weeks in a sling?

After the operation I will be allowed to move my forearm and use my hand but I must not move my upper arm. I have pretended to do things with my left arm in a sling. So I will be able to type and have a drink. I’m left handed but slightly ambidextrous. I will have to learn how to use a spoon with my right hand. I am definitely not looking forward to these 6 weeks. Incidentally I think everyone else is dreading it as well.

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