Sunday, May 16

Nurse in the Making

In some weird way, it's very satisfying to take care of a loved one that's sick - be it a child or a hubby. But it's hard to see them in pain.

Troy had surgery Friday on his shoulder, and the doctors warned us that it would be major surgery with major recovery time. Since falling off of a ladder over the winter, Troy has had increasing pain in his shoulder, to the point where he couldn't really use his left arm. When he had the MRI with contrast dye, the images revealed that it wasn't a rotator cuff injury like we thought, but actually a "superior labrum tear" - that's the cushion that the ball rests on in the socket. He tore the top of that, according to the images, and it would need to be tacked down and the bicep reattached to something other than the labrum.

Well, when the doc came out to give me the report after surgery, he said that there was more damage than expected in there, and it's no wonder he was in pain! Troy's labrum was torn across the entire top half, and there was even a "flap" that was kind of flopping, possibly causing that intense "drop him to his knees" pain. It was trimmed, tacked down, and the bicep mucle was completely severed and re-attached to the front of the coracoid process, so that it won't pull on the labrum at all. He will have function again, after healing, and it won't pull on that labrum.

Troy is doing okay - today's the day we get to change his dressing for the first time, and he gets to finally take a shower. Yay! His pain has been hard to keep up with - for the procedure, Troy had a nerve block (a shot directly into his neck, kind of like an epidural) and it lasted about 24 hours. He also had general anesthesia for the actual surgery. When he started to wake up, he had a hard time with nausea, but the nurse gave him phenergan and it knocked him right out.

He also had a scare with his blood pressure. First of all, the procedure took 3 hours instead of the expected 1 and 1/2 hours. Then, after the doc came to talk with me and said I could go back to PACU in about 20 minutes, it was an HOUR before I was called back. I was so worried that he wasn't coming out of anesthesia well. Once I was back there, and saw that Troy was okay, then the blood pressure started. (I swear, it wasn't me.) Apparently, they give epinepherine along with some of the anesthesia, and it helps balance it all out. But the epi also raised his BP a little to much - his heart rate was only 54 BPM but the BP was over 156/119! It stayed up for quite some time. They gave the phenergan, then some Labetalol, and it brought the BP down within 30 seconds. Troy's BP is usually lower than 120/80. It was all under control quickly.

So we're home, he's handling the pain pretty well, and my main job is to try to keep the kids busy and quiet - like lassoing the moon! When is nerve block finally wore off yesterday, it was really tough. He's taking one pain pill at a time, even though the doc advised to take 2 at a time this weekend. Troy just doesn't like the feel of it. He's got the biggest sling ever, with a big positioning cushion underneath the holds the arm in place. Today marks 48 hours since surgery, and I think he's doing well, all things considered.

As stubborn as he is, I think Troy can recognize that he's not going to work on Monday. Luckily, it's supposed to rain anyway! He is going to have to rest and recover for a little while, and just deal with me taking care of him. Isn't it funny how guys just want to be left alone to heal? That's how he is - he doesn't want to check on him, bring him things, ask him anything, etc. And I'm doing my best, but still check on him - he just has to deal!

Well, I'm off the wrangle the wild pigs. I can't believe it's still barely 8am - the girls have been up since 5:30! I would take them out and let them run or play somewhere, but nothing's open yet! And it's too wet for the yard or the park. I need a little creativity...