OneGoodArm Swear Scale: SweetFA
Since I wandered out of the surgery fog Thursday last week and subsequently wrote my blog I have been asked by, well almost everyone really, what the hell is going on.
So what does this latest news mean?????
I thought I had explained it very carefully but it seems that no, no I have not so I will have another crack at it. I have also learned a few things today after reading a letter from my shoulder surgeon to my neurosurgeon. A letter which included the sentence “I explained this Roxanne and unfortunately made her cry”. Bahahahaha, what a doll (him not me). I am the goose who was crying.
So this latest surgery was supposed to be an epic cut and shut where they carved me open in order to let the neurosurgeon repair the nerve we thought was severed because it was hiding on all the MRIs.
That brought a shoulder surgeon into the picture. Two days before the cut and shut the shoulder surgeon told me that they had changed their minds and the first surgery would be an expedition to check the nerve out.
THEN he explained if they found the nerve was repairable they would repair it two weeks later in a second mega surgery. So I went from one potential surgery to two. Devastating.
AND THEN when they did the exploration they found the nerve in tact and totally behaving itself.
So what does that mean?
• Firstly no more surgery this year – yay!
• The second surgery is now not needed as it would have been to repair the nerve that they found was intact – yay x 2!
• Finding the nerve does not mean my shoulder will come back, but it is good news.
• If the repairs done in December work my shoulder has a better chance of recovering.
BUT, there is always a but
• This shoulder nerve they just found connects to the plexus below the damage to C5 which was cut off and grafted. So if that graft doesn’t work, the nerve will not innervate the shoulder muscles.
• The shoulder is not primarily driven by the two muscles of the rotator cuff (infraspinatis and supraspinatus) as I first thought. The deltoid, my shoulder surgeon tells me, is what gives you the majority of movement in the shoulder, the rotator cuff moreso holds the shoulder in the joint. Unfortunately the deltoid is driven by the auxiliary nerve and that was VERY damaged and has had huge grafts. Picture of deltoid below.
• So the prospect for my shoulder is not great.
But I will be positive and keep hoping and praying that the grafts work. If they do work my arm won’t ever return to normal, but I will get some movement which would be a miracle.
As I have said I just want the shoulder to work so my arm can live by my side and not in a sling, however now that I know more that is perhaps a futile wish. It’s too early to tell.
Interestingly my rehab physician, a doctor, called me today and checked in. Asked if I felt any improvement since my surgery 5 days ago.
“NO don’t be ridiculous” I said, politely. But she explained that taking pressure of the nerve and debriding the area can sometimes result in an immediate improvement.
“REALLY!” I responded now very excited and feeling stupid. Now I will pay more attention! My arm bone doesn’t seem to be hanging quite as low in the arm but I thought that was just swelling, which it might be, but perhaps something is happening?? I will keep a watchful eye and let everyone know if something else is afoot.
But right now I feel great, went to work, got lots done, organised my next few months and felt like me again. A one armed me, but me.
Go forward Roxanne, as there is no going back.