Explain Yourself Woman!

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.

OGA Out.

NO MORE SURGERY, For Now, Just Waiting

OneGoodArm Swear Scale: Hectic

Do you recall i said in my last blog that i should expect the unexpected? That I should have learned by now that what I think will happen n e v e r happens. Well CLEARLY I did not heed my own advice because low and behold, once again, just as I predicted, life strayed woefully from the path and jumped up and bit me unexpectedly on the rear end.

Of course this time, quite unexpectedly despite the passage above, the deviation was a good one. Now that really never happens.

This time my surgeon prepared me for the worst.

And the opposite happened.


I find myself indifferent to such good news, perhaps emotionally fatigued from the mighty ups and downs that have foreshadowed this wonderful outcome – I should be spinning like a top – but I am, not.

So the basic situation is this:

• My arm is ruined (I think everyone is with me here)
• I had major surgery on it doing all kinds of repairs in December 2017 because I showed no recovery in 100+ days
• Surgery went well, except for them needing to cut off C5 at the spinal cord, but they then grafted the stump so onward and upward – or downward in this case
• Everything was grafted or repaired and my legs are now carrying some pretty cool battle scars and street cred from being ‘donor’ legs
• After said massive December surgery my neurosurgeon was not sleeping due to worry about my suprascapular nerve which could not be seen for love nor money
• Enter stage left multiple MRI’s and review of said magnetism
• No one including Waldo could locate my suprascapular nerve on imaging
• Enter shoulder surgeon who is to chop me in half to find said nerve and allow neurosurgeon to sew its ass to its face

But then…..

• Shoulder surgeon consults every shoulder | neuro | plexus | radiographer specialist in Gotham city and decides HANG THE FUCK ON A MINUTE before we chop said person in half lets stick a camera up her tailpipe and put out a search party for the nerve.
• Shoulder surgeon then explains this to me, AFTER i have fulled prepped for the big ‘chop in half’ surgery and accepted this fate and subsequently a FULL SPAZ was the encountered.
• After a full hour of shoulder surgeon talking me around the tailpipe investigation is approved by me.
• Tailpipe investigation is commenced.

Then low and behold

THEY FIND THE FUCKING NERVE!!!!!!!!!!!!!! End to end, in complete totality, without separation, or any part absent, the stupid spaghetti resembling shoulder driver appears in all its glory. No one can tell if it’s working or not, but thar she blows all the same.

What the actual fuck. Or WTAF for my mum.

The tailpipe investigation was Thursday, it was supposed to take 60-90 minutes, it took almost 200 – minutes (that is over 3 hours in old money). That is a long time for some basic camera work. Apparently navigating around all the scar tissue, earlier body work and panel beating | repairs was quite challenging.

Then when said shoulder surgeon found the nerve, to his amazement, he had to call out to his mate the neuro to ‘come and check it the fuck out’ or words to that effect.

“You know that nerve we were all positive was severed??!! Well it ain’t, there is the dickhead right there”.

I picture a fair amount of tap dancing and high fiving then occurred over my drugged carcass. Or they all shrugged and went “huh”.

Let’s go with high fives.

So I wake up in recovery as groggy as an old drunk and take an eternity to come around. The recovery nurse actually said to me “we are taking you to the ward ready or not” like I was deliberately being slow out coming out of the drug fog.

I suspect I was particularly DF’d because the gave me enough midazolam to put an elephant to sleep. Midaz is the pre-med they give you to ‘calm the fuck down’ before the proper anaesthetic. It is like the best stuff on earth. Like swallowing warm and fuzzy. They gave me the normal amount and I remember saying to the theatre staff “I normally don’t remember anything about the theatre, why am I still awake?” At which point I saw the aneasthetist coming at me with more Midaz like a a hunter holding a tranquilizer gun and off to sleep i then went.

So when i was taken to the ward I then groggily laid in my bed like a space cadet all afternoon until i spoke to Husband who told me something that sounded like good news but made NO sense. I cursed him – naturally. Then our friends arrived (C&R) and I generously tried to spew like right on them, a code was then called after the then nurse found me sobbing and spewing on the bathroom floor and by all accounts everything was very exciting.

The surgeon then spoke to my face (instead of Husbands ear) the next morning when he inconsideratelty showed up at 7am and I looked like a bashed in shit tin – and he did not. You see my blood pressure was up to its usual tricks dropping to 81/45 overnight and any systolic under 90 requires a visit from the RRT and ICU Registrar. So the good nurses woke me up every 20 minutes ALL NIGHT and wondered why after a long surgery and no sleep I was a little ‘tetchy’.

Anyhoo the surgeon rubbed my back, told me I needed a shower (yes thanks for that I know) and that my drip should be removed immediately (the ICU Registrar made me do it) and that I should go the hell home, stat. Oh and that he had found my nerve. ALL OF MY NERVE, from the front all the way to the back.

So that means, no more surgery! Not until Christmas anyway. Now we are back to December 20 when my nerve repair surgery was over and the waiting game commenced. My nerves have all been grafted, including C5 which feeds this naughty one they just went on an expedition to find, and we now have to wait and hope all those repairs take.

So now we wait. 2 months down, 10 to go.

I am not going to bother wondering what will happen as I am always, always wrong.

OGA Out.