Reverse Shoulder Replacement Kathy's Recovery

kspach

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I had a Reverse Shoulder Replacement on Sept. 13th, 2022. I must say, I was a little more anxious about this than either my hip and knee replacement and was not too sure how much I would be able to do after the surgery thinking I would be minus a useful hand for quite some time. I live alone with a cat and a 67 pound dog so I tried to get myself as prepared as possible. I stayed at a friend's for a week as well as a house and dog sitter so the first week was taken care of. I bought several large snap tops that would be easy to get into and out of, as well as good for doctor' appointments and PT. Also bought a one hand electric can opener, already had lots of scrub bottoms (very easy to get into--my favorite summer pant even though I am not a nurse) and cooked and froze many meals and soups. I arranged for the young neighbor kids to help me as needed, and a friend to walk my dog every day. I also bought a rather expensive zero gravity wedge pillow set so I could sleep on an incline. Ok--I am ready for what I thought would be a long tedious effort to live by myself during the recovery.

The day of the surgery I was due at the hospital at 8, I was in the operating room by 10 and out an hour later, in recovery for I think an hour or so before I woke up and out the door by 1:30. In fact, they sent me home in a hospital gown, didn't even allow me to change into my specially purchased clothes. I never even got to talk to the doctor, although my friend who accompanied me, did. The anesthesiologist had told me I was getting a long lasting nerve block that could last 3 days--oh goodie--when my one for my TKR wore off after 18 hours it was agony. Nerve block only lasted until 4am and I was in agony again. Called doctor to see if I should start pain pills he had prescribed (stupid question but was expecting not to need them so soon, and I thought he had only prescribed 10). He said yes, but they did no good so called 4 hours later and he told me to take two every other time. The 2 did the trick and then I realized he had prescribed 20 so I took 2 every 6 hours and that did the trick or 2 ays. On Friday I cut back to one pill every 6 hours except that night took two. Did call and ask for a refill but never heard back from Dr.'s office and never got the refill. I was mad--but turned out I didn't need a refill. It's Saturday, now conserving pills, and I wasn't going to take one unless I really needed it and went all day with no pain pills except for one dose of OTC ibuprofen and acetametaphen. Took one pain pill before bed and then no more--still have 3 left. Couldn't believe it--I am not even taking OTC pain meds as I am virtually pain free.

Had my first followup Dr.'s appointment today and had the staples removed and steristrips applied. Everyone remarked how nice the incision looked--no redness (never was) and no bruising, just some minor swelling of the arm. I was told I can drive if I feel comfortable for short distances and start PT on Monday--9 days out including surgery day. I came home, made supper, unpacked, fed the dog, took a shower and am now writing this. I have much more use of my left hand than I thought I would. I also am allowed to sleep on my right side without a sling hugging a pillow to support my arm. Sleeping on my back is is keeping me awake as I am normally a stomach sleeper. Back pain is now a much bigger problem than shoulder pain. I hope the rest of my shoulder journey is as good as the first part. I am one happy camper at this point!
 
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djklaugh

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@kspach Congratulations on your new shoulder! It is wonderful to hear you are home and doing well.
 

Debbie_joints

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@kspach congratulatins on your new shoulder. Sounds like you are doing great. I wondered how people alone could handle it. I am shocked that you got to drive so fast. My doc made me wait for six weeks. That is where I am glad my husband was there for me as he drove me to town many times as my 98 year old mom started to decline and passed away. I am at 12 weeks and working on getting more strength now. Be careful and take care of that new shoulder.
 

Jaycey

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@kspach Welcome to the other side of surgery! Sounds like you are doing very well.

Try putting a small pillow under your knees when you are back sleeping. It takes some of the pressure off the lower back.

Easy does it!
 
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kspach

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I actually bought a whole wedge set for sleeping which includes formations that raise the knees/legs. With both a knee and hip replacement under my belt I know how important that is. Not sure why my back is bothering me this time but I hate sleeping on my back. Doc said I can sleep on my good side which is helping, although the arm isn't always that comfortable.
 
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kspach

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Debbie-- I practiced driving one handed for about a month before I had the surgery to see if I could do it. Not going on any long road trips or doing any complicated freeway or interstate driving, but the doctor said I could drive locally as long as I feel comfortable and off prescription pain meds.
 

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