Reverse Shoulder Replacement Patee in recovery

Patee

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Had my surgery on May 12 as scheduled. All went well. Did not wake up in a lot of pain which was great. Stayed overnight in the hospital and came home the following afternoon. Had physio before leaving the hospital and that was very painful.
I am managing well with my non dominant hand, feeding myself and ahem, other tasks. Just wish I could do my hair. Exercises were very painful yesterday and I only managed them once. Supposed to do 3-5 times. Today the exercises were slightly less painful so that is encouraging. I will try for 3 times today.
I haven’t been great about keeping up with the pain meds but will try and take them every 6 hrs for a few days. I have been sporadically icing (have the cold therapy machine) but swelling seems to be a non issue. I was surprised that they didn’t ice at all in the hospital.
I was happy to learn I will only have to wear the sling for 3 weeks, not 6 like I thought. I am allowed to use my hand more than I thought I would be able to once the pain level drops.
So far, I am finding this surgery much easier than the 2 rotator cuff repairs I had on my other shoulder years ago.
 

Jaycey

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@Patee Welcome to the other side of surgery. You will notice I moved your post to the recovery forum as you are now in healing mode.

Sounds like you are doing really well! Long may it continue. So glad to hear this is an easier recovery than the repair.

Please keep us updated!
 

SaraK

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@Patee - I'm glad you're finding this easier than the rotator surgeries so far. Please keep ahead of the pain - with the meds and icing. That could help things go as smoothly as possible. Icing after your exercises may reduce the discomfort.

Keep us updated on how you're doing!
 

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@Patee , welcome to the other side. Glad to hear things are going well. Get plenty of rest and don’t overdue. I will be joining you in the recovery stage in about 9 days. Take care and stay ahead of the pain, to hard to play catch-up.
 

Debbie_joints

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@Patee I will be reading your posts on recovery. I will be getting a reverse shoulder replacement the end of June. So it is good to see you and others and what you all do to get through this. Interesting that you only have to wear a sling for three weeks. What are they allowing you to do with your hand? My surgery is on my dominant side, so that should give me lots of problems. Do you have help at home? Keep posting so I can get more information. Good luck to you.
 
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Patee

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Day 6 and all is well. Still amazed at how well things have gone. I am starting to wean off the pain meds. Exercises have become much easier. I did try to transition to sleeping in bed last night but gave up as I was not comfortable. I will try a few more nights in the recliner. I have been sleeping very well there. Percocet might be a help there but planning on not taking it tonight.
Debbie - to answer your questions, I don’t do a lot with that arm yet although I am allowed to have it out of the sling other than when sleeping or walking. I do try and move my wrist a lot and stretch my arm passively. He told me I could use that arm passively to reach etc. it is my dominant arm as well. I am lucky that I am a little bit ambidextrous, using scissors and throwing a ball that I think has helped with stuff like feeding myself. I manage to get it in my mouth and not up my nostrils.
I am very fortunate to have an excellent hubby who is a great caregiver.

Good luck with your surgery.
 

Debbie_joints

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@Patee you are almost at 10 days now and wondering how you are doing. If it isn't too hard to type, I would love to hear how you are doing. What are you finding really difficult to do, what tricks have you found that really help out? 7 years ago I had surgery on both of my thumbs three months apart so I had some limitations from that. But after a couple weeks I was in a cast and could do most things. But didn't have to have it in a sling except for the first few days. I thought there would be more activity on this board, but it is pretty quiet. Hopefully you are feeling well and can check in.
 
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Patee

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Hi Debbie, thanks for your note. I am doing very well. I am off almost all the pain pills except one Tramadol at bedtime. I could probably do without but I guess I take it as insurance to get a good sleep. I am still sleeping in the recliner. Have tried the bed a couple of times but couldn’t get comfortable. I will persevere.
I am lucky that I have a great caregiver, I couldn’t imagine trying to do everything on my own. I try to be as independent as I can. I can dress myself, feed myself etc. My HAIR is my biggest bugaboo. I have the kind of hair that is perfectly straight and stands on end without being tamed daily with a curling iron. Hubby tries hard but hates it. He says “never in a million years would I have thought I’d be trying to use a curling iron”. LOL I am afraid I’ve had to relax my standards but hate it. Sigh..
As for tips… I guess try doing some of the things with your non dominant hand and see how much practice you need. I had no problem.
As for dressing, I have been able to wear t shirts and didn’t need buttoned tops. Not sure how you would do up the buttons. Pants have all been casual, yoga type. Jeans are out for a while.
Good luck, I hope your surgery goes as well as mine.
 

Debbie_joints

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@Patee , had to laugh at the hair thing and your husband. My hair is a little longer then in my picture now and I was hoping to just have my husband put it in a ponytail, or half up in a ponytail. The guy can take apart an engine, but can he put a scrunchy or hair band....nope. I should maybe have him practice more. If my hair is wet I can maybe get him to put a couple products in it and then scrunch with my hand, or better yet, both his hands and then my hair will be curly. But I have to let it completely dry as if I comb it, it looks terrible. Did you get your stitches out yet, or when do you get them out? Thanks for your tips.
 
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Patee

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I get to take my bandage off today and don’t have to have stitches out. He said they are all ‘inside’, so I guess the dissolving type. It will be interesting to see the scar.
 

Debbie_joints

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@Patee, just checking on how you are doing. Hoping you are doing well and it is getting easier and less painful. I want an update.
 
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Patee

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Debbie,
Hi! I continue to do well. Looking forward to seeing the surgeon next week and no longer having to wear the sling.. I know my arm is very weak so will be interesting to see what limitations are imposed. I have scheduled my first physio appointment a couple of days after my Dr. appointment. I am assuming he will want me to start physio right away.
Pain is really a non issue. Finally sleeping in bed after about 3 attempts. Getting more independent and hubby’s curling iron skills are improving. LOL
The whole process has gone much easier than I expected.
I am sure your surgery will as well.
I will post an update after my appointment.
 

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The struggle (with hair) is real! I had started to grow mine out and then had to cut it before rotator cuff surgery a couple of years ago. Mine is curly and tangles easily and often. I knew I wouldn't be able to take care of it by myself!

I'm glad to hear you're doing well and pain is under control. I'm a side sleeper and, even 2 years later, some nights I just can't get comfortable on that side. It's not too often, though.

I'll keep my fingers crossed that you are able to ditch the sling. Keep it around, though. You may find your shoulder started to get sore or your arm feeling heavy. It's ok to use it then. It can also be helpful when you're out and about - people tend to be more careful about invading your space when they can see an obvious issue.
 
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Patee

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Had my appointment with the surgeon today. He is pleased with how things are going and my range of motion. Said I can ditch the sling as expected and start physio. Just told me to be careful with moving my arm laterally out to the side as in my hand going from the front to back when arm is bent. If that makes sense.
I am not ready to fire my hairdresser yet but at least I know I can try harder without doing any harm.
He said I could drive as long as I was comfortable turning the steering wheel both ways. I don’t think I’m quite ready yet so the ‘hairdresser’ will have to continue to drive ‘Miss Daisy’.
SaraK & Debbie… just wish I had a few of your curls. Mine is beyond straight, cowlicks and some parts just like to stand on end all on their own. LOL Ten minutes or less with the curling iron and it looks normal.
 

Debbie_joints

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Hi @Patee I was hoping you would be letting us know how things are going. Sounds like you are coming along nicely. Just be careful now that you are sling free. As for the hair, I just bought a bunch of headbands that have the twist, or knot in the front. Someone that I know broke her arm and she told me that was the easiest thing to do, just wear a headband. We will see how that goes. Good luck with PT.
 
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Patee

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Debbie, thinking of you as your surgery date gets closer. Wishing you a good surgery and a quick recovery. I hope yours is as problem free as mine. Please post and let us know how you are doing when you feel up to it.

My progress is good, slow but sure. I am now the master of my curling iron. Hubby was not sorry to see that task reassigned.

Take care and wishing you well.
 

Debbie_joints

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@Patee thank you so much for thinking of me. I am a bit nervous, but pretty much ready for it. Just waiting on the call today to find out what time. It is an afternoon surgery with staying overnight. So good to hear that you can curl your own hair. I tried to see if my husband could just comb mine and put it half up in a clip and it was a disaster. oh well, a headband it will have to be.
 

Debbie_joints

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Sorry, posted in the wrong place

@Hopeful Manch , Hi Steve, welcome to the new shoulder club. I don't know if things are different where you live, but don't push too hard yet. It is really early for you. For the first month my therapist only had me doing hand, wrist, and elbow exercises. Only movement of my shoulder was done wth her supporting my arm. I am at 8 weeks now and now I am getting into more active workouts. Maybe mine is a bit different as my rotator cuff couldn't be pulled up to the shoulder, but is attached in the bicep area. So, do what you are told and don't push too hard. Good luck.
 
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