Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Through Sickness and In Health

The hubs and I have been blessed, for the most part, with solid health.  We eat fairly healthy, exercise like crazy, and wear sunscreen like it's our day jobs.  In the eleven years that we've known each other I think the biggest health scare for him was an emergency root canal and for me it was a nasty bout of mono.  Both of those incidents happened in college and since then we've been very lucky with our health.  We're eternally grateful for our health because we know not everyone is as lucky and we know that something could happen at any moment to change things.

The hubs was plagued with a sore shoulder for most of the summer.  Granted, it was because he was still pitching on his baseball team even though we both decided that he shouldn't pitch because his arm just couldn't handle the wear and tear anymore.  Seriously dude, the time of your life when you were named among Baseball America's Top 100 Prospects is in the past.  Getting older sucks, but it's a part of life.

He did what 99% of guys do - he kept pitching through the pain.  I wish I could say I didn't understand the mentality of guys when they do things like that, but I'd be completely lying because I'm the same way.  We both figured that his arm would hurt less after the season ended and whatever was ailing him would heal itself.

Well, it didn't.  The hubs is normally the star player on our recreational dodgeball team, but he had to take himself off the team after one game.  The pain was unbearable and finally the hubs went to a orthopedic surgeon to get checked out.

Initially he was diagnosed with severe tendonitis and put on a motrin diet for three weeks.  The tendons in his shoulder were so swollen that his Xray results were inconclusive and worse his should was being pushed slightly out of the socket due to the intense swelling.  No wonder his arm hurt!

Three weeks later he went in for his checkup and was told that the swelling had come down slightly, but it still wasn't down enough to see if anything was torn.  Next up was a cortisone injection and three more weeks of stretching and playing the waiting game.

Finally, the swelling had subsided to a point where an MRI could be done.

On Thursday the hubs had his follow-up appoint with his doctor to go over the MRI.  In the word's of a health care professional the hubs is, "an idiot."  He should have never continued to throw this summer.

He tore his rotator cuff.  No wait, he put a 2.5 cm tear in his rotator cuff and tore through 60% of it.

He tore his labium, which is a tendon in his shoulder.

He has a benign cyst on his shoulder bone that means his doctor will have to use more anchor screws to secure his tendons.

Not only did the hubs do serious damage to his arm, his doctor told him that it was the easiest diagnosis of the day, "In order to regain full function of your arm you need to have surgery."

When I was diagnosed with plantar fasciitis I thought to myself, "okay, this sucks, but if it only hurts when I'm running I can give up running and live a happy life."  The hubs isn't just having surgery so he can continue to throw a baseball, he's having surgery so he can regain function of his arm.

That phrase scared the living daylights out of me.

"In order to regain full function of your arm you need to have surgery."


As in without surgery the hubs will continue to experience pain anytime he lifts his arm over his head or rotates his arm.  That means he won't be able to climb a ladder, swing an axe, use a sledgehammer, put a kid on his shoulders, play fetch with our dogs, etc.

That is not happy life for him.  At some point I think the hubs would understand and eventually be okay with not being able to play baseball again, but he'd never be okay with giving up everything else.

I'm totally willing to give up my dreams of recreating the lift scene from Dirty Dancing, but I am not giving up the daily joy that is having the hubs toss things around.  We like to play catch outside when we BBQ or even if the weather is just nice.

Thankfully the surgery that will repair his arm has a 90% success rate.

The downside is it is going to be 6-7 months before the hubs is even allowed to touch a ball (baseball, football, tennis ball, basketball, etc.).  We're also looking at 1-2 weeks where his arm has to be completely immobilized immediately following his surgery.

At this moment in time all marathon training and major home renovations are put on hold.  I can't train for a long distance race because when I'm in training mode the hubs does everything around the house. He walks the dogs, he cooks dinner, and generally keeps our house from looking like it was tossed by a police unit. Those are things he does with his right arm.  He can't walk both dogs without using his right arm.  He won't be able to vacuum the upper trim in our house or the tops of the ceiling fans because he has to have his arm over his head to do so.

We had really hoped to begin our kitchen renovation in the early spring, but we're not doing that until the hubs can take the ceremonial first swing at the cabinets and walls with a sledgehammer.

So we're in a little weird place where things are put on hold.  It's okay, we've got nothing but time and his health and well-being are the most important things in the world.  We've got this.

Anyone have any tips they want to share for recovering from surgery? We're already been told that the hubs should drink lots of water in the days leading up to his surgery to make it easier to put in an IV.


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