The Arm: Update and Progress

It's been nearly four weeks since my fall and breaking my right arm.  The arm still aches and throbs just about constantly, but to a lesser degree.  I make do with Tylenol and Aleve during the day, and take extra meds at night to try and sleep.  (The surgeon only prescribed about a week's worth of oxycontin when I was discharged from the hospital, but I had some old leftover T-2's -- Tylenol with a bit of codeine -- that have helped me get to sleep since those ran out.)

Sleeping has been a problem.  Reading some other people's experiences online, a common complaint seems to be trying to find a comfortable position to sleep in.  Short answer: There is no comfortable position to sleep in.  I've also found that when (finally) starting to drift into sleep, I suddenly have a feeling like I'm being buried alive that jerks me back awake, plus nightmares when I do finally get to sleep.  So I've added an Ativan to the night pills to reduce anxiety; it seems to help.  I still generally only get 3-4 hours of sleep that way, but I usually take some naps of 1-2 hours in the afternoons and evenings as well.

Still wearing the sling almost 24-7, removing it for a brief period at night to do passive exercises (letting the arm hang loose and moving the body around), then apply lotion before putting the sling back on for bed.    The wound dressing got taken off a few days ago, so I managed to take a shower for the first time since the accident; having clean hair again feels pretty damn good.

I'll have a fairly spectacular scar from the surgery.  A long incision line from the shoulder down into the upper arm, bordered by lines of dots where the surgical staples were used; it looks a lot like a crude centipede tattoo.

(I actually Googled "centipede tattoo" to see if anyone with a similar scar might have had a better tattoo placed over their scar.  I didn't really find many centipede tattoos I liked.  I did, however, find out that some actual breathing, living people have had tattoos of "The Human Centipede" permanently placed on their bodies.  If you don't know what "The Human Centipede" refers to, count your blessings; I'm not going to provide a link.  It's one of those things for which the phrase "That which has been seen cannot be unseen" is far too appropriate.)

Physical therapy should hopefully be scheduled and started in a few days.  Judging from my PT experience after rotator cuff surgery a few years ago, getting strength and range of motion back into my arm this time is going to be harder and more painful.  The right arm's lost a lot of strength and range of motion, more than following the rotator cuff surgery.  I think it will probably be at least the beginning of February before I get released back to work.  My job isn't particulary strenuous, but there are some tasks that require the use of both hands, I'm sure they wouldn't want me driving the golf cart one-handed, and writing (for reports and logs, etc) is still pretty damn painful after even just a few words.  (Typing left-handed is awkward and tiring, but do-able.)

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