Monday, January 30, 2012

Broken Wings

About five and a half or six years ago, when Megan and I were dating, I thought it would be fun to go to the batting cages.  A few friends went with us and we had a blast.  Little did I know that day would lead to the down fall and complete and utter destruction of my body.  Maybe that's a slight over exaggeration, but it will lead me to having to have surgery on my left shoulder to repair a torn labrum.

For five years or so, I was able to live with the injury.  I wasn't able to hit right handed anymore when playing baseball or softball, but I managed hitting lefty.  Other than that, it only hindered me every now and then, but I was getting tired of being limited because of it.  Then about seven months ago, I was playing on my company softball team.  I showed up to a game late, so I didn't have time to warm up.  I got there and immediately went out to left field.  Of course the first ball was hit to me, and me, being an over-achiever, decided to try and throw out the batter at first base.  The throw was off and something didn't feel right in my shoulder.  I couldn't really throw after that.  I thought I just strained it because I didn't warm up.  I rested it for a week and tried throwing again, but it hurt like crazy.  Seven months later it still hurt to throw. 

About two months ago, some kids were playing catch in street.  One of them missed the ball and it came rolling up to me.  I tried to throw it back, but the ball only made it about 20 feet.  It was embarrassing.  I realized that my shoulder wasn't getting any better and I had to do something about it.  If you know me, you know that I love sports, especially baseball and football, and the thought of not being able to throw again seriously made me depressed.  I have always wanted to teach me boys how to play sports, and I would be so sad if I couldn't play catch with them.  During the summers, Megan and I would always go outside and throw the ball around, and I couldn't imagine not doing that anymore.  Anyway, the next day I looked up an orthopedic surgeon and set up an appointment.

I went through about eight weeks of physical therapy, but nothing improved.  I went and got an MRI and it confirmed what the doctor thought it was in the first place, a tear in my labrum.  The MRI showed a tear in the left shoulder, but not in the right.  I was having all the symptoms of a tear in the right shoulder too, and that was the one that was hurting more.  After talking it over with my doctor, we decided to proceed with the surgery on the right shoulder even though the MRI showed nothing.  He said he would check out the tendons, etc. while he was in there too.

So, a week and a half ago I went under the knife.  Megan and the boys dropped me off at 8:00am and I think I was gassed and out of it by 9:30am.  I came too around 11:50am and I think it took me over an hour before I was fully coherent.  I remember thinking to myself, "you are all high, so don't say anything stupid."  I was finally able to ask the nurse if the doctor was able to find what was wrong.  She informed me the I had a pretty bad laberal tear (SLAP tear and posterior Bankart tear).  Essentially I had torn off over half of the labrum from the shoulder bone.  Good times.

I got to go home around 1:30pm or so.  I was a bit loopy, but my arm didn't hurt because it was completely numb and useless from the shoulder down.  It was the weirdest feeling.  Before we went home, Megan stopped and got me some pain meds, which was a good thing, because about six hours later, the numbness started to wear off, and my shoulder hurt like crazy.  For the next two days, I sat on the couch, drifting in and out of sleep while hopped up on drugs.

The surgery was on a Wednesday, and I was able to go back to work on Friday, although I could only type with one hand (I wasn't too productive).  Since the surgery I have been in a sling, sleeping on the couch, icing as much as I can, and constantly on pain medication (I only take the strong stuff at night, because I get pretty weird).

The doctor had to make two incisions in the front of my shoulder and three in the back.

My right arm has been pretty swollen since the surgery.

I am still only able to move my arm a little bit, although I can type with both hands now.  Man this experience has been so much fun, I think I will do it again... in about six to eight weeks :(


Rachel DeFreese said...

Wow! Hopefully you'll be able to throw by summer. I hate getting old...

The Munions said...

Wow that sucks. You guys should let us baby sit for ya'll

rjd said...

Ouch......You'll need to throw for many years to come. Best to fix it now. Take care Buddy!

Scott and Lori Smith said...

Nasty! It's better than me though...I tore my labrum in my left hip- the shoulder and hip joints are the only ones that have a labrum