Recovering From Rotator Cuff Surgery

Yesterday was my last follow-up visit with my surgeon. He told me that PT was now optional, and that over the next month or so I could ease into regular life with a new shoulder.

That came as a surprise because I’m still going to PT and am only on 1 or 2 lb weights for strength training. He said I could resume mountain biking (only gravel roads for the next month). When I asked him what would happen to my shoulder if I fell while biking, his answer was that the operative shoulder is now the stronger of the two, even at this stage of recovery, so if I fell no worries! That was hard to believe.

I still have pain but it’s not constant. I still only take prn nsaids plus prn Tylenol and that’s plenty sufficient. I’m able to get through an entire workday of hand writing all my notes (no EMR) — something I couldn’t do in the days leading up to surgery.

Recommendations/thoughts:

GET THE BEST SURGEON YOU CAN, that is, the one with the most rotator cuff repairs completed with success. Ask local physical therapists which ones they recommend if possible.

GET THE BEST RECLINER YOU CAN AFFORD —  I opted for a lesser model with the thinking that I wouldn’t be using it for too long. That was wrong — I’ve used this recliner so much that it’s starting to lose it’s comfy luster of newness.

DON’T BELIEVE EVERYTHING YOU READ ONLINE ABOUT HOW PAINFUL IT IS. Yes, it hurts, but not like I was led to believe from almost every post I read.

THE WORST PART WAS NOT BEING ABLE TO SLEEP WELL DUE TO POSITIONAL CONSTRAINTS and subsequently being sleep-deprived. Caution: DO NOT USE AMBIEN or similar products for sleep. You could accidentally do something in your sleep that could damage your shoulder (I took off my brace in the middle of the night and didn’t know it until I woke up in the morning — brace was supposed to be on 24/7).

That’s it. Contact me if you have questions about RC surgery. I am happy to try and answer.

Be well!

7 Minute Explanation For Why We Don’t Have a Cure For Alzheimer’s

imagesLast week my mother died from complications of Alzheimer’s disease. Alzheimer’s is the 3rd leading cause of death in the United States because we haven’t funded the research like we have for heart disease or cancer. If you think you won’t get it because you don’t know of a family member that had it, you’re wrong. It’s not all about genetics. Just having a brain puts you at risk. If you plan to stick around until your Golden Years arrive, you’ve got about a one in two chance of having it.

Listen for 7 minutes while Dr. Samuel Cohen talks about why after 114 years we still don’t have a cure, or the ability to slow down its progress, but why he’s hopeful that we will:

https://www.ted.com/talks/samuel_cohen_alzheimer_s_is_not_normal_aging_and_we_can_cure_it/transcript?language=en

Nurses rank at top for best careers

http://money.usnews.com/careers/best-jobs/rankings/the-100-best-jobs

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Way to go nurses! We are in the top 10 out of 100 best jobs in the US. Nurse Practitioners are #2 and Registered Nurses are #9. Who is #1? Dentists! Who would’ve thought being a dentist was so great, especially when so many people can’t afford to go and health insurance doesn’t usually cover their services? Go figure.

Hooray for nurses.

NurseGrit… 2014 in review

The WordPress.com stats helper monkeys prepared a 2014 annual report for this blog.

Here’s an excerpt:

A San Francisco cable car holds 60 people. This blog was viewed about 1,500 times in 2014. If it were a cable car, it would take about 25 trips to carry that many people.

Click here to see the complete report.

Image Rehearsal Therapy as treatment for nightmares – NYTimes.com

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Following a Script to Escape a Nightmare – NYTimes.com.

Prazosin, a blood pressure medication, is often used to stop nightmares for those suffering with PTSD. Image Rehearsal Therapy is a non-medication treatment for doing the same.

Possible fewer PTSD diagnoses with DSM-5

The prevalence of post-traumatic stress disorder PTSD in US combat soldiers: a head-to-head comparison of DSM-5 versus DSM-IV-TR symptom criteria with the PTSD checklist : The Lancet Psychiatry.

The conclusion taken from the study:

Our findings showed the PCL-5 to be equivalent to the validated PCL-S. However, the new PTSD symptom criteria do not seem to have greater clinical utility, and a high percentage of soldiers who met criteria by one definition did not meet the other criteria. Clinicians need to consider how to manage discordant outcomes, particularly for service members and veterans with PTSD who no longer meet criteria under DSM-5.
Funding for this study: US Army Military Operational Medicine Research Program (MOMRP), Fort Detrick, MD.