Surgery #8

How sad is it that I have to refer to my car accident surgeries by number in order to keep them all straight?

I won't lie.

I'm hurting.  

A lot.  

I'm also having an allergic reaction to one of the medications I was given.

Can you say miserable?

I've been told yesterday's surgery to implant the neurostimulator went well.  I now have 24 (twenty four!) electrodes in my shoulder.  Sixteen electrodes are in the front of my shoulder and eight are in the back.  I have wires inside my body traveling the length of my torso.  

The wires end at the generator.

Rechargeable_systems

I borrowed the above photo off the St. Jude Medical website.

The generator, which is sort of like a pacemaker for my arm, is implanted in my abdomen.

It's nice to know my leftover baby pouch (read:  tummy fat!) is being put to good use.  (Kind of like a kangaroo's pouch?)  The generator in my abdomen won't be visible once I'm healed.  I'll be able to walk around naked and no one will know how bionic I am.

There's nothing quite like a naked, bionic, woman – right?

The generator normally goes in the back of a person's hip, but since I can't move my bum arm to reach BACK at all, having it on my hip wouldn't work for me.  Thus, Dr. Painless put it in my abdomen.  The battery is rechargeable, and needs to be recharged regularly, right through my skin.  I have to be able to reach, with my disabled arm, the area where it's located.  

The technology involved in this device is astounding.

In a couple days, I'll be turned on.

(Ha!  Don't you wish you could count on being turned on too?)

Right now the device isn't programmed.  Which means it isn't working yet.

Once the stimulator is programmed, I'll be able to control it with a small remote.

Programmer

The remote is small enough to fit easily in a purse.  It will allow me to control the strength and type of sensations I feel in my shoulder and arm.  Amazing, isn't it?

I have a home nurse coming to the house every afternoon for a few days.  She seems very nice.  I didn't know she was part of the deal, but Dr. Painless ordered her for me.

My shoulder and shoulder blade (and back) hurt quite a bit.  That's to be expected, of course.  That's where the electrodes and wires were put in.  

The more intense pain, however, is coming from the battery pack itself which is in my abdomen.  Every time I sit, or stand, or move – the movement uses my abdominal muscles.  (I didn't even think I had any abdominal muscles, but apparently I do and they're protesting loudly to all this surgery/generator/foreign object in my body stuff.)

So yep, that's where the worst pain is – not in my arm or shoulder, but in my stomach.  I'm sure it will ease up in a few days.

I hope.

I'm very tired from the anesthesia, etc.  I slept most of yesterday.

In other words, mentally I'm a bit flaky and fading in and out.

I'm swearing a lot whenever I have to move because – sheeeeeet it hurts!  It's also difficult to find any position I can get semi-comfortable in.  Sitting up hurts, laying down hurts, standing hurts … basically I just hurt right now.  I know it will be better soon.

I did want to give you an update though and let you know I'm okay.  After all, I don't think this surgery would have happened without your help.  By the way, everyone on my medical team is quite proud and amazed by your efforts too.  It's all they were talking about during my pre-surgery time yesterday.

You, dear readers, are the very best!

© Twenty Four At Heart

14 Responses to “Surgery #8”

  1. Jan

    I cannot even BEGIN to understand how you’ve gone through this eight times. Once was enough for me.
    Keeping my fingers crossed that you get turned on quickly!

  2. unmitigated me

    Hang in there, 24! I’m so glad the surgery went well. A woman who regularly kicked my butt at PT had one of these, and she said it changed her whole life!

  3. Joanne

    Praying that this is the magic bullet for you. I know when I am in intense pain, I unconsciously go into a full body clench.JUst last week, MY chiro asked me how I felt, I told him, “like a popsicle stick with a knife in it”
    Take some time to meditate some deep relaxation just in case. we need you nice and mellow for your recovery! XOXOXOXOXO

  4. Yvonne

    I’m glad the surgery went well, take it easy and rest up, you’ll be at the beach taking pictures again soon! Sending you some Texas size love and healing.

  5. karen

    This is all so amazing, have never heard anything like this device..and I give you credit for the incredible courage it has taken to have this done. Wishing you a quick recovery and tremendous relief.

  6. Lori

    How amazing. I am glad that you are able to keep your sense of humor inspite of pain and feeling yucky. Still sending healing thoughts, and hugs your way. (((((24))))

  7. missy

    Heal quickly. WE are all hoping this is the final surgery for you. And once again it sounds like there will be tons of great material coming from your new stimulator!

  8. linda

    Glad you’re home, that you have a professional looking in on you and that you’ll be ‘turned on’ in a couple days. Rest. Recoup. Hugs!

  9. di

    Think good thoughts, relax, heal.
    AND, who is typing your posts for you while you recuperate?
    Di

  10. Kay

    So glad to hear the surgery went well. Now rest up and heal so you can bring us more daily laughs very soon!

  11. Pam

    So glad to hear it went well and you’re home! I can’t imagine what your body is going through right now. Take care.

  12. Fragrant Liar

    I’m totally getting one of those for my hoo-ha.
    Er, so glad you’re going to be getting some relief from the pain, Suzanne. I’m optimistic that all the agony you’re going through will be a thing of the past soon.

  13. sandi

    I am so glad you are doing as well as you are. I hate that you are hurting, but I guess that’s to be expected. I am right down the street if you need me. Remember I love laundry and have pizza on speed dial.

  14. stacy

    Suzanne- I’m praying that you feel better. Have you tried laying in a recliner? I didnt have one when I broke my shoulder so I slept on the couch with my feet up on a chair and a half. Of course, my daughter didnt want to sleep upstairs alone so we both slept sitting up with our feet up on a chair. We have a recliner now just in case.

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