Monday, December 16, 2013

It's official, I'm getting ready for another surgery

Saw my orthopedist today, as suspected, I really screwed up my right shoulder when I fell just before Thanksgiving. Another torn rotator cuff, labrium complete tear, tears in 3 of my tendons, and my biscep is effected. Incisional surgery again, more complicated, however, as additional anchors and screws will be used to reattach my tendons to the shoulder bones. Gruesome at best.

Sigh. Having a high pain tolerance is both a blessing as well as a curse. If something hurts us, I KNOW that it is something serious, as it is again this time. So, I will have matching shoulder scars.

Additional issues:

-will be replacing my manual transmission car NOW, not this Spring as anticipated. Driving is far from easy with my right shoulder right now. I am actively looking at incentives on line, will be getting an affordable, econo car again, trading my current one in. Probably could get more $ if I sold it outright, don't want to deal with that, however. I have a set figure for monthly payments in mind.

-will coordinate rides to the DR and rehab, which will again start up  5 days post op. Between DD, college boy and friend up the street, I hope to be able to coordinate this will minimal bother.

-won't be able to drive for 6 weeks, out of work at least 8. Will have another difficult rehab to endure.

-only have 18 1/2 sick days accumulated. I have to call the surgical scheduler on Wed and set up a date for Jan (MD is off all of next week, past Jan 1) so I will push this off until after Midterm exams. I will take advantage of the Feb break week as well, do that I am not docked for those days. Once I use up my 18.5 sick days, I am docked 1/187th of my pay=OUCH!  So we are really tightening up all expenditures, limiting them to necessities to keep as much cash flow in the checking account, before having to dip into my house account. I am fortunate to have that to draw back on, as much as I hate to touch  it.

11 comments:

Mary Lou said...

Certainly not good news for you and your family. Is your mom coming to stay with you again?

I hope the surgery is not as bad as anticipated. Good thoughts.

CTMOM said...

MaryLou,
Mom hates to travel North this time of year, and I feel that I can coordinate my rides for rehab/MD allright. Having an extra person in the home also added an additional level of stress at times, especially with teens still at home. So, for now, no, we'll try to take care of this ourselves. DD now drives which will be a big help. She was the one helping with my personal care needs anyway. Mom has her own physical limitations, so wasn't too much help with laundry for example. Truely appreciated her help, but I'll pass for now. : )

Surgery will be more complicated, it is what it is, I keep reminding myself that my trusted MD can fix this, it's not cancer, we'll survive this. Thanks for the positive wishes. Now to tell work . . they will be less than thrilled I am sure.

j said...

Oh pooh! I was afraid you were going to say that you did something major to your shoulder. But I am glad your daughter is there to help with things and to drive you to drs. and such.

There will be no falling next year do you hear me!!! LOL But I am glad you have sick days and the emergency fund to dip into if needed. You need to make sure you are healed before going back to work

Debbie said...

Even though you don't want to use your house savings, it's a good thing that it's available and there. It's hard to not use that money that you've put aside for a new home, but what if the money wasn't there in savings. That would have made things so much more difficult. I hope you start healing well after surgery. Keeping good thoughts. I'm sorry to hear that the sick time isn't enough, but to take that out of your pay check is rough. OUCH!!

Lili said...

Oh no! I feel for you and am sending good thoughts your way.
How many days were you unable to function well with the last surgery? Will you accumulate many more sick days between now and your surgery? With the last surgery, you at least have some inkling of how recovery will go.
Take care of yourself!

CTMOM said...

Lili
Thanks for the positive vibes. I've resigned myself that I must address this now, my dominant arm really doesn't function, I am in significant pain (even with my high pain tolerance), I am having trouble sleeping due to pain and inability to get and remain comfortable. It is what it is and as much as I detest (truely the accurate word) to touch my house fund, it is there, is we need it. It is a blessing to have such a significant "back up."
I anticipate a more difficult recovery as the MD explained that the additional damage to this shoulder will require several screws and anchors to be drilled into my shoulder bones. SHudder . . a gruesome calling but I am very fortunate to have such an exceptional doctor. I anticipate being out of commission significantly for 4-6 weeks, until I am able to drive-that was a real milestone with my left rotator cuff surgery, as well as being able to sleep at least for some time, not all night initially, in a bed versus a recliner, which again is a blessing to already own one. I am a planner, and am addressing any/all expenditures NOW, knowing that DD or College boy can run errands as needed, if not my friend literally just a few houses away. I'm planning meals, will precook some "frozen assets," make sure we have whatever supplies will be required for the next 2 months. I feel bad about work, I was just out in May-end of June this past year with the left rotator cuff. Trust me, I didn't plan on falling. : (
So, we trudge on, we'll get through this as best as possible. At least my medical costs will be completely covered in full, until I run out of coverage days for rehab therapy (I have 20 remaining until next Sept, so 10 week's worth). I am very familiar with the exercises and know what to expect. Already own the elastic waisted pants, large T's etc.

Lili said...

Yes, It's a very good thing that you can fall back on your house fund, if need be. But also, you have the post-surgery wardrobe -- that's a bonus. I remember my MIL about to have back surgery, and she bought herself a whole new wardrobe, as she wouldn't be able to get her arms through sleeves over her head, or bend to tie shoes, or get on anything but the simplest elastic waist pants.

The sleep is a serious issue, I am sure. I have had shoulder issues over the last couple of years, and sleep has been a real problem. I hope that you can get enough relief from pain at night to get decent night's sleep.

Best wishes and prayers through all of this!

Trina said...

Carol I am sure you have checked into it.. but our school district we have a sick leave bank for just such occasions... might check into it and see if something like that might be available to you. It used to be we could donated up to so many days to a person... does your district have any such programs?

CTMOM said...

Trina,
No, we do not have a "sick bank." I recall a petition years ago, where the faculty wanted to create one to help out a guidance counselor struggling with cancer. We were turned down by the powers that be. Shrug.

I realize that I am more fortunate than some, I do have significant savings to fall back on, if needed. Meanwhile, we are curbing all costs to maintain as much cashflow as possible.

I will be calling my surgeon's secretary tomorrow and getting a date for the actual surgery, then I can contact my dept chair, my direct administrator, HR etc.

We won't be homeless, we won't starve. I just am realistic about how this may play out, and the impact it will have on our finances.

Marcia in rural WNY said...

Just getting around to reading this news, and I'm truly sorry. My sister has had rotator cuff problems and I have some idea how painful it is. Not to mention a blow to the budget. But you're right--just fix it and get on with your life. It will only get worse if you hold off on treatment. You are a good planner and your kids are old enough to understand the temporary interruption in the normal spending pattern. I'm just sorry for the physical pain and the reaction of your employer, although it's not like you did it on purpose, just circumstances. Good luck with the surgery as well as the planning ahead.

Nancy said...

Carol: I am just catching up with my blog reading and I am so sorry to hear this news. It is a good thing you have your house fund IF you need to rely on it. And you are blessed to have the sick time. My school (private, nonunion) doesn't offer any sick days at all and with my job being hourly if I miss a day I don't get paid. I joke that I'd have to be just about dead to miss work, but really it isn't funny at all. Being a single parent is hard and these kinds of unplanned occurrences just add to the burdens. My prayers are with you.