||[Oct. 21st, 2008|07:53 pm]
OK. Here are all the details as best I can recall (I stupidly left the paperwork at the office after a really bad day at work)|
As mentioned in the previous post, one of my shoulder tendons has an 8mm tear and is partly dislodged(?) from the shoulder socket. An operation is the only way to correct this, the alternative being to live like this the rest of my life. The Orthopaedic surgeon used very neutral words while describing the operation, but his non-verbal communication seemed to be driving me against the idea of surgery. Nonetheless, near the end of the consultation he gauged the strength in my arms (arms plural) by having me try to resist them being pushed downward, and while my right arm endured the strain my left arm shot straight down. My left shoulder has virtually no strength whatsoever.
If I'd needed that arm to save my life I'd have been dead.
I'm investigating the all the costs. My medical insurance (the safety net for both unicorns AND foxaroos) will cover the scheduled fee (doctor and assistant) which is around AUD$3,000. Excluded are the AUD$50 per night hospital stay charge (I should only need to be there 1 night), and the arm sling will cost AUD$175 (I learned the latter only after pushing the receptionist for details).
Still on my list to phone are the anaesthetist and the hospital to check on cost of the operating theatre. I didn't get a chance today to phone them because the day job was so busy.
Depending on the availability of the hospital, I'm aiming to have this done in early February and then to spend 3 weeks with my grandmother (about the only member of my family I trust). This means that for 3 weeks I will be COMPLETELY away from the internet. Only people with my mobile phone number will be able to contact me. Following that I'll still have my arm in a sling for a further 3 weeks, and the total healing time will be 6 months.
dhlawrence said:"Ouch. Hope it doesn't drain your reserve funds too much :(", That's what I'm trying to avoid, by investigating all these sneaky charges. I've identified AUD$225 so far, and still searching. deckardcanine said:"I thought of asking for a reminder of how it happened, but you'd probably rather not say, and perhaps I'd rather not know.",
No it's ok, I'm not shy about it.
In March this year severe calcification developed in that shoulder which led to tendonitis(http://scottrell001.livejournal.com/16372.html), to the point where I had very limited movement in the shoulder. Then gradually the pain eased, although since then it's had a dull ache which has come and gone. The doctors were asking me if I'd had any injuries that would have caused this, but I believed that there hadn't been any.
Then more recently I remembered something. Back in early 2003 (long before I knew of the existence of ANY of you :P ) I was travelling to work on a bus, which it turns out was being driven by a total cretin. He/she drove too fast, and put the brakes on much too sharply arriving at the bus stop. I was using that arm to support myself and it was nearly ripped out of its socket. I went to the doctor (different doctor back then) and was advised to rub the affected shoulder with some of that sports injury anti-inflammatory cream. The pain went away in a matter of days and I'd completely forgotten about it until all the recent trouble. When I described the incident to the orthopaedic surgeon he agreed that it's consistent with the type of injury revealed by the MRI.
If I ever meet that bus driver I'll be showing him or her what I can do with my good arm! :X
That's all the details I have for the moment. I'll post when there's more news, such as having a confirmed booking for the operation.
If anyone wants to talk me out of it they're welcome to try, because I don't feel comfortable about EITHER decision. Something doesn't feel right, which usually means I'm overlooking something.