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Tuesday, December 18, 2012

When I Will Have Surgery and Why I Have Not Have Had Surgery

People have written me and asked why I don't have surgery. Others email and ask when I am having surgery. There were and are problems.

I solved the first problem--chickens. I had to bring them in each night and finally got chicken security completed. For a whole month, they will have to live in the pen 24/7. That is completed though not paid for completely.

As I was considering how I would be able to live without help, someone to help me after surgery, I tried doing things as though I had had surgery and was here convalescing. Some of you may not know they type surgery I need. 1--repair torn rotator cuff. 2--repair torn meniscus. 3--repair spine.

Spine problems--last vertebra sits on bone; two herniated discs; L5 is out of place. My legs and feet are going numb and affecting my safety when I walk.

Let's talk about the spine surgery. I will be in the hospital for 7-10 days. The rehab nursing home will be 3 weeks. So, I will be gone from here for a month. I have exbf who can come once a week and clean their pen, change leaves and pine straw on the ground and in sleeping box and nest box. My neighbor, Tony, will feed them once each day. That will have to do. So, I must amass enough food for that. Boxes of oats, cans of whole kernel corn, and something else will form the core. He will not have access to my house, so exbf will have to bring food to him. Or, I can figure out what else to store at Tony's house for the remainder of their food. Tony may not have scraps enough for them. I may scramble enough eggs and store in snack bags in a freezer bag for their protein. I usually give them produce that I do not expect Tony to go and get. Lots to think about, for sure.

I pretended I had my left arm secured to my chest like it will be for five weeks, according to the nurse. I cannot rise from the chair with back and knee problem using only my right arm and hand. I told the doctor's nurse who talks with me. She said I needed a motorized recliner. She told me to get one that reclined fully because I would need to sleep there. Whew, that's good because I cannot get out of bed with only one arm. Remember, I have back and knee problem. The back problem affects ability to use my legs.

I pretended that I had to keep left knee straight for a week, just like I did when I had meniscus repaired on right knee, and I tried to rise from my chair and then from my bed. I cannot do so because of back and shoulder problem. sigh  The same doctor who operates on my shoulder will operate on the knee. A different orthopedic surgeon will operate on the back.

A prescription for a walker (knee) and a recliner with motor was sent to me. When I priced a recliner for someone as tall as I am and one that would be comfortable to sleep in, I had a bit of sticker shock--$800. No, Medicare will not pay for it. Yes, it has to be a recliner that will stand me up with a motor.

My friend suggested I buy one from Craig's list like she did for her mother. I doubt any individual  will hold  a chair while I pay for it, making payments. Plus, the time it would take to find a recliner that lies flat might take a long time once I saved my money. Then, if a cat or dog has been on it, my allergies will bother me.

If I have back surgery first, I am afraid that the knee and arm that need surgery would hinder me from being able to go through the physical therapy needed to recover the ability to walk. When I have surgery, I will not be able to walk before I go to the nursing home. So, I need the arm and leg to function.

I cannot lift a gallon of milk with one hand because I also injured both hands in two separate accidents, neither of which was my fault! So, I will have to switch to more expensive half gallons. I cannot get the lid off the peanut butter with one hand. I can open jelly and a loaf of bread. I feel like I am drowning and my life is flashing before my eyes.

Further worries. I have no one to help me. One friend told me that a nurse would come help me. This friend no longer talks to me because she is afraid I will need her. So be it.  I cannot get my pants down and back up with only one hand. No, I cannot just wear a nightgown because I would freeze to death. And, I cannot wait to pee until the nurse comes. Exbf is too far away. Charlie would not come here even if I begged him to. He cannot afford to miss work. Besides, that is 75 miles for exbf and 50 for Charlie. Besides, I don't know Charlie that well. There is no place in my house for anyone to spend the night, honest.

Children are 1000 miles away with children and jobs. No, do not suggest one would come. not happening. Women friends are over 50 miles from here. "Friend" from here are practically non-existent. The several who might help have disabilities or kids in trouble. I fear anyone knowing I will be gone for a month. This is a safe neighborhood, but you never know. And, I will be totally incapacitated for the back surgery for a whole month.

I need a few decent night gowns ad panties, just Walmart quality for the hospital. Plus, I have to pay for the physical rehab nursing home to do my laundry. That will never happen because the detergent would either make me have an itchy rash or cause my allergies to make me stuffy. Therefore, I will wash my nightgowns and panties myself in the sink if need be.

If I had a social support system in this town and sufficient funds for the recliner, I would have had all three surgeries 18 months ago. I do not want to lose the ability to walk. Really, it all boils down to money. There are no programs. I tried.

Oh, I forgot about the car. The driver door lost the ability to stay open with a huge POP. I have to fight to get out now. I am not sure how I will manage to fight my way out of the car. I must be a sight now.

There is a church that delivers meals once a week. They refuse to bring me a dinner. Meals on wheels has boxed potatoes, TPV meat, and white bread. No thanks.

I don't have any of the "old people diseases" --diabetes, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, etc. But, my joints are falling apart. Some people tell me that I don't need surgery, just prayer. Another told me a massage would cure me. it is too late for Glucosamine Chondroitin to help. Someone save me from people who deny I actually need surgery.  I am sorry I feel so lost, confused about this issue of what to do to regain my mobility.

UPDATE: I thought I made it clear--I will have surgery when I can afford the chair that will enable me to get up--the recliner that will lift me up.

I had my eyes dilated today, so this looking at the screen is killing me. Grammar and sentence structure are suffering, and I cannot be trusted to even improve this.


  1. Are you going in to a nursing home to recover then? Is the surgery booked now? Are you getting everything done at once?

    Good luck!

  2. This is exactly my fears - all of them. After moving from family, I have no one here. They all are either incapacitated themselves or so snobby they wouldn't poor their Evian water on me if I was in the street, on fire.

    Of course I have Stud, but we are on the grave side of departing, so things can't be counted on in a medical situation.

    When I had my drastic surgery (ileostomy) my abdominal muscles weren't sewn together properly and I had NO control of my legs or belly muscles.

    I lived in the recliner. But one morning I forgot and popped the button and laid back. With NO ONE to push the foot rest in for me, I was trapped for 24 hours.

    IF you are able to get a powered recliner, be sure and have it placed with THE SIDE OF THE CHAIR AGAINST A WALL. You will need some surface to push against in order to me on that part.

    1. lotta joy,
      Thanks for the understanding. But, I am sorry that you are in the situation to understand so well. Some people don't get it.

      I won't be able to walk just because of the back surgery and don't know how long it will be. At any rate, the recliner is prescribed by a doctor for shoulder surgery because I cannot use the arm, leg, or back.

      That is a fear--being trapped with no one to help or even look in on me.

      A power recliner is what is prescribed. Thanks for that bit of advice. I don't understand why, but I do trust you.

      I am going to email you. I have other questions.

  3. After the back surgery, I will go to a rehab nursing home to learn to walk again. After my back/spinal surgery, I will not be able to walk.

    The shoulder and knee surgeries will be day surgery where I go in for surgery and sent home the same day.

    I don't think they would do it all at once. At any rate, I do not want it all at once. I would not only not be able to walk, I would be even more helpless.

    I cannot schedule surgery of any kind until I get the recliner.

  4. I'm sure you have already checked on this, but is there any medical supply companies, nursing homes, senior centers in your area that could rent you the recliner? I know that there are many that do that including delivery and pickup.

    1. If I could afford to rent anything, I could buy. At what point does renting become a financial burden?

  5. Check Craigslist for power/electric recliners.

    Good luck.


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