Tuesday, May 01, 2007

1 May 2007

I'd like to start this new month with a new post. This one is good enough.

I'm having rotator cuff repair surgery tomorrow afternoon. I'm having it done in England. I never wanted to have anything remotely surgical perpetrated upon my person while living in England. I realize now that this is completely unrealistic, considering I'll be here the rest of my life, but I've heard the rumors. I've heard the stories. I've heard about National Health Care and I'm not impressed.

Fortunately for me and my lame shoulder, we have private insurance and I'm having it done at a private hospital. Also, the surgeon is a Fellow of the Royal Academy of Surgeons or something equally as impressive sounding, which leads me to believe that I'm practically guaranteed a superb result. It sounds really cool anyway.

A side note. I'm a little skeptical about the practice here of calling doctors "Doctor" unless they're extra special and then if they're extra special then you call them "Mister". Like, my surgeon, or "specialist" is called Mr. Harry B. instead of Dr Harry B. (The B. guarantees his anonymity and also keeps this blog from popping up should anyone try to look him up on Google. That's my theory, at least.) It doesn't seem right. It lessens my confidence. Having a doctor do my surgery seems better than having a mister do my surgery. Whatever.

Back to the main topic. I'm not so much freaked out about the actual surgery as I am about the incapacitating result of the surgery that will last several months. I am required to have my arm (that's the right arm, of course) in a sling that is strapped to my body 24/7 for three weeks, then maybe I get to wear it over clothes for the next three weeks (and yes, I'm right handed) and gee, isn't that exciting. I can't drive for at least eight weeks, too. Yeah. Good luck with that.

I asked the physiotherapist (physical therapist for the American contingent) what the guidelines for recovery were in the US and she said they were probably more liberal. I say being liberal is good. Okay, I've never said that before in my life, but I'm saying it now as regards to surgical recovery. I don't want to be without my right arm for any length of time, but for this long? It was okay when I had my knee replaced. I was single. I just holed up in my condo, popped Percecet and saltine crackers all day long and slept in a big recliner for a few weeks. No one was inconvenienced. No one suffered. No one saw my greasy hair.

No can do this time around. No hiding out and then emerging when I'm better. I have people to feed, clothes to wash, children to take to school. I'm not so into the dependence thing, even if I try to dress it up nice and purty with the Covey-ish "interdependence" label. It still means other people have to do stuff for me. Even if they want to, it's not easy to allow. I don't think it's easy for anyone.

Well...I can think of a few people who would milk this.

But most people aren't comfortable with having to ask for basic things to be done for them. Luckily my husband has years of experience drying the girls' hair, so I think he'll do a good job with mine. Also, I didn't think about makeup until this morning. I may end up looking like a clown or like a scary witch if I'm not careful.

And let's not even talk about personal hygiene. Enough said.

I'm sure it will all be fine. I'll let you know. By typing with my one good hand. It may take me a week.