Sunday, August 4, 2013

Rotator Cuff Surgery

We started out the month of August with ... surgery. Rotator cuff surgery. Early this calendar year, Gary began to notice that something was not quite right with his right shoulder. We are thinking that it probably came as a result of his doing pull-ups on a wooden bar in our family room. Something he has done off and on for years, but over time, it seems that it caused some stress and pain.

The pain had started gradually, but increased over time, and he began to experience difficulty in using his right arm, especially when extending his elbow and arm above shoulder height. He also began to experience pain while sleeping on his right side. 

He tried various kinds of treatment, including weeks of chiropractor visits, then physical therapy for several months at the advice of his doctor. Nothing seemed to help, and finally, the doctor prescribed surgery after an MRI revealed that he did in fact have a torn rotator cuff. 

So, after a full summer of travels, the surgery was scheduled for the first day of August. The outpatient surgery went well on Thursday, and we were back home by mid-afternoon. Besides the anesthesia for the surgery, Gary also was given a "block" - total numbing of his right shoulder, arm, and hand. 

And after three days of recovery so far, we are thankful that all is going well. It was a relief when the numbing wore off, as Gary is now free to use his right hand - carefully, even though he is not to use his right arm above the elbow. Doctor's orders are to keep his arm in a sling, and use it only while at therapy. For four weeks. It will be a challenge to function without the use of his right arm for this whole month. 

We're thankful for minimal pain. On Friday he experienced quite a bit of nausea. We figured out that the nausea was coming from the pain meds, and took the risk of skipping a few doses. Amazingly, he is not experiencing much pain! So, three days after the surgery he is doing well even without pain meds. We are so thankful.

Please pray for complete healing, and for full use of his right arm and shoulder again. Also, please pray for us this month, as it is a full month of starting up with another school year of student ministry. Pray that we will pace ourselves, giving adequate time for healing from surgery - and that we will trust Him with all the details of family and ministry. 

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