Desert’s Elbow

A week ago today I had ORIF surgery. ORIF stands for Open Reduction Internal Fixation, a surgery that involves a 2 inch incision along the top of the elbow, then positioning the bones where they should go and using screws and pins to hold them in position. Sounds simple enough, and from what the doc reported to me post surgery it was a straight forward surgery. I see him on Monday, and he’ll do new x-rays to see how things look.

And a week after surgery, things do seem to be going pretty well. I am following my doc’s A00029F01borders and doing stretching activities for about 5 minutes every hour, and I am getting a better range of motion every day. Doing the stretching is painful at times, but I am determined to get as much of my elbow’s normal operations back as possible.

All in all the break and post surgery pain has been bearable, but I have to say, that the 3 hours of unmitigated agony I went through when the nerve block wore off was . The doc and nurses today me it would be bad, but I seriously didn’t think I’d survive long enough for the medication to kick in, and frankly didn’t care if I did. I can’t even describe the pain, but I can say that the combined pain of a gall bladder attack and surgery and spine surgery was nothing in comparison. Nothing. I lay in bed and cry and whimper, and moan and groan for hours, even once the medication kicked in and I fell asleep.

I had a good bit of pain the next two days, but by Sunday I was weaning off the pain medication, and have only been taking them at night to sleep. At first the problem was pain and not being able to get comfortable, then even when the pain let up, I couldn’t elevate my arm without causing neck pain. Last night I was sort-a able to sleep on my side, so I was actually comfortable for the first night since I broke my elbow.

elbowHere’s my elbow today: still swollen and bruised, but I think it looks pretty good for a week out of surgery. And, today,  I found myself using my right arm to do stuff without even thinking about it, which I think is a good sign. I think I might try driving around the neighborhood tomorrow. If I could myself out of the house to do something, I think I’d feel even better!


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