It is now two weeks since I had the operation to repair my torn rotator cuff. I was told I would be in a lot of pain and feel very sorry for myself for two weeks, and that isn’t far wrong. Only the two weeks are now up, and I have still got huge discomfort in my shoulder. The button to press to get rid of the pain obviously didn’t work!
To be fair, the pain is less than it was. It just doesn’t seem that way when you are living with it. I have had a very stern talking to from Paul, who knows I am not a good patient.
He has come back from a conference where attitude was a big part of how you feel. I have had to change my attitude! It isn’t that I have failed to complete the circumnavigation I set out to do, rather that I have completed 36,182 miles of sailing (as have the other circumnavigators) on Danang. That is a feat in itself – thank you Marc for working that out, and pointing it out. Outwardly I am thinking that, inwardly I am still mega disappointed. The surgeon estimated that I would need two to three months off work. Wrong. I am going in to work more and more now. Probably from next week I will be in most days. Why would I want to sit at home for two to three months? I can’t do much there, so I might as well do not much at work! The down side to that is having to get dressed three times a day instead of one. One is bad enough – showering and washing my hair with one hand, then having to dry it with one hand. The style leaves a little to be desired!
I am having to put both bra straps over my shoulder when I don’t wear slobber clothes – it was suggested that my shoulder would be sore with a bra strap over the wound, but it just about misses it. It is just getting it up and down that is the problem. If I had a waif-like figure, I may be able to go without. Not even going to go there!
So, on a work day I have to get up and get dressed to walk the dog. Back into the swing of things with that, and on my usual 5k walk at 6am every morning now. That in itself makes me feel better. Then I have to come back, shower, and get dressed for work. After work, I have to take my work clothes off and put casual clothes on. Amazing how I used to do that every day, and never gave it a second thought. Doing all of that with one hand, and a very painful shoulder, takes three times as long. However, sitting at home for three months would be a pain that I would not be able to stand.
When I first got home I was like a lost soul. I wasn’t meant to be there, and everyone didn’t expect me. Would I be wanted, both at home and at work? Paul had got used to living without me, and being able to leave anything anywhere without me clearing up after him or telling him politely (!) to put it away. He was expecting another three months of that. All the shops were geared up for me not to be there, so would I be stepping on their toes? I think most of that was in my head, and was making me feel even worse.
I have now been back to the hospital to have the dressings on my wound off – and it has healed very well. Still a lot of dark bruising – but I suppose five hours of poking around in there was bound to leave a few marks. I have had another x-ray, and have not heard that I need to go back in to have the other piece of floating bone removed, so I am taking that as good news. The physiotherapist seems to think so far so good with how the shoulder is doing. The exercises are small and passive, and won’t be pulling on the tendons for at least six weeks. Apparently my arm weighs about 5kg, so that is why I have to wear the sling, to stop that weight from pulling down. About the sling….. It is being worn around 50% of the time, and certainly not at night. I am far more comfortable if I can stretch my elbow out every few minutes – at other times I hold it in the position the sling would be. Although that isn’t what I told the physio. When he said it needs to be worn 24 hours a day, I just nodded. It probably does for some people – I am different!!
But saying that, I did broach the subject of getting back on the boat. I suggested that Derry would be the perfect opportunity (even I realise that New York is not going to happen).
He just nodded. Wonder if that was the same nod as my nod about the 24 hour thing? It isn’t him I have to persuade – and I won’t persuade anyone if I don’t feel able. But if I do, I am going to fight tooth and nail to get back on for as many days as I can, and sail back into St Katherine’s Dock with my team mates.
I have just answered the door (I am at home today – doing lunch with friends!) to a beautiful bouquet of flowers from the Clipper Race Team. Thank you so much to everyone that has sent me flowers – I do love them. To everyone that has sent cards and letters and messages, thank you. I am extremely lucky to have met up with the most fabulous bunch of people during this race that I have ever come across in my life before.
Oh – and remember all those days and nights of torture on that boat in my blogs? The stories I am now regaling includes being on a boat which has been one of, if not the, best thing I have ever done in my life.