Friday, October 03, 2008

The Patient

Michael had surgery yesterday on his shoulder. They were able to do the surgery orthoscopically but not able to reattach the piece of bone he broke off of his shoulder socket. We arrived at the surgery center at 12:30 and left about 7:00pm. After the surgery they were going through all of care instructions for the polar therapy, changing dressings, medication, etc. I decided this should have been inpatient surgery not outpatient! I took in an adult male and I came home with a newborn! I have to give him pain meds around the clock at four hour intervals and refill his cooler fo the polar therapy about as frequently.

When they were giving the instructions for the polar therapy they made a point to tell me that it was very important that the pad not have direct contact with the skin as it could cause frostbite. For some reason that hit me as a very funny thing! I started laughing and the nurses, all three of them, looked at me like I was insane. Maybe I am.

Overall the patient seems to be doing well. His pain seems to be under control so far and he's in a good mood. I hope it continues.

In case you are wondering polar therapy is this contraption that starts with a cooler filled with ice water. There is a pad strapped to his shoulder that connects to the cooler. The cold water is pumped through some tubing through the pad and back to the cooler. It is basically a 24/7 icepack. It is supposed to help significantly with the pain. So far it seems to be working.

For the surgery and for pain management for several hours after the surgery they gave Michael a nerve block. It took them several tries before they found the right spot. The whole thing was sounded a bit freaky but it definitely worked. I don't think he had any feeling in his shoulder until around 5:00 this morning.

Tomorrow evening we have to change Michael's bandages. In order to do that I have to get his sling and polar therapy contraption off. I told him I was going to have to take pictures so I would know how to reattach everything after the fact.

Why is it when you have a c-section they send you home with steri strips and stitches and tell you to get it wet, but when you have threes small holes, instead of a 4 to 6 inch incision, you have to keep it dry and re-bandage every couple of days for 10 days. I don't understand.

I'll be sure to post pictures after I take them...

1 comment:

friendsmiling said...

Hello, I don't know who is posting this but it can't be my sister. My sister can't even hear someone talk about blood. How are you doing this? Well, you haven't changed the dressing yet. Good luck nurse Jennifer.