Today was my first post-op appointment, 2 weeks out from my surgery. I got to see my pictures from the procedure (shown below) and get my stitches out. I get to start physical therapy tomorrow, and I learned that I only have to stay in a sling for 6 weeks (4 to go!!!). Today's visit made me really think about a couple of things, and how important it is to listen to your body.
Like I've said before, my shoulder bothered me for 9 years. I spent so much time going from doctor to doctor to try to get a proper diagnosis; I had 3 MRIs with two coming back inconclusive results, and multiple rounds of physical therapy that often felt like last-ditch efforts because no one knew what to do.
I couldn't shake the feeling that there was something really wrong with my shoulder that probably wouldn't be fixed without surgery. As the years went on, I thought maybe I would have to live with this chronic pain forever. Until this past summer when I decided to listen to my body and go for yet another consultation.
My surgeon told me going into it that he wasn't entirely sure what my shoulder would look like, but that he recommended surgery. He warned me it wouldn't be a home run, but that moving forward he thought it was my best option. I had to think long and hard about doing this anyway, and decided ultimately to listen to my gut and go for it.
Today's appointment was a HUGE validation for me in terms of going through with having the surgery. My doctor told me that the findings were super impressive--he was able to completely dislocate my shoulder easily when I was under, and he found that my labrum (the cartilage buffer) in the back was super far away from the joint, and that my shoulder had been dislocating to the back regularly. He put in 4 anchors in the bone to bring it back to the joint (so I may be setting off airport metal detectors for the future!), and from my understanding, anchors are typically reserved for the crazier tears.
Basically, today showed me how serious my injury was, and that there was no way in hell that it would've healed itself on its own. It was certainly not easy to decide on a surgery that wasn't a "home run", but I am so glad that I followed my gut and listened to my body and how it was feeling. I realized today just how serious my injury was, and I am so thankful that I took this leap of faith in moving forward with surgery. I am optimistic about the progress I will make and the reduction in pain I will have.
It is so important to listen to your body, and if something feels like it's off, it probably is. Never stop advocating for yourself.
Hi, I'm Charlotte! I'm a 24 year old navigating life in NYC and mental health recovery. I am passionate about public health and eliminating stigma.