Boing...boing...OUCH

Haven't been arsed to do any blog updates since November, it would appear. But maybe it's time for another tale of woe...

New Years Eve, 6:20am, Mel decides to get up for a wee, so I think I might as well go too. And go I did - slipped on the stairs and bounced down on my left shoulder... Result: absolute agony making the slightest movement. Called for ambulance, but, sadly, that was a waste of time: first I was considered non-emergency (which I suppose was fair enough), then 2 hours later upgraded to emergency. However, after a further 3 hours, still no sign of an ambulance, so, as I could manage to walk a bit by then, I cancelled the ambulance and got Becky to come over and take me to the Northern General. Not a pleasant journey as she seemed unappreciative of G-forces on a damaged arm...

Only a one and a half hour wait for triage, at which I was given a rudimentary linen sling and two cocodamol, and a wait for X-ray. After the radiographers had taken their pics, I overheard a sotto voce "How the hell did he do that?!". Finally on to the treatment room, where the nurse disclosed that I'd dislocated my shoulder, but nothing broken. So, just a simple matter of forcing it back into place (as shown on TV)? Ah, but no... She said she'd have to go away and think of a way to get it back again... Twenty minutes later, back she comes, sticks me on gas and air (brilliant stuff! - makes you feel drunk but the effect dissipates as soon as you stop breathing it) and starts pulling, pushing, twisting, turning the arm - all to no avail except adding to my agony. She summoned a doctor, but his efforts were similarly fruitless. As were those of a senior nurse and a consultant. So, all that was left was general anaesthetic and unwitnessed brutality.

All an interesting experience, as I'd never had a general before. First I was given oxygen, then carbon dioxide (why?!), then intravenous morphine (great stuff!) and finally the knock-out drops (fentanyl?) So, once second I'm fully aware of what's going on, next "second" I'm awake and arm back in shoulder! Amazing. There were bits that I was unaware of though, as they said I'd asked them if they'd put it up on Youtube...

Such a relief to get rid of the intense pain and to be able to move more freely - albeit with arm in a sling and still some residual pain if I tried to raise the arm. Almost two weeks later now, and arm in a polysling (which I'm supposed to wear all the time apart from showering) and still limited movement. Apparently, this is all going to take some time to get back to normal - and, even then, it's more likely to dislocate again after it's happened once. Such a buggeration. Lack of quality sleep, as I usually tend to sleep on that arm 80% of the time and that's been impossible; lack of exercise because that arm is no use for movement or support, and walking is only safe on the streets rather than the footpaths I usually use.

Anyway, a sojourn in the Cotswolds next weekend and a visit to Oxford will be a welcome break (in the nicest sense).

Lessons learnt? Probably none - but I do wonder whether one-armed people can wear contact lenses...

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