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Old 12-01-2011, 08:44 AM
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What a year rant

I haven't been on here too much lately due to a lot of issues going on but thought I'd pop in to say "Hey" to everyone.

After a real bad year last year taking care of my parents and having to put them into a nursing home for rehab, they got back home, went back into the hospital, then my mom went into a nursing home to stay. Dad was defiant that he was not going back into a nursing home. I had to file for guardianship of my father to get him back into one, as there was no way he could care for himself. He was almost blind from Macular Degeneration, kept falling, and started to get mean. He was finally diagnosed with Dementia. So back in he went. He passed away in April. After he passed away we thought the year would go a little better. I went back to see a doctor about my shoulder as the prosthesis that was in did not work out and my shoulder has been dislocated for 3 years. He told me I have to live with it for the rest of my life A week later we found out my wife has breast cancer. So then started Chemo treatments. Then my mom passed away in October. My wife just finished her Chemo last week, Thank God!!! Now she has to go in for another surgery to cleanup where they removed the tumors as there is a question on the margins. After that starts 25 treatments of radiation. I spoke with another surgeon about my shoulder and they found out that they can custom make a component to work that SHOULD keep it in place. I go in for surgery next week for the sixth time and the fourth prosthesis. Then after that heals, which is usually three months, I have to go back in and have my right shoulder operated on to remove bone spurs. I've been off work for 4 months now, back and forth with doctors for different things. Now I find out I have a bladder infection which pushes my surgery out a week and I am also anemic. I have never been anemic in my life. So there goes more test which no doubt they will find something wrong.

I really don't think I could have had a worse year

Rant over

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Old 12-01-2011, 10:21 AM
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Kevin, it's good to hear from you, troubles or not. I thought I had a rough year, mine pales in comparison. My condolences on your parents. Did you keep the Caddy your Dad had? I hope all this had a positive force, did your son come around?

I am supposed to go in for shoulder surgery after the first of the year, the doc seems to think I have severe arthritis and calcium deposits. I am hoping this is all that the problems are. This year is the first year I have had to see a doc for more than just a check-up, I am not liking this a bit. I guess as we age we need to get used to doing these things, at least we're still sunny side up! I hope things are better for you in 2012! Dan
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Old 12-02-2011, 05:28 AM
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Hi Dinger. I got rid of the Cadillac. I just couldn't afford to mess with it with the other bills I started to get. I also had to get rid of my GMC Jimmy, but I ended up getting a used Dodge Ram truck. As far as my son, sadly, I never hear anything from him anymore. He treats his mom the same way.

On the other hand, I hope your shoulder surgery goes better than mine has through the years. This will be about the last time that they can operate on it. The last time, the surgeon cut the Axillary Nerve. That is the nerve that works the Deltoid Muscle which in turn holds the prosthesis in place. With it cut, the shoulder kept falling out of the socket. And the prosthesis I have is a Reverse Prosthesis, so it works a little differently. The nerve has repaired itself some, so this is kind of a 50/50 thing I think. The new surgeon seems to think it will work, although I will have very limited use of my left arm. Kind of a pain since all of the drive-thru's like a bank and such are on the left side. I have to sit side saddle to get anything from a car window

Good luck with your surgery Dan. I'll be thinking about you.
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Old 12-02-2011, 07:43 AM
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Good to hear from you Kevin, even though you bring bad news. Growing old is not for sissys but some of us are much more fortunate than others. Sometime it seems we are each playing from a different stacked deck of cards. My younger brother is facing the "reverse prosthesis' shoulder surgery as soon as he is sufficiently recovered from his back surgery. I am doing quite well when compared to my three brothers and have a lot to be thankful for. Hope you can find some positives to dwell on.

Stop in when you can.

Trees
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Old 12-02-2011, 08:17 AM
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Trees....before your brother has the surgery, have him to really LOOK into it. One thing I found out from the "reverse prosthesis" is that one of the most common problems is the shoulder dislocating. Once the reverse prosthesis is put in, it is my understanding that they cannot go back and put in a standard prosthesis. The doctor that did mine told me it was the latest, greatest!!! So who do you believe. I thought I could trust my doctor that has done literally hundreds of surgeries, but I guess I was wrong. He was also the one that told me I have to live with it. (meaning the shoulder being out of place)

What I have learned so far is that if a person has a lot of arthritis, they can put in a standard prothesis, but cannot put in the cup in the shoulder. The standard prosthesis is the stem with a ball on it, basically like you original shoulder. If the shoulder is tore up from an accident then they can line the cup. I had arthritis so they couldn't line the cup and the standard prosthesis still left me with quite a bit of pain, hence replacing it with the reverse prosthesis. The doctor that did mine with the reverse, accidentally cut my Axillary nerve because he could not see it in all of the scar tissue of the first surgery. And seeing that I have had two stems put in, the bone is thin, to the point of being ruined if anything would happen to go wrong. By that I mean it has been reamed out twice to the point that the bone is very thin along the outsides of the stem.

I dearly hope your brother's goes better than mine did, but ask him to research the downside of having the reverse prosthesis. When the shoulder is dislocated, it is very painful. I've put up with dislocation for three years and narcotics for eight years. Even if I lose the use of my arm for most things, but can get it back in location and off of medication, I will be a very happy camper. I know the meds have probably already taken a toll somewhere else in the body, whether it be the liver, or the mind. I know I'll pay for it in my older years
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Old 12-06-2011, 04:26 AM
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Well....wish me luck. In just a few hours I will be on the operating table going through my 6th surgery and my 4th arm prosthesis revision. Hopefully they can get it right this time. If not, then my arm will pretty much be useless
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Old 12-06-2011, 06:26 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kevin45
Well....wish me luck. In just a few hours I will be on the operating table going through my 6th surgery and my 4th arm prosthesis revision. Hopefully they can get it right this time. If not, then my arm will pretty much be useless
Good luck!
Hang in there.
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Old 12-06-2011, 07:20 AM
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Good luck, Kevin. One handed/one armed stuff is no fun!!! Just ever day stuff to be functional becomes a drag, as you already know. We expect to see you here, pecking away with one finger so keep us posted.

Trees
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Old 12-06-2011, 05:40 PM
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Good luck, and too bad the doctors can't rebuild you the way you can rebuild a car.

Bob
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Old 12-12-2011, 02:04 PM
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Well, I made it through it although very sore. The shoulder had massive scarring inside from the previous surgeries and quite a bit of fluid buildup.The new components are in, but I really have to baby this shoulder or else half the components come out and stay out and the shoulder will kind of just rattle around. But it is in place and just waiting on the pain to ease up. For the rest of my life I am limited to barely nothing. No putting the arm behind my back. No lifting, and absolutely no pushing with it. If I do, the arm pops out, if it pops out, another operation and the very last operation. This operation was solely done to relieve pain and not to gain any range of motion. It sucks that I can't use it much, but it's a relief that it should be pain free for the first time in 8 years. WHat I really have to watch is it feeling good then screwing up
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Old 12-12-2011, 06:59 PM
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Well Kevin it's good to hear everything went OK... Hope it heal's up better then anyone hoped for..Hang in there....
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Old 12-25-2011, 08:17 AM
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Well Kevin it's good to hear everything went OK... Hope it heal's up better then anyone hoped for..Hang in there....
Well it went almost a week and a half. A week ago this last Friday I was sitting in the ER waiting on the surgeon to come in. I stood up out of my chair, had the huge sling on, walked about three steps and my shoulder dislocated. They were going to d a rush surgery on it then, but I wasn't ready for it. The nurse loaded me up on painkillers. I adjusted myself in the bed a little, felt my shoulder roll and it popped back in place. So the doctor and I decided to let it go a little longer to see whether it stays in or not.

Yesterday, I had to run a couple of errands, had the sling on, turned the corner in the truck and my shoulder roll out of place again. So I have to call the doctor in the morning, let him know about it, and surgery #7 will more than likely be coming up this week.

Surgery #7 will be the very last surgery they can do. What will happen is that they will take out all of the components of the Reverse Shoulder Prosthesis, except for the stem that is cemented into the arm. Then they'll add a large titanium ball to the stem and let it ride in the socket that I now have. I won't hardly have any range of motion but the shoulder will, or shouldn't ever pop out of place again AND it SHOULD be pain free. But the Axillary Nerve has been partially severed from the previous surgeon, plus the multiple operations, plus cutting around muscle, tendons, and ligaments, not to mention that I have no Rotator Cuff left at all, will only be anyones guess whether there is much use left or not. From the elbow down it isn't bad except the pain from my shoulder now travels all of the way down to my hand. If they get the pain stopped, I will have use from my elbow down.

Oh well....chit happens!!!
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Old 12-28-2011, 01:50 PM
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Kevin,

You have had a horrible year. I hope the new year is a fresh start.

I went through a couple of FUBAR years in the 60s and all I can tell you is to hang in there. Maybe my 'luckiest day' will make you feel a little better.

September 9, 1965 I was running a minute or so late (not unusual) and the Long Island Railroad was running right on time (very unusual). As I was running up the stairs of the train station, I heard the train start to pull out. Not wanting to be late for work, I scanned the moving train for an open door and saw two near the middle of the train. Having boarded moving trains many times before, I ran toward the open doors, reversed direction and attempted to jump on -- through the first of the two doors -- almost.

Instead of landing inside the train, I fell between the two cars and onto the tracks. The train's undercarriage beat me up pretty bad and my left arm was crushed at the elbow. It spit me out about twenty yards from the station. No one saw me fall – if they had and pulled the emergency brake handle, the train would have stopped with me under it and I would have bled to death while they jacked the train off me. As it was, I was conscious, going into shock and managed to get closer to the station platform.

Two unidentified men arrived and saw me on the tracks. One jumped off the platform and used my tie as a tourniquet on what was once my left arm (ties ARE good for something). The second man ran down the stairs and flagged down a police car that was passing by just at that moment. Remember, AT&T put 9-1-1 into effect in 1968 and there was no such thing as a cell phone back then. When the police officer radioed the local volunteer fire station two blocks away, two firemen were having coffee before heading off to work and rushed to my aid. Both had trauma cards that allowed them to move seriously injured victims. They had me in the hospital (six miles away) 13 minutes after the accident.

The only nurse in the hospital’s emergency room, who happened to be a former neighbor, found I had no pulse and gave me a Demerol injection to slow my heart down (it was fibrillating). The hospital had no B-negative blood so the 70-year old elevator operator donated a pint on the spot. The two best orthopedic surgeons in town had just scrubbed and were ready to begin their first elective surgery of the day. I was wheeled in instead. No one asked about my health insurance, which was minimal. They just started patching me up.

Over the course of the next six hours they were able to stop the bleeding from my arm, leg and head. They stitched my scalp back on and thankfully invited a plastic surgeon to work on my face, which had a gash on the right temple and a large hole through my chin (180 stitches). The plastic surgeon then invited an oral surgeon to look at the damage to my front teeth, most of which were smashed. By the time the neurosurgeon arrived to review the x-rays of my head, they had already determined the bleeding from my right ear was only a punctured eardrum. Unfortunately the x-rays did show 7 major skull fractures, one of which severed the nerve that controls the outer muscle of my right eye. Even with five surgeries over the years, the double vision has never gone away.

Twelve hours after the accident, when I woke up in the hospital’s intensive care unit, my wife leaned over and quietly said “You’re not getting out of painting the house this easy.” We were only married 3-1/2 years at the time and everyone was sure she was going to take our two infants and leave me for a more able-bodied person. The kids did leave but not for another 15 or 20 years. My wife stuck around but I figure she's going to leave in a few months, as soon as she gets the 50th anniversary presents appraised.

What was left of my arm required a secondary amputation so I could wear a prosthesis. I wore the arm for ten years but when we moved from New York to Florida in '75 the weather makes it too hot to wear every day. I still use the mechanical arm when I'm digging ditches or pulling cylinder heads. A couple of years ago I got myself fitted with a bionic arm. I had done some research and thought it might be useful. They didn't give me the manual first -- big mistake. The manual says I can't get it wet, it has to be kept out of dusty environments and I have to shut it off when I drive -- cell phones may trigger unwanted movement. When I asked about air tools, gasoline, lacquer thinner and epoxy primer it was obvious this was not a solution -- just another problem.

Been working on my cars and houses with one arm for my entire adult life -- the accident happened 9 days before my 21st birthday. Wasted a year or two after the accident feeling pretty sorry for myself. Lawyers gave up on the lawsuit when they found out my brother had committed suicide 18 months earlier (another part of the FUBAR years). Health insurance covered half the bills and my parents helped with the rest.

Decided to get a degree at night school. In the blink of a decade I had a degree in English to match my job as a technical writer. When folks got bored watching me touch-type one handed faster than my colleagues did with two, they forced me into a series of management jobs. I prefer dealing with steel and wood so I retired at 50.

I've been here to see my son and daughter grow up and even see my 9 grandchildren grow up. It hasn't been perfect and we've had stretched or broken ties with our son and daughter a few times. OK, it was probably our fault -- we moved to Australia for two years and didn't bring our kids with us.

It hasn't always been smooth and some days are worse than others but I sure will miss the ride when I go.

A few decades back I was enjoying a drink at a Club Med with my wife and some close friends. Didn't have a shirt on and this young woman came up and asked me "What happened to your arm?" I looked down and screamed "Oh S**t!" Had to run after her to apologize.

Last edited by Bob Heine; 12-28-2011 at 01:56 PM.
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Old 12-28-2011, 07:11 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bob Heine
Kevin,

You have had a horrible year. I hope the new year is a fresh start.

I went through a couple of FUBAR years in the 60s and all I can tell you is to hang in there. Maybe my 'luckiest day' will make you feel a little better.

September 9, 1965 I was running a minute or so late (not unusual) and the Long Island Railroad was running right on time (very unusual). As I was running up the stairs of the train station, I heard the train start to pull out. Not wanting to be late for work, I scanned the moving train for an open door and saw two near the middle of the train. Having boarded moving trains many times before, I ran toward the open doors, reversed direction and attempted to jump on -- through the first of the two doors -- almost.

Instead of landing inside the train, I fell between the two cars and onto the tracks. The train's undercarriage beat me up pretty bad and my left arm was crushed at the elbow. It spit me out about twenty yards from the station. No one saw me fall � if they had and pulled the emergency brake handle, the train would have stopped with me under it and I would have bled to death while they jacked the train off me. As it was, I was conscious, going into shock and managed to get closer to the station platform.

Two unidentified men arrived and saw me on the tracks. One jumped off the platform and used my tie as a tourniquet on what was once my left arm (ties ARE good for something). The second man ran down the stairs and flagged down a police car that was passing by just at that moment. Remember, AT&T put 9-1-1 into effect in 1968 and there was no such thing as a cell phone back then. When the police officer radioed the local volunteer fire station two blocks away, two firemen were having coffee before heading off to work and rushed to my aid. Both had trauma cards that allowed them to move seriously injured victims. They had me in the hospital (six miles away) 13 minutes after the accident.

The only nurse in the hospital�s emergency room, who happened to be a former neighbor, found I had no pulse and gave me a Demerol injection to slow my heart down (it was fibrillating). The hospital had no B-negative blood so the 70-year old elevator operator donated a pint on the spot. The two best orthopedic surgeons in town had just scrubbed and were ready to begin their first elective surgery of the day. I was wheeled in instead. No one asked about my health insurance, which was minimal. They just started patching me up.

Over the course of the next six hours they were able to stop the bleeding from my arm, leg and head. They stitched my scalp back on and thankfully invited a plastic surgeon to work on my face, which had a gash on the right temple and a large hole through my chin (180 stitches). The plastic surgeon then invited an oral surgeon to look at the damage to my front teeth, most of which were smashed. By the time the neurosurgeon arrived to review the x-rays of my head, they had already determined the bleeding from my right ear was only a punctured eardrum. Unfortunately the x-rays did show 7 major skull fractures, one of which severed the nerve that controls the outer muscle of my right eye. Even with five surgeries over the years, the double vision has never gone away.

Twelve hours after the accident, when I woke up in the hospital�s intensive care unit, my wife leaned over and quietly said �You�re not getting out of painting the house this easy.� We were only married 3-1/2 years at the time and everyone was sure she was going to take our two infants and leave me for a more able-bodied person. The kids did leave but not for another 15 or 20 years. My wife stuck around but I figure she's going to leave in a few months, as soon as she gets the 50th anniversary presents appraised.

What was left of my arm required a secondary amputation so I could wear a prosthesis. I wore the arm for ten years but when we moved from New York to Florida in '75 the weather makes it too hot to wear every day. I still use the mechanical arm when I'm digging ditches or pulling cylinder heads. A couple of years ago I got myself fitted with a bionic arm. I had done some research and thought it might be useful. They didn't give me the manual first -- big mistake. The manual says I can't get it wet, it has to be kept out of dusty environments and I have to shut it off when I drive -- cell phones may trigger unwanted movement. When I asked about air tools, gasoline, lacquer thinner and epoxy primer it was obvious this was not a solution -- just another problem.

Been working on my cars and houses with one arm for my entire adult life -- the accident happened 9 days before my 21st birthday. Wasted a year or two after the accident feeling pretty sorry for myself. Lawyers gave up on the lawsuit when they found out my brother had committed suicide 18 months earlier (another part of the FUBAR years). Health insurance covered half the bills and my parents helped with the rest.

Decided to get a degree at night school. In the blink of a decade I had a degree in English to match my job as a technical writer. When folks got bored watching me touch-type one handed faster than my colleagues did with two, they forced me into a series of management jobs. I prefer dealing with steel and wood so I retired at 50.

I've been here to see my son and daughter grow up and even see my 9 grandchildren grow up. It hasn't been perfect and we've had stretched or broken ties with our son and daughter a few times. OK, it was probably our fault -- we moved to Australia for two years and didn't bring our kids with us.

It hasn't always been smooth and some days are worse than others but I sure will miss the ride when I go.

A few decades back I was enjoying a drink at a Club Med with my wife and some close friends. Didn't have a shirt on and this young woman came up and asked me "What happened to your arm?" I looked down and screamed "Oh S**t!" Had to run after her to apologize.


Thanks for sharing this sad story with us....
I know it was for Kevin.. But it really hit home for other's here as well.... If this don't give someone hope,,, NOTHING WILL !!!! You my friend are a true Man... You never gave up...And was hit with some hard stuff in life.. I been hit hard a few times as well.... I wrecked a street bike when I was 17 ripped the whole left side of my face off with a few other things.... Never thought I would look the same again... Healed up really good..

So reading your bad times make some of mine look like nothing.... Thanks again for sharing... And most of all Not giving up...
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Old 01-04-2012, 06:56 AM
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Well, we went through surgery #7 yesterday. And damn it is really sore. The shoulder popped out last week and we couldn't get it back in place. The surgeon was also explaining to me that for some odd reason, I scar rather fast. This is what has been pushing my shoulder of of socket. Once it popped out than the scar tissue continued to grow, not letting it pop back in.

This should be the last surgery. There are no other revisions that they can do to the shoulder. And the shoulder is basically back to where it was 8 years ago. He removed the components from the Reverse Prosthesis, the ball out of the socket, and the socket from the stem, then added one large ball to the stem creating a Standard Prosthesis. Only now, I have absolutely no Rotator Cuff, and will have a very limited range of motion, if any at all. I'm just keeping my fingers crossed that I won't have pain on down the road. I'm really tired of eating painkillers
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