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Off Topic :
Shoulder Surgery Worries

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 whatisloveanyway (original poster member #66450) posted at 5:06 PM on Tuesday, October 5th, 2021

Just a vent here. I'm having surgery Friday for an old rotator cuff partial tear that I completely tore gardening last year when I moved from the soft soil of the midwest to this rocky hell. Moving a house and business on our own helped complete that tear, and bone spurs are shredding things up too, so it really has to be fixed. But, I HATE surgery. Procedures. Needles. All of it. I've had other surgeries, but none involving major joints and bones and I am very anxious. I had it scheduled for November, but the pain became too much so I moved it up. Then the delta Covid blew up and hospitals overflowed and I freaked out about the exposure risk, esp. the post surgical PT, so this is my third and final scheduled date. I'm doing it, I'm mentally prepared for the surgery and the recovery pain, but the closer the date gets the more screwed up I am getting in my head.

The problem is not the surgery, but the idea of being so dependent on my H to take care of me. I know he wants to, I know he is able, but the idea of needing him is overwhelming me. We permanently moved here five months ago, so my normal network of friends is eleven hours away. My family is farther. My new neighbors/friends are awesome and will do anything for me, but I have a really hard time accepting help from others, always have, always will. I have a harder time asking for help more than once, and by the time I have to ASK again, I'm usually in a very self pity frame of mind with a splash of rage thrown in. Add the cherry on top of my R struggles and I'm a big fat mess.

Last night, our Anniversary I didn't really want to celebrate, but he needed to, some old resentments came up. WH is self employed, a one man show, and COVID has made his workload crazy. He has "scheduled" time off as much as a self employed person can. But he started this business when I was pregnant with our first 25 years ago, and although he meant to be there for me, work kept pulling him away, leaving me feeling both weak for wanting help and resentful for not getting it. I made do. Second kid, he was so busy, he dropped me and new baby off at home from the hospital and went back to work. I'm still a bit bitter about that one. He just assumes all will be well and I will call if I need anything. Not totally his fault, I am one fierce wild woman who has been strong, capable and fearless all her life until motherhood softened me and adultery and betrayal broke me. I feel at my weakest right now, and really struggling with needing anyone, let alone him, but he is my only option in this scenario. I know that it's never going to be me but work, ie $$$ as the priority. It has never been mine. I came from nothing, he came from everything, and I have so much more than I could ever want or need, and he will never have enough. Opposites attract, yes?

My last surgery in 2012 I had a lot of my innards removed and stitched up and I planned in advance and told my teenagers/husband what to expect and how they'd need to help me. Some days I had to text them to ask them to remember that I needed to eat too. I could hear them home from school or work, in the kitchen, but nobody would think to check on me for way too long to feel cared for. It was hard, but I learned I am tough and resilient, and that they love me in other ways besides caretaking. I also learned my WH was pretty busy with his LT girlfriend while I was sick and healing and that reframes a lot of my resentment about that time in my life.

Now, here I am, far away from everyone else I could count on and I can't articulate what I am feeling about needing him and relying on him. He's crazy busy and yesterday suggested we run an errand together Friday. No can do, I said, do you even know why? We will be two hours from here at a hospital, that's why. Oh yeah, right. DUH. I know where this is heading. I'll feel pressure to man up, tough it out, do for myself so he can go be the breadwinner, even though we have all the bread we need. Knowing him, he won't notice if there is actual bread to eat in the house until he goes to make a sandwich. So I'm stocking up, filling the freezer so at least there will be food. And I've had a month to become a lefty as best I can at this old age, so it won't be so hard having my dominant hand strapped to my waist for six weeks.

I'm trying to do all I can to prepare, including telling him that I expect this to go like the last three times. Didn't go well, he was either crushed or pissed, I can't really tell any more. I know I'll have to ask for what I need, he just isn't wired to anticipate or to caretake or nurture, and that is really all I am on the inside, a caretaker for others, and I suck at doing it for myself. He is very concerned for me, and encouraged me to get the surgery so I can heal. I think maybe a piece of me wishes he was as worried about my emotional health as my orthopedic health. If you've read any of my other stuff, you know he's not a great R role model, he's one of those robotic, spectrum people that can be incredibly difficult to negotiate, and he has made healing very hard for me. I think I'm lumping some of my frustration with the state of our R into my surgery anxiety. I am by no means healed from my upended life and I just don't need this on my plate right now, but here I am.

Anyway, I have three days left to prepare and all I can do today is cry. A lot. WTH. I'm not asking for suggestions, really, I know all will work out, I'll get through. I know my WH can be a clueless, selfish shit. Obviously. He means well, but he doesn't have all the tools in his kit. My lovely new friends will be there for me, and just the kind offers and concern from them make me cry. I guess I can spend some of my down time trying to figure out what my damage is and get over myself and my inability to ask for, or easily accept help. It's ok to need people, but hard to do when you have let yourself and been disappointed. And maybe I can do a little work on my pessimism too.

All I can do is hope this passes quickly, hope the pain meds work and I can make it another decade before I need anyone to help me with anything like this again. And I really hope the surgery leaves me better than it found me. I'd really like to use my right arm again.

Thanks for listening.

BW: 61 WH: 61 Both 57 on Dday. M: 34 years, 2 grown kids, 9 year Affair with MOW, 7 month False Recovery, year + trickle truth. I got rid of her. Reconciling, but the lies have piled up. Trying one more time.
Sorry for the sticky shift key and typos.

posts: 279   ·   registered: Oct. 9th, 2018   ·   location: Southeastern USA
id 8691717
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sisoon ( Guide #31240) posted at 7:11 PM on Tuesday, October 5th, 2021

Above all, I hope your surgery/physical recovery goes well. I hope you have a good PT (though I've seen a lot of PTs, and they all impress me as caring and at least competent). And do the exercises at home.

My experience with 2 shoulder surgeries (1 arthroscopic, 1 replacement, both in dominant arm) is that following the PT's advice is crucial and that my left arm learned to do a number of things quickly. But I had good help from my W.

Can you hire housekeeping/cooking/feeding help? Use shopping service for groceries? Get an LPN or CNA in at specific times of day?

I'm sorry you are all alone in this.

What would happen to your H's business if he actually took days off? Would he lose clients?

What are his expectations of you, in case something terrible happens to him? Are you free to schedule errands if he needs surgery?

fBH (me) - on d-day: 66, Married 43, together 45, same sex ap
DDay - 12/22/2010
Recover'd and R'ed
You don't have to like your boundaries. You just have to set and enforce them.

posts: 26161   ·   registered: Feb. 18th, 2011   ·   location: Illinois
id 8691747
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13YearsR ( member #58259) posted at 7:33 PM on Tuesday, October 5th, 2021

Since you have all the bread that you need, I think you should spend some of it to have a CNA come help you for a while, like Sisoon suggested. It won't be as awkward accepting that help since the person is a professional, and you'll get your needs met.

I hope you heal quickly and fully. smile

The truth will set you free, but first it will piss you off. ~ Gloria Steinem

The grass is greener on the other side of the fence because you're not over there messing it up.

DDay 2004. Successful R. 33 years married

posts: 570   ·   registered: Apr. 13th, 2017   ·   location: TX
id 8691751
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 whatisloveanyway (original poster member #66450) posted at 4:05 PM on Wednesday, October 6th, 2021

Thank you, sisoon and 13years for the well wishes, support and suggestions.

Yesterday I was a mess all day, but today I feel more positive and hopeful. I will keep a positive mental attitude to help myself along the healing path, at least for my shoulder, lol.

And sisoon, I hear you about following the PT faithfully. I did a long series to unfreeze this shoulder years ago, she called herself my physical terrorist b/c shoulders are so painful to rehab. I was a good patient and got back 95% of my range. I promise to be as good this time, and to make arrangements to get help while I recover. Thank you both so much.

BW: 61 WH: 61 Both 57 on Dday. M: 34 years, 2 grown kids, 9 year Affair with MOW, 7 month False Recovery, year + trickle truth. I got rid of her. Reconciling, but the lies have piled up. Trying one more time.
Sorry for the sticky shift key and typos.

posts: 279   ·   registered: Oct. 9th, 2018   ·   location: Southeastern USA
id 8691822
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