Day 31: An Exhausting Day Preparing for Brain Surgery

It was an early start to the day with a 7a MRI appointment at UCSF. While at Marin General they had completed two MRIs but the neurosurgeon requested additional brain mapping prior to Thursday.

I came to realize today that I didn’t remember either of my previous MRIs. That was probably due to the number of medications that I was on while admitted to the hospital. Fast forward to today, I’m not sure if not remembering was a good or bad thing.

Since I have wide shoulders, the compression on my shoulders was intense. My pain medications came due just before starting the MRI. Even having those on-board didn’t help at all. The MRI techs tried adding pads both under and over my elbows to soften the compression. Nothing helped.

So, for about an hour this morning I laid on a flat, hard table inside of an MRI machine up to my upper legs with a frame around me head so it wouldn’t move. A few times the discomfort became so intense that they had to pull me out to give me a break. 

While inside of the MRI I had to focus on slow, deep breaths to keep my system as calm as possible. It seemed to take forever but eventually I finished the MRI.

We raced back out of the city for a follow up with my orthopedic surgeon. Unfortunately I was extremely nauseous the entire way home from UCSF. After stopping home to inhale food and water, we shot over for my shoulder appointment. That appointment was far better!

The surgeon was happy with the progress that my shoulders are making. He approved removal of both the tape over my scars and the bumpers from my slings. That was the first time I have seen my shoulder scars. The skin around the scars are still sore but the scars seem like they will heal well.

I requested my surgical records for the physical therapist. Both surgeries were interesting to read. Based on what I was told by the surgeon, I knew that my left shoulder was significantly more injured than my right. I didn’t realize how bad though. If I destroyed my right shoulder then I obliterated my left shoulder. My physical therapist remarked that it would be difficult to suffer that serious of a fracture even if you were hit by a moving train.

In reading the surgical notes and talking with Laura, I realized that during my right shoulder surgery, my left shoulder was popped back in. Over the weekend before my left shoulder surgery, I managed to re-dislocate my shoulder. I don’t remember it all.

After both of those appointments I came home to crash for a few hours. Both of my shoulders were throbbing after the morning I had. I was able to space out following up on the Apple keynote.

I then closed out the day of appointments with my physical therapist. My orthopedic surgeon approved aquatic therapy. It was good to float around in a warm pool for our exercises. The exercises continue to be tough but I continue to push through since every appointment helps me to become stronger.

I enjoyed Smashburger tonight since I don’t remember having it after being admitted to the hospital. I figure before heading back into the hospital for another few days I should enjoy as much good food as I can.

My left shoulder is very sore after all of the appointments today. That means that tonight I will be focused on relaxing.

Tonight will be the first night sleeping without the bumpers so we’ll see how that goes. I have gotten fairly good sleep the past two nights. Hoping for the same tonight since I assume I won’t sleep well tomorrow prior to surgery on Thursday.