That was fun.
SO WE'RE DOING IT AGAIN.
Surgery, I mean. Not so much the passing-out-in-a-purple-smock thing. I hope. And not because it's fun; the part where I wrote that was totally sarcastic. And this time instead of his ear, it's his shoulder.
Maybe I should start again.
JOHN'S LOSING HIS ARM ON MONDAY FOR SIX WEEKS AND THIS IS VERY INCONVENIENT FOR ME.
Us, I mean. Inconvenient for us. Aheh. Heh. ... Love you, babe!
You have questions. I understand. I have answers.
So, why is John having surgery?
I'll answer that question... with another non sequitur:
If, perchance, you ever think that using one of these is a good idea:
That's called an "ab wheel," and it's used by attractive fitness models to convince you that you will NOT injure yourself while using it.
John was lured in by this circular logic (heyoo) nearly a year ago, and over-extended and tore something or other in his shoulder, which, when combined with about a decade's worth of damage from painting decorative ceilings over his head, resulted in a LOT of complaining. I mean pain. Sorry. A lot of pain.
It's been keeping John up nights for over 6 months now, and after all the tests (ALL of them) and an MRI that required his too-large shoulders to be wedged in at an angle in the "Stayin' Alive" position (my gosh I wish they allowed selfies in there), it was determined John has a labral tear and a bunch of arthritis build-up in his right shoulder. Ergo, the surgery.
The surgery's actually the easy part, though. Well, for us. I mean, John just has to lie there unconscious, and I've got Magic Kingdoms to play in the waiting room, so... yeah, we're pretty good with that part.
The hard part is the recovery, which requires John be in a sling that keeps his arm a little ways out from body for six whole weeks. Any wrong movement or jarring could break free the tendon/muscle/thingy they're re-attaching, so he can't even use his hand for the first week or so. He'll have to sleep sitting up and go to physical therapy three times a week, and he won't be able to dress or shower on his own for a while. (Actually, John' pretty happy about that last one. Surprise, surprise.)
Yeah, that's about his face when he reminds me I'll be helping him shower on Valentine's Day.
We've been doing our best to prepare for Disarmed John Time (DJT), because - for those who don't know us IRL - John does all the cooking, driving, lawn care, and bear hugging around here. And just like Inigo Montoya, John is NOT left-handed.
I won't lie, when I first heard John would be without his dominant hand/arm for so long, I was a little panicked. I felt wholly unequipped to help, and my fear mostly focused on one unavoidable responsibility: driving.
I've been making real progress with my anxiety and agoraphobia, but driving has been shoved from the back burner onto the metaphorical floor, and it's been years since I drove with any regularity. That's super embarrassing... and hard to admit, you guys.
In some ways this comes at a good time, though, because I have made progress. Exposure therapy works. In just a few years I went from being panicked just sitting in a car to taking long trips for granted again. Then several weeks ago I had to drive a short distance alone - a first in years - and it went so well that when I got home I completely freaked John out by bursting into happy tears.
So on Thursday John and I spent all afternoon running errands for DJT, and I drove everywhere. The post office, the doctor's office, the drug store, two different grocery stores, TWICE to Wal-Mart, heck, even a drive-through for lunch. I drove all afternoon into the evening, and as we got home that night, I remembered. I remembered how much I used to love driving at night. I remembered the way it made me feel powerful and independent. I remembered the fun.
I think these next 6 weeks are going to be OK, you guys. I think I'm going to step up, and I'm going to take care of the one who always takes care of me. (Though I'm sure the food won't be as good, so sorry in advance for that, Sweetie.)
Best of all, even if it's not OK, even if something goes wrong and John's arm isn't fixed or I wake up shaking and panicked and too scared to face the world again, I know we'll still get through. We've got friends and family willing to step in, and we have the most incredible online community rooting for us. With support like that, it's hard NOT to believe we can take on the world.
Which isn't to say I wouldn't turn down a casserole or two, local friends. Just sayin'.
John's surgery is this Monday afternoon, so I'll probably be posting updates on Facebook that day, if you're curious to see how he's doing. Happy thoughts and good juju, please!