Sunday, January 1, 2012

# 162 - Shoulders and Sharks and Stuff

The other day, I was writing a blog about my youngest daughter, Stefie, and how she persevered through adversity when in highschool. A broken/dislocated shoulder, broken ankle and such while trying to perform on the school's dance team was not easy.

If you noticed that Deputy Dave and Stefie are BOTH wearing slings in the above picture, that's because you are very astute, and it's also because Deputy Dave had surgery to put his shoulder back together on the same day that Stefie dislocated her shoulder.

Deputy Dave had his detached shoulder put back together by Dr. Lintner, the Houston Astros orthopedic surgeon for shoulder injuries. He is the Chief of Sports Medicine for Methodist Hospital.

Deputy Dave sustained his should injury on a bright Texas day while kayaking, alone, in the Gulf of Mexico.

First excitement of the day, he hooked into a shark while kayaking off-shore and it dragged him further out to sea. As a true fisherman, Deputy Dave had a second fishing line set up behind him on the kayak and this line suddenly began to get some ferocious tugs, such powerful tugs that his kayak began to go under.

Decisions, decisions...Deputy Dave decided to cut the line to the shark with big teeth, the shark he'd already seen up close, and he decided to hold onto the big mystery monster putting up a good fight on the back line.

Basically, he could not cut his curiosity loose.

With the shark cut free, he reached back and awkwardly grabbed the fishing pole directly behind him, at the rear of the kayak, and the mystery creature rushed to bury itself into the bottom of the ocean floor with a sudden jerk. And that's the moment folks when his shoulder would have yelled "UNCLE!" if it had vocal cords.

Of course, the back line SHOULD have been cut, but you know what I always say...Shoulda, Coulda, Woulda.

I guess cutting the line with the big one on the other end would kind of defeat the purpose of trying to catch reel it in.

If you can imagine a spit second action of grabbing a pole behind you, with your arm twisted upward and behind you, then to have a BIG monster of the sea pull back with such force that your arm goes in the opposite direction of your hear...snap, crackle, pop. And that's what happened to Deputy Dave's shoulder. About the time that Deputy Dave realized he probably had a stingray on his line, he began to "play the banjo" which is when a fisherman strums the tight fishing line, causing the creature on the end of the line to move, in this case, it caused the stingray to come up from the bottom of the ocean floor.

This is not the one that he hooked into on that day - this is a Bull-Nose Ray
and it does not have a stinger. The one caught by Deputy Dave on the day he hurt
his shoulder would have swallowed the one in this picture.

It finally surfaced and blew water directly into Deputy Dave's face through its "blow-hole." As he's done many times previously, Deputy Dave got the big guy to roll over she he could remove the hook from the stingray's mouth.

Then, he sat in his kayak and watched the water-butterfly swim away, peacefully. But, Deputy Dave was injured and far from shore; worse, he wasn't ready to admit that he'd been REALLY injured, but time and an MRI would reveal that his shoulder had almost separated all the way around. It was bad. As he had suspected, the stingray on his back line was definitely bigger than the shark he'd caught; with Deputy Dave's loads of experience catching these things, he estimated it to be approximately 75 pounds with a wing span of about 3.5 feet.

A beauty. A shoulder destroying, curiosity-busting beauty.

Dr. Lintner put Deputy Dave's shoulder back together by drilling and installing approximately seven anchors to connect everything again. So, this day of surgery was going to be a biggie. I didn't want ANYTHING to pop up on this day.
And as I say, wishes are for fishes who want a juicy steak.


Early the morning of his surgery, I told Stefie, "Don't you dare let anything happen today because I'm going to be with your father for his shoulder surgery."

Rolling her eyes, Stefie said, "Mom, nothing is going to happen, I'll be busy at school, quit worrying."

What could happen mother?

Yeah, famous last words to a mother who knows better.

And guess what happens as Deputy Dave is being wheeled out of surgery? I get THE phone call. A call from Stefie's school. "Your daughter appears to have a very serious shoulder dislocation and you can either come get her or we can call an ambulance."

"What? Did you just say she dislocated her SHOULDER?" I asked in disbelief.

At this very moment, Deputy Dave is being rolled into recovery; he's out like a light. I speak with Stefanie who tells me, "Mom, I don't want to take an ambulance, just come get me and take me to the doctor."

We all know that on this day, I'm the only functioning parent in sight, so this means that whether or not there is an ambulance, my presence will be required. And, I am emotionally torn...wanting to be in two places at once. Since Deputy Dave is snoring loudly, I know what I must do for my baby...

Again, Stefie says, "Mom, hurry, please come get me!"

Uh, okay. I'll zip right through the twenty-five miles and get there in a flash.

"Mom, I don't even know how it happened, we were stretching and it just popped completely out of socket."

Gross...and very painful sounding.

I'm now looking at my sedated husband and I nonchalantly ask the recovery nurse, "How much longer will it be before he is allowed to go home?"

The nurse answers, "Oh honey, you go get yourself something to eat around the corner, it will be eat least three hours."

Back into the phone, I say quietly, "Stefie, I'm on my way."

And, I headed the twenty-five miles "around the corner" to take care of Sunny's shoulder.

Houston freeways can work to your advantage when you are in a hurry. Yes, I'm bad. But, I get to the highschool in record time, pick up Stefie, rush her to the Orthopedic doctor who I already called in advance, got her checked out with x-rays and back home, even if she was left uncomfortably situated on the couch. Then, I rush back to Houston's Medical Center to again be at my husband's side.

He never knew what happened until a few days later because he was on some good medication.

That evening, with everyone safe at home, I had two patients in slings, one with incisions in the shoulder. Both of them were in agony. I was stressed and exhausted. Neither of them could get into a comfortable position. Stefie's shoulder was essentially "broken" according to the orthopedic doctor, but nothing could be done except to immobilize the shoulder and hope the socket would heal. I raced from one patient to the next in an attempt to help them adjust their pillows, get them food, refill their glasses of tea and administer their medications that didn't make a dent in their pain.

So ---- that explains the picture of the two of them in slings. I think I'll call the photo, "Same Day Double Shoulder Disaster."

It's a picture in Stefie's life that is worth explaining. To my dismay, Stefie obviously experienced severe sympathy pains for her daddy as he was in surgery. I sure wish that Stefie had not been as "in touch" with her loved ones as she is...then we could have a more boring life.

I opt for boring. Living with a bit of boredom would be a wonderful thing.


Pricilla said...

Oh my! Not a day you would like to repeat I am sure!
Thank you for visiting my blog and for your lovely compliments....
Happy New Year!

LindaG said...

Like father, like daughter.

At least she waited until Deputy Dave was out of surgery...

Hope you all have a wonderful week and that you enjoyed your property. I look forward to hearing about it!

tahera said...

This is shocking. I'm sorry to hear about your state. Thank you for sharing your experience with everyone. Shoulder Pain Treatment Center Houston, TX