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My right shoulder surgery

On January 20, 1993, I experienced my first anterior (in front) shoulder dislocation in a freak accident at my middle school (don't ask). Luckily, it immediately snapped back into place and just left me dazed and in pain that only lasted about an hour. It would pop out and snap back in maybe 3 more times over the next several years, but through an even stranger freak accident, my arm popped out and stayed out in March of '97 causing severely intense pain and an ambulance had to be called. Unlike dislocations that ither people I know have had, mine turned my arm purple and numb and I was screaming in agony, unable to move. My left hand had a death grip on my right arm to steady it as much as possible, but I could feel the bone roll every time I breathed. I was wearing my pajama tank top, so I could see my skin stretched far out of place. Where there normally is a shoulder, there was nothing and now my arm was helplessly dangling by skin, nerves and veins in front of my body. The ambulance arrived quickly and it took every bit of courage I had to get on the stretcher, but I finally made it. I couldn't lay down, so they could only buckle me in half way. As they were carrying me out to the ambulance, they didn't see the sidewalk's sharp curve and the stretcher wheel went into the mulch and I lunged forward and screamed like I've never screamed before. The ambulance driver took a very long way getting out of my neighborhood and it seems that he deliberately hit every pot hole and bump on the way to the hospital. To make matters worse, the lady with me in the back couldn't get the pain reliver gas to work. About 3/4 of the way to the hospital, one particularly big bump jarred my should back into place.

I cannot acurately describe the pain that a shoulder that is out of joint and now a large bulge on your torso causes when it rolls back into place. Every nerve and blood cell in it's way was rolled over and pinched. Even after it was in, every second I felt that it would fall back out again. I was released from the hospital several hours later (when the doctor finally got around to me) and that night I taped my shoulder in place and slept uneasily with the aid of painkillers. It wasn't until several months later, after I graduated high school, that I had shoulder surgery to "take up the slack" so my arm would fit tighter. It didn't make me feel any better that the surgery was on Friday the 13th of June.

When I finally woke up after the surgery, I was on a stretcher alone in a corner of what appeared to be an empty corner of the hospital. The lights were off in all but one section of the room and I started to get scared (mainly because of the drugs i was on) and I started calling out to see if anyone was there. Someone peeked in and saw me and they got my mother. I don't remeber much after that except that they told me I needed to have someone with me for the next 24 hours and they asked if I could arrange that. My mom said yes and we went home. I was in a hospital gown and I had those blue slippers on that they give you to wear. My arm was in a sling and I had foamy so much foamy tape covering the bandages on my shoulder that I looked like a football player. I was spaced out and I could barely walk. Shortly after we got home, my mom got ready for work and started to leave. I told her the doctor said I need her to be there and said I was fine now that I was at home and she left. I started bawling my eyes out and I'm not even sure why. I instantly seemed to fall into a horrible depression and I became a crying mess. I had just been through major surgery and was on all kinds of pain killers and my mom left me alone late at night. My friends were in the middle of a Rocky cast meeting at a friend's house and I called them up and told them how my mom left me and how I wished I was there and they actually came and got me from nearly a half hour away so I wouldn't be so sad and alone. I sat with my friends in a hospital gown and blue slippers and was so happy to be there. I will always be thankful for them rescuing me like that.

After about 3 days, curiosity got the better of me, and I started pulling off the foamy tape that wasn't supposed to come off for 7 days. Then, I peeled up the tape that held the skin together so I could take a look. I looked at my sliced open, stitched skin with the awe of a child admiring a skinned knee. There were blue stitches on the outside and apparently some stitches on the inside that would dissolve away. I put everything back the way I found it, but I did end up taking everything off earlier than i was supposed to because I thought it looked okay. Looking back, I really wish I hadn't, because my scar is wider than I think it ought to be. For about a year after the surgery, it was partially bright red in color and someone that didn't know better once thought I was bleeding. Another person thought it was some sort of makeup and tried to wipe it off. Poor thing was horribly embarassed when she found out it was a scar and apologized a million times.

As of now, the year 2000, the scar is still just as wide as it was a few months after the surgery, but the color changed to a light pink some time ago. It does, however, still affect me to this day. It has never popped out since, but I still have nightmares about it coming out and each time, I feel the pain that is associated with it in my dreams. I am always overprotective of my shoulder and use my left arm to do anything that would involve my right shoulder stretching in a way that I don't feel comfortable with. I never lift my right arm out to my side if it has any weight on it and even if it doesn't, I avoid it if I can. My arm always stays close to me and I even avoid reaching for anything with it.