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Pain Med Use

Sunday, May 08, 2011

I'm pretty pleased with my attempts to decrease my post-op use of the pain meds
(oxycodone w/APAP 5/325)

I've discovered that hot showers and cold ice packs do very well as a first salvo against pain. I've also been sleeping out of my sling and noticing which kinds of pain are just stiffness versus actual pain in the joint. I can handle the stiffness pain. It's the other kind that bugs me. It feels like little stabby pokes.

Part of the reason I want to get off the meds is that when I last had surgery and used Percocet, I was subsequently rear-ended in a car accident (as a passenger) and ended up on it for post-op plus back pain for 6 straight weeks, which lead to sleeping problems without it, going cold turkey, not sleeping for 2 weeks, getting terribly sick, and somehow having to move out of my apartment over New Year's weekend in CT during a snowstorm when even the movers wouldn't come because there was too much snow. Not an experience I'm anxious to repeat. (nor my friends & relatives, LOL)


Nerve block applied on Tuesday post-op (I requested they wait until I woke up so I could gauge the pain and decide whether I wanted it. I wanted it.)

I was allowed up to 2 oxy tablets every 4-6 hours. (up to 12 per 24 hrs)

Nerve block wore off.
11 tablets in 24 hrs

7 tablets in 24 hrs

4 tablets in 24 hrs

1 tablet in 24 hrs

1 tablet so far (at 12:04 am)

UPDATE: As of 5/12 I haven't even taken a Tylenol since that tablet early Sunday morning. Wow.

In case you're into iPhone / iPod apps, I'm using Time Jot.

Here's what the actual report looks like that it can email to me:

Sunday May 08:
00:04:07 (1 oxy)

Saturday May 07:
07:54:45 (1 oxy)

Friday May 06:
22:23:51 (1 oxy)
12:37:07 (1 oxy)
02:21:01 (1 oxy)
00:45:24 (1 oxy)

Thursday May 05:
18:04:07 (1 oxy)
12:35:30 (1 oxy)
11:13:54 (1 oxy)
07:14:55 (2 oxy with breakfast)
04:18:02 (Ok I give in. 2 more oxy.

OW. :-/)

Wednesday May 04:
23:07:41 (1 oxy

Lying down hurts)
22:02:51 (1 oxy. Pain returning.

Trying ice again)
19:29:08 (1 oxy

Music helping)
18:25:26 (1 oxy.

Lying down hurts.)
13:58:10 (2 oxy)
10:13:01 (2 oxy

Short temper. Lying down hurts. Sitting up better

Trying ice but not cold thru dressing)
05:01:54 (1 Oxy. Starting to hurt no matter what position I'm in.

House 60 feel cold. Cranking up to 70)
03:18:09 (Tightened sling and added squeezy ball)
03:12:25 (1 Oxycodone)
03:01:41 (Nerve block wearing off. Typing this with right hand. Stiffness in joint, poss hints of pain coming)
00:30:49 (1 Oxycodone

Whole arm & most of hand numb)

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:


    hey great to hear your are managing your pain. I agree with coming off them asap. I was able to go to panadil only 3 days after my hammie op, which was good as they often result in constipation not good for crutches, big scar on underside of floppy leg. Great to hear that you are recovering and amazing that you have lost more pounds astounding!

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NEELIXNKES 5/10/2011 7:27PM

    Glad that the pain is easing and you are finding alternatives. Hang in there! emoticon

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DDOORN 5/9/2011 8:52AM

    Good goal to keep working down those pain meds...can be tricky stuff to do!

Thx for stopping by my blog! :-)


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CARRIE1948 5/9/2011 6:51AM

    You are such a geek!

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ETAGGEL 5/8/2011 11:31PM

    Very good for weaning off pain medications. I just wish more people would follow your example, there are alternative solutions as you say!


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JENNSWIMS 5/8/2011 9:23PM

    I'm glad to hear your pain is improving! Woohooo!

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HOWTO: Make Custom Sugar Free Jello (with pictures)

Saturday, May 07, 2011

OK, so by now most of you have figured out that I just got my infraspinatus tendon repaired in my shoulder.

I'm interested in helping this thing grow back as fast and strong as it can, because the sooner I'm better the sooner I can be back out there in my white water kayak on rivers, which is apparently where I was meant to be, when I was put on this planet.

While it is not a complete protein (because it is missing some of the essential amino acids), collagen is the main ingredient in tendons.
In food form it's known as gelatin. In fact connective tissue is where it comes from, in the first place. I have been unable to find any references claiming that eating gelatin helps repair cartilage and tendons, but I figure it can't hurt as long as I'm getting enough protein overall. (1g per 1lb of target body weight daily)

...and as long as I keep taking glucosamine and chondroitin (that I already do for my knee arthritis)...

So I have been experimenting with getting more gelatin into my diet. Here's one fun thing I've been doing lately. It's fun because it contains gelatin, feels slightly subversive since I'm using a final product as an ingredient, it is low in calories (about 50), and keeps me interested when I'd rather eat something less healthy.

You know those individual 16-oz drink mixes designed to be put in your water bottle? Yeah, this kind of thing:

Some even come with electrolytes. Yay, electrolytes.

Well, you can add it to plain gelatin and make your own jello flavored just like that. Here's how.

1) Start some water boiling.

- According to the comments on here it looks like everyone and their brother has this same kettle. Handy for those of us with one functional arm...

2) Measure out a tablespoon (approx 9 grams) of plain gelatin into a 2.5c container

3) Add 1/4 c cold water and stir.

This step is called "blooming" the gelatin. Now I know you weren't taught to do this - like me you were taught to just dump hot water right onto the Jell-O granules and stir stir stir. Trust me, it works better this way.

The gelatin will dissolve much more easily when you do add the hot water, which requires LESS hot water, and therefore faster setting, and thus faster EATING. And what you're eating will have a more consistent texture.

4) While the gelatin granules are blooming and the water is still thinking about boiling, measure out 1.25c of cold tap water and add your drink mix to it.

You do this because some of the drink mixes don't like being added to a warm gelatin mixure and don't dissolve well. This way you get nice even dissolving of the flavor, too.

5) By now surely the water has boiled? Especially because you've been doing all this other stuff and not WATCHING IT. lol.
Measure out 1/2c of it

Dump the hot water into the bloomed gelatin

Stir some.

6) When it looks like all the gelatin has dissolved (and it won't take long), pour in the cool flavored water

7) Stir

8) Cap

9) Refrigerate

Why do they call it refrigeration when it hasn't been cold in the first place? Hmm.

10) Go do something productive and/or active for about an hour or so.
(Insert your own picture in here.)

11) Eat

30 cal in gelatin (8g protein)
5-10 cal in drink mix, depending on the kind you used.

12) Now that you know how to do this, just IMAGINE the possibilities...

...and there you have it. Jello for Dummies, the remedial edition.
Yay, electrolytes. hehehe.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

BUFFALOKAY 5/11/2011 12:45PM

    Thanks for sharing. Great photos!

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KAYOTIC 5/8/2011 5:29PM

    Thanks for the tip on my page about the juice, I saw a recipe today for a watermelon basil drink I may have to try with this, how's that for exotic jello flavor?

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250STRONG 5/8/2011 2:05PM

    Oooooooo at Whole Foods they have those and they are sweetened with stevia..... :)

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WOLFKITTY 5/8/2011 3:21AM

    HEheee. Very cool.

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OVERHAULING-ME 5/7/2011 11:39PM

    LOVE it. Thanks for a new recipe to have fun with!

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KAYOTIC 5/7/2011 11:01PM

    Sounds easy enough, and I have that kettle too!

I'm guessing there is some kind of fake sugar in the drink mix? I'm thinking I need more electrolytes, but balk at the fake sugars....do you know if they come with real sugar?

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JLPEASE 5/7/2011 5:16PM

    I have the same tea kettle. Thanks for sharing -- such a great idea!!

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JENNSWIMS 5/7/2011 4:08PM

    I love your tea kettle.

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    Cool photos to accompany the directions.

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Sutures out.

Friday, May 06, 2011

They weren't very cosmetic, but we know from the other pics that the important part INSIDE the joint is pretty.

CARRIE1948 came for a visit and brought a mango, because she'd asked if she could bring anything and that was something I was pretty sure I couldn't open one-handed. LOL

We chatted over mango and herb tea and she agreed to snip the itchy sutures for me.

We used rubbing alcohol and cuticle scissors.

Craved fruit today so went over in my calories. Did two hours on the elliptical, morning and evening. The bloat from extra solids and liquids hanging around in my system is getting old. Stuff is working its way out, but not fast enough for my taste!

I've been icing a lot today and hardly took any pain meds (1 at 12:45am, 1 at 2:21 am, 1 at 12:37pm). I'm allowed up to two every 4-6 hours, so this is pretty good, I think.

On the advice of some friends I ordered a cold therapy machine. www.dme-direct.com/polar-care-500-br

One friend said she used one after knee surgery and barely needed any pain meds at night. Another recommended it from his own shoulder surgery.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:


    yum mangoes, you are doing great, a positive attitude kills a lot of demons! I understand what its like to have ice as your new friend. I am still icing when ever my hammie feels "scratchy" or irritated (normally after a PT session followed by hydrotheraphy) Still every day you are closer to healing, don't forget although you feel like you are sitting around your body is busy making a new shoulder, don't stress it, (a really fit guy in hospital with me, just kept up with lots of stuff, not taking it easy, and he didnt heal well, and has been hampered by all sorts of problems). So best of luck, emoticon

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ANNE7X7 5/7/2011 12:27PM

    While it looks quite painful, I admire you for removing the stitches at home! I don't think I could even look at them! Glad you are slowly getting back to your normal self!

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JENNSWIMS 5/7/2011 10:16AM

    For someone who just had surgery you look fantastic, healthy, all that good stuff. Your hard work has clearly paid off!

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CARRIE1948 5/7/2011 8:52AM

    Any time - I may start a new career - suture remover. Could certainly fit it in amid the other odds and sods I do to earn a living.

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GRACEFULIFE 5/7/2011 1:52AM

    LOL that cold machine is actually pretty cool; a good idea! It looks to me like something ripe for DIY though.

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GRACEFULIFE 5/7/2011 1:51AM

    "No, it is not. How much can you know about yourself, you've never been in a fight? I don't wanna die without any scars. So come on; hit me before I lose my nerve. " --Tyler Durden

In Tyler we trust.

Looks like they did the correct shoulder, even if they put the wrong one in the sling! Good deal!

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250STRONG 5/7/2011 1:36AM

    Sounds good. I'm amazed you can take out your own sutures. Not because I think it's particularly tough, but because it's so soon and you did it at home.

When I have been on pain meds (after surgery, after childbirth), I have found that taking colace (which is just a stool softener, not a laxative) is helpful with the sluggish system.


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1st PT session and lazier day

Thursday, May 05, 2011

Yesterday I had a bunch of energy and as I mentioned, snuck out for a couple of errands.

Today I'm feeling kind of fatigued; perhaps because I'm managing the pain solely with oxycodone (self-administered) and haven't been sleeping as well or as regularly.

Still haven't pooped (sorry if that's TMI). I'm increasing both the bran and the sugar free jelly beans, hoping that will help.

So today the Big Outing was when Ron gave me a lift to my PT appointment. It took 2 hours including the assessment, exercise, and electric stim + ice at the end.

We took off my big puffy dressing but decided to leave the external sutures in a little while longer. They itch a little, but look good. We're just not sure the incisions will stay closed by themselves.

I did some basic mobility drills and took home some suggestions for stretching and strength.

I've just been feeling really sleepy a lot today. Getting in all my protein (150g per day) and watching consumption of everything in my tracker.

With the drugs I'm trying to manage on one pill rather than two, and to stagger dosages when I do have two in my system. Ice seems to help a lot with controlling the pain.

OK, I'm getting sleepy again. I think it's time for another nap...

Update: I pooped! I pooped! (so proud of myself... LOL)
Also just burned 463 on the elliptical. I think the elliptical and ice are rapidly becoming my favorite things. They just feel so good...

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:


    yep make sure you manage the drugs, hope you find a more comfy sleeping position, also congrats on pooping this was also a prob for me but a little trickier on crutches with the hammie surgery. Hope you keep recovering well, one day at a time, I am a bit gun ho so wrote myself big signs NODI to remember to "not overdo it " cos otherwise the wound gets more stress. All the best!

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DDOORN 5/6/2011 9:13AM

    Not only the oxycodone, but your body is going to pull a lot of resources for the healing...sleepiness makes a lot of sense to me!

Till we get the healing done, as Van Morrison says! :-)


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ANNE7X7 5/6/2011 8:39AM

    So glad everything is going well! It seems like you've got an excellent plan in place to keep you going!! Rock on!!

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CARRIE1948 5/6/2011 7:38AM

    See you later

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BUNPOH 5/6/2011 2:45AM

    Sounds like you're doing great so far! Oxycodone sure threw me for a loop when I had my broken tailbone, but seems like you're doing all right. I'm amazed you're doing PT and on the elliptical already. Go on with your bad self!


Speedy recovery!

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SARACYCLE 5/5/2011 11:07PM

    Hello young lady in a sling, from another in a sling. It sounds like we had similar surgeries. I ripped the super (whatever) on the back off the top of my shoulder bone, mountain biking April 9th. Surgery was the 20th. It was in that morning and on my way home under the influence of who knows what drugs, shortly after noon (an hour after coming out of surgery). Keep up the good work in P.T. I'm determined to be the model poster child/woman for P.T. I'm having to be good, which is bad, because it is hard. Don't overdo it with your other arm. That came from others, who had this done. I'm still losing, but having trouble posting, like before. I'm exhausted a lot of days after P.T. (drugs R us). Not use to that at all. Protein is great. I take all my vitamin, minerals, too, which really help.
Are you able to find a comfortable sleep position? My apparatus (sling) helps and hinders that!
I hope to hear more of how you are doing.

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TRAVELNISTA 5/5/2011 8:57PM

    I can't believe how quickly the doctor started you on therapy. I know it hurts. I know I was always sleepy from both the pain and the pills so you are getting a one two punch.

What helped me with the constipation was to bump up my water and fresh veggies and taking a Senokot which is a gentle natural laxative that works overnight.

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JENNSWIMS 5/5/2011 8:43PM

    Good job with the protein, it will help your incisions tremendously.

Sending you comfortable, pain-free thoughts.

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Pain, Grouchiness, and Exercise

Wednesday, May 04, 2011

I've noticed I have a tendency toward no patience and a short temper since the procedure yesterday. It gets worse when I'm in pain. Ice doesn't help much because the dressing is so thick and puffy almost no cold gets in. I get to take the dressing off tomorrow.

I've been warned about constipation from the meds. So early this morning I snuck out in the car and went to the local Amish store and got some wheat bran. Shifting with my left hand worked sort of OK but it probably isn't a good idea to drive much until the sling is off.

I also picked up some packets of my secret weapon against constipation - sugar free jelly belly beans. 20 or so of those will set you right up and clean you right out. Gotta love those sugar alcohols! LOL

A few hours after I got home the pain and my temper got so bad that I took two oxycodones (they were due) and got on the elliptical for an hour and burned around 400 cal. While on there I felt great. Much more like myself.

Afterward I slid off the sling, took a quick rinse in the shower, and changed into fresh sweats, and re-slung the arm.

I feel much calmer now. The cats seem relieved.

I got a shock on the scale this morning - good thing REYVE01 warned me about temporary water gain from the IV...

Tomorrow I'll have to convince someone to help me cut the external sutures before my PT appointment. It involves wiping the area with alcohol and then snipping them with nail scissors.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:


    hey i cant imagine you being inpatient, grouchie or angry, dont forget the rest and recover part, good luck behave so your shoulder can heal remember you said to remind you

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JENNSWIMS 5/5/2011 8:03PM

    Fluids, don't forget lots of fluids!

You got on the elliptical after just having surgery, I'm totally impressed. Way to keep on track.

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TRAVELNISTA 5/5/2011 8:03PM

    emoticonThey scheduled Physical Therapy so soon after surgery? Mine did not start until almost 2 weeks later and my tear was smaller than yours. emoticon Be careful emoticon

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OVERHAULING-ME 5/5/2011 12:36PM

    Thanks for the jelly belly tip! I'm needing help in that department. I think my iron pills are clogging up my pipes. I'm very impressed with your one hour workout. I probably would have layed mopping in bed. Heal quickly and follow the Docs' orders!

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HOTRODSANDY 5/5/2011 1:31AM

    Take care of your shoulder! But I totally get now how exercise can ease grouchiness. Who would have thunk? I know I didn't just 4 short months ago.

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250STRONG 5/4/2011 7:10PM

    hey don't forget the part about how you need to SLEEP to let your body do it's part of the repairing!

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REYVE01 5/4/2011 6:31PM


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CCKELLY3 5/4/2011 5:27PM

    I admire you getting on the elliptical-- as long as you're taking care of yourself, that is :-) I too find cardio helps with pain and grouchiness, just took a dose myself, so good for you paying attention to what you need.

And thanks for the tips on the jelly belly beans, I'm not much of a candy person so I'd have never known, but good info if ever in need. Feel better soon!

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CARRIE1948 5/4/2011 2:40PM

    Just be careful not to overdo. Shoulder surgery can be a royal pain to get over.

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ANNE7X7 5/4/2011 2:31PM

    Glad you got to get in a workout and your healing seems to be going well!!

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DDOORN 5/4/2011 1:40PM

    Pain & grouchiness? Now why would THAT be...! :-)

Good for you to take care of business!


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GRACEFULIFE 5/4/2011 12:54PM

    LOL, your weight is high but it sure drives your BIA-measured BF% down!!

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