Friday, 8 December 2017

A "shoulder replacement"

is one of those things which was almost unheard of outside the medical profession when I was a kitten. I did a little research to discover that attempts were made to do it back in the 1890's. 
Given the state of surgery back then I doubt there was a great deal of success and people must have been desperate to try  it.
Middle Cat is going in for a "replacement" today. The Senior Cat is, of course, worrying himself sick about it. I can understand this. Two years ago we nearly lost Middle Cat because of a post surgery infection. He is worried the same thing will happen again. 
Middle Cat has had more surgery than I care to think about - most of it related to old sports injuries. It hasn't been fun. 
There's not a lot I can do to help either. Her husband is perfectly capable of looking after himself and prefers to do just that. Today I will post a parcel for her. I will also check on the cats when he goes back to work after the weekend. (There are two and they are indoor cats who will probably run riot in her absence as they need to be played with for reasons of exercise and entertainment. I won't have time to play but I will make sure their litter trays have been changed and that they haven't spread food across the floor in the space where they get fed.) 
      "Why is she having it done so close to Christmas?" someone asked me yesterday.
      "The sooner the better," I said. Yes, she has private health cover and that has allowed it to happen sooner rather than later. Even as a "public" patient though it would be happening about now. If it doesn't happen soon then the problem will be far worse than it already is and could seriously disable her. She knows that and the surgeon knows that. 
A friend of 82 had something similar done recently. Her shoulder was damaged in a fall some years back. Three and a half months later things have improved dramatically for her. It isn't  perfect but it is so much better than it was before that she feels as if she can continue to live alone. It wasn't affecting just her shoulder but her lifestyle. She couldn't walk to the shops because she couldn't push
her shopping "trolley". Now she can. It means she exercises again.
For Middle Cat it should mean driving without pain and being able to sleep at night without waking when turning on her shoulder. 
All that should help her general health as well.
And all this has made me think of those long waiting lists - years long sometimes - before people access such surgery. If it makes this much difference to their ability to "do" then there is a very real need to get things done earlier. There is a need to get things done before the situation gets so  bad that the damage is so great the process is less effective than it might have been. It needs to be done while people are younger and more able to regain strength and agility.
The Senior Cat muttered to me the other day, "I'm wearing out."
It's true. He is. But, he had both shoulders "done" about fifteen years back. It let him go on gardening and working in the shed for longer than he might have. He would have "worn out" some years ago if he hadn't been able to stay active. He might still be alive but he wouldn't have been living.
So, for anyone else going through a "replacement" of some sort today, I'm thinking of you all. Go from being alive to living again.  


Anonymous said...

I am a much nicer woman with two hip replacements.


catdownunder said...

I am sure you were very nice before them!

jeanfromcornwall said...

Sending encouraging thoughts, and quite agree that sooner is better for people stuck with an old repairable thing like that.

Momkatz said...

Keeping Middle Cat in my prayers. You are right, Cat, better to do as soon as possible. Plz keep us posted on Middle Cat's recovery.
Love from Big Sister Cat