Planning for shoulder surgery

post it noteMy 3rd post on my shoulder will be my last about it until after the surgery is over.

I am a fan of reading other blogs and tips from other people that have been there done that of something I’m going to do. I guess it kinda runs into my obsessive reading of reviews on products.

My shoulder surgery will be no exception and since I can’t learn to be left-handed in the next month, this is how I prepare. I’m sharing my list in no particular order, that will be edited and changed as I go. Sometime after my surgery, I’ll comment on what I did or didn’t need and what I learned or wish I’d have done differently.

Not really part of the shoulder to-do list but I still need to finish up the year-end business paperwork and work on cleaning up the computer. I know how foggy minded I can get when I’m in pain, on meds, or don’t sleep well.

I emailed my clients who likely would need me before spring, to let them know there would be a span of a couple of months after my surgery where I couldn’t do product photography, covers or computer work.

I was in the furniture business for twenty years. I don’t recall the number of times customers asked me about button, automatic or left/right handle options for recliners. I’m pretty well surprised now that my dominant right arm doesn’t work correctly how many things are for right-handed use only.

We have a larger than normal supply of ice packs and they live in the freezer so I’m good there and don’t want to spend the money for an ice therapy machine. None are made for shoulders but they’ll do. We have a handheld shower spray and even though the shower is half the size it was at our last house it does have a small seat. I have slip-on Crocs and slippers. We have an old TENS unit. Just from experience, I know the rest of my body will hurt and my other muscles will knot. I also already have a shoe horn that I use instead of tying my shoes. It makes them all slip-ons. I read I might need a button helper and snap shirts. I just can’t pay that for a shirt to snap. I wish I could sew or find a chef or nurse scrub shirts that really wrapped. I’ll just get some oversized tees and cut out the side. Hubby can pin it back closed or I’ll try gaffers tape.


Toilet seat bidet

Electric toothbrush

Large lightweight sealed top cup for hot/cold no spill drinks

Bandeau/multi-way/hook front sports bras or bra tank

Oversized t-shirts I can cut out the side, soft oversized button ups or true wrap shirts

An insulated lidded mug for hot coffee so I can hold w.o getting burned, and a no slip sleeve for glasses use with my uncoordinated left hand.

Dramamine & laxatives

Look into a hair dryer holder

Get a few pairs of comfy pull on sweatpants

Cotton balls and rubbing alcohol for a deodorant sub. I read you can’t get a stick there.

Get audible, Hulu, Netflix, library books

possibly an infrared pad because I know what the rest of my back muscles will do



To do List

Move a table to left side of recliner

Hook up the handheld finger mouse

Cats to vet for check up

Buy a few months worth of cat food and litter

Pay Bills

Find the back scratcher and grabber thing or maybe buy the backnobber

Possibly make a few freezer meals- but hubby can cook so not a necessity.

Get lots of pillows down for bed

Show hubby how to do my hair and give him one last haircut for a bit.

Get a light read for DH while he is the waiting room so he doesn’t have to touch the flu germed stuff in there.

I’m not into sports at all, but about the only soft, casual shirts I found were baseball type shirts. I made the mistake of searching for button-up and seems everyone else calls them button-down. Before finding those I was looking at soft pajama tops. My hubby is into every sport. Opposites attract and all. Turns out Dr. Brooks my surgeon went to Duke. I had to ask hubby to please not wear a Tarheel sweatshirt that morning. Made me think of that latest commercial with the flashing light shirt wearing guy at a dinner table full of the opposite team fans. Even the dog looked at him funny. It also made me remember dressing up my furbabies in his team sports bandanas.

Things to do just a few days before: Trim my finger and toenails. Wash bed sheets and extra pillowcases, catch up on all laundry, shave the morning of, add barf bag and ginger ale to the car.

So I’m sure the seat bidet looks like a splurge, but there are some things I just need to be able to do on my own. Don’t judge. You can buy one for as lows as $65 dollars. I’ve never used one. I’ve seen them in hotel rooms but there I was no more likely to try a hotel one than I am to walk on a hotel floor without shoes on.  I chose the SB-1000EW  with warm water, a dryer and a remote. Most had all the buttons on the right side. If I could reach back and hit the buttons, I wouldn’t need the bidet.  With a coupon, I got a good enough deal that I purchased one for the sake of my dignity, knowing it would be months before my right arm could do the work it needed to. Heck, we may like it and save on toilet paper. It’d be a plus if it got rid of the toilet paper fluff everywhere too!

I’ve been told to just go braless. When you’re large-chested going braless is about as uncomfortable as wearing a bra.  I picked a front hook sports bra with a racer back to try to keep the strap away from the incisions. The bandeau ones without hooks were too hard to pull up and the strapless front hook ones were worthless for me. One tip- look for one that at the bottom of the hooks is soft. The set I bought were kinda rough were all the sewing was at the bottom of the row of snaps and after I awhile of wearing it my skin in the middle there got sore.


I’m going to have to remind myself to ask for help and accept help, but I really am grateful and blessed to be able to have my shoulder fixed. I can’t even begin to say how much I appreciate my husband. I know that he hurts daily with his back and neck yet, he encouraged me to take the steps for me to get out of pain. I wish he would do the same. He knows how I am with needles. He is willing to take care of the cats. He’s scheduling his jobs around taking care of me and most of all he is a wonderful friend and husband.

I’ve been thinking about how much more amenities we have this day and age than people who were out of commission for shoulder surgery years ago. We have cell phones. We don’t have to make it the one corded phone on the kitchen wall then listen to an answering machine or wonder who we missed if we didn’t make it to the phone in time. We can turn our phones on Do Not Disturb if we need an uninterrupted rest. Our spouse can call right from the grocery store when they can’t find the brand we want or have a question. We have texting that great little ability to say something instantly without wondering if it’s a good time to call. Heck, we even have talk-to-text so even with limited mobility I can get across what I’m trying to text. We have electronics that can bring us books on tape, books to read, movies and contact with others from the comfort of a recliner or bed. We, the average working person can afford a seat bidet. Remotes are handy. I remember being the remote and walking thru shag carpet to turn the channel with a dial to one of our 3 channels.  We have the ability to order from Amazon and have whatever we needed to be delivered to our home. We can watch our own church sermons via the computer and if I hook it up to the TV it’s about like being there, except I don’t need earplugs to keep the sound from hurting my ears. Win-win.

For my past shoulder post simply type shoulder in the search bar on the first page, or click the tag.

If you have helpful advice or tips I’m all ears.

2 thoughts on “Planning for shoulder surgery

    1. KiM Post author

      I didn’t think the recalls I post (or my blog for that matter) were really looked at that often. It’s nice to know they’re beneficial. They tend to come in waves so hopefully, the recent uptick will have settled down. It’d be great if recall notices were not even needed. I don’t have anyone as I’m pretty much a one-person team. Maybe I’m just slow but I don’t get the bowling team question- you’ll have to spell it out for me.



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