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Shoulder replacement surgery is less than a week away and I’ve got several of the pre-op check marks ticked off my list. For one thing I’ve spoken with the anesthesiologist’s office and was extremely pleased to find that my co-pay for them is a whopping $198. When I’ve paid literally thousands for out-of-network, out-of-pocket anesthesiologist fees before, this is amazing. I’m hopeful the rest of the procedure (both physical and financial) will be equally easy.

I’ve also asked that my previous physical therapist be assigned to me once I get home. I was supposed to go to some type of rehab class, but I got the instruction letter too late to attend the class. On Thursday I go through the pre-registration phone call with the surgical center admitting office.

As I was telling my husband and my brother (and my friends and anyone else who will listen) I can’t seen to get my head around needing this surgery. Unlike my hip which hurt with every step I took, I’ve learned to not use my shoulder in certain ways, so it doesn’t hurt day in and day out like my hip did, so it’s not driving me to seek this kind of drastic relief. However, there’s no arguing with the test results and delaying it will only make it harder to repair. I know all of these things intellectually, but I still can’t emotionally embrace the fact that I’m facing another joint replacement surgery.

I’ve been off my arthritis medicine (Humira) for about five weeks now and I stopped taking my anti-inflammatory (Celebrex) on Sunday, so I feel like … well, I feel like I’ve got a case of the flu because I ache all over. My rheumatologist prescribed some pain pills, which I took on Sunday. However, they make me really goofy, so I’ve decided that I’m going to try to tough it out with Tylenol. Although as uncomfortable as I am already, in another couple of days I may be chugging those new pills — goofy or not.

I’ve got a busy week before surgery, and a busy weekend with getting ready for surgery and the Texas Motor Speedway NASCAR race on Sunday. I guess that’s good. I won’t be sitting around fretting about it.

Actually, the only thing I really dread — and anyone who knows me will tell you this — the only thing I really, really dread is starting the IV. As I said in an earlier post, they only have one arm (my “bad” one) to try to stick, and I’m very concerned. Once they get that started, it’s all downhill. They pour in the drugs and off to wonderland I go. When I wake up, all I have to do is get well.

That’s it. I’ll probably check in once more before surgery. I’m actually hopeful that I will only have to spend one night at the surgical center, so I may not update the blog while I’m in the hospital. I’ll take my phone with me though, so I can take pictures if there’s anything worth doing that.

Thanks for your good wishes and for checking in.