What about Tim?

I’ve written earlier about my husband Tim and his worker’s compensation woes and his planned bicep tendon surgery. It’s all become overshadowed by my mom’s injury and everything we’ve had to do since February 1. So, it’s about time I gave you a Tim update.

His surgery

I talked about his need for surgery but not about the actual surgery itself. His injury occurred at work on November 1. With all the approvals, holidays, and finding a doctor who would see him, it was January 28 before he had his surgery.

What About Tim
Home from surgery

The surgery went well but unfortunately, I wasn’t able to take very good care of him because it was right before my mom’s fall. He couldn’t drive for a month, so he was pretty much stuck at home. Hmmm. That sounds familiar. And this was pre-COVID!!

I actually kind of enjoyed being the driver during that month.

Two weeks after the surgery, he went back to have the dressing removed. We were both eager to see what it looked like. If you have a weak stomach, close your eyes and scroll fast!!

His recovery was estimated at 3-4 months, so you know it wasn’t a minor surgery. He started physical therapy around the end of February, which consisted mainly of them getting his arm limbered up. No weight lifting of any kind. They even put needles in his shoulder to try to loosen his muscles. (It was never called acupuncture but it sure sounded like it.)

He went along with physical therapy three times a week during March, April, and May and finally started lifting small weights. Yes, he went during the height of the pandemic but they and he were very careful. This was also when my dad was here so we were taking our temperatures every day to ensure we were staying OK.

Back to work

Tim had a follow up appointment with his surgeon on May 11. All at once, he was cleared to go back to work on June 1. Whoa!! Even his physical therapist thought that was a little too soon. At first, it wasn’t even with restrictions, but then the nurse that monitors Tim’s worker’s comp claim talked to the doctor and had a weight limit included.

With or without restrictions, it didn’t really matter, as no one at the Post Office was going to monitor that. And I knew Tim would do his job and not balk at lifting any package.

What About Tim
Back to work, like the first day of school

And now?

Well, you’d think things would be wonderful. He had a successful surgery and he’s healing well. But. . . he started having terrible pains in his arm that felt like needles and electric shocks. It’s affecting his hand and he’s losing the feeling in his fingers.

We thought it must be a misplaced nerve that was getting pinched in his elbow. He tried all kinds of things – propping his arm on pillows in his recliner and in bed, switched chairs with me so he wouldn’t put extra pressure on that arm, used the heating pad. You name it, he’s tried it.

So, back to the surgeon to find out more.

First, he had a scan in late June. They don’t usually tell you anything at the time of the scan but they did this time. It’s not a problem with his elbow. He has severe carpal tunnel syndrome. He was trying to treat the wrong thing!!

And then, they decided to look at his other arm/wrist, and discovered that one is almost as bad!! My husband is falling apart!!

He hasn’t been able to sleep for months as it flares up at night. He’s up and down trying to get the tingling and numbness to go away. And the pain shoots up his arm as well. He’s been sleeping in our guest room so he doesn’t affect my sleep.

He finally saw his surgeon on July 6 but that was considered a workers’comp appointment and we’d already decided not to go that route this time. That meant he had to schedule another appointment and that was yesterday.

More surgery

Can you believe it? He has to have another surgery. Actually, we had already assumed that, and fortunately carpal tunnel is a much easier and faster healing procedure. He needs to get this done ASAP as we’re concerned there could be permanent damage to his fingers.

He said when he was working with the nurse to schedule the surgery, she was surprised to see someone so excited about it. Well, if you’d been suffering like he has, why wouldn’t you want to have it fixed? I just hope it does fix it and he can finally start sleeping again.

He’ll be off 2-4 weeks and fortunately, has plenty of sick time. No more messing with workers’ comp and all those endless approvals. Even if it costs us something this time, it’s worth it. I don’t think he could have handled it much longer.

So, August 4 is the next surgery. And then he can start seriously thinking about retirement.

Oh and that gnarly scar? It looks SO much better now. It’s still a pretty big scar but it’s better than what I thought it would eventually look like. Amazing what can happen in six months!!

What About Tim

26 thoughts on “What about Tim?”

  1. Wow, that’s a lot to manage! I’m so glad that your husband’s scar healed as well as it did. The before picture looked like the surgeon used a garden trowel to do the surgery. Good luck to both of you and be sure to take some time for self-care.

    1. I agree about the garden trowel. It was a little shocking when the bandages first came off.
      I’m doing a little better with the self care and have stopped pressuring myself to “get more done”.
      Thanks Janis.

  2. What a journey and what a story of perseverance. 2020 has been a simply miserable year to date. Tim would probably agree. But, it sounds like some light at the end of the pain tunnel.

    Best for luck to him and you! Oh, by the way, after 6 months that gnary scar looks rather manly.

    1. Thanks Bob. We have high hopes for this surgery. I hope we’re not disappointed. He’ll chuckle when I tell him his scar looks manly. I’m sure he’ll agree. 😊

  3. Knowing your great organizational skills from our Principal days, I think of that each time I read one of your posts. Thank goodness for those as you juggle so many balls this year! Stay positive. I’ll be sending caring thoughts for a successful surgery for Tim (he’ll probably sleep 3 days straight once he is rid of the pain and numbness!) and for an increase in confidence for your dad.

  4. I keep hearing Roseanne Roseannadanna in my head: “If it’s not one thing, it’s another!” So sorry for Tim’s pain, but how wonderful that you’re able to get this taken care of directly now, and without the complications of worker’s comp. So many areas have had to cancel these non-COVID surgeries; I’m glad that’s not a problem for him. Good luck!

    1. I love Roseanne Rosannadanna!! And you’re so right. Maybe we’ll get it all done this year and 2021 will be problem free. Yeah right!!

  5. Hi, I have carpal tunnel syndrome (both arms but worse on right) and have found quite a bit of relief sleeping with wrist guards on. It might help until the surgery. It took me awhile to get used to them at night (and they are certainly not attractive!), but they’ve really helped.

    Also, I had to laugh at the title..my hubby is also a Tim and I was “what’s up with my Tim?”

    1. I forgot to mention that he’s tried the wrist guard too. Doesn’t seem to help much.
      I wanted something more catchy for my title and for some reason I thought about the movie What about Bob? so I decided to play on that.

  6. Oh my, Linda…….You are an amazing woman!
    The many balls you have been juggling for the past six months is surreal.

    I so enjoy your writings and look forward to them. Please greet your father for us. Sure miss the good days of the past. Memories are great 😊

    1. Thanks JoAnn. I will definitely tell my dad hello from you guys. I know he misses those good days too and he has some great memories.

  7. Wow! 2020 has been quite the challenging year on top of a pandemic! Great to see Tim healing quickly and I hope it continues with the next surgery! I hope he gets his much needed relief soon!! I hope you are doing well through all of this! Sending lots of virtual hugs!!

    1. I’m doing fine. Even through all of this, Tim’s taken on more with the grocery shopping and cooking. Going back to work, especially with this heat, has been an adjustment for him but he doesn’t complain.
      I’m sure glad I’m not working. I can’t imagine dealing with all of this and a job.
      Thanks for the hugs. Miss you. ❤️

  8. Hope Tim gets relief with this next surgery. Just a good night’s sleep would be nice, I’m sure! The scar is healing amazingly!

    1. When we first saw the scar, I thought his doctor hadn’t done a very good job. But seeing it now, I realize it was just an ugly wound.
      Sleeping would be great. Maybe not at first, but eventually once it’s healed. Although he is thinking he’ll have the other one done too!! More fun.

    1. No, not at home. He did say the physical therapist was using some kind of oil and massaged it. Maybe that helped?

  9. Wow, Tim heals up nicely! I have a scar from 20 years ago that looks like the first one.

    It has been a tough year for all of you. Here’s to better times!

    1. I think his scar does look pretty good.
      It can only get better, right? 🤞

  10. As if a pandemic weren’t enough to ruin your year! Once your husband gets past the next surgery he will be ready for retirement life. You, on the other hand need to take a minute to breathe. I applaud your strength.

  11. The poor guy! Your poor family!!
    I understand you are very fortunate to have insurance and excellent surgeons and the finances to survive …. but …. this will not go on the record books as an easy year.
    I have read your comments about your mom and dad, and felt many of the same emotions. Different circumstances…. I had it easier in many ways, but the same deep sadness when a once vibrant, smart, confident, take-charge parent was reduced to needing care.
    You have managed a Herculean task made even worse by the virus. Loss in a time of plague. And you’re not done yet.
    Thank you for sharing so beautifully. I hope it’s been a kind of therapy for you to record your thoughts. It’s been therapy for me to read them.

    1. Thanks Susan. My writing is definitely therapy.
      It’s so tough even with my dad who is mostly fine. He’s lost all confidence in handling the simplest of tasks. I think about how he was a successful insurance executive and now he struggles making a phone call for an address change. Makes me want to cry most days.
      Tim’s surgery should make a big difference and then he can enjoy life again. Definitely not an easy year!!

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