I Have a SLAP Tear – And I Could Use Your Help

After months of being in constant pain and having limited use of my arm, then completing 8 weeks of physical therapy, and finally having an MRI Arthrogram, I finally have a diagnosis: Left superior labral tear extending along the posterior superior quadrant – also known as a SLAP tear. It’s going to require surgery.

And I need your help.

Left superior labral tear extending along the posterior superior quadrant

Your shoulder is a ball-and-socket joint made up of three bones: your upper arm bone (humerus), your shoulder blade (scapula), and your collarbone (clavicle).

The head of your upper arm bone fits into a rounded socket in your shoulder blade. This socket is called the glenoid. Surrounding the outside edge of the glenoid is a rim of strong, fibrous tissue called the labrum. The labrum helps to deepen the socket and stabilize the shoulder joint. It also serves as an attachment point for many of the ligaments of the shoulder, as well as one of the tendons from the biceps muscle in the arm.

The term SLAP stands for Superior Labrum Anterior and Posterior. In a SLAP injury, the top (superior) part of the labrum is injured. This top area is also where the biceps tendon attaches to the labrum.

Surgery is painful, very slow recovery, and extremely life altering:

I have seen many clients with post-operative shoulder labral repairs. It is a frustrating injury that takes time to recover from.

The recovery time can be separated into three stages. The first is acute pain stage (difficulty when sleeping), which usually lasts 4-6 weeks. This time usually involves a formal physical therapy process.

The second stage is continued strengthening and stretching with slight discomfort (minimal to no pain). During this stage the patient/client will report “I still feel like I am going to dislocate and have this funny crackling in my shoulder”. This stage can range from 12-16 weeks (therapy to post rehab transitional stage). Don’t be alarmed. The labrum repair tightened the joint and likely causing minor pressure on the repaired tissues that are unfamiliar. This feeling will recede over time.

The final stage is the transition to your “new normal” lifestyle and exercise. This stage varies and could be 6-12 weeks of feeling “normal again”. Realistically, many patients are looking at 9 months to 1 year of total recovery time before they feel “normal” again.

I will be essentially one-armed overnight and will have 100% immobilization for 3-6 weeks 24/7 in a sling. Following that, I’m facing months of painful physical therapy to learn how to reuse the arm.

During this time, I won’t be able to work. No making jewelry. No shows. Heck, no driving and initially, I won’t even be able to dress myself! It’s going to be miserable.

But what’s terrifying is the fact that PhoenixFire Designs represents 100% of my income. I need it to pay for things like rent and food. But I won’t be able to work for months.

This is where your help comes in.

Because several of my friends suggested it, I’m starting a fund to help start saving money towards the costs of:

  • Surgery copays
  • Doctor visit copays
  • Purchasing recliner
  • Purchasing supplies to manage recovery limitations
  • Paying for Mandatory Post Op Physical Therapy
  • Paying for transport to and from PT (won’t be able to drive)
  • General cost of living expenses that don’t go away (rent, power, car payment, food, etc.)
  • Any additional unknown/unexpected costs

The gofundme is reward tier based, so I will make handcrafted items in thanks for your donation.

I have also started an surgery amazon wishlist of things I will need prior to surgery.

And of course, last but not least, any and all orders in my PhoenixFire Designs etsy shop are a great help as well. Get a jump on your holiday shopping now! Less stress on your budget all at once in December, and you can avoid the holiday craziness and rush.

Please feel free to check out my gofundme; share the link, share my shop link and if you wish, make a donation or order.

Thank you for helping me in my quest to be free from constant pain and to have the stability to get well in the healthiest way possible.

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