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Imamom

Two week cruise 9 weeks after rotator cuff surgery

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I have a cruise scheduled for next week and will be at 9 weeks post op for right rotator cuff/bicep repair. I’m really worried about our two week cruise as I’m still unable to sleep for more than two hours in the bed. I spend most of the night in a recliner. I still wear the sling when outside the house as it is an “uncontrolled environment”. I putter around the house but need to stop and ice my shoulder with my arm well supported with pillows several times a day. I’m actually dreading the cruise. I have expressed my concerns about the difficulty of being without a recliner to my husband but he really wants to go on the cruise. I hate to disappoint him. We are both around 70 years old. If there was a recliner in our cabin, I would be much less hesitant to go. Has anyone experienced a similar situation? Do you think we should postpone our cruise? My doctor has me off work for a minimum of 6 months due to the extensive repair of my dominant right arm. 

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2 minutes ago, Imamom said:

I have a cruise scheduled for next week and will be at 9 weeks post op for right rotator cuff/bicep repair. I’m really worried about our two week cruise as I’m still unable to sleep for more than two hours in the bed. I spend most of the night in a recliner. I still wear the sling when outside the house as it is an “uncontrolled environment”. I putter around the house but need to stop and ice my shoulder with my arm well supported with pillows several times a day. I’m actually dreading the cruise. I have expressed my concerns about the difficulty of being without a recliner to my husband but he really wants to go on the cruise. I hate to disappoint him. We are both around 70 years old. If there was a recliner in our cabin, I would be much less hesitant to go. Has anyone experienced a similar situation? Do you think we should postpone our cruise? My doctor has me off work for a minimum of 6 months due to the extensive repair of my dominant right arm. 

 

Here is a link to the Disabled Cruising section of CC:

 

https://boards.cruisecritic.com/forum/114-disabled-cruise-travel/

 

Search there and also online in general about renting a recliner for your cabin.  I hope you still have time to arrange this.

 

As an aside, we went on a cruise shortly after I suddenly had a torn rotator cuff, and I was in some agony.  

It was my dominant arm, alas.  I had extra pain meds, but I didn't want to be medicated into a stupor!

 

DH had to help me with almost everything:  dressing, cutting food, you name it.  We are similar ages.

We didn't do much in terms of excursions.  Even walking was agony, any time my shoulder "moved".

 

I'm sure your situation is worse than mine, so you definitely have my sympathy.  I hope that once you are on board, you *can* relax and enjoy it.

 

Good luck!
 

GC

 

 

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If you're only able to sleep a couple of hours in bed now, it won't be much better next week.  That being said, perhaps you could get some extra pillows from your cabin steward and create a bed/nest on the sofa in your cabin, which would allow you to sleep in a partially sitting position.  Good luck to you!

 

Smooth Sailing!  🙂🙂🙂

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What does your Doctor say you should do?  He is more able to advise you than strangers on a cruise forum.

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Posted (edited)
11 minutes ago, Husky61 said:

What does your Doctor say you should do?  He is more able to advise you than strangers on a cruise forum.

 

 

Edited by RocketMan275

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Just now, RocketMan275 said:

Also, your physical therapist.  You are doing therapy aren't you?  Do you have insurance?

 

I've had both shoulders done.  One included a repair of a torn biceps. 

 

While it depends upon the nature of the surgery, the skill of the surgeon, and your personal resilience, most people I've known are much further along than you are.  You seriously need to talk to your surgeon and your therapist.

 

 

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Posted (edited)

I went on a cruise last year two weeks after tearing the rotator cuff of my dominant arm, but there are many different ways to tear a rotator cuff and mine was less incapacitating. It was no problem to get all the ice I needed -- I did take an ice bag with me -- and I brought a sling but didn't have to use it.

 

I am not sure that I would want to travel while still feeling the way that you do. I agree with the advice to talk with your surgeon and physical therapist.

 

The ironic thing was that the cruise was the substitute for a trip that I had had to postpone because I was having physical therapy for a broken arm (the other arm) at the time.

Edited by kochleffel

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You are asking a bunch of folks on Cruise Critic whether you should go?  What do your doctor and physical therapist say?    Aren't they the most important people to ask?   

 

I had rotator cuff surgery when I was a good bit younger than you are (also on my dominant arm).  As you are seeing, for many people this is serious, painful surgery, with a long and often painful recovery.  You don't snap back to normal quickly; you can't sleep the way you would like to (I remember all those nights in a recliner), etc.  PT is critical -- are you still doing physical therapy now? Would you be able to do it on a ship?  The fact that your doctor has you off work for six months suggests that your surgery was even more extensive and debilitating that many of us have experienced.  

 

In any event, and I'm sorry for commenting on your husband, but in light of your circumstances, he seems very inconsiderate.   I have no idea what kind of cabin you have booked, but a two-week cruise is a long time to not be able to address your genuine physical concerns in the way that you are doing at home.  Again though, never mind what I or anyone here on Cruise Critic might think -- what do your doctor and physical therapist think?   Do you have trip insurance that would cover a cancellation if your surgeon says that you should not go on this cruise now?

 

I wish you all of the very best in your recovery.

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Answering your question would be practicing medicine w/o a license.  Seems like you should be asking your doctor your question and not us.  Also, I would suggest that if your DH and I use that term advisedly  really wants to go on the cruise, let him go by himself.  

 

DON

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Posted (edited)

I agree with the others that this is a medical question and you should be consulting your orthopedist and physical therapist, not strangers on a message board.  You also said that you sail next week and had the surgery nine weeks ago.  But only now are you asking if it's OK to go?  Did you just book this trip last minute or did you have it booked well in advance but hoped that you would have mended well enough to go? 

 

Unless you have "cancel for any reason" insurance I doubt that you can cancel at this late date without a 100% penalty.  Nobody here enjoys telling you this but you need to read your policy throughly. The insurer will want to know why you didn't notify them of your situation nine weeks ago when you needed the operation.   If you have no insurance, and your doctor advises you not to go, it's going to be an expensive tuition payment in the university of experience in life. 

 

(We sometimes get posts here from cruisers who chose not to buy insurance.  Then something terrible happens.  Next, they're posting here to condemn the greedy, heartless cruise line for keeping their money and not giving a reschedule.)

Edited by BlueRiband

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Posted (edited)

Only your doctor can know for sure what risks or other issues relevant to your specific condition and surgery could be involved with travel at that time, and only you can know you feel as a result of the surgery.  Nobody here can answer that for you.

Edited by leaveitallbehind

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8 hours ago, Imamom said:

I have a cruise scheduled for next week and will be at 9 weeks post op for right rotator cuff/bicep repair. I’m really worried about our two week cruise as I’m still unable to sleep for more than two hours in the bed. I spend most of the night in a recliner. I still wear the sling when outside the house as it is an “uncontrolled environment”. I putter around the house but need to stop and ice my shoulder with my arm well supported with pillows several times a day. I’m actually dreading the cruise. I have expressed my concerns about the difficulty of being without a recliner to my husband but he really wants to go on the cruise. I hate to disappoint him. We are both around 70 years old. If there was a recliner in our cabin, I would be much less hesitant to go. Has anyone experienced a similar situation? Do you think we should postpone our cruise? My doctor has me off work for a minimum of 6 months due to the extensive repair of my dominant right arm. 

 

I also have had my rotator cuff repaired on my dominant arm.  So I know  the pain that you are in.  The recovery from this surgery is long, slow, and painful.  I was in my sling daily for 3 months, and then I wore it when we were going to be in crowded areas in case I got bumped.  I would talk to your Dr.  If he/she thinks it's okay to go, and if DH is willing to take care of all the things he is already doing for you, and you continue to do your therapy exercises, then I would go.  I'm sure the crew will take very good care of you.  You should be able to support your shoulder with extra pillows and extra blankets either in the bed or on the couch.  I slept sitting up for 3 months, and then with pillows under my arm in bed.  

 

Have DH walk next to you or right in front of you to protect your shoulder when you are in crowds.  If he really wants to go, he should be willing to do whatever it takes to keep you safe and comfortable, and I'm sure he will.  😃

 

p.s.  Perk, you won't have to carry ANY of the luggage.  😃

 

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Everyone, I appreciate your tips and suggestions. Of course I’ve talked to my therapist and doctor. They’ve given me the go ahead with precautions. Wear the sling in uncontrolled environments (like outside of the cabin), bring baggies to use as an ice pack, do my at home PT exercises, no swim strokes that use the shoulder in the pool (OK to stand there and gently move my arms back and forth, use pillows and my sling in bed. That’s all I can think of right now. If I feel I’m not up to going, they will fill out the insurance forms for me. I’m looking for people that have gone through this for advice based on their experience. Yes, there are many different procedures, healing rates, etc. We were offered a really good deal from our travel agent 5 weeks ago. I thought I’d be further along in my recovery by now. I’m getting more nervous the closer we get. We do have insurance which includes preexisting medical condition cancellation. I think my main concerns are comfort for sleeping and while relaxing in the cabin (I’m in my recliner a lot at home with ice and/or pillow support) and getting jostled or losing my balance if the ship rocks and I have to catch myself. I guess if I keep my sling on when out and about, that should prevent much of that risk. I’ll just fall if I can’t steady myself 😳. I love the suggestion about renting a recliner!! I didn’t know that was a possibility. I called Holland America today to see if they allow this but she said to call the Accessibility number on Tuesday (they’re open Monday-Friday 9-5). That’s cutting it tight but maybe it will work out. 🤞🏻 GeezerCouple, Thanks so much for suggesting this!! 

Screwsmcernst, Thank you for your suggestions and encouragement and giving me insight into your experience. It made me feel better. I don’t need lectures and I’m not looking for medical advice. I’m looking for human people to people advice. Thanks to everyone for taking the time to address my concerns. PS: My DH has been wonderful in his care for me. If I flat out said that I don’t want to go or won’t go, he would be disappointed but not angry about it. I’m just wavering and worried. It’s an Alaska cruise, so it’d be easy to fly home to Seattle if I end up miserable. 

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1 hour ago, Imamom said:

Everyone, I appreciate your tips and suggestions. Of course I’ve talked to my therapist and doctor. They’ve given me the go ahead with precautions. Wear the sling in uncontrolled environments (like outside of the cabin), bring baggies to use as an ice pack, do my at home PT exercises, no swim strokes that use the shoulder in the pool (OK to stand there and gently move my arms back and forth, use pillows and my sling in bed. That’s all I can think of right now. If I feel I’m not up to going, they will fill out the insurance forms for me. I’m looking for people that have gone through this for advice based on their experience. Yes, there are many different procedures, healing rates, etc. We were offered a really good deal from our travel agent 5 weeks ago. I thought I’d be further along in my recovery by now. I’m getting more nervous the closer we get. We do have insurance which includes preexisting medical condition cancellation. I think my main concerns are comfort for sleeping and while relaxing in the cabin (I’m in my recliner a lot at home with ice and/or pillow support) and getting jostled or losing my balance if the ship rocks and I have to catch myself. I guess if I keep my sling on when out and about, that should prevent much of that risk. I’ll just fall if I can’t steady myself 😳. I love the suggestion about renting a recliner!! I didn’t know that was a possibility. I called Holland America today to see if they allow this but she said to call the Accessibility number on Tuesday (they’re open Monday-Friday 9-5). That’s cutting it tight but maybe it will work out. 🤞🏻 GeezerCouple, Thanks so much for suggesting this!! 

Screwsmcernst, Thank you for your suggestions and encouragement and giving me insight into your experience. It made me feel better. I don’t need lectures and I’m not looking for medical advice. I’m looking for human people to people advice. Thanks to everyone for taking the time to address my concerns. PS: My DH has been wonderful in his care for me. If I flat out said that I don’t want to go or won’t go, he would be disappointed but not angry about it. I’m just wavering and worried. It’s an Alaska cruise, so it’d be easy to fly home to Seattle if I end up miserable. 

 

Did you post on the Disabled Cruise section?

 

That should have saved you time, as others can tell you which company does this for HAL and you could have a head start.

 

Good luck!
 

GC

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I just had a thought and wanted to pass it along; if you are unable to rent a recliner at this stage, if you have a balcony cabin, ask your cabin steward to bring in one of the loungers for you to sleep on.  Outfit it with the extra pillows or blankets needed, and you might be fairly comfortable, as you won't be in a prone position all night. 

 

Smooth Sailing! 🙂🙂🙂

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2 hours ago, ger_77 said:

I just had a thought and wanted to pass it along; if you are unable to rent a recliner at this stage, if you have a balcony cabin, ask your cabin steward to bring in one of the loungers for you to sleep on.  Outfit it with the extra pillows or blankets needed, and you might be fairly comfortable, as you won't be in a prone position all night. 

 

Smooth Sailing! 🙂🙂🙂

 

Actually, this is a very good suggestion even if you do not have a balcony.

 

I would assume that your steward could locate a lounger from <somewhere> under these circumstances for you.

Then with some nice pillows behind your back and perhaps at your sides, and then also perhaps under your knees... Voila!  A "recliner"!

Maybe some extra padding underneath, if it isn't soft enough already.

 

Good luck.

 

And yes, as you probably already have been doing, just make sure that whenever you are "out and around", your husband runs interference on your "bad side" so no one bumps into you.

 

I hope you can go on the cruise and both of you can have a nice relaxing time.

Even if you "just" spend a lot of time looking out over the water and relaxing... what a perfect way to spend some recuperation time!

 

GC

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7 hours ago, GeezerCouple said:

 

Did you post on the Disabled Cruise section?

 

That should have saved you time, as others can tell you which company does this for HAL and you could have a head start.

 

Good luck!
 

GC

I didn’t but I will. Thanks!

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5 hours ago, ger_77 said:

I just had a thought and wanted to pass it along; if you are unable to rent a recliner at this stage, if you have a balcony cabin, ask your cabin steward to bring in one of the loungers for you to sleep on.  Outfit it with the extra pillows or blankets needed, and you might be fairly comfortable, as you won't be in a prone position all night. 

 

Smooth Sailing! 🙂🙂🙂

We do have a balcony and an upgrade to a small suite. There should be room for recliner or lounger. Sometimes the balcony only has chairs, not a lounger. I appreciate the suggestion. Thanks.

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18 hours ago, GeezerCouple said:

 

Here is a link to the Disabled Cruising section of CC:

 

https://boards.cruisecritic.com/forum/114-disabled-cruise-travel/

 

Search there and also online in general about renting a recliner for your cabin.  I hope you still have time to arrange this.

 

As an aside, we went on a cruise shortly after I suddenly had a torn rotator cuff, and I was in some agony.  

It was my dominant arm, alas.  I had extra pain meds, but I didn't want to be medicated into a stupor!

 

DH had to help me with almost everything:  dressing, cutting food, you name it.  We are similar ages.

We didn't do much in terms of excursions.  Even walking was agony, any time my shoulder "moved".

 

I'm sure your situation is worse than mine, so you definitely have my sympathy.  I hope that once you are on board, you *can* relax and enjoy it.

 

Good luck!
 

GC

 

 

Excellent excellent suggestion. No, it sounds like you were in more pain than I currently am. Thanks for your post and suggestion. 

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18 hours ago, Imamom said:

I have a cruise scheduled for next week and will be at 9 weeks post op for right rotator cuff/bicep repair. I’m really worried about our two week cruise as I’m still unable to sleep for more than two hours in the bed. I spend most of the night in a recliner. I still wear the sling when outside the house as it is an “uncontrolled environment”. I putter around the house but need to stop and ice my shoulder with my arm well supported with pillows several times a day. I’m actually dreading the cruise. I have expressed my concerns about the difficulty of being without a recliner to my husband but he really wants to go on the cruise. I hate to disappoint him. We are both around 70 years old. If there was a recliner in our cabin, I would be much less hesitant to go. Has anyone experienced a similar situation? Do you think we should postpone our cruise? My doctor has me off work for a minimum of 6 months due to the extensive repair of my dominant right arm. 

I’m still learning how to use this site so please forgive me if I repeat myself here and there. 

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4 hours ago, Imamom said:

I’m still learning how to use this site so please forgive me if I repeat myself here and there. 

No worries, we were all new at one time.  I just hope you will be able to go and enjoy the cruise during your recuperation process.  Please come back and let us know the outcome.

 

Smooth Sailing!  🙂🙂🙂

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3 hours ago, ger_77 said:

No worries, we were all new at one time.  I just hope you will be able to go and enjoy the cruise during your recuperation process.  Please come back and let us know the outcome.

 

Smooth Sailing!  🙂🙂🙂

Thanks. I will.

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If you can't get a recliner and must go the lounge-chair route, ask your steward to bring a quilt to fold up and lay on the chair, to give you a bit cushier base for sleeping/relaxing.

 

Good luck with the cruise!  Alaska is lovely so hopefully it will provide a welcome diversion.

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53 minutes ago, LoriPhil said:

If you can't get a recliner and must go the lounge-chair route, ask your steward to bring a quilt to fold up and lay on the chair, to give you a bit cushier base for sleeping/relaxing.

 

Good luck with the cruise!  Alaska is lovely so hopefully it will provide a welcome diversion.

Good idea. Thanks. Hopefully they have quilts. Or an extra comforter like they maybe have on the bed. 

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16 minutes ago, Imamom said:

Good idea. Thanks. Hopefully they have quilts. Or an extra comforter like they maybe have on the bed. 

 

They may also have some foam mattress toppers for those who want a softer mattress.

 

Let your cabin steward help you.  Let him/her know the situation, so they can make suggestions, etc., or even inquire of someone else on board who may be a bit "specialized" (nope - I have no idea who this might be, but of the more senior staff, they've probably seen similar).

 

GC

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