The Trail: A Daily Diary of Campaign 2008


Joe Biden

Jill Biden to Have Shoulder Surgery

Associated Press
Vice President Biden's wife, Jill Biden, will have orthopedic surgery Monday to relieve shoulder pain.

Biden will have the outpatient procedure performed at Thomas Jefferson Hospital in Philadelphia, the White House said Sunday. The vice president will accompany her to the hospital, and the Bidens plan to spend the rest of Monday and Tuesday at their home in Delaware.

The vice president will return to Washington on Tuesday evening, the White House said.

Posted at 10:51 PM ET on Jul 12, 2009  | Category:  Joe Biden
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As someone who still has shoulder pain from a rotator cuff impingement, I wish Dr. Jill Biden successful surgery and a full recovery.

I would echo the advice on physical therapy.

Posted by: CharismaticPriest | July 13, 2009 7:36 PM

My wishes for a full recovery for Mrs. Biden. She'll be well taken care of since she is covered by the top-of-the-line health insurance that covers our leaders. We wouldn't want them to worry about their health or to experience what many others in the country experience when they have high deductibles, if they even have coverage.

But then, maybe if our leaders ever had to worry about their health needs or the needs of their families they might be more sympathetic to the needs of hundreds of thousands of Americans.

Posted by: annetta3 | July 13, 2009 6:28 PM

I had orthopaedic surgery on my right shoulder 7 months ago. I had to pay $500 in prediognostics. Another $100 to the facility the day of the surgery. And another $600 after the surgery for anesthesia. And I have good insurance!

It took 2 months to get into physical therapy.

My employer harassed me for taking time off of work for going to the PT appointments 3 times a week once I finally did get in, so I stopped going for fear of getting written up.

Because I had no strength or flexibility in my shoulder still once Spring arrived, I went back to therapy, but my copays had gone up and I found $90 a week to be a burden, especially considering that I had lost some credit, had other creditors raise my interest rates, and others still who increased my minimum monthly payments.

Now, almost a month later, I have near-full range of motion. I can do a push up. I still can't reach the middle of my back though.

Jill Biden is lucky though. She's having surgery in the summer, so it won't interfer with her work schedule. She also will probably not have to worry about getting into Physical Therapy -- because she's Jill Biden. In fact, they'll probably just bump somebody else off the calendar to fit her in. And her employer probably won't harass her for taking the time to do it... because Virginia's public institutions of higher learning are lucky to have her. And money won't be a problem. After all, they probably have plenty of investment income, and they haven't really felt the pinch of the recession.

But in a way, I hope the realities of health care in America do hit the Bidens square-off in the face. Even if they are Democrats, they still aren't in touch with the realities of the middle class.

Posted by: trambusto | July 13, 2009 12:49 PM

My best to Jill Biden. Shoulder surgery does eventually remove shoulder pain. There are 8 muscles which run through the shoulder. The function of each is restored following surgery by regaining range of motion and later by building strength. The (expletive deleted) sling that protects the repair until healing has occurred is probably the most irritating part of the recovery. Every penny spent on the (ed) sling is worth it for it con-tains and protects the shoulder from further injury.
Ultimately the recovery of the use of your shoulder is determined by your investment in time, good PT, and dutiful practice.
As you do the pendulums, entertain yourself with the visual of yourself as a dirty dancing dame. The laughter generated will help the healing to acceler-ate. Invite Al Franken to lunch or dinner and pick his brain for other ideas. As you continue to build muscle, consider how you would practice if you were a concert artist and worked about 8 hours per day to perfect your performances. Don't forget the heat before exercising and the ice after to make each session worth all of your invest-ment in time and energy.
Do not give up. It's your arm and you want it back with its full range and strength. Do not believe the naysayers who think that "older" women have no lives!
At 73 I not only regained 99.99% of the use of my arm, but was able to piece quilts while in the sling, and I can still bring down heavy cookware from the top shelf one-handed, the repaired one! You can do it too.
My PT was 2-3 hrs twice a week. My home practices was to repeat each procedure at least twice per day - am & pm(evening). You will find your husband doing things he (and you) never expected him to do. As long as you have a surface to support the repaired arm or hand, you can back away far enough to apply deoderant and lotion. I found out that I could write primary script with non-dominant hand slowly but legibly. I could operate the mouse to keep using the internet, and my fancy sewing machine with knee-lift presser foot and button-activated needle control may have been slow, but it was accurate and very doable. (Yes, my hand continued to be fully functional thruout the process.) Holding a book to read and turning pages was difficult, a newspaper became a table operation.
With best of the best. EMAIL me if you want support. I, too, have been a teacher.

Posted by: maab76 | July 13, 2009 10:50 AM

Wishing Mrs. Biden a full and speedy recovery.

And this for VPOTUS, FYI:

"It is not in Joe Biden's DNA to submit to tyranny; I speak with some insight as to how his mind works.

I don't know this for a fact, but I'm betting that for him, as for me, the events of Nov. 22nd, 1963 left our generation with some unfinished business, a fact that may be lost on the Machiavellians in his midst."

-- From comments section, "Bush Torture Memos OK'ed Radiation Weapons Use..."

Posted by: scrivener50 | July 13, 2009 9:36 AM

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