Many of you know me from the “Dan’s Du Journal” column I write here on Creaky Joints. Frequently, I take my readers through the trials and tribulations that come along with Rheumatoid Arthritis, as well as some of the rare good times. Those of you who have been following the column will know that I received some bad news lately. Both of my shoulder joints will need to be replaced within the year.

So, as I was writing the column describing my impending shoulder replacement surgery, I had an idea. Knowing that many of you (and others) with Arthritis and other Arthritis-like diseases may have to go through a shoulder replacement at some point, I decided to keep a log of my operation — the lead up, the surgery itself, and the post-op activities. I am doing this so that anyone who has to go through a replacement can learn from it. Not only that, but also to show everyone just how much of an ordeal chronic autoimmune disease can be.

I have gotten joints replaced before – both of my hips are made of metal. Joint replacement surgery is a major event. Even so, this time, according to the surgeon, I will be going through a much less serious procedure than my hip joint replacement. Despite this, I won’t let myself make the same mistake as I did with my hip surgery, and take the impending procedure lightly. As I said, any joint replacement is a major undertaking, and anyone who tells you otherwise is misleading you.

In about a week, I have the final appointment with my surgeon before I make the arrangements for the actual surgery. He is booking about two months ahead, so that puts me in the O.R. sometime in September. That means I have two months to take care of everything I need to put in place before I am without the full use of my arms for at least a month.

So, those of you who are going to be keeping up with the shoulder replacement blog, please check periodically for new entries. I will update you every time something of significance happens, and also whenever I am moved to write. I hope that, at the end of it all, this will become a valuable resource for anyone who has to go in for joint replacement. I will do my best to catalog the feelings, emotions, pain, recovery, and overall impressions of the entire process. Cliché as it sounds, if it saves even one of you a moment of fear or a bit of pain, it will be worth it. I will also be answering any questions or addressing any concerns that any of my readers may have. Even if I can’t provide you with an answer, I will do my best to find one, and respond the next time I write. You can e-mail me at [email protected] or reach me on Facebook at www.facebook.com/danielpmalito.

So, the journey begins. I truly believe that this journal will help both me and my readers benefit from the entire procedure. Either way, let’s just call it an experiment for now, and say that I expect great results from the surgery, this blog, and you, my readers. The next step is to get my shoulders x-rayed, so you will hear from me soon. Until then, spread the word, and tell anyone you know who might benefit from this to check us out here at Creaky Joints.