I had surgery Feb. 12th, 2008 to remove this metal plate and screws from a previous surgery to repair a fractured right humorous. (dime is to show size) The plate shifted the first week after the original surgery and pinched the axillary nerve, causing a palsy of my right arm. The doctors at the University of Washington also took three nerve grafts from my right ankle and calf. I was sent home with instructions to not lift anything heavier than a coffee cup for 6 weeks. At my six-week check up, the doctors were pleased with my progress but were withholding any endorsement of success until they see me again the second of May.It has been an interesting challenge. My right arm now has some function, but the highest I can reach is almost even with the top of my head. Writing on a white board is impossible past my chin. I shake hands moving the right arm in to reach with the left. I still can’t use a curling iron, so hairstyles have been interesting. Driving is confined to Sequim and Port Angeles, but my darling daughter, son in law, and I have decided I’m now competent enough to take my grandchildren to ice cream or the library.The next surgery will be decided once I again have a nerve conduction test and then see the doctors at the University. My options are a shoulder joint replacement (if the nerve graft worked) a bone fusion of the humorous to the socket, or doing nothing. Sounds like some decisions will have to be well thought out.Taking pictures is still not easy, even though I take them with my eyes as I drive back and forth from work. But I want to try again…and my sister in Texas really wants me to resume. It has become her habit to check her computer each morning to see what my brother and I are up to. Sometimes she is really a very smart lady. She knows having this task will be good for me too…good for my soul.I will try and get by and visit all those of you who left messages of encouragement…it meant a great deal to me. Thank you! Updated May 3rd, 2008 Hi, Not only am I learning to do things left handed, I am now practicing patience. I saw Dr. Warme at the University on Friday. He was thrilled with my EMG, called me a miracle child, etc. etc….but, the muscle is still weak and it is too soon to decide when we will do the next surgery. I have another EMG to do the end of June and I’ll see him on the 7th of July. Then we can talk August for the next surgery. He understands my desire to have this all behind me and to be ready for school next fall. However, he doesn’t want to do something that will cause the excellent progress so far to be negated. (August may be too soon…perhaps December.) Hence, practicing patience. For those of you who know me well, you understand this is not my long suit. I guess even at my age, (soon to be 60), it is never to late to learn. Once again, thank you for your thought and prayers. Updated after 7-9-08It is a very good thing I am a patient person. (no snickering allowed) I had my checkup today and there is no surgery in my immediate future. I return on November 21st and at that time they will discuss amongst themselves, and then confer with me on which option they will explore next. (Sometimes when I feel sorry for myself, I think they just pat me on the head and give me a whole bunch of “maybes”….then I get over it and move on) We now have 4 options, instead of the three from last time.1. do nothing2. fuse the arm to the shoulder socket3. Traditional shoulder joint replacement 4. Backwards shoulder join replacement (see link) http://www.orthop.washington.edu/uw/reverseshoulder/tabID__3351/ItemID__168/Articles/Default.aspx There is an opinion that the reason I have “horn blowers” syndrome…the arm falls when held up…is because the muscles are not attached in the front or the back. There is an opinion that despite what the EMG says, the nerve that serves the front of the deltoid is regenerating…just a lot slower. They are leaning toward option 4 because the good doctors are not sure the head of the humorous would take a piece of metal and not die. (option 3) Option 4 is one in which I could get more use of my arm, but would require babying it more (I’ll have to get a new purse…mine weighs over a pound)In the meantime…I’m really enjoying my garden, (Osiel almost has the garden house done…it is wonderful!) the quilt show and lavender fest are right around the corner, and the kids and I are planning my 60th birthday party for the 13th of September. (more information later)Thank you all for your continued good wishes. I am truly blessed to have such good friends and family.
April 3-2009 As of this minute, barring unforseen complications, I will be having a reverse shoulder replacement at the University of Washington on my right arm, May 26th. I’ll be in Seattle a week, then home for awhile for recovery. Shannon has graciously agreed to share her photography of Sequim with you during this time. I’ve been given instructions not to tell you she is a great photographer. Well, I think she is pretty darn good…and besides that, I couldn’t ask for a nicer neighbor. Thank you Shannon!