Update on The Lavenderlady

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!

17 thoughts on “Update on The Lavenderlady”

  1. And I thought I had shoulder problems! You win the trophy. The best of luck to you in your recovery. Remember that doing what you love only helps you heal better, and on many levels. Take good care.And I’ll say a few prayers for you, if that’s ok.

  2. My husband and I live in California. We bought a lot on Lotzgesell last September and discovered your website just before you broke your arm. We quickly got hooked on seeing “our” town daily and were so very sorry when you had to stop posting. My husband checked back regularly and gleefully told me when you were posting again. The pictures are our daily fix until we can call Sequim home and we’re glad you’re able to make the shutter work again. Like Leonda, we don’t care if you even take a picture upside down.

    Good luck on Friday! I trust you’re in good hands. We both send good thoughts for positive healing and good outcomes.

  3. yahoo….welcome back Norma. You have been missed. I had no idea the whole shoulder thing was so extensive and complicated. Praying the tests go well and that your recovery will be complete.
    Looking forward to many more great pictures from Sequim.

  4. Reading your blog and seeing that metal plate, I have much to be grateful for… I fell in a restaurant two weeks ago and have a fine hairline fracture in my upper right humorous just below the ball.

    I am really interested in knowing about your camera. I will be buying something in the next couple of weeks. Please fill me in on the particulars, if you are up to it.

    I was in Port Angeles and Sequim two years ago and missed the lavender festival by one week. Had a wonderful time and took about 300+ photos which I set to music and burned to a DVD.

    Good luck on your recovery,


  5. Hi Norma,
    Just wondering how the arm is progressing. Much improved, I hope. Your pictures are grand!!!!

  6. Hi Norma,
    I’ve been loving your pictures and the aerial shots are great!

    How’s the shoulder doing? Very well, I hope!

  7. Hello Norma, Somehow I missed all of these medical issues, but I’m happy to say that I’m now caught up with your medical news. Did this all result from your fall in Mexico last winter? The ordeal must be unpleasant, but your spirits seem to be intact. I am so very sorry that you have had to endure all of this and hope that all of this becomes a bad memory of the past. It has been a long haul for you and my thoughts and energy are with you, especially for the immediate future. Best wishes for a full recovery…soon! Kate

  8. Thank you so much for the update. I was wondering how you were doing too. This has realy turned into a saga for you. I pray that you continue to heal and the next consultation will be realy good news.

  9. Hi Norma,
    Thanks for the update. Lots of luck to you. I know you’ll be fine, even if it takes some time. The arm-dropping thing happens with rotator cuff injuries, too. It’s very weird, to say the least. But, things can and do heal. Take good care. Sharon

  10. Hi Norma,

    Just read your update and totally commiserate. I’ve had two total knee replacements-last one three years ago, and I feel for anyone who has to go through with those decisions and the surgery. Our age group has access to wonderful medical care (fifty years ago we’d just have had to live with the pain and debilitation), but it is still momentous and incredibly life altering.

    Hope your treatment helps further and that you continue to adapt and heal.



  11. Hi Norma,

    Just wanted to say how much I enjoy your pictures. My husband has been telling me for a few years that we should retire to Sequim. I think he could be right.

    How is your arm doing? Progress, healing, more surgery? You left us with a cliffhanger!

    Best wishes, Sharon

  12. Sorry to hear you’re going to have more surgery. Here’s to an easy time of it with a rapid recovery. I hope Shannon will be able to provide some occasional updates on your progress.

    Thank you for bringing in such an able “substitute.”

    All the best,

  13. Hello:
    I’m Joan Sandford, a designer/artist from Port Townsend WA and just checked out Hornblower’s Syndrome on the web and came up with your blog. I too have this syndrome (I think in connection to Rotator Cuff problems I have since surgery for a benign head/neck tumor excision a few years ago). My design work [In the past I licensed my watercolor artwork and designs to tabletop, giftware, home accessory, stationery, etc. manufacturers and publishers) has suffered,since I cannot hold my hand higher than my waist. I am about to start research of nerve replacement and shoulder surgery (my right scapula ‘float’s and I have major muscle paralysis since the nerves are damaged) with the Univ. of Washington and Harborview Medical Trauma specialists. I would love to talk with you about what worked and what did not work for your shoulder injury.
    Thank you. Joan Sandford

  14. A recommendation for recovery, Neprinol AFD. I broke three bones in my ankle and dislocated the joint in May 2009 and after having the fourth surgery to remove 11 pins and 2 plates in Januayr 2010, I recently found this product and within a week of using it my range of motion is so much better as well as some of the soft tissue & bone pain has subsided dramatically. I hope your recovery is successful and great artwork! Enjoy your life. D

  15. I am anxious for another update in 2014 to know how you have progressed. I vividly recall your blog and grandkids. Hope your arm has been restored to good health. Please let us all know how you are doing!

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