Tuesday, December 3, 2013

December 3, 2013

Back to the Orthopedic Surgeon
December 3, 2013

There has been very little time to work on the Christmas tree today, but I thought I would insert some photos of some of the ornaments over the next few days.  These first two are part of a set we got just last year from our son Jeff and his wife, Barbara.  They are beautiful and are "The Reason for the Season."  Without Jesus Christ, there would be no Christmas.  I was so saddened to see a sign in front of a church today inviting people to their XMAS pageant.  As we sometimes say around here: They missed it by "this much".  But in this case, they missed by a whole lot: they missed the whole reason for the pageant and the season.  I was in heavy traffic and on the way to a doctor's appointment or I would have stopped for a photo.  I am hoping by the time I pass there tomorrow, they will have changed the sign.

This morning I had an appointment with Dr. Olson for a follow-up visit on my elbow surgeries.  I thought this would be the last visit, but he wants to see me again in 3 months.  He measured the extension of the arm and the rotation of my hand.  The rotation had improved by 16 degrees and that was good.  The extension had very little change.  He did not have an x-ray taken this morning, but had a variety of questions.

One of Dr. Olson's questions had to do with my quilting.  I told him that I cannot  do hand quilting at this point.  I tried to hand quilt a small wall hanging last week and just could not hold the left hand in the position I needed to in order to accomplish my task.  I don't do a lot of hand quilting - I just don't have the time or hand strength (even before the accident), but I want to be able to do it.   He said that it may take two years before I am content with where I am in improvements.

There are two areas on my arm that are "swollen" and I asked about them.  One is near the elbow and one at the wrist.   He said there would be some improvement, but that the main lump near the elbow will always be there.  He says it is mostly internal scar tissue.

Three weeks ago I had seen Dr. Olson and within a couple of days after that visit, I saw significant improvements in the arm strength, rotation, and general reduction of pain.  Time is the greatest healer.  I know that a lot of this will just take time.  It is a little under 3 months now since the second surgery.  I do believe that I will continue to see improvements.  Each day is a little better.  I know it will get better, but I still left his office feeling discouraged.  I will manage.  I will adjust.  I will keep pushing.  But I wanted to come away encouraged.

It took a long time at the doctor's office this morning.  It was after 10:00 before I made it to the office.  I stated working on some filing and then Ron headed out on several jobs so I did some cleaning while he was out.  Then it was on to the never-ending paperwork.  I did posting, paid a couple of bills, mailed a couple of notes, updated the checkbook in the computer and things like that.

When Ron got back he had a couple of safes to work on and made excellent progress on one.  The other I think he just started.  We chatted some about Christmas shopping: ideas, times to do it, what to get, etc.  All of these are things that are usually up to me to handle. 

I had a call from the thyroid doctor in Harlingen that I am to see this Thursday, for my yearly check-up.  I have to have various tests run before I see her and I had them done on the 21st.  They said they don't have any of the reports yet.  So I will check with them tomorrow and see if they found them.  The blood lab is across the hall from her office!  Walk across the hall and check!  Oh, my!  The sonogram is done in San Benito, so I can understand them maybe being missing that report.  I may have to go pick it up.  I think I had to do that one year.  I really like this doctor, but I have often felt that it is the receptionist you normally deal with the most.  You have to be able to get things done at that level.  The man in the lab is excellent at taking blood and I have not had a problem with him not getting the reports to the doctor in the past.

As I was heading out the door to come home at the end of the day, my mom arrived.  She was there to see how my back was doing - fine today - and to invite me to supper.  I had just turned down Ron's invitation to go with him to his mom's because my stomach was upset, so I turned her down, too.  I said I was heading home.  On the way home I decided I really had to go to the store for a few staples so I stopped and got what I had to have.  I came home and ate (shouldn't have) and have accomplished little else. 

My arm is sore this evening.  The wrist and the elbow ache.  I sometimes feel as if I am whining when I write these things in the blog, but I really want to be honest in sharing how things are going.  I could tell you that all is well and I feel great, but then if you ever have a friend with similar problems, you would wonder why they were having problems since I always said things were great.  At the doctor's office today, the x-ray technician asked what my pain level was on a scale of 1-10.  I told him a "one".  Right now a "two" would be closer.  Compared to where I have been, I am doing well, but there are still problems. 

The hearing went well today. (I just re-read that and it sounds like I went to court for a legal hearing.  Ha, ha.  No, I am talking about my ability to hear.)  A couple of times I went out into the showroom to ask Ron what a particular noise was.  Once he was tapping his foot.  The other was the click on the safe door he was repairing, as it would shut.  I could hear both in my office.  As I have said before, I don't know why it varies from day to day, but today was a good hearing day.  Well, except for the x-ray tech at the doctor's office.  He talks very fast, mumbles, and doesn't open his mouth when he talks.  I really have trouble hearing him.  He also words questions strangely so that it is hard for me to guess what he said.

Just a few words about the other ornaments in the photos.  The gingerbread man was made for us by my sister Debbie about 35-40 years ago.  The next four hand painted ornaments are ones I did over 40 years ago.  The following two (the butterfly and the angel) were gifts from our son Bob and his wife Vickey.  The one that says "JOY" was a gift from our church choir.  The last few years they have given out ornaments to all of those who attended the Christmas musical at the church.  The last  one Ron bought on his trip to Israel 20 years ago.  My parents gave him the trip as a gift for his 50th birthday.  Almost all the ornaments on our tree have special meanings to us and hold precious memories.


  1. You are indeed doing good with your elbow tho I know it is excruciatingly slow, it seems to you!! You got prime results from the second surgery but it will take up to a year for the strength to return to anywhere near a normal level. When you overstress the arm, wrist, elbow, etc, you will have the aching probably for some time. It is not really healed at this point & is one of the slowest healing areas in my experiences. Just keep doing your maintenance exercises & treating it gently, it will improve. Your "determined" attitude will carry you a long way but I will add patience for the long haul to my prayer list for you!!! Hands together!! I love the Christmas ornaments & the stories behind them. They add so much to the tree when you know each has a story to tell!! Hugs!!

    1. Yes, you are so right about my need for patience. I have to look at the calendar once in a while to remind myself how short the time has been since the second surgery, because my mind goes to the original break. It is over 6 months since the break, but less than 3 months since the second surgery. Love you. Thanks for encouraging all the time.

  2. After 19 years in storage, I am going to use our collection of ornaments, gathered
    over time and around the world. Will be interesting to see what's there.

    1. YEA!!! I have missed those! Glad you are ready to get them back out. Lots of happy memories!