Tuesday, January 03, 2017

Upcoming Shoulder Surgery

I do hope you had a wonderful holiday season. We had grandchildren arrive and stay for several days, plus a grandchild with her twin daughters come and stay a few days. It was a glorious week of family celebration!

Meanwhile, our tree is down and holiday decorations have moved back to the cellar for another year. All in preparation for an upcoming surgery. For many years I have had severe shoulder and arm pain. We now know it is caused by a condition known as AVN:

"Avascular necrosis (AVN) (also known as osteonecrosis, bone necrosis, bone infarction, aseptic necrosis, and ischemic necrosis) is a condition in which the bone "dies" as a result of a loss of circulation to an area of bone tissue."

The head of the humerous (shoulder ball of ball joint) has collapsed (probably due to an unknown injury at some time during my life). Thus I cannot move the arm easily or without muscle pain. This condition is why I have been unable to continue my art quilting - and I dearly LOVE to draw with my sewing machine. However, my shoulder joint is simply unable to support the movements required in smooth machine quilting.

The repair of my shoulder involves a "reverse shoulder replacement" - meaning they will be putting the ball of the joint where the cup now is, and the cup where the humeral head has collapsed. At least that is how I understand it... A 3D printed image of my diseased joint is being created so the doctor makes the perfect sized parts to replace the problem parts. Such new ideas in medicine continue to amaze me!

And so it is that I have turned to painting birds in acrylics and portraits and animals in watercolor. I am right handed and the problem shoulder is my left - thus using my right hand for painting is unaffected (unless you count arthritis!). As I age, like all others, I have made adaptions for the limitations that my body puts upon me by the aging process and/or diseases. I am delighted to return to painting, and actually have sold more paintings than art quilts over the years, so I will see the positive in all of this and move on with life.

Surgery is scheduled for Friday, January 13th, which I consider to be a good luck day. Meanwhile, I'll be getting things ready to make it easier for Frank to manage the household tasks and our dog without my help for at least several weeks. We've been generously loaned a wonderful electric chair that will offer me a comfortable place to sleep while I'm still wearing a sling (3 weeks minimum). They even delivered it to our home today, with the help of my honey and our son-in-law, Steve. So far, I find the chair a perfect fit - the woman who used it before me is about my same height - we are short gals and require chairs that don't leave us with our legs protruding straight out from the chair!!!

More as life continues...


Rachel said...

Wishing you all the best success on the 13th and a speedy recovery.

Pat Gangl Dolan said...

Thanks, Rachel. It's been a long time coming... I'm actually looking forward to the surgery. It's now hard for me to reach the hot water faucet, the left turn signal, and to cut my food, so I've finally agreed to it. Thanks for your good wishes!