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Welcome to Paul and Tracy's main blog. Here you can keep track of what we've been up to, and join us on our adventures.

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Sunday, December 14, 2008


Another week, another operation...

A couple of weeks ago I reported on Tracy's progress since she had the operation to increase the movement in her right arm. At that point she had regained movement of approx 50 - 100 degrees (measured from a straight arm being 0 degrees). That was a big improvment on the relatively fixed 70 degree position she had before, but despite her best efforts she was finding it increasingly hard to get any more movement back. Then on Wednesday, whilst I was at work, she got a call from the consultant, Mr Muir. He'd had another patient who'd had a similar operation and struggled post-op due to scarring, so he'd performed a procedure involving manipulating the joint under general anaesthetic and had good results. He wanted to know if Tracy would like the same - with a slot available on Friday 19th...

So she rang me to discuss, and naturally I was encouraging her to go ahead - "Anything that improves the movement has to be worth the effort", I said. But it's easy for me to say, I'm not the one who has to go through it, and with Tracy's history of sickness following general anaesthetics, she wasn't keen. But she decided she would give it a try.

And then on Thursday, she got another call. Would she like(!) to have the operation "tomorrow". With less time to worry about it, and with the prospect of an extra week to recover before Christmas, it seemed like a much better option. And so we got up on Friday and headed off early to the hospital. On arrival we met Mr Muir (the consultant) again, and he measured the movement in her arm as 70 degrees to 102 degrees - she'd already lost some of the straightening movement, but gained a little on flexion. Within a couple of hours of arriving she was in theatre, and I was once again pacing an empty hospital room waiting for her return (and reading my Motorcycle News, so it wasn't all bad!). She was back with me a couple of hours later, looking really well and being much more alert than she was the last time. It took a little while before she was ready to have something to eat, though, and with the hospital not prepared to discharge her until she had "eaten, drank and passed water", we had to wait a while longer before we could escape. Mr Muir popped by with encouraging news of what he'd managed to do whilst she was under the anaesthetic - without cutting her open, he'd got from 50 degrees to 130 degrees - which was a significant step forward. Now it was up to her to try and keep as much of that movement as possible, through hard work with the splints and physio...

Encouraged, we headed for home, with a sick-bowl nicked from the hospital just in case (and it was needed, she really doesn't do anaesthetics very well!). The rest of Friday was spent with Tracy feeling a bit groggy, but Saturday and Sunday have seen her moving her arm more, and asking me to help put the splints on to ensure they are really pushing the joints as much as possible. Now she's even feeding herself with her right hand - something that just last week seemed a long way off...

So, it's been another week and another operation... here's hoping it's the last for a very, very long time!

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