It’s been a while since I’ve written an update about CapableDad’s shoulder surgery and what life has been like around here with our wonderful one-armed leader. We are so thankful for everyone who has asked about us since CD’s surgery.

It’s been seven weeks now since surgery day, and I think we finally feel like he has turned a corner. CD is now at a more manageable pain level on a daily basis. He hovers around 3 to 5 on a scale of 10. Even a week ago, his pain level was usually around 5 or 6 most of the time.

His range of motion has improved significantly. I’ve been surprised a few times the past week to walk in the room and see him holding his right arm straight up in the air without assistance from the other arm. This is a major accomplishment and so great to see!

His strength in the right shoulder and bicep is still at zero. All of his muscles in and around the top part of his right arm are basically gone. The doctor doesn’t want him to start strengthening his bicep or shoulder muscles at all until week 12. He can’t even lift a cup to drink with his right arm at this point.

I have learned a lot about the difference between being able to move your arm and strengthening your arm. Right now, he needs to work on improving his movement without compromising the area where the muscle is reattaching itself to the bone by putting pressure on it through any type of lifting.

He also has developed a secondary condition called Bursitis, which about one in 50 people get after a surgery like this. It’s an inflammation in his elbow caused by all of the excess fluid in that arm. His elbow has a big swollen bump on it that gets worse with physical therapy.

CD still goes to Torture Therapy three times a week for about two hours each session. His therapist is great and really nice, despite the fact she pulls and tugs on his arm to the point of tears a lot of days. 🙂 Thankfully, these sessions don’t completely knock him out like they did in the beginning. He still needs to come home and hook up the ice machine afterward, but they don’t require quite the level of pain medication as before.

It’s been five months since the original injury and since CapableDad has been able to use his right arm. The rest of us have gotten used to this “new normal,” and we all get excited by small things like seeing him spread butter with his right hand.

The boys have gotten into a good routine of carrying all of the garbage out to the curb, and they are learning to mow the lawn. The biggest improvement is that CD can drive now, so he can help drop off kids at various places and run to the store for a gallon of milk. A full grocery run requires him to take along a child helper to push the cart and get everything into the car. But he has tried that a few times!

I am learning to just be OK with the fact that some things aren’t going to get done around here if they require any type of lifting or strength. I’m learning to say “yes” when anyone asks to help in any way. It’s very humbling, and I definitely prefer to be on the other end of things.

Our church asked us if they could come over and help us do some spring projects in our yard. At first, we were both against the idea because we felt like other people needed help more than we do.

Our yard is pretty ridiculous because we inherited a lot of landscaping, trees and bushes from the previous owner. To be honest, there are just too many other things that need to be done for me to really devote the time that would be needed to take care of the outdoor stuff. I also realized that part of the reason I was worried about having people help us was because of pride.

So, I’m learning to be grateful and not worry about whether I think I “deserve” to be helped. We know that sometimes the “helpers” can be blessed as much as those being served, and we are so thankful for people who are willing to come along side us and just make things a little easier.

We all have our moments when we wish CapableDad could throw a baseball with his boys or pick up the toddler to give her a big hug. It’s hard to see him in constant pain for such a long period of time. But we are thankful for each new day and the progress that he makes. And we are even more thankful to know there is an end in sight. It makes me sympathize so much with people who have a condition that might not ever get better.

Some of the other things that are happening around here:

  • Friday was our last day of enrichment classes for the kids. They have learned so much this year at our Friday co-op! You can check out some photos of what they’ve been doing here.
  • We’re sticking to our May 1 deadline to figure out our plan for the fall. I’m actually excited that the deadline is right around the corner! I’m looking forward to a worry-free summer!
  • We will be finishing up our school year May 14, which is the last day of our academic classes. The kids will have final exams on that day, and they are working hard to finish up several projects due on May 7.
  • Baseball season is in full swing! We are looking forward to some warmer weather so we don’t have to freeze our buns off during the games! We know that is coming soon.

Thanks so much for checking in! We appreciate it!

aug2011emily

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