Friday, March 14, 2008

May I have this dance?

Here, in case you haven't been paying close attention, is a quick recap of Ellie's recent medical history (Ellie is my wife of, lo, these nearly forty-five years):

2006 -- Excruciating pain in Ellie's left shoulder. Dr. D., orthopaedic surgeon extraordinaire, checks the X-rays and prescribes a month of physical therapy. Therapy doesn't help. Dr. D. sends Ellie for an MRI. Turns out she has a torn rotator cuff in her left shoulder. In October, Dr. D. performs surgery to repair the torn rotator cuff. More physical therapy follows.

2007 -- Physical therapy continues. Ellie experiences excruciating pain in both knees. X-rays reveal she is walking bone-on-bone, no cartilage, no meniscus. Dr. D. injects several rounds of Euflexxa, a synthetic version of the Synvisc injections Ellie received three or four years ago, into both of Ellie's knees as a temporary measure until he can schedule knee-replacement surgery.

2008 -- In January, Dr. D. performs surgery to replace Ellie's right knee. Somehow, while pulling up on the side rails in a hospital bed in January, Ellie injures her right shoulder. After a month of physical therapy on Ellie's right knee, Dr. D. schedules knee-replacement surgery on Ellie's left knee for the end of March. He also sends her for another MRI to see what's going on with her right shoulder. Yesterday, after examining the MRI results, Dr. D. informed Ellie that her right shoulder also has a torn rotator cuff.

So now, having had one major surgery this year already, Ellie is facing another major surgery at the end of March and a third one later in the year. Plus lots more physical therapy. And even though she likes Cindy, her physical therapist, very much, Ellie is not a happy camper right now.

Ellie's recovery has been remarkable to date and even ahead of schedule. She knows she will get through the rest of this with the prayers of friends and family. Her right knee and left shoulder are now excellent. We are looking forward to the day when her left knee and right shoulder are equally excellent. Ellie says she will dance a jig for everybody then. I'm going to be first in line.

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