Monday, July 23, 2012


Welcome to California to Vangie, Elaine, and Joanne. Elaine and Fred are so happy that you are in town for a visit! 

Fred and Elaine had a very enlightening day. Elaine had an MRI on her left arm to try to ascertain if there is a good explanation of why she is experiencing so much darn pain. Well, we got some answers and we also got some more questions.

The bottom line is that Elaine is suffering from two ailments. The first is easy to understand. She has a torn rotator cuff (see below). As of now, it appears that through rest and the right therapy that Elaine can avoid surgery.

Elaine's other condition is called Frozen Shoulder. We had never heard of it, but apparently it is somewhat common following a stroke. The text below provides a reasonable explanation. The first step in treating it is have cortisone injected directly into the shoulder to loosen things up. We have learned that this is in no way a permanent condition, but just another thing Elaine will work through on her road to recovery.

Frozen shoulder
The commonest pain following stroke is “frozen shoulder”. This is a pain which is felt in the shoulder when the joint is moved, and sometimes even when lying on it. It is due to inability to move the joint freely by voluntary means, so that the tissues gum up and the joint becomes “frozen”.

This is not news to anyone who reads this blog, but today Elaine once again proved just how tough she is. How many of us could have gone through rigorous therapy with a torn rotator cuff and a shoulder that is frozen solid - and gone through  it without complaint just trying to get better. Elaine is so remarkable and we cannot help but admire her willpower and determination. We mentioned in an earlier post that "The only easy day was yesterday!" That mantra still rings true. Every day is full of pain and small steps forward for Elaine. A lot of us wouldn't have had the fortitude to fight through the past several months. Progress never comes as fast as we would like it to, but Elaine's effort has forced progress over time. We are so proud of her. She is a hero to us and to our kids and to everyone who knows her.

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