A Jo Breakthrough! 11-12-20

I had given Jo a huge shopping bag of toys which she completely ignored for over 24 hours. Last evening when I went out to check on her, she heard the door slam and I watched through the window as she left the kennel to hide under the shelves in back. When I got to the building she had the toys strewn from one end to the other! It made me so happy! She knows what toys are! When I checked on her this morning all the toys have been played with again and she even moved a couple of them to her bed. I think she is relaxing even tho’ she won’t engage with me yet. I need to be still.

Here’s a great red and white quilt and runner called Christmas morning. If I were to make this today, I would use a variety of reds and lights like I did with Picnic, the quilt on the longarm also shown here.

This pattern which is called Picnic will be available soon.

Today I will practice with Margaret at church, pick up Ivy and play catch-up around here. It’s a sunny day but cold – I doubt the chickens will want to go out. Just wondering if any of you who have had carpal tunnel surgery could tell me about the length of recovery time – I think I need to do this in January but need some advice. I’m just so tired of my fingers being numb all the time.

COVID numbers continue to spike in our state. Both Rick and I got our flu shots and will stay home except for church where I’m socially distanced anyway.

Be still.

56 thoughts on “A Jo Breakthrough! 11-12-20

  1. Gloria B.

    Very excited for you and Jo. She’s growing into companionship. First with the toys and associating you with them. Be still and let God touch you both. Love both the red and white quilts.

  2. Trudy W Locke

    I was so afraid to have mine done! Piece of cake. I was fully recoverd in about 4-5 weeks.

    1. CountryThreads Post author

      Trudy – oh dear, I don’t have 4-5 weeks to be without my right hand!!!

  3. Kim J LeMere

    So glad that Jo knows how to play with toys. She is lucky to be a part of your family. Stay still is good advice with Iowa numbers still climbing.

  4. Carrolyn v

    So happy about your puppy. And the red and whites are beautiful. I’ve never really cared for those two color only quilts but those are changing my mind! Lovely.

    I’ve had carpal tunnel surgery three times. I was to have it on both hands a couple of weeks apart about twenty years ago. But after surgery on my worst hand, the pain in the second dissipated. Hurray. About ten years ago I finally had it done on the second hand but it was lapriscopic? And not as successful so had it repeated. It is an over the night improvement! You just have to be careful to let the incision heal and not lift with the affected hand for about two weeks! Life improving surgery! Good luck!

    1. CountryThreads Post author

      Carrolyn V – how are your darling grandkids? Thanks for your carpal tunnel comments!

  5. Lin

    Before you resort to carpal tunnel surgery, try wearing a wrist brace that keeps your wrist in “neutral” position. I was having numbness in my hands and pain up my arm severe enough to keep me awake. I bought a brace with a metal splice inside it and it really helped. I wear it at night and no longer have that pain. I have a lighter weight one that I use during the day when the numbness starts. So far I’ve been able to delay surgery for 5 years.

    1. CountryThreads Post author

      Lin – I’ve already been wearing the wrist braces on both hands for over 5 years and my fingers still go numb in the night. Typing on the iPad and computer make them go numb almost immediately.

      1. Betty Klosterman

        Mary, you say your fingers go numb almost immediately when typing. Try changing your position — raising your chair a bit or turning your body a bit, just little things that move the way your hands are on the keyboard. Especially raising your arms. People don’t realize their arms and hands are not at the correct position (posture) for using a keyboard. Their hands are bent up from the arm and that is not a good position. It might help?? At least worth a try.

  6. Barbara Vest

    Your doing so good with Jo Connie, patience and kindness is all she needs now…and toys!!! So heartwarming to see your progress.
    I love the Christmas morning quilt! It truly is very Christmasy!! I will be looking for the picnic pattern.

    Barbara Vest
    Auburn CA

  7. Carole S.

    You’ve already made so much progress with Jo. Remember when you said she wouldn’t even make eye contact? She looks so sweet now, and much more relaxed. I wish I lived closer and could adopt her.

    I love the red quilts!

  8. Sue

    Sweet Jo is so blessed to have you for a foster mama. I love hearing the progress. Your picnic quilt is so beautiful. Makes me want to make a red and white quilt. What state do you live in that you are having an ice storm?

    1. CountryThreads Post author

      Sue – we live in North Central Iowa, just 25 miles from the Minnesota border.

  9. Sheila in WI

    Thanks for sharing the good news about Jo. Another huge step in the right direction. Keep up the loving and kindness like you do so very well.
    Love the red and white quilts… so festive looking!

  10. Sandy in Indiana

    Hi Mary,

    Sweet Jo….so glad she is doing better 🙂

    BTW, I wanted to let you know that I absolutely LOVE your window cleaner recipe! It is amazing! WOW what a difference & so much easier….My windows have never looked so clean & shiny 🙂

    Take care Sandy

    1. CountryThreads Post author

      Sandy in Indiana – it really IS the best window solution – I should use some myself!

  11. Ellie

    So happy Jo is making progress! I had carpal tunnel surgery about a month ago on my left hand. It was a piece of cake! The scar is less than 3/4 “ long and only mildly sensitive. My left hand is weak if I try to lift something heavy but that was also true prior to surgery. I had my right had done 30 years ago and the difference between the two is like night and day! I’d say go for it! I’m sure you will feel as you did about your knee. “Why did I wait so long? “

  12. Roxanne

    That is heartwarming news about Jo–each step means so much!

    I finally had carpal tunnel surgery early last year and it has been life changing. Right after the surgery I could use it, but there were weight limitations for a few weeks to let the incision heal. I think I was cooking and doing dishes (with gloves) and typing within a few days. The day I came home from having the stitches out I worked in my garden for hours and it was such bliss not to have pain and numbness. I wish I had not waited so many years. Are you worried about playing in church during the holidays? Doing it in January is right around the corner. Your doctor’s office should be able to answer specific questions for you.

  13. Deb Harrison

    First of all, yay for toys. She is going to get to you, Mary!
    Second, I can’t wait to order picnic!
    Third, Honor needs to have carpel tunnel surgeries on both wrists. She has been told that she could be one who returns to her computer or it may be a few days or she may be one who needs full two weeks. She works with clients who are partially mobile so there is a weight issue for her. Our friend in Texas, this spring, had both wrists done same day surgery and he was grilling supper that night. He is 60. I would bet that as hard as you work at chores, you should take it easy.

  14. Carla

    I have a cautionary tale. I went to a specialist about the numbness in my hands and arms. He assured me that I needed surgery. I was reluctant so I never followed through. I happened to mention the situation to my chiropractor who I was seeing for a pelvis issue. She asked questions and was shocked to hear that the doctor had recommended surgery without even doing any nerve function testing. She recommended red light laser treatment and focused on getting rid of knotted muscles in my forearms which did help. Fast forward to after this chiropractor retired. I see a lovely new chiropractor who discovered that the numbness has NOTHING to do with my wrist, rather it stems from a pinched nerve in my neck! Issue resolved unless I aggrevate that nerve. What if I hadn’t been inherently afraid of surgery? What if my original doctor hadn’t suggested an alternative? Most importantly, what if my current doctor hadn’t found the actual problem? I thank God she did. The takeaway…. be 100% sure of the, hopefully, thorough testing you’ve had done. Other issues can cause the numbness. I know I’m just a random person, but I’ve told my story to different friends over the years and I am not an isolated case.

    1. CountryThreads Post author

      Carla – thanks so much for your comment. I did have the testing done by a neurologist and I do see a chiropractor but I think I’ll make an appointment to have him check my neck.

  15. Angie from Baltimore

    May seem little steps to some but HUGE steps for Jo and you recognize them.
    I foresee one day she won’t hide.

  16. Susan Boyd in VA

    So happy to hear about the progress with Jo! Hopefully, she’ll warm up to you soon! Thanks for keeping us informed. I look all the time for your updates!

  17. Linda

    Jo is so precious, I’m happy you have her and love her. She is making baby steps, I wish I could see her when she is alone, she must feel pretty secure to play with her toys. How anyone could abuse that baby is beyond me and I’m sure whoever it was will pay dearly when he/she meets our maker!!

    I am making baby steps with a Canadian goose who apparently broke her left wing. I call her lonely goose but I should give her a better name. She comes swimming rapidly across the pond when I call her or even now when she sees my car. She is coming as close to me as a couple of feet away when I feed her. We are going to build her a shelter inside a fenced area where I can hopefully secure her from predators when the pond freezes over, I’ll just have to make sure she has water to drink.

    Keep up the good work with Jo, she’s loving her new home even though she’s not saying! And good luck with your carpal tunnel, I have had both wrists done and it’s well worth it.

    1. CountryThreads Post author

      Linda – I love your experience with the goose! Can she fly? Or will she willingly stay in the enclosure? Is there anyplace close so you could plug in a heated bucket?

  18. Cheryl in St. Paul

    Social distancing is great when you are a church musician. We’ve ben doing it before it was cool. Last time I was on the bench, my mask kept riding up over my eye, so I became the Pirate Pianist!

    1. Janice Hebert

      Chery in St. Paul, I LAUGHED OUT LOUD when I read your comment about being the Pirate Pianist! I hate the way some masks ride up when I’m talking. Too funny! Jan in MA

    2. CountryThreads Post author

      Cheryl in St. Paul – I have to take my mask off when I play – my glasses fog up so bad I can’t see but nobody is close to me at all!

  19. Debbie A

    I love hearing about Jo’s progress. I think she will be a keeper.
    I had carpel tunnel surgery 10 years ago on both wrists about 6 weeks apart. It was the best thing I could have done. I put it off for years. The worst part of the whole process was the nerve test.

    1. CountryThreads Post author

      Debbie A – i am thrilled to hear you say you thought the nerve testing was bad because I did, too. Painful and my whole body would tense up waiting for the next shock that would make my whole body jump!

  20. Linda from MN

    Mary, if there is anyone on this planet that will make Jo feel comfortable and loved again, it is you! Keep up the great work! So glad to see the progress you are making.

  21. Jo in Wyoming

    I’m so happy to hear about Jo! Because she has room in her heart for love, I think you will be next. Just a little more time.

    Many, many years ago I was in, yet another, head on car accident. My right arm was broken and I had to live without it for 6 weeks. One of the hardest tasks was brush my teeth. If you don’t have an electric toothbrush….get one! Christmas is coming and they make great presents.
    A hand specialist in our area makes a zigzag incision for carpal tunnel. I’m told it is a much easier recovery. 4-5 weeks sounds like an eternity.

    Rub her ears for me

  22. Vicki

    Love the red and white quilts. That’s on my bucket list of things to make. Sounds like Jo is slowly coming around.

    I came close to having carpal tunnel surgery until I was talking to another doctor I knew. Turns out I had hypothyroidism which caused or contributed to the carpal tunnel. After going on meds for that, carpal tunnel resolved. I guess I lucked out and didn’t need surgery.

  23. Nikki M in Tx

    Carpal tunnel surgery recovery has multiple variables on recovery time. Depending on surgical technique used, extent of scaring around nerve, & nerve damage. If I were to have surgery think I would wait until after holidays just because I know what I need to do between now & first of year. You should have no numbness once localized edema is gone, & full function within 7-10 days. Like any invasive proceedure common sense durning recovery should be used , keep wound ( generally small) clean & dry. For first 24 hours keep elevated above heart to minimize swelling..if a bloke is used be extra carful as you will have no control of arm until block wears off ( people have broken their on noses ). Take pain ( usually minimal) medication as directed.

    1. CountryThreads Post author

      Nikki M – thank you so much! I forget I have a surgical nurse in my back pocket! Smile!!!

  24. DB

    I decided not to have the surgery, I received treatments from the Chiropractor instead. Very very happy with the results!!

  25. Janice Hebert

    Such good news about Jo! Isn’t that adorable? But sad too, playing all by herself. Hopefully, she will be bringing you toys soon to play with her. Those red and white quilts are beautiful, definitely will be ordering those. I have some beautiful Christmas fabrics and can’t wait to use them. Reading about the spikes in the virus all across the country is depressing. But the death rate seems to be staying the same. I’m hopeful that this means that we are learning how to treat it better. I really hope Jo will come around soon – it’s so uplifting to see how a lot of love and patience helps these poor abused dogs. God bless you Mary and all of the other people who take in these rescued animals! Jan in MA

  26. Kimberly Lusin

    Wonderful news about Jo! So exciting! Love your red and white quilts, especially the one on the long arm. It’s in the forties here in Indiana but very sunny. Have a super day and thank you for your blog. I look forward to it!

  27. Jessica in Florida

    I e been on pins and needles waiting for a Jo update. The wait was definitely worth it!!! I’m so very excited to have read that she played with her toys. Fingers crossed that Ivy will help her open up to you. Being still is so very hard when all you want to do is show love.

  28. Teresa

    Mary, I’m in the camp of give chiropractic a chance before you do the surgery.

    Not related but, I was having issues with vertigo and my doctor said nothing could be done, learn to live with it and hope it gets better. Seriously. Out of sheer desperation I call my chiropractor and ask if they’d see me and could anything be done? Turns out it had nothing to do with my inner ear, I had an issue in my neck. I walked out still feeling a little odd but my balance was 100%. I spent four weeks jacking around with my GP and never did he even suggest I see a PT, doctors will never recommend chiropractic care, but my chiro said a PT would have determined my vertigo wasn’t inner ear related.

    1. CountryThreads Post author

      Teresa – yes, I’ve been to my chiropractor and also had acupuncture on it. Still numb and yes, it aches all the way to my shoulder. I can hardly lay on that shoulder in bed.

  29. Judi Leventhal

    Mary, we are the same age and I had my first carpal tunnel surgery(left hand) when I was 40. Mine was done the old fashioned way (cutting) even though performing laparoscopically had just started. I don’t remember very much pain involved and there was no physical therapy. Not being one to totally follow orders, I was probably doing more than I should sooner. I also should have had the surgery sooner than I did but I am left handed and was very concerned with the outcome. Not only were my fingers and hand numb but the pain went all the way to my shoulder (like I guess you would feel with a heart attack). Two years later I had surgery on my right hand which wasn’t as bad. Same procedure (not laparoscopically). Same outcome. Have not had any issues since. On another note, so so so happy about Jo. I hope to continues to adjust and will son be in your lap!

  30. Charlotte Shira

    I love reading about Jo’s breakthroughs! So exciting!
    Love the red quilts too!
    Be Still.

  31. Margie from zOhio

    Hi, I had carpal tunnel surgery on both wrists this past June. Like you, I wore a splint, but after 2 years, it no longer helped. I had an EMG test and it showed both wrists were affected with my left being worse than the right. I am right handed. For about a week you won’t do much with that hand. But after that if you are careful and there is a weight restriction, you can do a lot. My ortho doc,’s specialty is hands. He put the incision right where my hand meets my wrist so you hardly see it. I will truthfully say my left can be troublesome as far as doing a few things,but am very glad I had it done. No more tingling and numbness. Take care. Glad Jo is doing better. Your patience will be rewarded.

  32. Sharon Lowy

    Prayers for you and Jo. I hope you will keep her. I know she is going to learn to love and trust you.

  33. Christina

    So happy to hear about Jo and the toys ! You put a big smile on my face this morning 🙂

  34. Margaret

    Carpal tunnel is a piece of cake. I was without the use of my dominant hand for 10 days and then started PT. It was so nice to not have the numbing and tingling during the night and when I wake up. I would do it again tomorrow.

  35. Marcia

    Carpal tunnel surgery-
    Had my right one done 30 plus years ago. It was a relief and very successful.
    Had my left one done this past August. No problems but did take therapy.
    I recommend to get it done before permanent damage.
    I had right trigger thumb done in August so had both hands stitched and wrapped at same time. Both surgeries took less than half hour.

  36. Elizabeth

    My husband had carpal tunnel surgery last December. His hand and wrist were bandaged up after surgery. He was to leave the bandage and wrappings on for 2 days only. At that time he was to remove all dressings and wash with soap and water several times a day and keep his hand away from any dirty jobs. He was allowed to use his hand for anything he felt up to (except dirty activities) with a 5 pound weight limit. After 1 month his weight limit went up to 10 pounds for the next 2 months. There was never any PT, because he never had to quit using his hand. He has been very pleased with the results!

  37. Diane and Squeak

    I am happy Jo is playing with toys. She’ll be in your lap in no time, Mary. Only suggestion I have for surgery is have a Dr. who does many and it is his/her specialty. Love all of your red and white quilts. Stay warm😃

  38. Jan Smith

    Carpal tunnel surgery is a breeze these days. It is the open release method of endoscopic surgery. No recovery, and no scarring. I never even needed any pain meds. After two weeks of simple therapy, and then had my other hand done. Same story. Put up with it for years, but am glad I did because of the simplicity of the surgery. It’s a tiny incision in the wrist and the ligament is severed. I had to have a neurologist perform a test to see if surgery was necessary – for insurance purposes. It was very simple, and non invasive.

    1. CountryThreads Post author

      Jan Smith – I had the nerve testing already – yes, surgery is necesszry

  39. Susy Boyer

    I’m so happy to hear about Jo enjoying her toys. Yes, that’s a great sign.

    My husband who is a dentist had carpel tunnel surgery, did great. He was able to return to work on time like the doctor said. No problems at all. He will be having his other wrist done in the beginning of the new year and is happy to get it done.
    Also a very good friend had it done and recovered quickly on time as the doctors said and it too was very successful. Good luck with this, I think you’ll do great!

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