After suffering severe knee pain for over a year and having two minor surgeries, I finally gave in this summer and signed up for total knee replacement in the early weeks of June. Five weeks out from tkr and I have some good news to report! Finally.
First the not so good news, I have spent much of the past five weeks in bed in pajamas with no makeup and not particularly caring about much of anything. (That gets old very fast.) Next, I followed doctor's orders both pre-and post-op. I gave it my best shot. Exercises, medication, ice, elevation, on and on.
Last Friday I came to a crossroads in recovery. I made a decision that I hope will help others. I decided that some things just weren't working and I needed to take my own health in my own two hands and make some changes. I have googled tkr to death on my KindleFire. I have read every chat there is on the internet...both good and bad. When I would read those rare posts about how great things were after their surgery...no pain, walking, really feeling better...I would silently cringe and turn over and go back to bed. (Not sleep, mind you, I haven't slept well for over a year.)It has been a discouraging, ragged road and frankly, I am very disappointed in, well, in me. I truly thought I'd pop into surgery and be up and around and feeling like I was 40 (maybe 50) again in no time. Even though there are some patients who are quickly begging for their second surgery... or worse, had both knees replaced at one time, I have been "down for the count". My long suffering husband, has literally been on call 24/7 since this "adventure" began June 11.
So Friday, I made a decision. It hasn't been easy, but I will say that today is the best I have felt in 5 weeks. It may be that I finally turned a corner or it may be that STOPPING PAIN MEDICATION has helped me grapple with the nuances of recovery with a more clear mind and steady leg. I actually think that the extended use of the pain meds was making me worse. Saturday, Sunday and first thing this morning (Monday) have not been pleasant. But as I was sniffling into my Kleenex on the way to physical therapy this morning I noticed that I actually felt better emotionally.
Now, I would never say that you shouldn't take anything to control pain after major surgery like this. I don't know that I could have survived, but I think you have to come to a fork in the road with pain meds...you have to say...I think I've had enough and I am going to have to "gut" it out on my own. (I am greatly hopeful that I can continue this way.) But making the transition to Tylenol or Aleve has been a good decision so far.
1. I endured a pretty rigorous physical therapy session.
2. Fixed my own lunch and went to the garage freezer to get another loaf of bread.
3. Walked to the mail box and retrieved the daily mail.
4. Fixed the pork chops for supper.
5. Have remained dressed all day.
6. Only took two short naps.
Now in comparison to Saturday and Sunday where I:
1. Stayed in pajamas all day long.
2. Wore no makeup.
3. Watched Hallmark Movie Channel movies 24/7.
4. Ate jellybeans because nothing else sounded good.
I think I have fared pretty well.
This is not a surgery for the faint of heart. For most people (according to chatrooms and ortho internet sites), it's a long, hard road to recovery. But for my friends that are contemplating tkr...get in touch with me...I will tell you the unvarnished truth. Your thoughts, posts and prayers have been greatly appreciated.
I am glad you chose to visit! My blog is a compilation of the many hats I find myself wearing. On any given day I may be an encourager, an instructor, or just a lady who is venting. You, dear reader, will probably identify with my triumphs and my tribulations! These snapshots fit into my Life Scrapbook I have named A. McInnis Artworks. I hope you will find something worth your while.
Monday, July 15, 2013
Tuesday, July 2, 2013
It is July 2, three weeks after having my knee replaced. I am lying in bed looking out my back Windows....watching my puppy, Dottie dart by, seeing the horses grazing in the pasture. Mostly I am watching life pass by like a blur. It is like sitting in your car watching the Illinois Central zoom by. I am, by nature, someone who likes to be out and about. Searching for antiques for my shop or house, working in my yard, visiting and shopping with friends, running errands with or for my grandchildren. That's my thing. Being down for the count was never on my bucket list. No position is comfortable. Not sitting, lying or standing. There is one thing I can do well and that is THINK. Being out of the loop has caused me to think about things from a different perspective. As in "old person's" perspective. I think back and wonder what my grandmothers must have felt like...alone waiting for a call or a letter maybe a visit from a member of the family. It's such a small expenditure of personal time...but such a large dividend for the lonely. Don't get me wrong....I will return...as the Terminator said. But older persons in our life don't always have that option. As I have caught up with long ago students and friends on Facebook, I have been thrilled to see the number who have gone into occupations that truly help others. Physical therapy (my current favorite), nursing, teaching...all require a certain giving up of one's own life. And I have seen the "good" side of Facebook. For each time I have felt lonely or afraid, if I post, here comes the Calvary. Sending good wishes and high hopes for the future. It may be little in other's eyes but it's been a Godsend to me. Hope you have a happy 4th of July!