April 19, 2012

Three Weeks - Knee Replacement

Today is three weeks since my knee replacement surgery.  Recovery is going very well, better than I expected.  Today at PT I bumped up my time on the Nustep by 2 minutes (total 10 minutes) on level 3 and we moved the seat closer 1 notch which means my knee bends a little more.  I can bend my knee 96 degrees on my own and...get this... 106 degrees with assistance!!  Crazy and Wonderful I tell ya!  :-)   I talked my physical therapist about transitioning to a cane and we are going to start working on that.  It won't be overnight but every step is a step in the right direction.

As easy as my recovery has been and as well as it has gone.  I'm incredibly blessed...and I know it.  What people need to understand is that "easy" doesn't mean there are no issues, no pain or discomfort, no problems.  It just means that considering everything that was done to my knee and everything that I've gone through, my recovery period has gone very smoothly & very easily.  Some people have a much harder time and a lot of problems.  Recovery from something like this is still work.  I haven't had pain but I have had discomfort.  Now, compared to the burning pain I was having in my knee before surgery this is nothing really. But being uncomfortable for hours on end or off & on all day gets old and tiring very quickly.  Not being able to do much is hard to handle.   Keeping your leg elevated and iced a good bit of the time (continuously in the beginning) is very hard.  Sleeping on your back in one position with ice and an elevated leg is rough and often ends up in very little sleep...especially when you aren't one that normally sleeps on your back.  As your leg starts the reawakening process you get serious stinging "pins & needles" feelings throughout your leg (above and below the surgical site).   Your incision site is numb, the area directly around it is numb and often other areas are numb too.  For me it is the top of my left foot...it feels very weird if I touch it or scratch it.  There is also some weakness when flexing my foot.  I think all of that will resolve itself.  Fingers crossed!  At first the exercises are hard and they hurt.  Walking with your walker hurts.  But you have to do it all so you will improve.  Surgery itself wipes you out.  Not being able to move around much or do anything takes a toll on your stamina so you have to build that back up.  Pain pills often knock you out or make you sleepy so that doesn't help either.  Riding in the car is difficult because it is hard to get in and then when you do it hurts because your knee is bent and it feels stiff and throbbing since it is "hanging down".

All of that is NORMAL after the surgery.  All of this (and more) is to be expected.  All of this makes for an easy recovery.  It is other stuff that makes your recovery harder.  I am so thankful that my recovery has been easy!

My stamina is increasing.  I am getting up and down more at home.  I am able to do more.  Yesterday,  I made pancakes and was able to mix everything up and cook several before I needed a break to sit down.  I've washed dishes at the sink, have loaded the dishwasher (can't really unload yet).  I manage to use the walker and carry some simple things (my covered cup, an ice pack,etc).  I am VERY ready for a good night of sleep, where I can just curl up in bed (NOT on my back) and go to sleep like normal.  I'm looking forward to being able to go out for lunch or dinner without wincing and being all twitchy in my seat because my leg & knee hurt.  I'm looking forward to being able to do car rides or driving for more than 10-15 minutes at a time. I know it will all come with time.  I am trying to be patient.  


At 1:33 AM, Blogger Unknown said...

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