29 April 2009

Got That Monkey Off My Back

My short-lived, love-hate relationship with Vicodin is over. I'd gotten to the point where I only took it at night before I went to bed. Last night, I decided I didn't want to take it at all. My knee began to throb at the appointed time. Nope, not gonna do it. I let it throb, cried a little and went to bed. I didn't sleep through the night; I've done so only once since the surgery. Still, I didn't do the knee replacement equivalent of tossing and turning—whatever that might be since I can neither easily toss nor turn at this point. My new drug of choice is Naproxen Sodium (also known as Aleve to those who insist on buying the name brand).

The instrument of torture appears to be working as I can now almost straighten my leg, although I still scream, and also slowly bring it to a 90 degree bend under my own power. Apparently I'm supposed to be using it four to five hours a day. I'm driven to make this work, but I can tell you now that there's no way I can stay on that thing more than three hours a day. It's no less irritating than it was last week. I hate this machine. And yet, I go to it voluntarily. Each time I get off it, my gait is a little better. Of course, then I got to bed and wake up to find myself limping as noticeably as I was the previous day because the muscles have shortened overnight. As of today, I've got it set at -3 for extension and 92 for flexion.

I drove today. For some reason, that bugged the shit out of my mother. I don't know why. I'm off the drugs and the new knee is on the left. I am completely compos mentis. Why wouldn't I start driving again? I'm stuck at home alone most of the time. The dog is sick to death of me. I can't walk him yet. I'm tired of television. There's only so much icing and use of the instrument of torture that one person can take before it's time go beat a hasty retreat, if only for a bit. I've not had my beloved pistachios in ages. I can only buy them at the farmer's market on Wednesdays and Saturdays. I had money. I have a car. I am of sound mind now that the Vicodin is out of my system. But could I deal with the parking, the walking, the carrying, etc.? In a word, yes. And once I was done there, I went to the grocery store for a few things. I move slowly, very slowly. That doesn't mean I need to keep my happy ass at home.

The pain is manageable. I read knee replacement forums where people talk about still being on pain meds months after surgery. For me the pain at present isn't that bad. I've felt worse on cycling rides from hell, cycling races from hell, marathons from hell, workouts from hell and stubbed toes. I'm not looking forward to the removal of the staples. That might evoke a scream or two from me. It's time for them to come out. The doctor's office has yet to return the calls of the home healthcare nurse who needs the authorization to remove them. It's not like this will be a small job either. I've got at least 15 staples running up and down my knee cap. Nasty! I want them out. I want to shower. I want to start swimming with the pull buoy. You people better make this happen!


At 4/30/09, 12:36 AM, Blogger Worm said...

in other news i am totally in love with vicodin right now.
throbbing pain in my head is where i draw the line.

call me tomorrow i'm gonna be at shelter

At 4/30/09, 6:39 AM, Blogger Retro hack said...

I prefer Geritol...ha!
Sounds like you about have it licked but that staples stuff, eeeuuuwww, gross!
Take care!

At 4/30/09, 9:57 AM, Blogger Christian said...

Staple removal sounds a little too gnarly for me. Yuck! You are way tougher than I.

At 4/30/09, 11:02 AM, Blogger pranaglider said...

I am happy you are doing so well!

Keep up the good work!

At 4/30/09, 11:30 AM, Blogger pabs said...

Damn WOman...youse got some serious ballz! :-)

Take stock of your serious pain-management abilities and use that to your advantage when you get back in the water. Meaning: go surf without fear because after this; you can do anything! :-)

At 4/30/09, 11:56 AM, Blogger Alan_M said...

it's tough, i know. Nina really had to battle getting off her meds post-surgery too. Time, time, it takes time. hang in there!


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