30 April 2009

"I've Had a Baby, Five Tattoos and a Knee Replacement"

This is what I uttered to the nurse as he removed the staples, worried I needed him to stop because they hurt. Compared to those things I listed above, removing several hundred staples from my leg was a piece of cake. What's funny was that the nurse said it's the men who get squeamish about the staples.

Note the wicked scar from previous surgery. There's one just like it on the other side of my knee.

He also told me I could stop using the torture machine. Apparently my goal was to push the leg to 90 degrees. I'd done that days ago. No one ever told me I could stop with that. I'm now to concentrate on walking. I'm not allowed to get in a pool for another month. The concern is that all of the funky stuff in the water—chlorine, urine, god knows what else—might infect my incision. You don't have to tell me twice. I can certainly wait.

I'm worried that the knee will prevent me from popping up on my shorter boards. I think my worry is probably premature. The problem is I don't know what to expect. I don't know what's possible with a prosthetic knee. That's both a blessing and a curse. I can use this opportunity to change the paradigm connected to knee replacement patients. I might also be inclined to think the knee is incapable of doing some of the things I'd push it to do. I know I've gotten ahead of myself with these thoughts. Obviously, I have way too much time on my hands.

I did walk the dog around the block today. I think the snail we saw near the front door made it to the lawn and back by the time I came back home with the dog. Now my hips hurt because my gait is all wrong. (You try walking with a swollen, compromised knee and see what hurts.)

I look forward to the future.


At 4/30/09, 4:12 PM, Blogger 6ftnperfect said...

the way you've described your pain level and lack of mobility pre-surgery, I think you are going to be better off. In fact, I think I see a 6'2" CI thruster in your future!

Several hundred? Really? surely you jest.

At 4/30/09, 4:41 PM, Blogger Surfsister said...

You calling me a liar?

I found a picture of my leg that I took when I changed the dressing. I'd post it, but it's truly wicked to look at. I sent it to another blogger to post on her blog.

I did my best to count what I saw on the picture. I saw 36 staples.

At 4/30/09, 6:13 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Squeamish men? Male nurses? When will the insanity stop?????

But I digress...

There's a great snail joke going around, this seems like the time and place to retell it...

A guy is sitting in his living room, and he hears a scratching at the door. He opens the door, and there's a snail on his welcom mat. He picks the snail up, throws it over the road and into the field across the street.

Three months later, he's in his living room and hears scratching at the door again. He opens it, and there's the same snail. The snail looks up at him and says, "What was THAT all about?"

At 4/30/09, 6:32 PM, Blogger Retro hack said...

Wait a minute, you can't run so that would mean your husband can sneak up on you, give you tons of kisses (two for a quarter), quickly run off and there ain't a thing you can do about it!
( I am so breaking my wifes leg... )


I think what will happen is you will change your pop up to more of a swing up, plant your arms and then swing your legs up underneath you?
I dunno...but I send you healing wishes anyway.

At 4/30/09, 11:06 PM, Blogger 6ftnperfect said...

I knew you would show a pic sooner or later.


At 5/2/09, 12:51 AM, Blogger rebeccajane said...


You are one dedicated lady and good for you. An experience like this makes it clear how surfing is so totally skewed to people with healthy, able, bodies, doesn't it. But you'll be back in the water sooner than you think, I reckon.

You're sure doing enough work for it!

At 5/3/09, 8:20 AM, Blogger gracefullee said...

Well, THAT's going to leave a scar!

Don't knock me for saying this, but I actually think it looks kinda pretty. I like the uniformity of the tape and, from what I can see of the incision, it looks really clean!

At 5/3/09, 12:59 PM, Blogger Surfsister said...

Thank you, Grace! Believe it or not, several people have remarked that the incision is a good one. Not only is my doctor quite the looker, he's good with a scalpel too!

Now I will have three long scars on that knee. I have no plans to stop wearing shorts or skirts that are just above the knee. I earned these scars; I'm proud of them.

At 5/4/09, 9:20 AM, Blogger pabs said...

Upon viewing your post-op pic, I'm reminded of one of my favorite scenes from the film "Jaws"...you know, where Quint and Hooper compare "scar stories".

Well, at least you'll have plenty of time to make up a mighty fine gem of tale that will contain all the necessary juicy tidbits of your experience. :-)

Glad your son enjoys my varied musical tastes.

At 5/7/09, 6:00 AM, Blogger tavara said...

I had a total knee replacement 5 years ago. A life changing surgery for the better. No problem surfing or skiing, except when I ski I wear a Don Joy brace. Good luck with your PT

At 5/7/09, 6:01 AM, Blogger Surfsister said...

That's good to hear, Tavara. The knee is so stiff and so painful that I cannot imagine ever being able to walk normally again, let alone surf. You've made my day!


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