Knee Replacement: One Week Later
It's still early in the day. Who knows what improvements might be made by the end of this day?
A week ago today, right around this time, I was being wheeled into an operating room after an enjoyable pre-op wait with Soul Brother #1 and a cool, funny nurse. A few hours later, I was presented to the world with my new bionic knee.
I'm down to one Vicodin a day now. I know the pain meds are a necessity. It was foolish of me to try and stop them when I did. However, with each day, the pain diminishes. A few days ago, I decided I'd try using ice in lieu of the pain meds. That plan worked. I now use the cold machine more than I do the torture machine.
I still use the cane. I'm at the point though where I've started hobbling around without it when moving around the house. In fact, I needed to move a surfboard the other day and no one was around to help. I got tired of waiting. The next thing I knew I had the cane on my right and board on my left. Eventually, the cane became a nuisance. I ended up carrying the board without the aid of the cane. I even took it up a couple of stairs . . . slowly.
I will need to learn how to walk. For the first time in 29 years, I have a left knee that is able to straighten completely. In other words, I've spent all of my adult life with a leg that I could neither straighten nor bend fully. I don't know what it's like to have two good knees. I still don't have two perfect knees. The doctor said I'll always know this isn't a real knee, but it will be a hell of a lot better than the osteoarthritic knee. There have been a couple of times when the new knee went straight while I was hobbling around. I immediately thought something was wrong, screamed and waited for the pain to hit. There was no pain. It took me some time to understand that this was what a good knee feels like when it's working. I'm not at all used to this. I want to see if this new knee is able to bend more than the old one did. My range of motion on that one was pitiful and did limit my surfing in some respects. If my range of motion is the same as that of the old knee, I won't have lost anything since I know how to work with that. But if this new knee, through hardcore rehab, does have increased range of motion, I will be forever grateful to everyone connected with the invention of knee replacements.
I don't doubt that I will surf again. I understand that my rapid improvements might slow down. I understand that there might be some unforeseen problems along the way. I made the drop, eyes wide open because I didn't want to lose my way of life as a surfer, as a wife, as a mother, as an athlete. I have no regrets.