11 May 2009

Knee Replacement: Three Weeks Later

Are we there yet?

I know I'm making progress. Well, I don't really know. I think I'm making progress. Today I asked the physical therapist if the recovery from this is gradual or all of a sudden. I was saddened to learn that it is, in fact, the former. I knew the answer to the question before I asked it. Why did I even ask?

I still walk like an extra from Shaun of the Dead. My limp is less pronounced than it was a week ago. But a limp is still a limp. The inflammation, stiffness and pain continue to lessen. In fact, the pain ceased being an issue until I began physical therapy. I swear they tried to kill me today. No. Strike that. They tried to hurt me enough to make me kill myself. I know it's necessary and I'm thankful for the help. I thank them every day for helping me to get my life back. Then I go home and wait for the pain to hit. There is a delay between the therapy session and the onset of the pain from the therapy session. No, I will not take the Vicodin. However, I have looked into medical marijuana. (I don't think I qualify as I no longer have a chronic medical condition that involves constant pain. The knee replacement solved that. All I want is a prescription for the next two months. People who qualify are given prescriptions for a year. I don't want that and doubt that I can meet the qualifications anyway.) I know what you're thinking. I've already called a friend to hook me up.

The highlight of the day was when the physical therapist decided to work on my extension (or lack therof). She had me roll over onto my stomach. Then I was to scoot down until my foot was hanging over the end of the table. Okay, it was barely hanging over since my knee is still a bit bent. The next thing I knew she'd placed a weight on my ankle, saying she was going to leave it there for a few minutes. Then she tried talking to me to divert my attention from the fact that my leg felt like an anvil was attached to it. It was awful. After a bit of a rest, I had to endure that torture for several more minutes. Agony. This was after she'd stretched, pulled and applied pressure to (i.e., massaged) the muscles around the knee. As I sit here typing, I can barely move my knee. When I wake up tomorrow, I'm certain to have a little more movement as a result of today's session. And then I get to go back and do it all again!

I'm going to get back in the pool on Wednesday. When I got up this morning, I thought better of my plan to go today. Physical therapy is exhausting even though I'm not doing much at this point. Joint replacement surgery is so hard on the body that you have to be careful about overdoing it. Your body is working hard to repair serious damage as it is. When you add physical therapy to the mix, your body goes into overload. So why would I add swimming to that just yet? I'll swim on Wednesday. That's my acupuncture day, a day when I'm guaranteed to feel great. Granted, I won't be kicking. There's not enough strength or flexion for that at this point. (Or maybe there is. I'll never know since I really don't want to chance the pain of a mistaken assumption about my abilities this soon after surgery.)

I'll be relieved when this isn't so hard. (That's what he said!)


At 5/11/09, 7:08 PM, Blogger SlowPolk said...


At 5/11/09, 9:36 PM, Blogger pranaglider said...

Hang in there! In a year this will only be a memory.

At 5/13/09, 11:07 AM, Blogger Jamie Watson said...

Well you knew how to make me smile at the end after feeling your pain!!

Truly oh man, you are so brave. That's true what prana said - it will be a faded memory not too long from now. You can do it!!


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