04 May 2009

Knee Replacement: Two Weeks Later

The last three days have seen me go from one emotion to another: despair, elation, impatience, boredom, you name it. I'm finding it hard to keep it all in perspective. Idle hands, as they say. In my mind, I should already be in the pool cranking out several hundred yards or even walking without a limp. Didn't someone once say you can't rush a good thing? Remind me of that the next time I start to lose my mind.

My thighs tell the tale of the death of this knee. This photo was taken last year. My right thigh is big and muscular. My left thigh is tiny. That's one of the clues to someone's joint issues. As the knee got worse, I used the leg less and the muscles began to waste away.

It's not like I'm regretting my decision to replace the knee God gave me. That thing was shot. Prior to the surgery, I couldn't walk the dog or walk up stairs without difficulty. I've got virtually no strength in the left leg right now, but I've seen the progress. I can finally swing my leg up onto the bed unaided. I have enough bend to walk up a stair. Still, there's a lot of inflammation and stiffness.

This is a violent operation. You probably won't ever see anyone else describe it that way. The signs are there though. I don't bruise easily. If I get hit with a surfboard, my complaints about pain will be the only proof. My body might manage to turn a little purple if it's a good hit. Otherwise, you'd never know I'd had any kind of collision with anything. When the bandages were taken off my knee, my leg was black and blue. There are still some bruises even two weeks later. Violent. How else can you describe an operation that involves a jig, a saw and cutting through bone? Violent? Yes. Necessary? Completely!

I see the doctor on Wednesday. Perhaps it's time for outpatient physical therapy. Right now, my therapist comes to the house and I crank out the exercises in about 10 minutes. On Thursday, I'm going to a surf friend who does acupuncture; we're going to start tackling the inflammation and the scar tissue. I've also located a sports massage practice that specializes in Active Release Techniques. I'm not taking my recovery lying down. I want my life back and I'm willing to work for it.


At 5/4/09, 3:57 PM, Blogger Retro hack said...

Quit making me cringe!
I have way too much empathy...silly sensitive surfer...
What happened to the old knee? Soup bones? Dog toy?
When I shattered my elbow, I was only able to paddle in circles for a month...
Take care and I would mention keep your chin up (shin up?)!

At 5/5/09, 4:39 PM, Blogger Esteban Pumpernickel said...

Hope you have a speedy recovery! If you need any Gnarshire wizard voodo, just let me know.

At 6/7/09, 12:24 AM, Blogger Nigel S. Peppercock said...

Trooper of the year award.


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