12 May 2009

You Can Stop Limping Now

No, as a matter of fact, I can't. After what they did to me today, I'm surprised I can walk at all. They are working hard at pushing this knee past the limitations I've had for the last 29 years. They want to see it straighten completely. Had I known the kind of pain reaching that goal involves, I might have told them a straight leg isn't necessary. Yesterday it was the weight hanging off my ankle. Today it was trying to train the muscles to do what they haven't done since I was 17. They've been working on that all along, but today was different. It should be illegal for someone to push down on a knee that hasn't straightened in decades. I might have to take someone to small claims court for all of this pain and suffering. At one point, I asked, "You don't do this to the old people with knee replacements, do you?" I was relieved to hear that they don't. No, they saved the torture for me.

I am steadily improving. I can feel it bit by bit. (And I do mean bit.) The thing which causes me the most discomfort right now is the scar. It's extraordinarily tender. I cringe when fabric touches it. Even when I wear shorts, I turn up the leg on that side so that the shorts don't rub up against the scar. And what happens at physical therapy? They run the ultrasound over the knee, including the scar. Then they massage the joint, including the scar. That's more than enough pain for me in one day. Alas, that's only the beginning. Eventually, my leg is pushed this way, wrenched that way, stretched to the point of no return and then stretched even further. All the while, I try to remain relatively quiet. It helps to have music. Both in the hospital and during physical therapy, the iPod has remained my most reliable companion. It says nothing while giving me enough pleasure to dull the pain.

I'm now trying to learn how to walk again. For one thing, I do still limp. I can't quite help that. My knee hurts when I bend it. Each step is still uncomfortable. What they are stressing to me is I have to fully extend the leg now when I walk. My muscles have to learn how to do that and, I guess, they want me to start teaching the muscles as soon as possible. Well, I will try. My muscles aren't the only part of me that's confused. My brain still thinks it's impossible for me to have a leg that straightens completely. So while I want to do as I'm told, the little devil on my shoulder asks me why I bother since I'm going to end up with the extension and flexion I had prior to surgery.

Flexion is still an issue. However, I'm told that the inflammation is part of the problem there. I can still get 90 degrees on my own. While mistaking me for a contortionist today, the physical therapist said she'd bent it to 100 degrees. We both agreed that our ultimate goal is 125 degrees (presumably under my own power).

I still can't begin to think about paddling out. I know I'll do it again. I just don't know when.


At 5/12/09, 9:41 PM, Blogger Retro hack said...

I cant wait to see you on "Scarred"...

Funny, the word verification word is 'light'.
I didn't know it could spell.

At 5/12/09, 10:25 PM, Blogger 6ftnperfect said...

well, the good news is, you'll soon be able to do this:


At 5/14/09, 10:25 AM, Blogger pabs said...

All that pain associated with the scar is a good thing...means your body is healing (weird reverse philosophy..."no pain, no gain"). Anyways, I'm sure you don't want the pain, but it's all temporary...better to have it now than deal with too much scar tissue later.

At 5/14/09, 12:15 PM, Blogger Surfsister said...

Pabs, I know you're right. That doesn't keep me from thinking murderous thoughts about those who keep applying pressure to it.


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