I’m a week post-op from full knee replacement surgery (the big Sister to partial knee replacement) and learning to walk all over again.
I don’t know what I actually expected. Certainly not back to power walking 5 miles a day, but certainly not breaking a sweat shuffling the 20 steps down my hallway, white-knuckle grip on my brand-spanking new, matte black, rolling walker. My first clue should have been how impressed the physical therapist at the hospital was when I walked ten steps to my room door and back to bed
I’ve taken two showers in this first week. Granted, I was sitting down on my bath seat and grateful we have a hand-held shower head. I still need a chaperone nearby in case I can’t stand up on my own.
I am looking forward to my Amazon order of two new pair of compression hose like a kid looks forward to Christmas morning.
Yesterday morning, I was excited to put my pants on by myself (PJ bottoms are still pants!), excited that I was actually wearing pants for the first time in seven days. It was an awkward enterprise, Monty Python skit awkward, but I managed without falling over, and without busting my staples.
The surgeons aren’t kidding when they tell you, you’ll have an impressive scar.
And yes, when the nurse came into my room the morning after surgery to change the dressing and asked if I wanted to take a picture, I did. Almost gleefully.
Don’t fret, I won’t post a photo here of the 12-inch column of metal sutures that run vertically down the middle of my knee. I sort of wanted her to leave it uncovered for a few minutes so I could gawk at it – a rubber-necking the train wreck sort of gawking. It was almost as if it wasn’t even my knee. That sensation was only bolstered by the fact that I couldn’t feel anything between my thigh and ankle. I’ve only now gained some of the feeling back in my leg.
A physical therapist comes to my house thrice a week and I do a plethora of PT exercises on my own EVERYDAY.
I also spend several hours a day on a Continuous Passive Motion machine. This motorized instrument of torture bends your healing knee for you when you can’t. I began with 40-degrees range of motion, to a little more than 70-degrees in about 5 days. To give some perspective, when you’re sitting down in a chair, feet flat to the floor, that’s 90-degrees.
I’m hoping to reach that goal by the time I return for my post-op follow-up next week. If I can, and if the doc thinks I’m stable enough on my feet, I graduate from my walker to a cane, then to walking on my own – pain-free.
Until then, until I am back to “normal”, I keep telling myself it will all be worth it.