Double Knee Replacement: One month out

Here’s a somewhat quick update of my double knee replacement.

Last week was rough. Really rough.

At the suggestion of two physical therapists, I only had physical therapy (PT) twice instead of three times. I took a day off for healing. And I cut back on the exercises I do.

My sister had planned to head home last weekend, but the possibility of Hurricane Nate causing power outages kept her here. She didn’t want me trying to navigate the house with a walker in the dark. It turned out best for me that she was here last week (even though Nate was much tamer than expected when he arrived here), because the pain I had when on my feet was usually excruciating. Any standing was very painful to my left leg from my knee down my shin, especially just below my kneecap. Even touching the skin on the lower part of that leg caused pain.

I was a little concerned that my left knee was too pink around the incision, maybe infected, so I saw the Physician’s Assistant (PA) on Friday. He said it’s not infected, that I’m doing well. He prescribed a stronger pain med. But the more I thought about it, I realized I didn’t want to go to a higher level of pain med a month out from surgery – when I should be weaning myself from the pain meds.

So I didn’t take any of those meds and instead stuck with the level I had been taking.

And guess what?

I had less pain yesterday. And today.

No longer excruciating. Much more tolerable.

I think I might be turning the corner. (Knock on wood!).

I sure hope so!

I can now get around more easily with a lot less pain. I can do more for myself and need my sister’s help less.

So she’s heading home later this week. She needs to get back to her life. But boy, has she been a wonderful help to me! I could not have handled all of this by myself. She has done so much for me. I could write a litany of the gifts she’s given me. But I won’t list them all – I’d be sure to leave out a dozen. I’ll just say a very deep and sincere “thank you” to her. That’s insufficient, I know. But she knows how much I appreciate her.

I’m also grateful for friends who have driven me to PT so that my sister could get in full work days, friends who have cooked and delivered meals to us, friends who have checked on me or sent cards or gift certificates or had meals delivered or offered up prayers or sent good vibes. I appreciate each one.

With my sister’s departure, I’ll be more dependent on friends. It’s hard for me to ask for help, but that’s just what I’ll be doing. I’m still not very mobile. That left leg is not very “bendy,” doesn’t want to do what I tell it. Several friends have offered help, and I’ll be taking them up on it. And I may even need to ask someone who hasn’t offered.

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PT at home

I hope this weekend is an indication that I’m starting the uphill after what feels like a setback of a week-long downhill. I’m hoping my legs get stronger and more flexible and hurt less so that I can get off pain meds and get back to driving. Then I can take care of more things for myself.

But until then I have the “opportunity” to learn to ask for help – as hard as that is for me.

This double knee replacement journey has been tougher than I expected. Or this last week was. I knew it would be unpredictable, but when I was doing so well at first I expected the recovery to go straight uphill – even though I knew better after having been on a breast cancer journey. Recovery after surgery or any big health issue is never a straight uphill recovery. There are always setbacks.

Nonetheless, I hoped for a straight uphill.

That’s not what I got.

But I’m still hopeful that I’ll be walking with a cane instead of a walker soon. And driving again one day not too far in the future. And walking without a limp perhaps sometime next year.

And ultimately be glad I chose the double knee replacement this September.

That’s what I hope!

It may not be what I get . . . but I’m continuing to hope!

 

 

2 thoughts on “Double Knee Replacement: One month out

  1. I’m hoping all those things right along with you!! May your new knees find you up and around (and perhaps at least entertaining the idea doing cartwheels in your front yard) soon and until then may the opportunities to depend on the kindness of friends and neighbors bring you depths of connection, unexpected joy and unmined treasures. And may you feel loved as you grow in strength every step of the way!!

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