Right after surgery I was relieved at how bearable the pain was. I was already telling Dan that, when the time came, I'd have no hesitation about going for the second knee replacement. I didn't actually say it was "a piece of cake," but I may have been thinking it.
Well, that was while I was still in the hospital; while anesthesia was still dripping into my veins; before I was undergoing the demanding rigors of PT; before I had to solve real-life problems at every turn. I still maintain that the pain level is bearable. But what makes it difficult is that there's no "time-out" button, which takes its toll.
My health care team has encouraged me to keep the pain under control, using the pain med prescription I have. At first I was trying to use as little as possible, but found out that was a mistake. Without pain I can properly do my therapy. When I'm in pain the therapy is less effective. They've made a believer out of me.
I have a wonderful physical therapist, named Chemaine, who is demanding, competent and compassionate. She has a great sense of humor, and I always feel better after her visit than before. She came four times the first week, and will come three times this week and three times next week. Then I'll be evaluated to determine how much more I'll need.
Chemaine tells me I am doing real well, and that she sees progress with each visit. We're working on range of motion. I don't have a lot of trouble with extension of the joint, but am struggling with flexing it. That's probably because I still have a lot of swelling. With effort I can flex to 90 degrees. I need to increase that quite a bit.
Sunday, which was Day 11 following surgery, Was a teaser day. The swelling was down a lot, and I was much more comfortable. Then came Monday, Day 12. I don't know why, but everything went backward. A lot of pain, lack of mobility. I was totally discouraged.
Thank goodness there is always a "tomorrow." Tuesday morning was a break-through day. Since then I've been feeling good and making good progress.
Yesterday, Day 14, Dan drove me to the clinic, where I had my staples removed. I had been a little nervous about that procedure. I even watched several YouTube videos of staple removals, so I'd have an idea of what to expect. I had 24 staples, and it really was a breeze getting them out. There were three or four that stung a little bit, but the others were easy-peasy. How nice it is to have them out. The nurse put some steri-strips over the scar, which need to stay there until Friday, June 28.
I'm still using my walker. Chemaine has been having me practice with a Cain, but I'm still not stable enough to get rid of the walker. Maybe next week. My goal is to go to worship on Sunday. I don't think I'll attempt class, as one hour sitting with my knee bent will probably be my limit.