Sunday, April 26, 2009
I am looking forward to starting pool rehab. I seem to recall warm water rehab helping excelerate my progress. It feels good to float in the water but also be working my joint. This surgery & recovery is different from the surgery/rehab from last year when I had cartilage implants surgically placed in the same knee.
My pain level goes up & down quite a bit. The extremes are disorienting & confusing. I'm not sure why the pain does that & intend to ask my surgeon on Tues (28th) when I go for my 1st post-op visit. I will ask him if he will change my pain med to try & take less oral medication. I'm also curious about why certain areas hurt more than others & what part of the surgery has made that happen. For example, the medial portion of my knee hurts a lot in the same danged place it hurt pre-op & this makes no sense. The original structure no longer exists there, so what's the deal? I just want to understand more clearly WHAT causes the pains I have so I can better focus on telling that pain to just GO AWAY.
I've noticed I can let my leg dangle over the edge of the bed or chair more than I could just a few days ago. I still can't bend it to 90 degrees, but I get around 40 degrees without a lot of difficulty.
My dad ordered a new laptop today as this one belongs to his company & will be returned to them shortly. He did something that really upset me - but at the same time I have no one to blame but myself....he was trying to get the desktop PC that acts as our server to work more efficiently & faster so he was removing software. He decided that he never uses Microsoft Office suite, so he deleted it. However, _I_ use Office, in particular Outlook. All of my contacts, saved e-mail, special notes, etc are GONE. Like the stuff from my attorney .... Oh I'm so annoyed. I mean, why didn't he ask me!? It's so frustrating, but at the same time I should have backed up that stuff so I'd not have had these problems in the first place. Oh well.
Still having low-grade fevers, can't seem to shake them no matter what. Guess I'd better get things ready for bed. My post-op visit is at 8AM Tues morning, so I've been getting out of bed earlier & earlier each day for the past 3-4 days. Going to bed early isn't that hard tho- I'm really tired by the end of the day. Even if I take a nap. LOL - No insomnia for several days now! Yaaay!
Every day & every way I'm getting better & stronger. I just keep thinking of my favorite hiking route ... it's going to be wonderful to see that gorgeous view again!
Saturday, April 25, 2009
I have physical therapy at home 3 days a week. Because I came home on Tues I had my PT 3 days in a row. Now, I do PT exercises on my own, but I never push myself quite as far as the therapist does. I know I should, but when I hit a certain pain level my brain & muscles just seem to "quit" working. It's as if I become temporarily paralyzed. My PT will literally push my joint further than I can do it myself. This usually ends with me being a sissy & crying, well, not crying, but weeping. It takes several hours to get my pain level back down from the moon.
I've been running a low grade fever for 2 days now. Last night it was over 100. Not sure what to think of that, but am seeing surgeon on Tues & we'll discuss it then. I'm simply not getting in the car until I must. It's too uncomfortable.
It was really warm yesterday & today's high is going to be in the low 90s! We're going to have 90s through Tuesday I believe, then back to normal Spring temps. Such strange weather! LOL!
I was able to shower last night (had to cover the surgical site w/a plastic bag & tape to keep it dry) and that felt wonderful.
This coming week will be my last week of home PT & then on to the pool. I can put quite a bit of weight on my new knee & yesterday climbed the stairs twice. Yaay! I have to admit that my pain levels are still an issue & I'm not sure when that's going to start ratcheting down. I suppose it's different for everyone. My knee still feels as if it has cement inside. But I'm now able to lift my leg without assistance, a big improvement- even if it does hurt, I'm able to do it & that's a plus.
It's been just 9 days since my surgery, Ithink sometimes I expect too much. Then sometimes I wonder if I'm not expecting enough of myself. ??? I WANT to do more, but my fear of pain holds me back from being super aggressive.
The pain patches work great, but it wore off a bit early. So I've been advised to change them a day earlier than initially prescribed. That will help a lot.
In a few weeks I'll be able to start back on my RA meds & I'm hoping that will make a lot about PT easier. My dependent joints are really ticked off about all that work they're doing, LOL!
Diet is going well - I've not been tracking here as I'd planned. Since my last blog this laptop went bonkers & had to be repaired. So I've been offline for awhile. I hope everyone is doing great & moving in positive directions in their lives. HUGS!
Wednesday, April 22, 2009
OK, I typed this out & decided it was too long & cranky. So here's a blow-by-blow as quickly as possible.
1-Pre-op reaction to IV antibiotics. Turned bright red on upper half of body including scalp. It stung & itched like crazy. Anesthesiologist fixed that quickly tho.
2- Post-op - First 2.5 or 3 days - very, very poor pain control. Worse treatment from staff in any visit to this hospital EVER- many acted as if I had no right to cry, complain, ask for pain relief, etc. Spent almost all of the time literally shivering, teeth chattering, retching (or outright vomiting). Didn't sleep for almost 2 days.
3- Orthopedist partner from my surgeon's practice changed my pain med & I started feeling better.
4- Nurse receives orders to wean me from patient controlled analgesia ... apparently doesn't understand term "wean." Turns off PCA and takes the medicine away completely. Pain scale 1-10 (10 worst ever) - about a 100.
5- Fevers, 101+ for about 24 hrs. Had to stay an extra day.
6- My GP, don't know how he learned of my surgery since his office staff wouldn't allow me to make appt to see him due to my large balance, sees me nearly every day. Is aggressive w/other MDs and is probably reason I got pain med changed, stayed an extra day because of fever, and then HE writes me a sript for Fentanyl pain patches (aka Duragesic patches).
7 - W/the patches I take about 80% less oral pain meds than I have in at least a year. Am able to aggressively go at my rehab (I'm home now as you probably already know).
8- Have a very cool ice thingy that wraps around my knee & channels ice water around the knee. Also have a nifty machine that gently moves my leg back & forth, bending my knee at a present angle which I can increase at my own pace (though faster is better to get back to real life again!)
Post-op knee measurement is only about 5 cm larger than healthy knee. Very little swelling already! HOOORAY! Still have pain, stiffness, trouble getting around sometimes, but feeling very encouraged.
SO! Now I can move on & start really working hard towards getting on my feet again - both physically & metaphorically. I'm going to put my bad hospital experience behind me & move on.
Many thanks to everyone who has sent healing thoughts, wishes, and prayers my way. They have been greatly appreciated & have made a difference in my recovery & mental health. My SP friends are the greatest! I'm really glad to be back online with you.
Wednesday, April 15, 2009
As I've gotten older, my hair has turned more of a brown-auburn than the red it used to be. So I decided to dye it before I had my surgery. It really doesn't look too bad, but I'm really not that crazy about the color. It's a little too .. well, TOO. It's really bright auburn. And the color didn't take properly at my temples. It's weird. Well, I'll wash it tonight (I colored it this AM) and see if it tones it down a bit.
I managed to get the last really important stuff done today. I wanted to get a pedicure, but decided to do it myself instead. It's still rainy today & I hate going anywhere when it's wet. My crutch gets wet & slips on tile flooring - very annoying-and dangerous!
I got 2 new games for my DS, but one of them I'm not that crazy about. It's called ExitDS. It's just not what I expected, but at least it was used & not a pricey new game. I also got Flash Focus-similar to my Brain Age for keeping the brain sharp, but this is for keeping your eyes sharp. I like it even if it did tell me my eyes are the eyes of someone almost 20 yrs older than I actually am.
Tonight I'll put my things together for the hospital (toothbrush, etc.) and then I'll be set. I don't have a surgery time, yet. They never call until late the day before.
Anyway, I'll be off-line for a 4 or 5 days while I'm recovering. Maybe a bit longer depending on how I feel when I get home. In the meantime, I hope everyone has a good rest of the week & a super weekend. Keep Sparkin'!
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