Monday, June 12, 2023

Ice and elevate

I've had my new left knee for 12 days now. Pretty much routine surgery and rehab so far.

For the first week, we had a friend or family member visit for a couple of hours each day, to give Art a break from his primary caregiver role. It was good to see every one of them.

I've been told PT is critical to regain full range of motion of my knee and strength in the surrounding muscles. I am resolved to be fully compliant and so far I have been. 

This is not fun. Granted, most of the surgical pain is gone. Most of the PT is working. I HATE heel slides. That's where you draw your bent knee back as far as you can, to increase the range of motion. It hurts. I do it anyway. 

Here's what I can do now that wasn't possible a week ago: lift my leg onto the bed from the floor; walk easily with a walker; shower by myself; dress myself; empty my own urinal (female version means I don't have to get myself to the bathroom at night - a fabulous invention); get my leg into the car to go to PT; eat at the table; pet my cat when she's lying on the floor; change out the frozen water bottles in the ice machine; get my coffee cup from the pot to the table.

I am tapering off oxycodone. So far, so good. Tylenol works pretty well.

The joint replacement and rehab is the only goal I have for the summer. I'm only two weeks in, with another 14 to go before fall. It looks like a long and boring road, but my expectation is that I'll be able to climb stairs - on alternating legs! - and maybe walk a couple of miles in my neighborhood. Oh, and we have a river cruise scheduled for late October. Maybe I'll be able to walk a couple of miles in some riverside town in Eastern Europe.

In the meantime, there is icing and elevating and physical therapy. And there are books to read, and movies to watch, and conversations to have with visitors. For now, that needs to be enough.

This photo was taken three days after the surgery.