Saturday, January 2, 2010

6 Weeks Out...

I can't believe it has been 6 weeks since my knee was done. Yesterday was my 6 week new knee birthday. Although my original plan was to go back to school on Monday, I'm now looking at going back on Wednesday. My shoulder is doing better, but I still need to see the chriopractor at least once more before I go back. I saw him again today and he worked on my shoulder more.  I go to PT once more down here, and then I hope to be transferring to a PT up closer to where I live since I'll be going back to my place when I go back to school.

So, in retrospect, the surgery went probably about how I expected. The pain was only intense the first week or so. There was pain afterward, sure, but it wasn't more most of the time than I experienced on my old knee anyway. I'm still working on increasing my range of motion on the new knee, that will be a slow and steady climb over the next month or two I think. But the new knee is feeling good overall. Still stiff and swollen sometimes, but I don't have that aching, bone on bone feeling like I used to have in my knee.

Sunday, December 27, 2009


I drove! First time in over 5 weeks! Felt a little odd at first, but I got the hang of it quickly. It doesn't hurt at all. Just a little slow getting in and out of the car is all. Yay :)

Saturday, December 26, 2009

Maybe I Just Worry Too Much...

I'm kinda having a down day. I almost feel like I felt better a week ago than I have the past few days. I read and participate in a knee replacement support bulletin board, and a lot of people have said they had similar experiences, but it doesn't make me feel much better. People talk about plateaus during the recovery process. Sometimes you feel like you're healing in leaps and bounds, and then other times you feel stagnant. I'm in a stagnant period. Plus my shoulder is still bugging me, which is making me feel worse than I would otherwise.

I am also feeling a bit apprehensive about returning to work. I'm sure a lot of my worries are unfounded, but I'm not sure how to deal with them. I think if I were feeling better, I would be more gung ho about going back. I'm not sure I'll be up to being cane-less. And my stamina and energy are still real low. I'm still having sleeping issues too. I don't go to bed late, but I wake up a few times during the night and have been sleeping til about 9 most mornings. Some people on the message board said not to rush back to work, but I feel guilty already about the time I've been out. I could technically take another week or two if I really needed to. I miss my kids and I miss the people I work with though. I'm torn and I can't figure out what to do.

Friday, December 25, 2009

Merry 5 Week Birthday, Knee!

Well today is not only special because it is Christmas. It is also special because 5 weeks ago, I was just coming out of surgery at this time with my brand new knee. I can't believe it's been 5 weeks already. I feel both like time has gone by super fast, but also like I've been through a ton in the past 5 weeks. I wonder if I am where I should be for 5 weeks post-op. My knee is feeling pretty good, bending well, not sore much anymore. I'm still using my cane about 50% of the time for walking. In a little over a week, I'll be back at school teaching. I can't believe it! It's my goal to be cane-free when I go back. I hope I can be at that point. I also feel like I have a lot to cram in to this last week. I need to get sleeping back on a regular pattern. I need to get my energy level up. And I need to get my shoulder pain under control. I'm going to try and get a massage next week I think. I'm kinda nervous about going back. I hope I'm ready!

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

If It Isn't One Thing, It's Another

So a few things have been happening the past few days that are new. The knee is doing fine, my range of motion continues to get better at PT. However, since I've been walking a lot more, my ankle has been bugging me. I am sure this is due to the new alignment of my knee. My ankle isn't used to being walked on at a "normal" angle, so it's going to take some getting used to. I just hope it's not something that bugs me for awhile. I also had some back pain over the weekend, but that seems to have subsided. The biggest thing causing me pain right now is my right shoulder...

I'm not exactly sure why, but my PT thinks I tweaked it when I was using two crutches. It bugs me the most on days I'm really active - like last week when I wrapped presents for 4 hours, or last Friday or yesterday when I walked a lot. So maybe it's trying to heal up from being tweaked and when I'm active it flares up again. It feels like it's mainly muscle spasms. I've tried heat on it, but ice actually seems to be working better right now. It can get pretty painful when it's at its worst. Yesterday was especially rough. I'm trying to take it easy today -- not moving around as much and just relaxing. Watching Prince Caspian right now in fact.

I am thankful that my knee is doing well, but I just wish that I could be at the point where I'm not hurting somewhere. I'm hoping that all of this is just part of the recovery process and that in a month or so I'll be relatively pain-free.

Thursday, December 17, 2009

I'm Rambo!

Well not quite, Rambo... yet. Saw my surgeon today for my 4 week check up. He was very happy with my progress. He told me my knee was quite a challenge to replace, and I told him that I had to keep him on his toes and give him a challenge. He laughed at that. He is an EXCELLENT surgeon, I'm beyond pleased with him. He's very funny and personable too. He wants me to really push to get as much range of motion back as I can and strengthen the muscles around my knee. He told me I need to get Rambo muscles and that right now I'm only at Tinkerbell status. He gave me the OK to go back to work after the New Year. I also can start driving next week probably. I'll see him again in 7 weeks.

Went to PT this afternoon as well, so a busy day! My ROM numbers were better than last time: I was at -3 degrees on flexion (improved from 4 degrees on Monday) and at 105 degrees bending (improved from 90 degrees on Monday). My therapist was very happy also with my progress. He wants me to focus on trying to walk as normal as possible, maybe even use a cane instead of a crutch.

So overall, a very good day!

Monday, December 14, 2009

Physical Therapy, FINALLY

Well today was my first visit to PT, finally. Sheesh! I'm already at 3+ weeks, stupid HMO. But it was good to go in. I like my therapist; he really seems to know what he is doing. He was impressed by my quad strength, so he decided the thing to really focus on is improving my range of motion (ROM). He said he wants me only using one crutch to walk around, which is nice because I feel much more mobile. So the walker is being put AWAY! He gave me a set of exercises to do twice a day, and I'll be going in twice a week for the next three weeks. Next visit this week will be on Thursday. Thursday should be a busy day because I see my doctor for my 4 week check up that morning, then have PT in the afternoon.

After PT, Mom and I had lunch and then went to Target. I walked more at Target than I have since the surgery and I pushed the cart around too. I was tired afterward but it felt good to walk that much. I need to get my endurance up. Slowly but surely, however, I'm starting to feel back to normal :)