Doing More Each Day: Week 4

rightknee02042105

The current state of my right knee after Steri Strips fell off.

To say my ice packs and new knee have gotten well acquainted the last couple of weeks would be an understatement. Mind you, I am not complaining; it’s a great feeling to gradually return to normal activities. My biggest problem is I tend to plunge in and then pay for it later. Thank goodness for the person who invented Aleve, since I don’t like to take the prescription painkiller unless absolutely necessary.

Some swelling remains below the knee, but a few other patients in the knee replacement support group stated that it’s normal the first few months, long as I’m not short of breath, have no numbness or tingling, am afebrile (no fever), or don’t feel ill.

Steri strips put on last week at the doctor’s office have already fallen off and my knee currently bends at 101 degrees. Some of the skin on and around my incision appeared dry and flaky, so I’ve been applying Bio Oil to the area twice a day, which seems to help.

PT continues to go well. In addition, I’ve developed a habit of keeping my new knee bent while sitting; I’d like to think every effort – no matter how small – helps the healing process. I’d looked forward to my friend Jeff’s second appearance at Mullens (located in Pittsburgh’s North Side across from PNC Park) on January 30, but between terrible road conditions, nasty weather, I being post-op for a short period of time on top of general fatigue I experienced the first couple weeks out of the hospital, I had to pass.

His response when I sent my regrets? “You just get healthy.”

I still have periods of tiredness, but they are gradually becoming less frequent. Resting is part of the healing process, so short naps as needed are important. Large tasks broken into small ones helps me get more accomplished as well. It’s actually nice not to feel exhausted after doing something simple as cleaning the litter box.

 

walmartshopping cart

A regular cart can benefit my new knee in the long run when it comes to shopping.

I’m especially proud of what was accomplished yesterday: doing my grocery shopping at a Walmart Super Center. I’m sure most readers of this blog have been to at least one, so I won’t elaborate how large those particular stores are. Anyway, I decided to pass on using a motor scooter (isn’t walking better for the healing process anyway?) and used a regular cart. I experienced some stiffness and minor fatigue after returning home, but ice packs, Aleve, and a brief evening nap solved both issues.

A couple people said I should be dancing by spring. I wouldn’t go that far just yet, as my left knee still needs replaced. That will likely happen around April or May, if not later this year.

I just hope my recovery will be relatively easy as it has been so far with the current knee. I hope today also finds all of you well.

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