Turning Corners: Week 5

Kneesbending0210215

February 10, 2015: Knee is fully bent… appearing slightly better than my left. Go figure!

It’s coming up on one month post-op and I’ve experienced an array of emotions. Not exactly depressed, but there were days during the past several weeks that working up motivation to do even the smallest tasks. Visiting nurse days appeared akin to being a pain in the rear, and taking out the garbage or cleaning the cats’ litter box seemed like major cases. Most of my birthday this past Sunday was spent napping. How does someone become exhausted from doing so little?

I didn’t even bother much with my appearance for a while after coming home from the hospital, which was unusual.

Consider great deals of effort and time are spent looking polished and feeling better while already dealing with multiple medical issues and then have major surgery such as a total knee replacement on top of everything else. Neither are easy as they appear. Fortunately, I’ve been one of several lucky people thus far to be recovering well as I have in such a short period of time despite having my share of both good and bad days.

Then I turned a corner this past week. Actually, I should say several.

My knee now bends at nearly 100 degrees. I can put on socks and shoes normally again! Sunday night was the first time I shaved my legs standing in the shower (while being extremely careful around the incision scar, of course). My sleep pattern is slowly returning to normal with less weird dreams. The incision is itchy at times, but that’s a good sign of proper healing and nothing a little cortisone cream won’t solve. I’ve also needed less of my prescribed Norco; Aleve and ice packs prove sufficient with recent pain episodes…though I may be developing an addiction to ice packs. Ha ha!

Yesterday marked a couple new milestones; I got officially discharged from home nursing care and am on my way to outpatient physical therapy!

Later that afternoon, I was almost to the mailbox before realizing I left my cane in the house. I’d been going without it indoors in order to both build up balance and wean myself from the cane, but the mailbox trip was my first outdoor effort, albeit an absentminded one. I’m not going totally nuts while out, though; I’ll still use my cane when I’m on my feet for longer periods of time (such as doing errands) or help negotiate curbs and uneven sidewalks.

I tried a little experiment this morning after I’d gotten dressed. Out of curiosity, wanted to see how far my new right knee would bend up in contrast to the left “natural” one. Imagine my reaction at both of them almost even to one another, though it appears the right knee appeared bent slightly higher when I looked at the above photo. Progress!

Apparently the time window of returning to “totally normal” following knee replacement surgery is 12-18 months, but if what I’ve experienced so far in the past month is any indication and such luck continues after my left knee is done, something tells me I’m going to have an outstanding Summer 2015!

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