Writing plus Knee Replacement? Wreck and Ruin

I survived surgery despite all the seeming cosmic hints to the contrary. Sherry’s the only one who knew a picture of my parents leapt off the entertainment center the day prior, all on its own, and from six inches back from the edge!

Upside: this surgery session was a three pinter rather than an eight pinter for blood. Downside: my impatience to be totally over this.

I’m already over hurting, have been from two minutes after waking in recovery. What do you mean this is nowhere near finished yet? How bad does it hurt? People tend to yank their hands back when I growl at them for innocently trying to pick up the pill bottle to read the label. Hey, I can’t chase them down so I’m taking no chance of it being set down out of my reach. I’m tired of meds like Coumadin that refuse to be easily controlled, so my fingertips look like I’ve been on the losing end of a two-handed game of grab-the-needle-on-the-running-sewing-machine. I hate antibiotics that make me feel pukey. I hate iron tablets so strong the odor makes me gag.

I wish I could poke the PT guy every time he adds a new excruciating exercise and smiles over it, and even though my walker is Racer Red and has a really cool seat, I never considered I had to turn around to avail myself of it. My hands are sore from maintaining a clench-lock on the hand brakes. Only took one time of it nearly shoosting out from under my butt for me to develop severe clutching tendencies.

Currently my husband peeks around the edge of the door before entering any room I’m in. The cats streak out of my way as soon as I flip the covers back (I refuse to use a bedside commode!) in the middle of the night. They’re both bob-tailed, so I don’t understand their worry.  Of course, what I thought were dreams may actually be vague memories of where I wheelie-bobbed them into a wall once or twice with my walker as I plowed my way down the hall.

Y’all, I blithely envisioned this whole ordeal entailing a few days to shake off the effects of anesthesia, then I’d sally forth with flying colors. I figured I’d be able to write while I recovered, whipping out reams of prose. Didn’t count on the meds necessary to recover from a full knee replacement. Can’t tell you how many times I’ve woken head flopped back, a kink in my neck and cotton-mouthed, from snoring open-mouthed when my meds overcame me unexpectedly. Didn’t count on the thrice weekly visits from the Marquis de Sade–I mean physical therapist.

Last but not least, nowhere in my plans was I to spend eight hours a day on the CPM (Constant Passive Motion)  machine–on top of everything else. Passive motion my back leg. This device runs on direct current, so praying for battery failure is useless. And I really like my dog, so drizzling gravy on the cord in an effort to get him to chew it in half just wasn’t up for consideration. With the CPM your surgically enhanced leg lies from foot to upper thigh in a fleece lined cradle, your foot strapped into a cute little fleece boot. Another restrictive fleece strap is fastened just below your knee. THAT strap is to hold you securely in place in case you decide to try an escape. No way are you crawling off with an eighty pound machine eating your leg. CPM’s purpose? To slowly and carefully bend this new joint from negative 4 to a positive 120 degree angle. Repeatedly. Endlessly. It prevents adhesions. It maintains movement when your mind says “Hell, no!” and your muscles lock at your psyche’s silent command, refusing to voluntarily do anything that painful.

Made big plans to use a bed table tray with my laptop, but it’s difficult to type with any accuracy with one leg churning your knee nearly to your nose, slowly raising and lowering one side of said table. Add the effects of meds, and even if you catch a decent up-and-down, up-and-down rhythm, the meds booger up your reaction time making your fingers clumsy.

So as y’all enjoy fine motor skills, think of me at least once, okay? I’m the one getting seasick from doggedly chasing my laptop up and down while under the influence of strong medication. Sorry this has been disjointed. Continued concentration is really difficult.

Oh. And now my nose is red. And snorty sounding. I’m finally cognizant enough to realize just how long twelve weeks of this is going to be. Don’t mean to sound pathetic, but for some reason my eyes sprang a leak and now can’t seem to stop crying. And the dang tissues just slid off the edge of the tray!


10 Responses

  1. Sorry it’s been a rough ride, but just think, in a little while, you and Steve can run though the meadows naked and he’ll have to work hard to catch you (although I bet you’ll let him!)

    Hang in there, babe and when ya need to cry, just let loose! Crying is healing.

    • I’m just now slightly focusing, and I know it won’t last long. Usually up and rolling by 5:30 every morning So being sluggish isn’t helping things!

      At this point I’m wrestling my lovely white anit-blood clot hose that will be with me for ten weeks. Planning a sacrificial fire for them, so you know I’m planning on sticking around! lol

  2. I agree with sfcatty, crying is very healing. Do it and let all the frustrations out!

    My godson had ACL surgery last summer and had to use one of those machines. He told me it was the worst part of the entire recovery process, so you’re not alone in wishing however invented it was in front of you so you could kick him in the groin (when your leg extended again). *big hug* I hope you feel better soon and I’m sure your dog appreciates your affection for him.

    • I’m not a weepy person, so the tears are just so undignifying and serve no purpose.The one I really feel sorry for is my sweet hubby. He’s been a real trooper.

      Thanks for the good wishes! (And the dog is glad you’re on his side too! hahaha Dog fur is very absorbent! He even howled with me a couple times!)

  3. Oh goodness. I’m so sorry. What a total and complete bummer. My sweet hubby had knee surgery and I took care of him that first week out of recovery…it was so hard to see him like that. To see anyone like that is tough.

    Hang in there. Cry all you want, it’s good for ya (like sfcatty/danica said.)


    • Thanks, Lynn! You poor thing to have been on the receiving end of one of us recoverers! If you’re like my hubby, you deserve a medal at least!

      I just want to build up the strength to focus on what’s left to be done. Rationally, I know this is temporary. But it sure seems overwhelming when you can’t do anything for yourself!

  4. Only you, Runere, can make others laugh about your infirmity. Sometimes the recovery is worse than the surgery. As for the post, well done. RitaVF

    • Thanks, Rita! If you don’t laugh, you just cry harder.

      I’m really hating on my surgical hose at the moment. Not only are they a miserable permanent fixture for ten weeks, my right pinky-toe keeps popping out of the little puckered elasticized hole in the bottom. Funny how such insignificant things make you the craziest.

      Have to wear sleeping shorts to accommodate changing bandages, so there’s a fleshy gap between their bottoms and the hose tops. PT guy was trying to be funny and boost my spirits, but telling me to get “some of those straps” to hold them up and maybe I’d feel sexy wasn’t the way to do it. He should have bled from my laser glare, and I’m sure he’ll forever remember the term “garters” due to my icy explanation.

      I really think everyone will feel better when this is over with! lol

  5. Bless your heart, Lois. Feel free to cry all you want. I think that crying’s natural after having surgery. I don’t know why, but it’s happened with both my parents and me(after emergency c-section). Just hang in there. I promise it will get better. You and your family are in my prayers.


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