My New Knees…Take One!

Twelve days ago I went into the hospital at 11 o’clock and was taken back at about 2:30 for my surgery.  The surgery was expected to last 3 hours, minimum, since I was having both knees replaced.  My expectation was that I would blog at the end of every day in order to be able to describe things such as pain level, therapies that were done, etc….I am here to tell you that BOY I WAS WRONG!  I took a notebook as a back up and figured that I could write in it daily and then transpose my notes into a nice little daily blog.  Twelve days later I  think I remember writing in the book, but for the life of me I can’t even tell you if the book is unpacked yet!  Life as I knew it is no longer a possibility….now my life consists of physical therapy exercises 3 times a day, laying in the spare bedroom in the 2 CPM machines that I am renting, and/or sitting in the recliner with the Game Ready Ice machine flowing cold water and soft compression through the binders that I strap on both knees.

Sleep is a suggestion at this point…last night we went to bed at 10.  After tossing and turning, propping and unpropping my legs with pillows, turning to my right, then to my left, then on my back, until I finally figured out by 1am that sleep will be evasive.  I have these pads that my husband straps around my calves every night and they alternately squeeze throughout the night to prevent blood clots.  The problem with these squeezers is that every time I move, they slide down to my ankles.  Talk about frustration!  At 1 am last night I unhooked the squeezers and went to the bathroom to figure out a way to shave my wooly legs, then back to bed by 1:40.  At 2:30 I still couldn’t find a way to lay without pain so off go the squeezers and to the kitchen I head.  Perhaps a snack will help me sleep?  All I can carry is a small bag of cashews, so I gingerly carry them back to the bedroom, put on my squeezers and sit propped up next to my peacefully sleeping husband to eat the cashews.  By 4 I have now moved into every conceivable position with no relief so all that’s left to do is cry. DId I mention that tears come quite easily?  Finally I just prop up, adjust the freakin squeezers for the 400th time, and close my eyes.  3 hours later I feel a warm hand reach for mine and realize I slept.

My 16 year old daughter Maddie has become my right hand gal.  She now knows how to strap on my binders, strap me into the CPM machines, does the laundry on a daily basis, hauls me to physical therapy 3 days a week, and has assumed the responsibilities that I can no longer do.  I depend on a walker to get from room to room, although I got in trouble from her because the other morning I was in the bathroom and the walker was in the bedroom.  She scolded me like I was 4….and she had every right to do it.  I think I have experienced every emotion known to man, and I am humble enough to say that I am not as tough as I had previously believed.  My husband, who has been my rock, comes home from work, peeking into the room to see which Shelly will be sitting in the chair. Or should I just change my name to Sybil….I know I have discovered as many personalities as she had.  The tears come at the drop of a hat, and I just want to be left alone in a dark room to feel sorry for myself.  This is where my support system comes to my rescue. They won’t let me feel sorry for myself, they encourage me, they will hug me if I need it, or they will just leave me alone when I need time to work out my feelings.  Having both knees done at the same time means that it is hard to get away from the pain, but down the road I will be happy I had this done. Plus, you can bet your sweet bippy that I would not return to have a second one done had I chose to go that route.  No way!  I don’t write this to scare anyone off, because I am sure in a month I will be singing a different tune for sure.  This has by far been the hardest thing I have done in my life, and that includes giving birth to 4 children without drugs….but when I am healed and life is back to normal I will reflect back and be proud of what I have done.  I am going to find my notebook and read through the notes that I wrote in a drug induced haze and will begin the real story of this adventure.   Thanks for reading!


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