Things I have learned to do for myself this week:
- Put my sock on my left foot using the toes of my right foot
- Use a scarf to gently pick up my leg with its metal and plastic brace that weighs "a whole bunch" and place it back on the bed after walking
- Walk down the hall carrying juice or water and an ice pack, whilst using crutches
- Make an ice sandwich with my knee as the filling
- Take my own shower, dress myself and perform all of my personal hygiene
- Fix my own juice, yogurt, or oatmeal and carry it down the hall.
Things I have learned I will need help with for a while longer:
- Getting in and out of the car with crutches and walker for therapy sessions
- Putting on compression stockings; toes are not the same as fingers and hands when the subject matter is surgery-grade elastic hosiery
- Eating anything other than yogurt, oatmeal, or ready-made beverages.
While it has not been the sort of week one just yearns for, overall, I have been quite happy, and feeling like I have accomplished a lot in the 4 days since someone "opened up my knee, took a hammer and chisel to the bones, and rearranged my knee" (my Physical Therapist, reminding me the body does not take kindly to those kinds of insults). In some ways, the pain was worse than I imagined, and in others, I have been surprised that I am managing so well, decreasing pain, and strengthening my muscles and ability to control my body. I worked hard this weekend (my homework) to get the swelling out of the knee and muscles functional again, and I have the records of "walk, ankle pumps, ankle rotations, knee/quads compressions, knee lifts, elevate, ice" to prove it. I even was able to make some movements with my leg using only my muscles, and not have to have assistance and was feeling downright proud of myself.
You know the pride thing, right? I was also doing so well in pain control that I wanted to try reducing pain medications, because you know the drill: take pain medication, nod off to sleep, wake in an hour, nod off to sleep, repeat endlessly. Not a good plan--major pain crisis. It feels like I stretched a muscle, as opposed to being at the knee itself and related to the incision. So, hoping a little more rest and ice and elevation will convince my brain that I really do not need to be told "what a maroon" (Bugs Bunny, circa 1950s) one more time this afternoon, and that I have not undone all the great work I did.
If only there were the warning beep like backing up: You are about to overdo! Stop!
But, tomorrow is another day and recovery is an ongoing process. Thank goodness therapy is not until 4 tomorrow afternoon...I might be ready to go by then. And another thing on the list of accomplishments: reading an actual book...the kind printed on paper...and it has been a "page turner" in more ways than one. Read, rest, rehydrate--my plan for the rest of the summer.