I had my right knee replaced four weeks ago today.
- Pain Management (NOT!) – Pain has become that relative that comes for a visit but never seems to want to leave. For the first couple of weeks, it was just at night. Since I started outpatient PT, it seems almost 24/7. I have come to cherish the 40% times that the Tramadol works. Since gettng high is not my thing, I reluctantly (but whiningly) endure the pain during the day and take one Tramadol at night when I go to bed in hopes that I can steal a few hours of sleep.
- Is Recovery a Mirage?– This morning the physical therapist told me that pain can last for up to two months. (Not what I wanted to hear.) I have heard that the stiffness can last for over a year. I keep hoping that as the days pass, I will feel more normal. What is normal anymore?
- Freedom is just another word for being able to drive. It’s been a week since I test drove my car to the local grocery store. Each day, I feel more confident in my ability to drive safely and defensively. It feels wonderful to be able to go out when/where I want without having to worry whether or not I’ll inconvenience my husband.
- The right leg is definitely stronger, even if painful. Before the surgery, the right leg never gave out on me, but it never felt as strong going up stairs. Now they both feel equally capable to going upstairs–sometimes even the pain level is equitable. I am grateful to the left leg for being such a good sport under trying conditions.
- It is what it is. I hate being inconvenienced so I hate to inconvenience other people. Since fast is not yet in my vocabulary, I forgive myself for taking too long to cross the street or stepping on/off curbs. I also realize that although I’ll have no trouble getting on/off planes, I may need to get a wheelchair while travelling from one terminal to another when changing planes at the airport. Walking longer distances is still painful for both knees and hips. On the plus side my fit bit now records 4,000+ steps a day–up from under 1,000 when I first got home.