For the last decade my knees have been sending me unpleasant nastygrams with increasing frequency as they slowly morphed into an old cowboy’s bandy-legged profile. It seems the interior landing of both knees have been succumbing to a lifetime of playing hard, coupled with a pesky thing called osteoarthritis, which my parents gave me as a birthday present. The net result of all this is that my knees hurt pretty much full time, although sometimes even moreso.
As a result, when I woke up–in what seemed less than a nanosecond after watching them do the nerve block–I could get up and walk to the potty and pee. Fully weight bearing on my new magic knee. Without pain. With an audience of three.
Then it was time to get dressed and blast on back to Flagstaff. Lora is speeding us north in our slipshod waaaah-bulance.:
One of my great concerns was how do I, with a freshly rebuilt knee, get from my driveway up the long, muddy switchbacks, to my house? Wheelbarrow? Furniture dolly? I was over-thinking it. Get out of the car and walk up to the long, muddy switchbacks to my house.
And walk up the stairs, sit in my chair, and play my ukulele. I find this more than mind-boggling. At 7:30 a.m. I was lying on a gurney in the pre-op room in Phoenix, wondering if the surgery would happen soon. At 1p.m., 5-1/2 hours later, I was 135 miles north, sitting in my living room, able to walk around, with a partial knee replacement.
That was four days ago. The rest is not very exciting. It took the nerve block more than three days to fully subside, so I missed a lot of the quality pain I paid for and had every right to expect. A few days of mild discomfort, a few days that I could call minor pain. Lots of exercises and stretches, lots of friends being astonishingly kind to me, and a few walks around the house, down the street, and about the boatshop.
Physical Therapy starts in three days, staples out two days after that, and five days after that: a new right knee to match. Woohoo!
Gigantic thanks to my dear friends Lora (whose RN skills and kind words and actions were invaluable) and Day (who came down from Utah to help guide me through this wonderland). I owe you big.
Postscript: Ow. On day five the nerve block finally wore off and I found out just how irritated my knee was about all this. Turns out it is hard to follow the “let-pain-be-your-guide” activity plan when you can’t feel the pain. I think I overdid it. Days five and six were pretty painful. Today is day seven and I am on an oxycodone holiday and doing my exercises a lot more gingerly. I think I’ll be back on track here pretty quick.