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Thursday, October 20, 2011

How it's Going

I have been out of transitional care since last Saturday, five days. It's been a busy time for a couch potato like me. Daughter Elaine was here until yesterday, when she flew home again. She stocked up on groceries, vacuumed, washed clothes, sent spiders off on new journeys.  She took me to my appointment with my surgeon Tuesday and sat in on it (everything looks terrific). So her time was another kind of transition for me, a way for me to break slowly back into my old home routine.

Saturday I attended a wedding! But wait. It was a low-key affair and I left after the ceremony, did not wait for the food, much as I am sure I would have enjoyed it (daughter Elaine dropped me off and picked me up). I am happy to report that I have had very little nausea or other food discomfort, compared to last time. When I had surgery on my left knee I did not actually lose my appetite or my taste but food was simply not interesting for several weeks. I ate just as much but did not enjoy it. Not so this time. I have been enjoying it from the first bite of - what did they give us that first day? applesauce? Something like that.

Sunday I mostly vegged, watched Breaking Bad with Elaine. I think I took a small walk. Monday I met with the home-care nurse, Sandy, for the first time. She was impressed by my progress and my overall good health, surprised at the small number of meds I am taking.

Over the weekend and into Monday I did not do much in the way of exercise. I had the packet of exercises from SLTC (San Luis Transitional Care) and I knew others I could do, but I just relaxed instead. I was not surprised when the physical therapist, Roberto, measured my flex and extension on Tuesday and found that I had lost a little of what I gained at SLTC. Neither of us was worried about it, though. Roberto went through the SLTC packet of exercises and circled those he thought I should focus on, and filled in the number of sets and reps for each. He said, though, that he is pleased when his patients do any exercises at all on their own. I have heard this a lot. I am not so gung-ho that I do everything every day but I believe I am more conscientious than many others. He echoed Sandy's comments that I am doing very well and he anticipated that I would move to outpatient therapy in two weeks.

Roberto emphasized the need for elevating my foot and was happy to hear that I am big on reading. It is easier to get patients to elevate when they have something like reading to do.  He suggested that I lie on the floor and put my leg on the couch to get the right height. Later, I tried this, and had a helluva time getting back up again. I moved myself over to my knees, and my right knee is so very much not ready to kneel. Getting up was too painful.

Wednesday I saw Roberto again. We went through all of the recommended exercises and I went up and down the front steps as well. I told him my trouble getting up from the floor and he showed me another way to do it, which works much better. I have done it a few times since then.

The pain. It seems like a lot. I wake up in pain and have trouble loosening up enough to calm it down. This morning it took over an hour to feel relief, even after I took some pain relievers. I think most of this difficulty is from the swelling - the edema. It is going down but has a ways to go yet. I don't remember feeling this much pain the last time but on the other hand I do have a vague recollection of having some concerns about it. I was so happy when I could go off pain relievers altogether, which happened somewhere around six weeks after surgery, as I recall (I was still using something at night).

I need to get up and move around and do a few more exercises. This is the best path to pain relief and flexibility. I will do that in just a few minutes.

Sandy came for the second time this morning. She said I was healing so well that she figures one more visit will do it. I do not need nursing. Most of her patients are much sicker than I am.

I am loving all these positive reports from all the health care professionals. There is no doubt in my mind that the time I spent in the gym paid off, as did my plant-based diet.


Bryantcafe said...

OK Jud, so this is about 7 weeks out? I am beginning to get this is a long recovery. Longer than I thought. Good luck to you; wish I were where you are!!!!

Judith said...

No, sis, it is only about 2-1/2 weeks since my surgery! I guess that's why I'm the math major and you aren't...

EMR said...

The pain is annoying...and does not seem to leave the body soon enough.Yes sometimes exercises do help,but always be in consultation with the doctor.