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Thursday, October 11, 2012

One Year

It has been one year since my second knee surgery. It seems hard to believe that I have been in therapy for that long! On the other hand, it really has been getting old. Yet I plug through the routine three times a week, occasionally upping the weights or number of reps.

It is frustrating to me that my hip pain causes me to limp sometimes. Others usually attribute this to my knees, and I feel like a broken record saying "no, not my knees, my hip", and having to explain that yes, I see hip surgery in my future. I bore myself just getting the basic info out.

I was at the gym today for an Aqua class, but the class was canceled because not enough people showed up. It was raining, and rain tends to keep a lot of people away. I went upstairs to the weight machines instead. I did fifteen minutes on the bike, six on the elliptical, and fifteen on the treadmill. I devise my own little intervals on the treadmill, upping the level three or for decimal points for thirty to sixty seconds, then upping it again, and then taking it down twice. I do that a few times during the total fifteen minutes. I felt mild discomfort in my hip when on the treadmill today, but nothing I could call pain. That's an improvement over when I first took to the treadmill some months ago.

After doing the above cardio exercises I did several exercises on machines, strengthening my upper body, core, and back. I think I should head for the gym after physical therapy M,W, and F, to fill out the workout with these upper bod and core exercises. Making for an all-around effort.

At times I do wonder if I will ever see that light at the end of the tunnel. Did I mention in my last post that other clients at physical therapy have told me they suddenly hit the straight leg? That after a long time working on it, their knee finally went straight and there was no more pain? God, I want that so much. Will I be that fortunate?

I continue to take meds for restless leg syndrome and a recurring rash, but nothing else most of the time. Sometimes my leg (usually the right) aches to the degree that I cannot sleep and I end up taking some sort of pain killer, usually tylenol. Just to take the edge off. Sometimes I resort to Tylenol PM when it looks like it's going to be a LONG night. But I don't make a habit of it.

I have been doing a lot more work with photography in the last many months, partly because I upgraded my camera. But one difficulty I have faced is that photography field trips offered by photo groups in the area tend to involve standing and walking and not much chance to sit. Depending on how my hip is doing this can be quite a problem. I brought a "shooting stick" - also called a seat stick or something like that - to an outing at the Oceano Dunes not long ago. I found it a bit difficult to put the stick in the sand and lean against the seat, though. Other places should not present as much of a problem. Photography is usually a physically demanding activity for those who are really good at it. Well, sigh. I am doing better than I was before surgery. That is the point.

One year down. What will I say next year?


Sarah Boyd said...

I have recently been diagnosed with RA, and I know what you mean about sounding like a broken record. My RA started in my right knuckle and left foot, but has since spread to several places so that I struggle to walk some days, and people always say, oh is your foot still sore?? I find its easier to just say yes then repeat for the 15th time that I have arthritis everywhere, so everywhere is sore!! I have just started a blog to document my RA experience, check it out if you have time. Good luck with everything

Judith Lautner said...

Thanks, Sarah. RA is worse than OA, from what I have seen, so you have my sympathy. As well as kinship in that repetition thing. I should probably do the same, just say yes, knees are not good today, rather than repeating no, it's the hip, you see, and the knee is still not straight blah blah blah. I don't think they really want to know anyway.