Now that the surgery is past let the healing begin. This part of the dance will present a particular challenge. I worked the leg muscles in physical therapy to the point where I saw progress in mobility and reduced pain. This part of the dance almost feels like I’m starting from scratch. Learning new dance moves is always difficult for a klutz with two left feet. They warned me before I had surgery that recovery wouldn’t be easy. I’ve never been one to back down from a challenge. Therefore, let the fourth step in the new knee boogie begin.
I learned early on to establish a schedule. OrthoIndy sent home a list of instructions, which included exercises. They also prescribed some powerful pain pills. My first idea was to play the martyr. I somehow convinced myself I would take the situation in hand and do this without medication. On the ride home, I decided it might not be a bad idea to have a little something. Before we reached the city limits sign, I told Rooster to stop at the pharmacy and pick up the prescription.
My first week went like this. It goes something like this, climb out of bed, eat, exercise, and sleep. I also managed to squeeze a couple of physical therapy sessions in between naps.
Week two of recovery performing the fourth step in the new knee boogie
I’m starting to feel like I’m on my way to normal. The large incision down the front of my knee and leg is starting to heal. The stables look like shiny silver dragon scales, and I estimate there are about 40 of them running down the front of my leg. I have to resist the urge to pull them out because they look so out of place. Three times a week I go to physical therapy. The knee is getting stronger. The exercises are working. I don’t need as much pain medication. This stage of recovery is an excellent improvement. Still, I feel exhausted and sleep some of the time, but not like I did the week before when I seemed to need an enormous amount of rest.
Week three performing the fourth step in the new knee boogie
Rooster reminds me that pain is simply weakness leaving the body. Sometimes I wish my husband would keep his mouth shut. There is a part of me rebelling against the whole recovery process. The exercises are helping me get stronger, but I’m tired of the daily routine. It would be nice to get back to normal. I want to sit at my desk and do some serious writing. In the past ten years, I have managed to put down words every day. I fear I’m drifting into a serious case of writer’s block.
Good news. I have managed to sit at my desk for three days at the end of this week. This is real progress. The words are clumsy at times, but at least I’m writing. At least I’m experiencing some progress. I graduated from a walker to a cane. My staples are removed so no more dragon scale leg. I guess you could say I’m making progress.
Week Four performing the fourth step in the new knee boogie
Everyone says I’m making good progress, but I feel frustrated. Patience with myself has never been one of my strong points. I want to be up and running better than new, and I want to do that now. Recovery is a process. It doesn’t happen overnight. The snowstorm we had didn’t help my mood. It makes it difficult to get around. The sub-zero temps don’t help. We are used to dealing with these sorts of issues here in Indiana. I feel so sorry for the people in Texas and all over the deep south. This weather must come as a shock to them. I’m praying for a heatwave.
On a more positive note, I plan to give up the cane by the end of the week. I’m also sitting at my desk for longer periods than I did last week. It is hard to keep the knee in a sitting position for more than an hour. More exercises are now added to my daily routine. The swelling is going down, and I can see the beginning of a dull light at the end of the tunnel. If I could only manage to sleep through the night without waking up for an hour or so, I would feel like I was at the end stages of recovery.
What doesn’t kill you makes you stronger
The new knee boogie is nothing to enter into lightly. You will know it is time to have knee replacement surgery when the pain stops you from living your life. Once you decide to have it done, it is important to make a full commitment to playing an active part in your recovery. There will be dark days when you feel like giving up the fight. Just remember your going to get out of it what you put into it. Physical therapy and those painful exercises are important. They aren’t kidding when they tell you to do them three and sometimes four times a day. Keep a positive attitude, and you will come through the process with the results you expect.
I finished binge-watching a television series. The next challenge on my bucket list to sit at my desk for extended periods. It’s time for me to get back to work on my writing projects. I need to find my rhythm again so the words can start to flow once more. My mama had a favorite saying. When I belly ached and complained about an unpleasant experience, she always said, “What doesn’t kill you makes you stronger.” The new knee boogie is making me understand the truth in the old that cliche.
Who is Molly Shea?
Molly Shea is an accomplished fictional short story writer from Indiana who writes short stories and novels about a fictional town called Tecumseh. To read more of her short stories and adventures, click here.
Be sure to follow Molly on Twitter!