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A Patient Patient


 (1) Heel, toe. Heel, toe. That’s my mantra as I learn to walk with my new left knee joint. Heel, toe. Heel, toe.

(2) My usual way of walking is shuffle, shuffle, shuffle, scrape, dang, stubbed toe. I definitely want to kick that habit.

(3) I’ve learned a new set of acronyms and technical terms related to knee replacement surgery. TLKR stands for total left knee replacement, which is what I had. ROM stands for range of motion. The goal is to have a ROM of 0 to 120 degrees, with zero being a straight knee. To do most normal activities, I need to bend my knee at least 120 degrees. 

(4) Extend, bend. Extend, bend. Another new mantra of mine. 

(5) Yesterday marked three weeks since my TLKR surgery. Yes, it already seems so long ago. I’m glad I did it during the winter. All the rain and cold temperatures keeps me from working in the yard. Okay, I admit I sacked leaves the other day. It was great knee bending practice. 

(6) Did you know that many, if not all, U.S. insurance companies authorize a knee replacement procedure as outpatient surgery? Many people go home the same day they got their leg opened, bones sawed, drilled, banged, manipulated, and replaced with metal and plastic, and so forth and so on for two hours or more. Drive-through surgery for a very intimate, invasive procedure!  

(7) I was a fortunate child. My surgeon’s protocol is to have his patients stay at least two nights in the hospital for observation. If I had gone home the same day of the operation, the Husband and I would’ve been very much stressed trying to figure pain management and signs of infections and blood clots. Nobody needs that.

(8) I like my artificial knee joint. My body is accepting it with minimal complaints. The pain is bearable with a dose of extra strength acetaminophen, thank goodness, because my body can’t stand opiods. 

(9) This week I started practicing going up and down our stairs with a cane. Up: good, bad, good, bad. In more detail, my brain says that when going up steps, I lead with my good leg, followed by the bad leg aka the operated leg. Good, bad. My brain says vice-versa when going down steps: bad, good, bad, good.

(10) My newly aligned left leg is already doing better than my “good” right leg, so said the physical therapist yesterday.

(11) Physical therapy is hard work and so much fun. I like having my body move again. It has been six years since I used to pedal my pink cruiser bike all over the place. What’s weird is having a straight left leg with the foot not where I remember it to be. That, I suppose is a good thing. 

(12) Today, I’m feeling confident about walking inside the house with the cane. Heel, toe. Heel, toe. I’m still restricted to using the walker when I leave the house. I’m okay with that. It keeps me out of trouble when I walk up and down our block. 

(13) Heel, toe. Bend, extend. My main tasks for the next several weeks. Heel, toe. Bend, extend. Knee-haw!

Thursday 13 is today. Check out other bloggers here .

Comments

  1. First of all, I hope you heal comfortably and completely! Secondly, #6 literally made me shudder. I'm so sorry you had to go through all that but bet you'll eventually feel all the better for having done so.

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    Replies
    1. Thanks, Gal, for your encouragement. The health care industry has got to change for the better. Our small county is at high risk of losing our hospital because of past greedy management decisions.

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  2. A great report! You'll be dancing before you know it. I have this fear that acronyms are going to take over, I'm terrible with them, and that AI is going to take over self portrait photography and art.

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    Replies
    1. Gosh, I hope AI doesn’t. What’s the fun in that!

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  3. Slow and steady wins the race. It sounds like you're working the slow and steady. You'll get there. Take care.

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    Replies
    1. This experience is teaching me to slow down, which is funny because I thought was slow and steady in the first place.

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  4. Heel, toe, heel, toe, shuffle, shuffle shuffle sounds like basic tap dancing :-) I hope you heal without too much pain, take it slow and hopefully you'll be back on that pink cruiser bike before too long.

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    Replies
    1. Oh, if I could only tap dance. I never could get the shoes to clickity clack. The Husband is a natural.

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Thanks for the good cheer. :-)

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