Sunday, January 06, 2008

What I Have Learned...

Since my knee surgery (October 4th), I have learned the following:
  • Ask more questions during the visits to the surgeon, write down things to ask him.
  • Listen for the answers or have someone with you who can remember the answers! My son insisted on coming along to all such appointments. HE remembers!
  • Take ALL prescribed medication in the dosage recommended and at the time recommended.
  • Don't be afraid to ask for refills on the pain medication...I had to have mine renewed three times.
  • Go to ALL physical therapy appointments, even if you don't feel like it... you will regret missing any.
  • Ask the physical therapist questions. They have extensive training and knowledge about how the body works.
  • DON'T OVERDO IT! This means walking, exercising, sitting too long, moving quickly without thinking about how your knee is positioned.
  • Get plenty of rest and sleep.
  • Take a shower every day, even when you have to wrap your stupid knee with Glad wrap to keep the incision dry. (YES...KEEP...IT...DRY!!! Otherwise, you will get an infection like I did!)
  • Don't expect things to heal up quickly. A total knee replacement takes MONTHS! I healed up much faster when I had my hysterectomy!
  • Eat normally. Not like you won't ever see food again...
  • Drink plenty of liquids. Ice water is good!
  • If possible, find a 'buddy' who has had the same kind of surgery. You can compare notes and find out that you are not the only one having a problem dealing with the whole situation. Your family will get tired of hearing you talk about certain aspects of the healing process, but someone who has been through it will be glad to share their experiences.
  • If your dr. recommends a walker, crutches, or a cane... USE THEM!!! You will thank me later!
  • Keep a journal of your progress. I wish I had done that. My husband and son remind me now and then how far I've progressed.
  • Try to look ahead. Some day soon, you will be able to walk without a cane, get up out of a chair gracefully, turn over in bed without groaning, and hopefully, not have any more pain in the affected joint!!!!!
There, that's my two cents worth. (After being awake all night because of pain in my knee from doing too much yesterday...)


Loralee Choate said...

Hopefully, you won't have to use this list again! :)

It's a good list, Sharon. Especially not being afraid to ask for a refill of pain meds and taking your son with you to appointments.

I am hoping that by the spring/summer you will be right as rain. If you HAVE to have months of recovery, let it be when it is a little more expected to be indoors.

Hopefully you'll be able to participate in getting your amazing garden in tip top form!

Sharon said...

Thanks, Loralee. It was one of those early-morning rants after being up all night. I almost deleted it after I wrote it! Who wants to hear (over and over) about an old lady's aches and pains?????

Jeppe said...

Stick with it Sharon. I've gone through some fairly intensive physical therapy sessions myself. They are no fun, but it paid off.