Journey Through Total Knee Replacement Part 3

I’ve just about completed week 7 of my total knee replacement journey. To say this is a long healing process is an understatement. So this is where I am at week five. I am healing. Sometimes I complain, but I’m making progress. I am driving now. I did my first photo shoot for the Autism Speaks Walk. So I’m pretty excited that I was able to do it. Yes, I was so sore and a bit swollen the following day, but I did it. Now I wish I could take on the world. Yet, I know I have to take it in spells.

I still have some sensitivity to the knee. Just the other day I couldn’t let ANYTHING touch it except for sweat pants or my heated blanket. The sensitivity and swelling comes and goes. Not much swelling left, but was told it would take a year for complete swelling to go away.

I took my first road trip to SC. That was five hours both ways. The good thing about traveling with my mom and sister is we break it up and I was able to stretch my legs at stops. This was a good test. I only drove an hour, but I do think that was enough.

I’m still doing my physical therapy. Of course some days I just don’t feel like going, but I go because I know it’s helping. I’m bending at a steady 116° angle. I would complain, but my other knee only goes to 116°. However I’m still trying to reach that magic number of 120°! I should start doing more walking this well with the temps a bit cooler and everything.

I’m excited about my progress compared to were I was almost two months ago right after surgery.

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Knee Replacement Journey Part 2

Here I am again. I’m now three weeks post surgery. To me, I’m surprised at the progress I’ve made. However, my doctors and therapist are pleased but not surprised.

I’m now able to get in my bed and the car without assistance. That’s in and out. I can also lift my leg while standing, sitting, and laying. My knee is bending at 106° angle! My doctor wants it 120°.  So I guess I’m getting there.  I always says small progress is still progress.  I’m still doing my physical therapy twice a week and doing my home exercises.

Now about some other things.  I don’t know if any of this is related to the surgery and the anesthetics, but I can feel my body going through some changes.  What kind of changes?  My sleeping is way off course.  Most nights I’m getting 2 hours at a time.  You talking about someone being way off balance.  I also can’t focus for long periods of time.  Normally my thoughts are going fifty miles per hour.  Now, not so much.  I’m told it will get better.  I hope so because I have things to do.  So, for now, I’m doing a lot of resting and doing some binge watching.  I do small projects here and there.  Doing some training and meditation to keep me going.

I’m so thankful for my mom.  She is giving so much of herself right now to help me get well.  For that, no amount of thankfulness will ever show how much I appreciate her and what she does.

People seem to always be amazed when they see me and my progress.  I’m sitting here like what?  I know everyone heals differently. I just be thinking my progress is so slow.  Then I hear stories of people that are at their 12 weeks and no where near where I am now and I’m surprised!  Before I had the surgery, I did so much research to ensure I was ready and prepared to do the work.  I know the pain would be there, especially that first week or so.  I also knew that it was going to take some serious drive to push through the pain.  I knew I’d be walking the day of surgery, knew I’d have to go to therapy the day after I got out the hospital.  I knew all this, was ready for it.  Maybe I’m progressing because I want it and I already knew what to expect, or maybe because I have a great doctor that explained everything in great detail.  When I look at things, it doesn’t matter how big or small the surgery I’m about to undergo, I take the time to research.  I may not know EVERYTHING the doctor knows but, I feel pretty good about what is about to happen.

So this is where I am right now.  I’m three weeks and one day post surgery.  The one thing that tickles me is how people want to see my scar.  They want to compare to theirs or a close family member.  I don’t have a problem showing them.  I know at first I was just scared to look at my own scar, but now, I’m good with looking at it.  It’s healing pretty well.

Have you or someone you know had a total knee replacement surgery?  If so, can you share how you were at three weeks?

Total Knee Replacement Journey

What is a total knee replacement: Total knee replacement, or total knee arthroplasty, is a surgical procedure in which parts of the knee joint are replaced with artificial parts (prostheses). A normal knee functions as a hinge joint between the upper leg bone (femur) and the lower leg bones (tibia and fibula).

Total knee replacement is a common procedure. Most people hear good and bad things about it. I know I did. As a matter of fact I still am. Over the next few months I’m going to take you on this journey with me.

My why:

Last year I had a knee scope where they repaired a torn ligament. At that time they saw the arthritis, but it wasn’t as bad. Cleaning the torn ligament was great, kept my knee from buckling. He told me that EVENTUALLY I’d need the total knee replacement. He didn’t expect me back a year and some change later. I was at the point that if I worked all day I could barely make it to my car before my knee gave out.

So I started with prayer and a discussion with my family and doctor. My doctor laid out all my options, the good and bad. Some options may work temporarily, others didn’t have enough research to give a good enough percentage. So after all that I decided to go with the total knee replacement.

I worked a month up until my surgery to help my team out. That was the longest month of pain. A week before your surgery you have to stop taking anything that works like a blood thinner like pain pills. The only thing I was pretty much able to take was tlynol. That does nothing. However, I made it.

The morning of surgery was farley pleasant. I already knew I’d stay at least one night. Some have to stay longer, do not be surprised. I did a lot of research leading to this day. I was nervous, but ready. I was really glad I was the first surgery if the day.

Now here’s where it gets interesting to me. Now they did say I would have the spinal anaesthesia and something “where I wouldn’t remember what’s going on.” I was out like a light until the last few minutes. Yes y’all, I woke up!!! I couldn’t feel anything below my waist, couldn’t see anything beyond the sheet hanging up separating me, BUT I knee they were there. The anesthesiologist asked if I wanted to go back to sleep. I nodded my head yes but wanted to scream “duh of course”. Next thing I know I was in recovery room, then I as being wheeled to my room. Yes, my own private room.

As they got me situated I tried to regain clarity. For just having surgery I was very awake. I understood everything the nurses and Dr’s said. I was feed a liquid diet, then they served real food for lunch and dinner. Surprisingly they were farley decent.

Just had surgery right? In my room by lunch time, right? I was up walking before dinner!!!!!! Yes, physical therapy started the same day. Oh it hurt to get up, but once I was up I was good. Needless to say I limited my restroom breaks as much as possible.

Day after my surgery:

The day after consisted of me working hard so I can go home. Certain progress has to be made before your Dr allows you to go home. No problems on my end that I saw. The hardest part of the transition was getting in and out of the car. That ment bending my knee! My mom may have something else to say. The hardest part at home was getting out of my bed. That took anywhere from ten to fifteen minutes.

Almost 2 weeks later:

Now, I’m at the stage where I’m getting around better. Not great, but better. Not really taking any pain pills. While I can’t lift that leg just yet, the leg is getting stronger. I’m doing things I couldn’t do on day one. So I’m making progress. My therapists say I’m improving. Just have to make sure I continue doing my home exercises.

That’s where I am right now. I’m taking it one day at a time. I’ll be back shortly with more progress.