Monday, October 24, 2011

One Month Follow Up with Doctor

Today was the day for the follow up visit after my knee replacement. It started with X-Rays of my surgical knee. Then a short wait to be called back to the office.
While waiting in the office we could see the seated view of my knees on the computer screen. Chris decided to see if he could see the other views... Success!! Wow the replaced knee looks crazy!! Also realize how BAD my other leg/knee is! Badly bowed and bone on bone.
I saw Fabio's assistant, Jason. He said that the X-Rays looked perfect, the incision looked good. When he bent my leg he was surprised that I could bend it as far as I can. Approximately 110 degrees, and they are happy with 90 degrees at 6 weeks. So I am far ahead of schedule! He explained the slight click that I noticed is the tab on the inside of my knee cap. Very normal, no concern... Yay! Also he wrote a prescription for a month of physical therapy.
So then on to the very important question.... When are we doing the right knee. I told him I am ready now! So Fabio came in, we talked and he agreed... as soon as possible! After seeing Tracey (Fabio's nurse) and Laura ( the scheduler) my right knee will be replaced on November 22. Yes I will be in the hospital for Thanksgiving. Guess I will have to talk everyone into coming over the Sunday before to celebrate!

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Rehab and beyond.....

I spent about 10 days using my (Herschel) Walker... lol we just had to name it that!! I was really delighted when Mike (my physical therapist) said it was time to get a cane... Yes I guess I will call it Michael (Caine?!?!) I....willhelpyou....walk....acrosstheroom. Yea that's the way they write his scripts! It would have been nice to get one with flames on it, like House's. But I'm not willing to put out 80 bucks for one. So got a black one with shiny butterflies for $15.
On 10/6 the visiting nurse came and took out the staples. They were really gross looking, and I was glad they would be gone, but I was nervous about having them removed. Turns out they come out quite easily! A few little pinches, but most of them came out painlessly!
Every Monday and Thursday the phlebotamist comes and takes my blood. Then every Tuesday and Friday the doctor's office calls me and tells me how much Coumadin to take. Coumadin is a blood thinner always prescribed after leg surgery to reduce the chances of blood clots. It is very powerful and comes with a long list of bad drug interactions. Seems like everything increases the effects of this drug. Can't wait until 10/22 which is the last day I have to take it.
For 3 1/2 weeks I have been doing my stand up leg exercises twice a day. Mike comes 3 times a week to bend and stretch the knee.
I am happy to say that I am going to the grocery store for short trips, can walk around for 30 to 45 minutes. It is so good to be getting out, but always come home exhausted. Glad I don't have to go back to work too soon!!
I go to the doctor on the 24th, and will know then when we are going to do the right knee. Until then I'll keep doing my exercises and building my stamina!

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

The Road Back

I would be lying if I said the ride home was easy.... every pot hole and bump in the road made my leg bounce and the percosets couldn't mask the pain. But we made it home in just over an hour, and I was delighted to be there!!
I stayed downstairs in the living room, walker and bottle of percosets always close by. That night was a blur, but do remember thinking that it was good that the dogs were still at the kennel. The cats were curious enough about my knee, both vying for my attention.
With the dawning of Monday began the parade of home health workers into my life. Wendy the visiting nurse came and checked my incision and checked me over. Also began the twice weekly blood draw to check the level of coumadin in my blood system. Still sleeping a lot, Chris went out shopping, got a shower seat, ice packs and ordered a recliner.
Tuesday brought the physical therapist. He made me go upstairs, checked to see if I could get in the shower and watched me use my walker. Went over the easy exercises I was doing and checked my balance by making me stand on one leg with my eyes closed.
Pups came home late that day... right after the recliner arrived. They sure were curious about my knee, but seemed more excited about the recliner that they seemed to feel was gotten for them!
Wednesday thankfully no visitors. Days still a bit of a blur, but getting around a little better. Got upstairs and took a shower..., YAY!
Thursday had a different nurse who was horrible at drawing blood, but fortunately next week Mobile Lab would be doing it. Also had PT in the afternoon. He stretched and bent my knee, was surprised that it didn't hurt that much. But he added 3 standing exercises. Calf lifts, knee lifts and side leg lift. All to be done at the kitchen sink, twice a day.
Later that day Chris' family stopped by to see how I was doing. They are so cute, I love his family!!
The rest of the week was uneventful.... just working at getting stronger!

Tuesday, October 04, 2011

Hospital time....

10 days after surgery.... I am surprised at how much I can do!! I can sit at the computer long enough to check e-mail, play games and attend to this blog thing... which we all know I am horrible at doing!!
My first two thoughts waking from surgery were I couldn't get warm, and the oxygen up my nose hurt!!! Very strange everyone asking me to wiggle toes, did I know where I was, wiggle toes again.
Pretty quickly got moved to my room. Delighted that it was private! And that I stayed in the bed I was in! Chris looked happy to see me, I know he was worried. Nurses came in, set up and explained the pain pump. Also explained the other options. Dilaudid was the shit! Don't remember a lot of that day or night.
Next morning sadly my morphine pump was capped off and taken away and got my last injection of dilaudid. But that was then replaced with percosets... Yay!! Dressing was changed, and when I saw all the layers no wonder I couldn't even wiggle my knee! Those staples are scary looking. Late morning, they got me out of bed and I walked an amazing 12 steps! Sat in my recliner and had lunch. Someone from anesthesia showed up to remove the epidural. The worst was all the tape coming off. Didn't realize until later how many welts were on my back from that.
My nurse said she would remove the foley before my afternoon rehab class. But tech Dan insisted I go with it still in! Yuck it was uncomfortable. Class was tough, had to do lift knee and bend it.. OUCH but going to push it! Then more walking, and learning stairs. Walked back to my room, and finally got the foley out... good and bad because from that point on I had to get up and walk to the bathroom.
The food in the hospital was interesting. Breakfast both days was really good, eggs cooked perfectly. Lunch was good on Saturday, but it's hard to mess up a grilled cheese. Pot roast was horrible!!!! Chris got me a hoagie (he got a cheesesteak) but apparently the place had no idea how to make either! He got me snackies for the evening, and he went to get some rest.
I got forgotten when it was time for my pain meds... ended up in a lot of pain, with nausea right around shift change. After I got taken care of, I got back in bed, and finally slept, and slept!
Sunday morning got the good news from the doc that I could go home!!! Went to my morning rehab class. Found out my walker would be delivered around 2, decided to wait to leave until I took meds at 3. And yes by 3:30 we were on the way home!!

Monday, September 05, 2011

Wow it has been a long time!!!

Ok I guess I'm not really too good at this blogging thing. My last post was April 12, 2009?!?!?!!
We successfully quit smoking, haven't had a smoke since that day! But we have had other health issues, have gained weight, been diagnosed with severe OA in my knees, and now am scheduled to have Total Knee Replacement of my left knee! So since I will be out of work for a while, perhaps I will attempt to document my progress after my surgery.
Surgery is scheduled for 9/23/2011... the first day of Autumn....nervous but excited!!!

Sunday, April 12, 2009

Day 8.... Quit Day!!

Days 3 to 7 were uneventful, no horrible dreams no bad side effects from Chantix. I did begin to notice a decreased urge to smoke, and found I wasn't getting the pleasure from smoking anymore. I was a little concerned and anxious about quitting on Sunday, but also felt confident that I could do it.
At 2:30 AM on April 12, 2009 I smoked my last cigarette, and went to bed. Yes we made it a late night, had a midnight run to Wawa for coffee, and had our last smokes together.
We woke up after noon on Sunday, and went about our morning. Amazing that I had no craving. When I went up to take a shower, I spotted a pack of cigarettes sitting on his night table. He had one last one before bed. I put them in my closet and figured I would throw them out later. Later mthat day he asked where they were, and I told him. He took them and when I asked him if this is what he really wanted, he said "Yes!". I was pleasantly surprised to see him ripping them up and throwing them out!!
After going out to dinner and returning home, we realized how horrible our home smelled. Stale tobacco smoke is really gross, and I am amazed that I am saying that!
We are both convinced that we can beat tobacco, and be smoke free... forever!

Monday, April 06, 2009

Chantix...Day 2

Good News.. no nightmares last night, but still on a very low dose. Tried to do my exercise of logging every cigarette I smoked today, did OK until I went to work. That seems to be when I smoke the most from stress. I have habits to change at work to stop smoking there, but I think recognizing that is half the battle. Plus I have been telling all my smoking "buds" that I am quitting. All seem to be supportive, and most expressed the desire to quit themselves. It has gotten just to expensive!!