Seven Week Update

Long-Time-No-Chalk

I have been MIA from the blog for several weeks.  I was always taught if you do not have anything nice to say then say nothing at all.  (I really should remind myself of that more often.)   In the fourth and fifth week after my knee surgery I was in a dark place, not seeing much progress in my physical therapy and still having more pain than I anticipated.  On top of that, we have had the worst spring I can remember, torrential rains with no sunshine for days upon days.  Days without sun are not good for me.

However, these last two weeks have been much better and I have forced myself to participate in life and guess what happened.  I am seeing real progress in my knee bending (although still have a long way to go) and the pain has improved.  I am walking without my cane and even went to the gym pool yesterday to walk and do strengthening exercises.  I think I may actually survive this surgery!

I have even completed a project I have been thinking about for a while and that is creating a chalkboard for my kitchen! I love the idea of a changeable venue for menus, messages or inspirational quotes front and center in the room we live in the most.   Although I love reading, I have known for a long time that I am a visual person which is probably why I have always been interested in  typography (the art of making language visible).  I even have a “ChalkBoard Art” board on pinterest.  Look at some of these fun creations:

Children will be given

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Birthday Board

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Trust God

Source

The chalk board I made for my kitchen is even more special because it is a frame my dad made for me many years ago.  I painted it white and used chalkboard paint on the hardboard backing.  Easy!  I have another chalkboard I made hanging in my office that currently lists my goal categories for the year.  It is a great way to keep those items close 0n a daily basis.

Chalkboard-Goals

We have had several other fun activities going on here in the last week and I will be sharing those soon!

Craving Normal

At three weeks post surgery I am doing pretty darn good.  I am walking with a cane more than the walker, working part-time (nothing can stop an accountant and month end close) and started outpatient physical therapy today.  I still have much more pain than I expected to have and still having a hard time bending my knee.  The goal is 120 degree bend and I am at about 96 degrees.  Today’s therapy was more about recording a  baseline of what I can do so they did not push me too hard.  I am a little worried about the next six weeks, I see more pain in my future.

flexMost of all, I am craving normal, at least normal for me.  I want to be able to:

*Take my camera outside and shoot pictures of spring emerging.

110a

*Go to the grocery store, wander leisurely up and down the aisles.  Bring the groceries home and cook dinner.

*Shop for cute baby clothes for my soon-to-be-born grandson, Levi.

Polo

*Move freely between the first and second floors of my house without having to have my “spotter” standing in front or behind me, making sure I do not lose my balance on the stairs.

stairsjpg

*Sleep in a position other than on my back.

*Go out of town for the weekend.

FirePit

*Be able to walk without thinking about how strange my knee feels.

In summary, I am ready for this whole TKR (total knee replacement) experience to be behind me.  Gail, my wonderful in-home physical therapist, told me life would be closer to normal at about the eight week mark.  Five more weeks to go……seems like five years!

New spring look!

I have a new spring fashion to share with you, white compression hose, ace wrap and a built-in cooling system.  Isn’t it lovely?

post-knee-surgery

Let’s break this look down shall we?

1.  White Compression  Hose – This part of the assemble is pure evil.  Although presented by the medical profession as an important tool in preventing blood clots, the truth is they cut off total circulation in your leg.  No blood, no clots, no nothing is moving under these ultra tight,scratchy demons.  Trying to put them on after you have taken them off to shower is, well, no words can describe that fun!

2.  Ace Wrap –  Although this is an optional item at this point, it does play a wonderful role in keeping the cooling system attached to your leg.  This fashion item is just a part time addition.

3.  Cooling System –  Although this would be a bit cumbersome if you were very mobile,  it is perfect for this first week when you are doing very little except trying to articulate your pain on a scale of 1 to 10. Looking like my own personal beverage cooler, this unit delivers localized cold therapy by the use of a pump that circulates extremely cold water to the desired area.

As lovely as this look is, I certainly do not want to make this a permanent part of my wardrobe.

flowers1

According to the multitude of health professionals that have been traipsing in and out of my bedroom the last few days, I am doing great for a week out of surgery.  My only goals are to see how far I can get my knee to bend and how many laps I can make with the walker around the second story of my home.  I have NO desire to tackle those stairs again for while, although the therapist says we will be working on that by the end of this week.   The knee bending goal is 120 degrees over all, but only 90 for the first week.  I have been having a very difficult time with the knee bending,  but today with the therapist pushing and me breathing like I was about to give birth, the 90 degrees was finally achieved.  YEAH!!

Another issue I will be fighting over the next few weeks is the IMPATIENT MONSTER that lives in my brain.  I know when work and life gets crazy I often dream of a few days of downtime to do nothing.  Of course that downtime is usually more about sun, sand and beaches than pain, immobility and 25 staples.

I want to truly thank all of you for the visits, plants, phone calls, food and warm wishes.  I can not imagine going through this without the support of my family and friends.