Just What I Kneeded

What happens after a life-altering knee injury?

The valedictorian of knee surgery

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Last time I was talking about the long-term goals I’ve made. But right now, I’m going to focus on my more immediate-term goal–being the valedictorian of knee surgery.

This morning, I had my initial follow-up appointment and my first physical therapy (PT) session. This was seriously the most anticipated trip out of my house in… forever. I was so excited that I 1) got to be upright for more than 10 minutes and 2) got to breathe fresh air for the first time in 10 days. But it quickly became apparent just how much I’ve been laying around; I got super nauseous just getting to the car. Nevermind. Had to forge onward.

I met with the PA (physician’s assistant) for the incision check, and she said it looked great. I think she was mentally patting herself on the back because she was the one who actually sewed me up. “I always like to see good-looking incisions because I’m the one who does the stitching.” So glad she’s good at what she does! I’m super excited that I can now get my incision wet in the shower (but no baths and no soaking). I do still have to use the shower chair because I am not, under any circumstances, to bear weight without my knee brace on and locked in extension. But small steps forward are still progress. I was slightly bummed that I still have to be chained to the continuous passive motion (CPM) machine for at least 15 hours a day. That barely gives me time to get in all the exercises, but it at least sounds better than 24/7.

I finished up the first appointment pretty quickly, and I had about 30 minutes to kill before my PT session, so I was chilling in the waiting room. I totally started to get sick because I’d seriously been upright longer than I’d been up in 2 weeks. Luckily, a therapist was walking by and was all, “Are you ok?” She took me back to a bench in the PT room so I could lie back for a minute and brought me some water. Thank goodness. It was just enough to perk me up before I actually had to start the hard work.

I’m working with a physical therapist with whom I’ve worked before, and I think he’s pretty darn good. I’m pretty happy to be working with him again. He had already talked with the PA, so he was able to give me the go ahead to start working on my quads. They’re mush after the trauma of the surgery and the fact that I haven’t been allowed to engage my quads at all for the last 10 days. People have seriously been picking up my foot for me. So I get to start working on the quads. I’ve been given a new set of five exercises to do 3 times a day in addition to the three that I’m already doing 6 times a day. The new exercises aren’t terribly difficult; it’s just clear that my muscles are going to take some work to get to where I was. But that’s ok! Hard work is how I’m going to become the valedictorian of knee surgery.

While I’m here, I thought I’d post a picture of the incision. Here’s where we are today. Looks good, right?

Post-op day 9

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Author: Laura

I have a fern I named Frankenstein. I like leprechauns, practicing kung fu moves on my dining room furniture, and pretending that one day I will move to Fiji. I dislike my neighbors' kids, anything that is chartreuse, and Ben Roethlisberger.

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