Recovery Day 12
Happy Saturday World!
It has officially been 12 days of recovery for me since my knee surgery and I am so glad to say that the pain is becoming MUCH more manageable. Yesterday was my first day at home alone and I was successfully able to get in and out of bed on my own! :-D During the first week I was in excruciating pain when anyone else would lift up my leg for me or even touch my foot, and now I'm able to pick up my own leg as I carefully slide off the bed. It is so nice to see my knee finally start to improve and in more exciting news, my leg is now bending up 58 degrees in the CPM Machine!
I would love to say that I kept more of a diary during the first two weeks, and while I did write a little that I'll eventually post, it was pretty much impossible to focus on much of anything for more than twenty minutes at a time. My ice machine runs in 30 minute cycles with freezing water running into this pouch that surrounds my leg (super awesome and high tech btw). A really quite amazing machine that takes all the annoyance out of trying to keep ice packs could (minus the fact it eats up about 4-5 bags of ice a day) but let me tell you - the pain is oh so much more fun when my leg is ice cold. With my foot and ankle becoming sore and my hips and glutes overworking in attempts to compensate for the lack of quad strength, it is starting to bring up a lot of sciatica pain. For about the last 10 minutes of each ice cycle I am fully aware that the end is near. (Oh yes, and did I mention? This machine also adds compression- which increases for the last five minutes. SUPER great.) My focus on the pain becomes ever so clear in my mind and some days are definitely better than others. I practice to control my breath, attempt to relax, and use anything else to help distract and trick my mind out of this waiting mode. Naturally, I'm now on Season 3 of Friends.
In all actuality, being a patient is a full time two person job. One of which where I myself have hardly any control over anything. Taking now about 3-4 different medications a day that are all needing to be timed perfectly and with food in my stomach it is a recipe for stress when things get slightly off schedule. Not to mention that my pain medication starts to wear off about 30 minutes before my next cycle and that's when the anxiety and anger can really start to kick in. Then begins the conversation of "So.... you know I need food right?" >.< It is hard work. The best part being, that from here on out it is going to continue to get better and better. The worst? that I have to rely on other people to get me just about everything. [So if you're interested in helping, let's schedule a day! :P] Last week, in the storm of sleepless nights my boyfriend got sick and luckily, my dad was able to extend his stay and help out a little bit longer. Both of them working day and night in their actual jobs, taking care of me, on top of calling and dealing with the start of millions of calls to insurance companies. Now, we are beginning to at least find somewhat of rhythm with the machines, my PT exercises, eating and getting enough rest without my back completely aching from this not so comfortable bed. I am so thankful for all that have reached out in this time of need. It really is such a shock to not even really see outside besides the same corner on 8th avenue. Any contact from the outside world is oh so appreciated. <3
I did in fact have my first physical therapy appointment Friday and God does it feel good to be doing something with my leg again! He massaged my quad and my calve, and began to mobilize my kneecap. We then worked to bend my leg without a machine, and I will proudly say that he was able to bend it to a terrifying 70 degrees. I legit felt as though my leg was going to snap right off when he did it. I held my breath and squealed as he told me he was going to hold my leg there for about 10 more seconds, where I then begin to laugh and remind myself I should probably take in some amount of oxygen... Every time after that when he would lift my leg I had a noticeable fear reaction that he would do it again. (he didn't, thank goodness) It was really nice to have a professional work with me, as I have definitely been afraid to touch around my knee that much. Also, having spent the past two weeks just staring at my leg to try to get it to move, it feels pretty cool to see it come back to life again. Still barely able to control my quad and unable to lift my leg at all up off the bed, I am able to slide my heel in towards me to make about a 45 degree angle with my knee on my own. I'm excited to see where things are next Tuesday when I see the therapist again. :)
Now, after a lovely shower with help from my amazing boyfriend, I am about to begin another round of the CPM machine before bed. I'd say my pain right now is about a 7/10 as I wait for my evening dose of percocet to kick in. So now, I leave you with this super attractive photo that pretty much sums up the last week of my life.
Have an amazing night and sleep well.
<3 -Eoin Thomas
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