I sleep on my side and have been sleeping with my knees curled all the way up into my chest since the end of the PCT. Sleeping on my back with my legs elevated and straight on my couch was extremely uncomfortable! My neck hurt from trying to turn it the little bit it could from side to side. My mood was much more somber the next morning. All of the fanfare of being in the hospital and receiving well wishes from people who responded to my post on Facebook was over. I was now left to myself and the void felt huge. Sometime after 11, I decided to try to stand up. This time, I didn’t feel like I could bear weight on my injured knee. It had swollen up overnight and was very uncomfortable. I looked down at the other end of my apartment and saw my crutches next to the door where I had left them yesterday. What in the world were they doing all the way down there??! How was I going to be able to get to them now? I tried hopping, but quickly realized that wasn’t going to go so well. I ended up clutching every wall surface and piece of furniture that I could until I finally got to the crutches. Since I ended up next to the kitchen, I decided I might as well make breakfast. Preparing it wasn’t too difficult, but bringing it to the couch was an entirely different matter! It’s simply not possible to be self-sufficient when you can’t use three of your limbs! I tried putting both crutches under one arm and carrying a cup in another, but I was confused about which arm to put them under. Then, I had to return to the kitchen for my plate… A few steps turn into an eternity when needing to travel this way. If I couldn’t bear weight at all, I don’t know how I would have managed this. I also needed to dump out the water in my “beer cooler” and refill it to ice my knee. I’m not sure how, but I managed to do it!
It’s funny how everyone quickly disappears the day after a big happening. Once people offer their few words at a time of loss or tragedy, they seem to forget that you exist at all and may be needing some words of comfort more than ever. I took another pain pill, along with my aspirin and tylenol and looked over the instructions I brought home from the hospital. I noticed that it said someone should stay with you during the first 24 hours of surgery. That certainly didn’t happen! Every hour, I was supposed to flex and point my foot about 10 times. I looked at the other exercises and wondered when I was supposed to start doing those.
Later in the day, someone posted on my Facebook page, “Let the rehab begin!”.
I wanted to shout, “No…! There will be no rehab beginning anytime soon! Look at my leg!”
The whole bundle was visibly much bigger than yesterday! I regretted posting that I was doing great after coming home. That was the easy part.
It was becoming more burdensome to always have to lie on my couch the same way so I could elevate my leg. It wasn’t easy to eat like that, look at my computer, or do anything.
My neighbor Joyce stopped by around 4. She couldn’t stay because she was going to the movies with her sister, but she brought me some cookies she made. Unfortunately, I couldn’t have them because of the gluten. She didn’t have any experience with gluten intolerance and asked me if this was something recent for me. Just since the PCT! She asked me if I needed anything at that moment. I told her I was having trouble bringing my food over to my couch, but that I was okay for now. She said she could stay longer the next day, but that I could call her husband when it was time for dinner. She said he is very good at taking care of people. I decided that it was easiest if I just did it myself.
Later in the evening, after a nap, I got hot and decided to get up and get something to eat. As soon as I stood up, I felt faint. By the time I made it to the kitchen, I felt like everything was becoming black, and a feeling of nausea swept over me. I quickly hobbled to the bathroom. Not this again! I couldn’t believe this was happening! I stood in front of the toilet, but nothing immediately happened. I decided I would lie on my bed for a few minutes. My ears were ringing loudly and wouldn’t stop. After a long while, I decided to stand back up and make my way over to the couch. Fortunately, the wave passed. Had I vomited, I would have had to call someone for help. Being sick and being on crutches is a bad combination!
I spent another uncomfortable night on the couch.
Just offering words of hope for you. I guess it has been about a week since the operation, which is not very long. It should heal with time.
It sounds like your neighbor is trying to help. I know how hard it can be with the fear. You have gone through so much with this knee problem and being alone is difficult also..
I think it will heal with time and be OK. Can the hospital offer any information on how long it takes to heal. Probably should use the crutches until it does. Warmer air might help also. Soon spring will come and you will be walking well again. Your spirit and strength are incredible.