Post surgery day 5

(Sunday, Feb. 15)

It had snowed another couple of feet overnight. When I finally looked out my windows, I saw that no one had cleared a path in front of my door. How was my neighbor going to check on me? After I ate my breakfast, I put my boots and coat on, made my way down my steps for the first time, opened my front door, and saw this!
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I decided I better grab my shovel and start getting to it, since no one else was! It hurt my back more than anything, since each shovelful had to be heaved over a 9-10 foot mountain of snow on either side! Eventually, my landlord showed up. “I thought you were bed-ridden!” he said. I felt like it would be good to get a bit of exercise and the fresh air felt nice. After I finished, I made some hot cocoa from scratch!
Joyce came by for a visit and sat with me for a bit. “Somebody shoveled out your door,” she said.
“I did!”. I had invited her and her husband to my housewarming party when I first moved in many, many years ago, but they didn’t come. In all these years, we said hi to one another when we saw each other out, but this was the first time we had spent any time together and got a chance to learn a little about one another. Joyce said that she could tell we were kindred spirits just from glancing around my apartment when she first stepped in. She brought my mail up and I opened a letter from the hospital. It was my pre-op instructions that the nurse forgot to give me! They were mailed the day AFTER my surgery!
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When Joyce left, she said, “I like visiting you!”. I was thankful for her check-ins, but surprised and disappointed that no one else had come by.
My calf continued to hurt. My exercises were already starting to become boring. I started doing 30 reps at once instead of 10. Every day, I was supposed to do 90 of them!

Post Surgery Day 4: Another tough one!

(Feb. 14)

Sleeping in my bed was better on my back and neck, but it was still tough not to be able to move my legs. My mood had sunken back down again. I felt very tired and couldn’t find a reason to get out of bed. I seemed to be settling into a pattern of feeling good (or bad) every other day. When I finally got up and tested my ability to bear weight on my surgery leg, I noticed that my calf hurt a lot! I probably strained it by trying to see what I could do on it when it was still too swollen. One of the indications for a blood clot is tenderness in the calf. I was supposed to keep an eye on that (as well as my body temperature) and call the hospital if I noticed anything. I was pretty sure the strain was caused by me, though.
I managed to do my physical therapy sets (I hate having to do them three times per day instead of all at once!), but spent most of the day sleeping. I did not feel good!
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Post Surgery Day 3: The Reveal

Despite not sleeping much due to loud trucks removing some of the snow in the streets all night long in preparation for the next big storm, I woke up in a surprisingly good mood! This rarely happens, and when it does, I often have no idea why, but I feel thankful. It was another uncomfortable night on the couch, but my knee wasn’t in too much pain, so I only took Tylenol for pain medicine, along with the aspirin for blood clots. I wasn’t sure if Tylenol helped to reduce the swelling or not, so I decided to rotate it with ibruprofen. My better spirits allowed me to try putting weight on my surgery leg today. It felt better than yesterday!
After breakfast, it was time to unwrap the bundle and finally see what it looked like underneath! Wendy said I could do this in the afternoon. I figured that 1pm was a perfectly fine time.
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I hadn’t realized that my entire leg was wrapped with ace bandages! It was a good thing that this thing was coming off because flexing my foot was causing the bandage to dig into the skin of my heel.
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My ice pack (which only keeps it cool at best).
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Why are my legs such different colors?
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My surgery leg was locked in a semi-bent state due to the swelling. This made it very difficult to attempt to walk!
I took my first shower since the surgery, and it went very smoothly!
Then, I looked at the exercises I was supposed to do. No one told me when I was supposed to start them, but I figured that now that the bandages were removed, it was a good time to do so! I noticed that I still smelled like iodine! (Erik told me that I would smell like the hospital for a long time!)
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They only gave me these few simple exercises to do for the next 2 weeks (before I saw my surgeon for a check in). My knee was so swollen and stiff that I didn’t know how I was possibly going to be able to bend and straighten my leg! (my paperwork said it should be bending normally within 3-5 days!) I started with very small movements. They told me that I was going to lose a lot of strength after the surgery, but I couldn’t really understand why. I was only incapacitated for a few days. I tried the leg raises and my injured leg shook so much. How had it gotten so weak?!
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On the floor, tightening my quads.
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By the end of the night, I was able to do this! I felt proud! I decided to see what else I could do… Chair pose, check! Chair pose with a twist, check! Lunge, check! Wide straddle forward fold, check! Stand on my injured leg and raise my good leg into the air (kind of!). I felt satisfied. I decided to bring my couch pillows to my bed and sleep there for the first time. It was a good decision!