Can I describe how I feel clinically? Is it possible to do a clinical report on the progress of this knee and do it without emotion? I don't think so.
This may not be a pleasant post. This is how I feel 3wks. post op.
Clinically I can say, the swelling in the knee has decreased until an exercise session. After exercising it becomes warm, reddened and swollen again. I do the extension stretches. The ligament at the back of the knee burns as it is being stretched. It burns and hurts. I give it a lapse and do it again. It becomes almost straight. The leg I mean. I can then stand up and walk without a limp. As soon as I sit down and flex the leg, then try to stand, I find I've lost the extension I had just gained. This is very frustrating. This frightens me.
When first getting out of bed in the morning, the knee is very stiff. It doesn't extend nor flex and the hamstrings and quads are screaming out in protest. They have been relaxed all night. Getting up in the morning is painful. I have to spend about 1/2 hr. stretching the muscles in order to stand and walk.
I had a minor meltdown this morning. I was just getting out of the shower when I heard the phone ringing. I knew there was no way I was going to get to the phone. By the time I got into the living room, the house phone had stopped and my cell phone was ringing. I did get to the cell to answer it.
My sister in law from Arizona was calling. Chris is a very positive person. She has just supported her husband through a total knee replacement. She was the perfect person for me to talk to this morning. I told her how frustrated I was feeling. I told her how I thought this was as good as it was going to get; I was fearful of never having this leg any where near normal again. I was tearful thought this whole exchange.
She listened quietly. She let me vent then she told me her husband had the same feelings as he was healing. He had the same issues with the pain and not being able to get out of bed in the mornings. The muscles not extending and flexing; the frustration and depression. The feelings that the leg would always be painful and never back to a normal walk.
I think I needed to hear this. To know that John (her husband) had the same worries about the knee. I shall be 4 weeks post op this coming Monday. I still have time. A year is required for full healing and maximum usage.
I took a Percoset this morning. I usually stay away from the pain meds till the evening. Chris suggested I take one before I get out of bed in the morning. She's right. That is one of the major painful times. I'll try that for a while.
Talking to Chris this morning was what I needed. Just hearing that John had the same feelings; that this was going to get better was better then any medicine I could take. I may need another pep talk. She has promised to call in a couple of days!