Knee Replacement Surgery
This past May 9th I had full knee replacement surgery on my right knee. My knee has been a chronic problem for almost 30 years and was long overdue for drastic corrective action. My meniscus was severely damaged and removed and I have been bone on bone for way too long. There was no shortage of attempts in non-evasive and alternative procedures over the years and more specifically over the last 12 months. Name some type of physical therapy, joint friendly vitamins, cortisone shots, anti-inflammatory prescriptions and a series of Synvisc injections all of which were attempted with no meaningful benefit or reduction in pain. Ironically, 30 years ago, the surgeon then told me I would need a knee replacement in 25 – 30 years or so. It is pretty scary how accurate his prediction was and it is equally as scary how quickly the time went by.
The emotional part of preparing for surgery was a little challenging especially because I had to wait almost two months from my surgical consultation to my surgery date. Once I was committed to having the procedure I was ready right then and there to have the operation and did not want to wait two months. But, it is what it is. The day of the surgery finally rolled around and the hospital required me to be at there by 5:30 AM for a 7:00 AM surgery. That was the good news and the bad news at the same time. The good news was I was the first surgery that day and the bad news was setting the alarm for an ungodly hour usually reserved for vacation travel when having an early flight. This was no vacation.
The actual surgical procedure took a little over an hour and I woke up in the recovery room singing the theme song from the 1970’s show F Troop. Cathy was there by my side and had no clue about the show F Troop and just blamed the meds. It was a moment. The rest of the day was slow motion as my body was waking up from the anesthesia. The next thing I knew the Physical Therapist was in my room and getting me out of bed to go for a walk. I was unsure of myself at first but I was able to get up and with the assistance of a walker and the therapist by my side I did a lap around the nurses’ station. It is amazing what you are capable of doing when you have pain blockers and pain medications in your system. Even though it was a short walk by the time I got back to my room I was exhausted. I spent three nights in the hospital only because of low blood pressure issues and a reaction to some pain medications. Otherwise I would have been discharged after one night.
It was great to go home to my own environment and a hot shower but frustrating at the same time because of my lack of mobility. Cathy was there by my side every step of the way and had to help me do everything and I truly mean everything. She helped me with a smile, never complained, offered encouragement and was truly compassionate. I do not know how people rehab from such a procedure that live on their own. I could not be more thankful to Cathy for what she did and for what she continues to do for me. Buddy also was there for me and he would sit by my side to offer me comfort.
There will be updates on my progress in future writings because the surgery was only the beginning. The ongoing physical therapy is the hard part.
Until the Next Tom’s Take…