One Year Post Op

Paul Morrone |

By Tom Morrone, CFP ®, CPA, Principal

It is hard for me to believe a year has gone by since my knee replacement surgery but even though the time passes quickly, the calendar does not lie. I have learned many things in the last year about physical therapy (PT) and rehabilitation from the procedure.

During that same time a few things were learned about my-self. Of all that was learned, the most important was how important it was to maintain a positive attitude. Of course the surgery was a hassle. Of course there was pain from the surgery. Of course the PT was difficult. But through all that, staying focused on where I was going and not hung up on where I was and where I had been was so important. Knowing that the pain from surgery would go away and the PT would get easier was comforting. Also knowing that my range of motion would continue to improve was equally comforting. I was never depressed or felt sorry for myself and stayed the course and was diligent about my exercise regime. On most days I still do 20 minutes on the stationery bike. One year later my weight is down 20 pounds and I feel fabulous (weighing my-self every morning has also helped). My weight now is the same as it was in my senior year in high school. Pretty cool or what?

There is a quick read by Dan Sullivan called “The Gap”. The basic premise of the book is there will always be a gap between comparisons made to you and someone else. There will always be someone who is taller than you, weighs less than you, has a nicer car or house than you, more athletic than you or has more money than you and so on and so on. These are the Ideal Situations created in your own mind. In The Gap, Dan Sullivan notes we tend to use these ideal situations for comparisons as some type of benchmark for our own levels of success. When these ideal situations are not achieved we set ourselves up for a sense of failure and disappointment. The better benchmark for measuring success is comparing your specific accomplishments, whatever they may be, in a definable time period. This is more of the actual situation compared to the ideal situation. This was a very relevant exercise and mindset for me. I knew where I was pre-surgery with my pain, range of motion, weight and overall general health. Now I am pain free, have decent range of motion, lost 20 pounds and I feel great. I don’t care about comparing my results to anyone else but my own.

Even though I have come so far, I still now and will always have some limitations as to what I am physically able to do with my “new knee”. That is all just fine with me because now that I am an old fart I should be a little less aggressive with what I do with my body. On a regular basis my body reminds me of who is boss. Recently I did a couple of hours of yardwork. The typical stuff, nothing crazy….at least I did not think so. Well the next morning my body had something to say to me and it was not pleasant. New knee or not, I was sore everywhere, not just the knee. Bring on the Ibuprofen.

I guess my body is allergic to yardwork!

Until the Next Tom’s Take…