Friday, September 16, 2011

I'm back in action

Not to jinx the rehabilitation process, or anything (I'm scared to death of post-op infection), the operation went great. At least from my standpoint . . . I understand the surgeon, one of the country's best for knees, found more than he had anticipated when he got to digging in there. Decades of bleeding into the joint had degraded some important bone structure so some of his Plan A for reattaching ligaments, etc., had to be modified on the fly.

Upon coming out of the anesthesia fog, I was amazed and gratified to find how much straighter my leg was, though a bit shorter. I was under the knife for about 4-1/2 hours on Thursday, Sept. 8, by the time I was aware that the Packers were winning that night, my knee hurt less than it has in the previous 10 years. The next night I turned off the dilaudid drip (it didn't seem to be doing anything). Other than an oxycodone for the transfer to my van and 2-1/2 hour drive home on Tuesday, I haven't needed anything stronger than super-strength Tylenol.

I was up on my feet, talking a few steps into the hospital hall by Friday afternoon, and by Saturday afternoon I was able to walk half way to the physical therapy gym and climb a few steps. Now the emphasis is on regaining range of motion and me gaining some confidence in the stability of the new artificial knee. I'm using a cane around the house, and a walker for trips down the driveway to rebuild strength and stamina.

My daughter flew into Milwaukee for the operation, and stuck around to watch football for the weekend, so that was a nice side benefit. My wife was there for the whole time in the hospital, and is taking care of me at home so I don't overextend myself.

Honestly, if I was still working, I'd be chomping at the bit to go back to the office on Monday. As it is, I have to entertain a parade of physical therapists and home nurses at home for the next few weeks. I hope to get back into the swing of new entries for the blog soon, and to work on a few of my custom cards.

It took me 10 years of increasing pain and decreasing mobility to get me into the operating room, but I'm so glad I finally did it. Knock on wood.

Thanks to all for your prayers and well wishes.

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