Post-op Day 6 – The Little Things

No, I don’t plan on doing a post every day with what is going on post-knee surgery. It’s more my intention to give some highlights on the progress I’m making and share some of the random thoughts that are clanking around in my head.

The left knee is progressing as well or better than I could’ve hoped, so that is the best news. 

So hopefully that is an indication of a successful surgery and that I am making progress.

Now getting to the little things that usually aren’t that big of a deal until you notice you have problems doing them.

  • Tiredness – I still can’t believe how tired I am all the time. I know the body is in healing mode, but I can go to sleep on a dime and still be tired when I wake up. Although, thankfully it isn’t quite as bad as it was earlier in the week.
  • Socks – Being able to put on my socks by myself. I can bend the left leg enough to put on socks without Mary having to do it for me. A seemingly minor thing that I didn’t realize how important it was to be able to do without help. That feeling of independence from such a small thing. Being able to put on shoes is also an adventure that is becoming less of one as time passes.
  • Band-aids – Changing out the tape dressing over the portal wounds for the arthroscopic surgery and seeing that they are clean and appear to be healing nicely was a huge deal to me. When you first look at all the dried blood on the dressing and the orange solution on your leg and are supposed to change it out yourself after 48 hours. Well, it’s pretty intimidating to change the dressing and while I got rid of the elastic bandage and the bloody gauze, I had delayed taking the bloodied tape off the portal cuts for a couple of days just because it did look so nasty. Now, I just have the big band-aids which is much better for my mental health.
  • Medication – Stopping the pain medication. I didn’t take any of the big hitters and only used Naproxen until Friday to take the edge off the pain/discomfort levels. On Saturday I didn’t take any pain meds and today I didn’t take anything. I’m not big on taking drugs and I know myself. I prefer to deal with the pain/discomfort levels versus feeling too good and the problems that could bring. Besides this way, I also know that I have to stay smart and not do too much.
  • No crutches – I have been walking without crutches since Thursday morning. There is still a little lag every once in a while between what I expect the knee to be doing when I first get moving again and what it actually does. Nothing serious and it is getting a lot better the more I do on it. It is almost as though some of the electrical impulses were re-routed during surgery and the new routes have to become ingrained into who I am.
  • Walking – Walking down to the end of the driveway and back on Friday for the first time. Something that I have done without thinking about it so many times over the 20-plus years I have lived here. It’s about 100 yards, not very far, but it seemed like such a big victory when I got back to the house. Then this morning making it down to the neighbor’s mailbox was a big victory on the minor scale of things. 0.17/5:06/30:48 Not far, not long, and not very fast, but the Garmin still works and it gives me a baseline to go from.
  • Exercise – I am starting to do light exercises to get the knee back to doing what it’s supposed to do. Yeah, it ain’t fun, but I was able to touch my calf down onto the floor after a bit of stretching and massage work. The back of the knee is quite tight and lets me know when I’ve done enough.

I guess the biggest little thing is that I can stand up and walk around the house. I know that soon I will start taking all of these little things along with others for granted again, but for now, it is nice to notice the little “victories” as they happen. I know that there are going to be days that really suck ahead, but at the same time I know those will be gotten through and I will get back to doing things I love again.

Progress is being made and I am still smiling.

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