What a relief.
I woke up in the recovery room dazed and delighted that there I was, all of me, able to nod, smile, feel.
I had a knee replacement with plenty of warnings and preparation: "could take up to a year before you're fully recovered," "the first two weeks are the worse," "take the meds and don't let the pain get ahead," "plan for three months of heavy rehab."
I am now home seriously taking oxycodone every few hours, sleeping, icing, pushing my left leg to bend a fraction of an inch more than yesterday. I am confident I am going to be okay and with help and in time I am going to reclaim my gait and step.
I have strong memories and experiences already.
My hospital experience was incredible. The nurses and nurses' aides and therapists were so competent I felt safe and almost relaxed throughout. They managed my pain incredibly well. They were efficient and reliable. I pushed a button; they came.
When I was discharged, I gave a 60 year old aide named Maria the flowers JB had brought me and I gave a young nurse named Dante a copy of my book. We had connected in the four days I was there.
They had their own confidence in how well and how much they pushed me. They made me walk.
I've come home to home services in place. The visiting nurses have been a bit disorganized and inconsistent but the physical therapist--the person I must rely on most for rehab-- is a already a gem. She is working me to the max and with wheels and a walker I am able to get from one end of the house to another. I feel new muscles appearing in my leg.
The pain has been much less than I expected. I am foggy and spacey by the time dinner rolls around. Thankfully JB is watching that I take these meds as I'm supposed to. I am awakened around two am each night knowing that I need to ice the knee fast. What relief from that! I've learned to sleep on my back, to move my leg carefully, to push one more time.
Our friend Liz left last night after staying with me for three days while JB worked. (Maybe I will write about our collective saga of my running out of meds and the crazy mess of having them refilled.) Each day I have gotten some cards and little presents, and today, these amazing miniature chocolates from Suki.
Each day I am aware that I have two things going for me that makes all the difference:
I connect. And I appreciate.
The nurse who came today was very overweight and was covered with layers of clothing that must have made the already horrid effects of 99 degree temperature unbearable. She was serious and professional and covered up in more ways than one. I went out of my way to respect her. We both benefited.
This is my report so far from the frozen peas and frozen corn section of chez rehab.
How nice to be saying hello