Update on first trip…

Well, the first trip is going so-so.  My knee was definitely swollen after a 15 hour shift.  It was so swollen that my pants around the knee were stretched and they are not stretchy pants.  Hmm…I did use the cryo-cuff, but I only had 4 hours to use it before I had to get up again.  Then I was on it again for 5 hours and then had 5 hours of rest before I had to come back to work and pull a 12 hour shift plus a few hours extra for travel and getting ready.  My leg is pretty swollen from the knee down.  I anticipate having to take off a few days next week.  Hopefully I’m wrong, but I think I better be safe than sorry.  I have to travel again soon and want to be a bit healthier by then.

I have had a lot of support here while onsite and at the hotel.  The project manager and engineer have been great.  They have been helping me with my bags, helped me move to a new room at the hotel, and even helped me get ice for my cryo-cuff.  I am very blessed to have such good people in my life. 

When I get off work this morning I’m heading straight back to the hotel, getting ice, putting on my PJs, take my meds and try to sleep fast.  I have to be back up around 1530 (that’s 3:30 pm for you civilians).  🙂  I definitely need sleep. 

I hope you have a great day and work hard while I’m catching some Zs.  🙂

First trip post-op…

I have completed my first travel post-op.  I fell asleep on the plane so I didn’t get up and walk like I should have.  However, that being said, I think I needed the sleep more than I needed to move…so I feel a bit more coherent.  I made it to the hotel with any a little difficulty getting into the car, but no more than I would at home.  I even went to the grocery store to pick up some stuff as I will be working mids this week.  Those little luggage carts are good for groceries as well as luggage.  🙂

There are several things I didn’t think about when I said I was ready to travel.  The first thing was the hotel bathroom.  I should have thought about asking for a handicap accessible room.  The toilet seat is so low…I struggle to get up off of it.  My seat at home is MUCH higher and easier to get off of.  The other thing I didn’t think about is the tub.  At home, I still have a transfer bench so I can get in and out of the tub easier.  The tub here is going to be a challenge to get in/out of.  Ugh. 

So, if I can, I am going to back up a bit.  Well, I guess I can, it is my blog. 🙂  The real first thing I didn’t think about was how the heck I was going to get my luggage downstairs to my car to go to the plane!  I live up on the second floor of an apartment complex.  No elevator.  No escalator.  No ramps.  Hmm…so how do I use my cane, hold the hand rail, and lug the luggage downstairs?  Yea, I didn’t think about that.  Now I have to think how I’m going to get the luggage back upstairs.  Oh…you want to know how I got the luggage down?  Silly me.  Well, I ditched the cane…that wasn’t an option.  Then I took one piece of luggage and layed it on its side.  I then just went down one step at a time.  I used the luggage as my cane and would have it one step higher than my feet.  Then I put it in the car and went back up for the next piece.  So, I’m only gone for 7 days, put I had to bring a suitcase, my laptop bag, and what I call my med bag…and of course my cane.  If anyone wants to meet me at my house around 1000 pm Saturday night and bring my luggage up for me, I will buy you lunch the next day.  🙂

I’m going to be working some whacky shifts this week.  I think my week will be primarily work and sleep.  I have an early morning flight Saturday morning.  Do you think I could get a direct flight home?  Oh, no…not me.  I will be going from Detroit to DC and then DC to Denver.  Hey…at least they all start with a “D”.  LOL!!  I will keep everyone posted on how I am doing.  If you don’t hear from me, it just means that I’m stuck on the toilet.  😉

5 weeks post-op…

As I prepare to go to physical torture again, I thought I would post a couple of new photos.  One is obviously of my right knee that had surgery.  The other is both my right knee and my left knee together.  The outside of my knee is healing very well.  I’m a bit sad that I have such a long scar, but at least I am walking better.

The inside of my knee is healing as well, but it is taking much longer than I want.  I am doing stretches to help relax the hamstring and calf muscles.  They are STILL not very happy.  I guess I wouldn’t be happy either if someone did to me what my surgeon did to them.  My therapist said that between weeks 6 and 8 I should notice a big improvement in my pain level and my range of motion.  I’m going to hold her to that.  🙂

I started two days ago walking down the stairs like a normal person.  Well, except I have to still go slow, use the hand rail and use my cane, but I am getting the hang of it again.  Going UP stairs is definitely more easier than going down stairs.  All I can do is practice, practice, practice.

I’m not sure if I will be up for a 5k walk by the end of October.  I’m doing about 1/3 of the block now.  I’m hoping to double that this weekend.  In fact, my goal is to walk a mile Saturday morning.  Keep your fingers crossed.  I will let you know how it goes.

Ok, off to PT.  Chat more later.

4 weeks post-op today!!

It is 4 weeks ago as of today that I had my TKR.  Wow!  I can’t believe it.  Yes…I am still working out hard and yes, I am still having some pain.  However, the pain that I had prior to the surgery is still gone.  Now I have muscle tightness and soreness, so I’m not giving up.  🙂  I will post a pic of my knee here shortly.

I am home this week and next week, then I have 3 weeks of travel in a row.  One of the trips (the second one) is going to be 6 nights of 12 hour shifts.  I hope I can make it.  The plane is going to be challenging.  I’m going to have to get up and walk several times in order to keep my knee from getting stiff.  I will still have to do my workouts and stretches during my trips.

I can get my knee completely straight now.  I am up to 111 degree bend.  The knee feels tight, but it is the knot behind my knee that seems to be keeping me from bending much more.  I do have a bakers cyst so I’m sure it is swollen and angry.  I still use my cryo-cuff daily, especially now that I am working from home and sitting at the computer.  I take a break every now and then and go to the couch and use the ice pack  to help with the swelling.

Oh!  MedCOM came by to pick up the CPM machine today.  It was both a blessing and a let down.  It was tough to strap myself into it, but once I was in it, it felt so good.  Apparently they don’t keep the cushion part, so we had to take that part off.  Beware….there are a lot of velcro straps holding that cushion on.

We are downgrading the pain medication to Vicodin.  I hope it helps.  I also have Tramadol, but that feels like just extra strength tylenol.  I ran out of pain medication on Sunday so had nothing yesterday and it was not fun.  I thought I had enough to get through the weekend, but I thought wrong.  😦

So, some information I wanted to pass along regarding the cryo-cuff.  I’ve been using ice and water as instructed.  My uncle just had shoulder surgery and he has a different model.  His nurse advised him to use small water bottle with frozen water in them.  He found 6 small ones that would fit in the thermos and still allow the lid to close.  He said that it kept the water really cold and he could rotate the water bottles as they thawed.  Great idea!  Now, the model I have, I’m not finding any bottles that are short enough to fit into mine and still allow the lid to close.  But, hey…measure yours out and see if you can find some.  It sure would save a lot of ice.  🙂

Chat more later!