8 Weeks Post-op now

Hey, folks.  It has been a bit, but I wanted to check in.  Things are going better, but I definitely started traveling too soon.  Even after a week to recoup, I am quickly realizing that I should have waited longer again.  Working 80 hour weeks is too much for the knee.  Trying to keep it elevated has been a challenge as I have to get up and check on the users to make sure they are doing okay.  At least this place is a a bit smaller so I don’t have as far to walk.

I went to sleep about 0930 this morning (I’m working mids this week again).  I was actually sleeping pretty good until around 1400 when I woke up in excrutiating pain.  I’m not sure what happened.  Maybe I twisted in my sleep or something, but I woke up in tears and it took me a couple of hours to settle back down to go to sleep.

I worked with a trainer last week to start working on strengthening my knee as the therapist is working with me to calm down the baker’s cyst I have.  The workout was really good, especially considering we didn’t use a lot of weights.  We used the 22.5 pound dumbbells for my arms and just body weight for the legs.  We used the fit ball to do baby squats against the wall and for roll outs for a great core workout.  I was a bit doubtful that I would get any benefit from such a workout.  However, the next day I DEFINITELY felt it…especially in my buttocks and stomach area.  I wil be working with the trainer again on Sunday (I think).  He is going to write out a routine that I can use on a regular basis and continue to improve my strength and flexibility.

I am at 120 degree in my bend and full extension plus about 5 degree hyper extension.  Stretching is very important.  I will admit…I hate stretching.  It is boring and it reminds me that I am not flexible and not stretching enough.  So, I make myself do it…I grumble the whole time, but I do it.  🙂 

I just ordered a different cuff to go with my cryo-unit.  I found a thigh cuff.  I thought this might help since I have the baker’s cyst behind my knee.  I have been using the knee cuff for the swelling on the front and then taking that off and using an ice pack on the back of my knee.  I ordered the thigh cuff off of Amazon.com and hope that this will allow me to reduce the swelling on both the front and back of my knee at the same time.  I will let you know how it goes.

The pain is definitely decreased since prior to the surgery. I have gone down from 300 mg of Nucynta to 10 mg of Norco.  I can walk most of the day without the cane now. It is just the end of the day when I’m tired and my knee gets sore that I have to use it…and that is mainly for stability.  I have no regrets of doing this surgery.  Well, maybe just one…I wish I could have had it done sooner.  That being said, I am glad it is over and I’m in the healing process. 

Ok, time to get back to work.  Have a great rest of the week and I will check in once I get home.

Let’s Review a Few Things…

I have had a hard week this week.  My knee is hurting (although different than pre-op pain).  I still can’t drive (still on pain meds).  I am feeling very alone in this process. Now I need to figure out what has brought on this whining and figure out where to go from here.

I didn’t sleep very well last night.  I got into bed about 0130 this morning and woke up around 0430.  I then went to go sleep on the couch.  I did something different last night thinking that it would help.  I put on my cryo-cuff prior to going to bed.  I thought that if I could keep the swelling down during the night, when I woke up in the morning, things wouldn’t be as sore.  Well, that proved to be an incorrect theory.  I got up at 4:30am this morning and brought my leg out of the CPM machine and off the edge of the bed.  Immediately the swelling returned as well as the pain.  I ended up going to sleep on the couch just to try a different position.  Sigh.

Going through a TKR surgery is not easy.  Nobody said it would be.  In fact, everyone said the exact opposite.  So why am I surprised at my results?  That is because I have set the bar at a super high level for myself and I have not learned how to give myself a break.  Let’s think about what has really happened here.  12 days ago I had surgery on my right knee.  Saying “surgery” does not really do what I had done justice.  What really happened is I had the bottom of my femur amputated, the top of my tibia amputated, and the backside of my patella shaved.  When I look at it as it really is, I believe I have every right to be in pain.

I did a lot of praying last night.  I need patience with myself and my progress.  Speaking of progress, let me lay it out so far:

  1. I am using the walker on a very limited basis.  I have moved to using a single crutch most of the time.
  2. I can get my leg to fully extend and even get it to hyper-extend slightly.
  3. I have a bend of about 105 degrees.
  4. It only takes me about 2 minutes to warm up on the stationary bicycle before I can do a complete revolution.  It took me 3.5 minutes at the beginning of the week.
  5. I can do my single leg raises without any assistance as of yesterday.  Prior to that, I had to have the therapist (or a towel if I was at home) to raise my leg.
  6. I can do toe raises with no problems and I am even able to do calf stretches on the edge of the stairs now.
  7. I am down from taking 2 Percocets every 4 hours to taking 1 Percocet every 4 hours.
  8. I can do my assigned exercises 4 times a day now.

I recommend this process to everyone who has a TKR surgery.  List out your progress so you can see it.  Looking at this list just now helped me realize that I am making progress.  Don’t let people tell you what you will and will not be able to do at any time.  Yes, having a surgery like this is a major event.  Do not go into it uninformed.  Set goals for yourself, but make sure you let yourself modify those goals as you move through the process.  I had to realign my goals several times and I am still in the process of evaluating future goals.  It is a never ending process.  Some things are going to come a bit easier for you than they did for me.  Some things will be easier for me than they are for you.  That does not mean that you are better than me or I am better than you.  We are all individuals and we all heal differently.  Do not judge your progress by my progress.  This is NOT a competition.  This is a healing process.  I made the decision to have this surgery because of the constant pain I was in.  Yes, I am in pain now.  The difference is that I know this pain will go away whereas the pain I had before was only getting worse.

I have a right to be sore and maybe even feel a little sorry for myself.  🙂  I even have the right to give up…if that is what I want to do.  However, I DO NOT GIVE UP.  So there.  Take that.  😉  I am going to continue to move forward.  I am going to continue to do my exercises and celebrate my achievements, no matter how small they may seem.  Most importantly, I have the right to heal at the rate my body deems necessary.  I am only 12 days post-op from major surgery.  I am doing well and I am going to keep getting better and better every day.

Now, I don’t know if anyone is reading this or if anyone ever will.  I would like to think someone does read this and that someone is getting ready to go through the same surgery.  So, I’d like to go over a few things that you will need or should consider getting prior to your surgery.  The first thing I recommend getting is a toilet seat riser with handle bars on the side.  What is a toilet seat riser?  It attaches to your toilet seat to give you an extra 3-6 inches of height on your toilet.  Why would you need this?  You are going to be very sore when you come home and the last thing you want to do is figure out how to get on/off the toilet when you have to go.  My toilet sits higher than most as I have had bad knees for years and bought a higher toilet to begin with.  However, getting into and up from a sitting position is not easy after all the work that was done  on your knee.  Trust me…get one…you will not regret it.

The other thing to think about getting is a tub transfer bench.  Now, if you don’t have a tub and just have a shower, then I recommend getting a chair for your shower.  Standing up is a challenge during your first week at home…even the 2nd and the 3rd weeks.  You will notice that your knee starts to swell almost immediately.  So, having something safe to sit on in the shower is a relief.  I have a tub.  I could have just gotten a regular tub chair, but there is one downside to that.  Getting into and out of the tub is challenging at first.  Lifting your leg over the edge of the tub is sometimes painful.  If you get a transfer bench, half of the bench is inside the tub, the other half is outside the tub.  You can then sit on the edge of the bench and slowly scoot around and use a towel or your other leg to help move your sore leg over the edge of the tub.  I have a small bathroom so I have been using my left foot to lift my right foot up to toilet set and then I can slide it from there to the edge of the tub.  After that it is pretty easy.  I had a lateral release done on both knees years ago and I learned my lesson from there.  Please learn this lesson from me and get you a transfer bench.  You can ask your surgeon to write you a prescription for it and hopefully your insurance or your FSA/HSA will help take care of the cost.  If not, it is still worth it.

I’d like to also recommend that you keep a towel by your bed where you can easily reach it.  No, that for sweating, but to help you lift your leg from the floor to the top of your mattress.  This is no easy feat to begin with.  You will get stronger over time, but give yourself some help in the beginning.  Now, if you have a big dog that can help, I suppose that would work, but that takes a lot of training.  The only thing my little dog likes to do with my feet is do the “butt dance” and that doesn’t make me feel very good.  🙂  If you don’t know what the butt dance is, just go love on a dog and scratch their back.  Their hind legs start doing a little dance of their own as the scratching feels good to them and they get a little happy.  LOL!  The towel…yes, the towel.  Fold it in half and put it around the bottom of your foot.   Then use your arms to lift your leg to the bed.  It really does help.  If you want a good core work out, just use your good leg to do the same thing.  Put your good foot under the foot of your sore knee and left.  Great for the abs.  🙂

Please do your exercises as often as you can.  The more you can do them, the stronger your knee will get and the more independent you will become.  They are not fun and they are not easy, but they are definitely worth it.

If you have any questions, please let me know.  I don’t have all the answers, but sometimes it helps to talk to someone who knows what you are going through (or about to go through).

Hugs!

End of first week post-op…

I made it!!!   The first week has now passed!  I am very happy with my progress so far.  I had some outrageous goals set for myself prior to surgery.  After doing research and talking with my surgical staff, I reset my goals.  So, let’s see where I’m at:

  • I am still using the walker, but mainly just first thing in the morning until I get moving.
  • The swelling is decreasing more and more every day.
  • The incision looks great and I don’t have any seepage.
  • I am working on my exercises 3 times a day.
  • I can go up/down the steps one at a time with just one of my crutches.
  • I can actually use my “modified” leg to go up two stairs!  Yay!
  • I can make a complete revolution on the stationary bike.
  • I am walking with just a crutch when I take my puppy out for her walks.

Tonight will be my first night solo.  It is nice to know I have family and friends close by just in case, but I’m looking forward to a night with just me and my lil love bug.  🙂 

Tomorrow I have another therapy appointment and I’m ready to see what new torture techniques, er, uh, I mean exercises, they have in store for me.  I still have issues with the straight leg raises.  I can get my quads to engage but as soon as I attempt to lift the leg, the pain sets it and the quad shuts down.  Don’t worry, I’m not giving up.  I will continue to “help” my leg perform the exercise until it decides it can do it on its own.  The other exercises are getting easier.  When doing the CPM, I can get a 95 degree bend after a few minutes of warming up. 

Nutrition is important during your recovery.  I feel an extra level of importance is set upon me as I am also a gastric bypass patient.  Due to some pain and just recovering from my surgery, my appetite has decreased.  I have increased my fluids and my fiber supplements just to keep things moving.  I am also drinking my protein drinks to make sure I get enough protein in.  Isopure Grape Frost and Alpine Punch are my two favorites. 

I’m still wearing the wonderful white pressure stockings on both legs.  I’m hoping tomorrow the therapist will approve me taking off the one on the good leg.  They are definitely making a fashion statement…but I’m not sure it’s one I want anyone to listen to.  😉  If you are still swelling, you are up too much and need to continue icing.  Let the Cryo-cuff become your new best friend.  It circulates ice-cold water around your knee.  It really helps the swelling and relieves some of the pain.

I have not decided whether or not I will return to work next week.  I am still grounded from flying and driving, but my boss has work I can do remotely.  If I’m still on pain meds, I think I will wait an extra week.  I don’t want to mess up anything due to the meds…so we will see how I do the remainder of the week.

Take care of your knees!

First TKR PT…

My first night home was not too bad.  I was very excited, and also very nervous, to go home.  You always sleep better at home.  I mainly wanted to get home so I could get my dog to come back home and love on her.  My sister stayed with my Friday and Saturday night.  It was nice to have her there.  She is my reality check.  She helped me remember to take my meds and do my exercises and just go easy.  I am very interested in getting my life back to normal…well, minus the knee pain.  🙂  I tend to try to hurry things and push myself more than I should. So, she is good for me.

One of my friends, Theresa, offered to go and pick up Cricket for me on Saturday.  I was soooo excited to see Cricket, but didn’t want her to have to go all the way out there.  It is quite a ways out to the kennel where she stays.  I prayed about it and realized that I don’t have to do everything myself.  If my friends want to help me, I need to let them help.  I always try to be there for my friends for anything they need.  But I don’t want to be a bother to my friends.  It came to me that friends don’t “bother” each other.  They want to be there for their friends…and I need to learn how to let my friends be there for me.  Theresa brought Cricket home to me and visited for a while.  I’m sure I was pretty out of it, but I remember her hugging me and smiling to see me smile.

My sister and I went and rented a wheelchair on Saturday so we could go to the New West Fest on Sunday here in town.  I love going to the fest and seeing all the vendors and the new items that people design and bring each year.  However, the thought of trying to walk the fest only 5 days after TKR surgery and on a walker was not thrilling me.  So, we got a wheelchair that had a leg extension so I could elevate my knee and try to minimize the swelling.  The weather was really nice and the crowd was full of dogs and people.  First…it was great to see so many dogs out there.  Second, please don’t bring your dogs out in the hot weather on to a surface that is black top.  Leave them at home in the air conditioning or under their shade tree at home.  We spent a few hours out there and then I was done…and ready for ice and rest.

I have been doing the four exercises that I was assigned before I left.  Some are hard to do still, and some are getting easier.  After the fest and rest (hey, I’m a poet and didn’t know it), my sister had gone home and my mom had taken over watching me.  I can’t drive as long as I’m on pain meds and it might be another week before I get off of them.  I’m not going to over do it and I’m not going to try to take myself off the meds too soon.  Correction….I am not going to try to take myself off  the meds too soon AGAIN.  I took one pill at 1100 and went to the fest.  I came home and took a nap and by the time I got up it is almost 8 o’clock in the evening…and I was hurting.  A TKR is not just some simple procedure.  Basically, three parts of your leg bones are being amputated and a prosthesis is being implanted.  Be patient with yourself and give yourself time to heal.  As I mentioned before, the goals I set for myself were unrealistic and unattainable.  Please learn from my mistake…don’t do that to yourself.

I had my first physical therapy (PT) appointment this afternoon.  I also had to go in for blood work.  I’m on a blood thinner still so they want to keep tabs on my blood levels.  Mom took me to therapy and because I was early, I could go do my blood work prior to my therapy.  My therapy wasn’t too bad, but it reminded me of my rehab when I had lateral releases done.  They are no fun whatsoever.  The therapist had my sit on a stationary bike (good thing it’s not a real bike…I can’t ride one of those!).  She said to just move back and forth in a half circle to the extent of my range of motion.  She advised most people don’t get a full revolution until the 2nd or 3rd therapy appointment.  With only 1 minute left (out of 5), I got not just 1, but 5 full revolutions!!  I was so excited.  It felt good to achieve a goal…give me my  next goal.  🙂  The therapist then sat me down and went over my 5 new exercises.  The hardest one is lifting my leg that was operated on.  I can do it one or two times, but then the pain creeps up and the quad muscles shut down.  She said this was normal and that each time I worked on the exercises, it would get easier and easier.  I’m not very patient with myself, but I at least could understand once I made her explain to me WHY the quad was shutting down.  If I know the “why” to something, I can usually work with the upcoming results.  It doesn’t mean that I won’t at least TRY to prove the why wrong, but when I can’t, at least I know why. 

The therapist recommended that I go home, ice, and rest for the remainder of the day.  Mom and I stopped by Wal-Mart first to pick up a few things and then headed home.  I tried to take a nap, but couldn’t stay asleep. I did use my CPM machine and I get a lot of relief from that.  I am also able to move around the house some without my walker.  I have something to hold on to (usually a wall or counter) and that helps.  Heaven forbid if I fall…I’m not getting up.  I will have to call my friends at the 911 center and say, “Help, I’ve fallen and I can’t get up.”.  How embarrassing!  So, I will continue to be careful. 

Tonight is tentatively the last night I will have someone with me 24/7.  I am going to try to go solo and see what happens.  The biggest challenge will be walking my dog a couple of times per day.  I just need to take one step at a time and she will do good and not pull…at least I hope so. 

Keep you posted!

Post-op Day 4…Part II

My sister called and said that she was running late getting out of the office, but she would still be there to pick me up soon.  Part of me was excited to go home; but the other side was very nervous…especially after waking up in so much pain last night.  However, I have been saying a lot of prayers and know that I won’t be alone.  So many people have offered to help me out and that means so much to me. 

I had a nice lunch and then did another lap around the floor.  I’m actually getting pretty good at it now. The knee does a lot of popping/clicking, but that is because it is so swollen and full of fluid.  It doesn’t hurt…just makes my skin crawl like fingernails on a chalkboard.  When I’m not up walking the floor, I’m laying down with the cryocuff around my knee and my leg in the CPM machine.  I also am taking time to work on my exercises.  The extension is still the hardest, but it is getting easier.  Oh, yea, I still have pain in my thigh area from the tourniquet.  I am going to put ice on it tonight to see if that helps.  It feels like i did 500 squats the previous night…just achey.

As I was doing one of my walks last night before bed, I walked by the nurses station and thought I saw someone I recognized.  No, I’m not like my Grandma who literally knows EVERYONE and their complete families. 🙂  I made it back to my room still wondering how I knew this nurse.  She came into my room a short time later advising that the original nurse assigned to me had to leave on a family medical issue.  I figured now would be the perfect time to ask her.  I just had drugs and I could easily blame it on them.  JUST KIDDING!.maybe.  I just said..”I know I know you from somewhere but I can’t place it.  Did you go to FRCC?” FRCC is Front Range Community College.  Her eyes lit up and she said she had been wondering the same thing.  We both went to FRCC and did workstudy jobs  for the time we were there.  We spent some time catching up and it really made my day.

Back to this afternoon…I took my time getting my stuff together so I had no need to ever come back here.  Then I started coming back to reality and thought I should just donate enough money so I could have my own wing whenever needed.  Still not realistic enough?  Sigh.  Ok.  It’s not that I don’t like the people or the place, I just want to be able to get to my place and start healing.  It took quite a bit of persuading to let my sister and my mom stay with me over the weekend.  It took THEM persuading ME.  I just wanted to be home alone and take care of me.  However, sometimes you have to accept help…and there is nothing wrong with that.  I see this now.  I am always there for my family for whatever they need.  It might seem weird to say, but a friend told me that it is time to let them help me.  I get a sense of purpose from helping my friends and family and it is only fair to allow them that same feeling.

My sister came to pick me up and I am positive I left the surgery center with more stuff than I came with.  🙂  Oh, yes, the CPM machine came home with me.  I have that for the next two weeks to use.  This machine really works on my flexing and extension.  I can get up to 90 degrees but I usually start around 50 degrees and add 5 degrees every other 5 minutes.  After we dropped my stuff off at home, we went to the pharmacy to drop off my scripts and pick up a few things for snacks later.  Thank goodness the pharmacy has a place to sit.  I will admit it was a good feeling to walk around in a direction other than a circle.  Hahah!  However, I don’t want to push it on my first day out. 

So, my sis and I sat and waited for my scripts to be ready.  My sis was looking at some of the clearance items by the pharmacy and when she came and sat down, something fell behind her.  It was one of those HUGE golf umbrellas.  It was on sale for only ten bucks.  I told her that it was a sign that we needed that umbrella so she picked it up and I bought it.  🙂  Ok, so it maybe wasn’t a sign, but it was a way cool umbrella.  Christel reminded me that it would be perfect for taking Cricket out for walks in the rain.  Cricket loves to chase the bubbles in the water as the rain water runs down the gutters on the edge of the streets.  So, at least the next time I won’t be as wet as she does.  🙂

We got my prescriptions and headed home.  My mom and nephew were there to help us bring up stuff.  Well, not “us”…help my sister.  My job was just to get up the stairs without falling back down the stairs.  After they got everything inside and me safely inside and sitting down, we decided it was time to order dinner.  There was NO way I was going to cook.  For those of you that know me, you know I’m not a great cook anyways.  I out-bake people, but cooking….not my thing.  We ordered pizza and wings and had a nice little smorgasbord.  It was fun to just sit there and eat and visit.

I am keeping up on my pain meds for the first few days and will try to ween myself off of them during this first week.  The surgeon suggested that I take them before my therapy for the first week.  I want to be able to move and use my therapy sessions as completely as I can, so I will take his advice.

For now, I am going to try to get some sleep and start out tomorrow in my own place and see what adventures await.

Post-op Day 3…

Last night was the first night that I slept almost 6 straight hours!!!  Amazing how much better you feel when you actually sleep.  My night nurse came in around 5:30am to do vitals.  I asked her how come she didn’t come in during the night.  She laughed and said she had been in three times and I didn’t even budge as she did my vitals.  Wow!  I actually slept.  What a concept.  She asked if I wanted some meds for pain as I hadn’t taken any since 8:30pm.  I knew that the therapist would be coming in soon and right before that would be breakfast.  The other thing I knew was going to happen is that she was going to remove my catheter this morning.  I agreed to take the pain pills. 

Have you ever had a catheter? This was my first one and I had no idea what to expect.  Would it hurt going in?  Would it hurt going out? Is it going to be a problem walking with it?  Will it cause problems with going to the bathroom after it was out?  As for the “hurt going in” part, no, it didn’t. They didn’t put the catheter in until after the spinal had taken affect.  With the spinal, you feel nothing from the waist down.  It also doesn’t hurt after the spinal wears off.  I could hardly tell I had one in unless I went for my walk…and then it was just weird, not painful.  As for the nurse taking it out, in this experience, no.  She had me take a deep breath in and then blow the breath out hard…and then it was over. 

I had some oatmeal and scrambled eggs for breakfast.  Eggs didn’t sit very well.  I don’t think that is from this surgery…I think it is from my gastric bypass.  Tomorrow morning I think I will only have oatmeal…and one of my protein drinks.  The center here doesn’t have its own kitchen so the meals are catered in by Jason’s Deli and Canino’s.  Very yummy places!!

The therapist came in shortly after I finished breakfast.  He had me do the loop around the floor as before, except this time, had me stop in the PT (physical therapy) room.  There I found a set of stairs.  I have to climb 16 steps to get into my apartment tomorrow.  So, today he wanted to make sure I knew how to go up/down the stairs.  I have crutches at home, so I can use one of them to help support me as I go up/down.  I passed with flying colors.  Just a word of warning:  please do not try to use your walker to get you up and down the stairs!!  This may seem like common sense to most of us, but apparently it’s happened before as now the therapists have to warn you about it.  Yeesh..some people’s children.  😉

Lunch today was fabulous!  It was delivered from Jimmy John’s and it was the Chicken Pot Pie soup along with a fluffy pastry puff.  It was sooo delicious.  I could only eat about half of it, but it was very yummy.

I had another therapy session in the afternoon and seem to be doing pretty good.  I did a lap after lunch and then another two laps after dinner.  The extra two laps were just to show off.  J  My mom wanted to see how I was doing so I did a lap with her.  Then my sister came and I had to show off again.  The pain that I have right now is a different type of pain from pre-surgery.  I can stand on my own two feet and not hurt in the knee joint.  I really can’t believe how well I feel so soon after surgery.  I will admit I don’t want to run out and get the other knee done right away; however, if I had to, I would be less apprehensive and more excited.

Post-op Day 2…

As you can probably guess, sleeping the first night after surgery is not easy.  The nurses have to come in and check vitals, give you meds, and make sure the pain meds are helping.  They came in about every 3 hours the first night.  The staff here is very professional and very passionate about their responsibilities.  They want to do whatever it is they can to help you feel better.

I had a little bit of breakfast but tummy was a little upset.  I had a sausage/egg/cheese biscuit and some oatmeal with raisins.  Nurse gave me some stuff for the nausea so by the time lunch came around, I was feeling better.  For lunch I had a turkey wrap with a fruit cup.  I still wasn’t very hungry, but I did eat most of the turkey from it.  Protein is very important for gastric by-pass patients so I want to make sure I get my protein in.  I also have a few bottles of Isopure to help me get my protein.  My favorite flavors are Alpine Punch and Grape Frost.  Just make sure you get them super cold…they taste really good that way.  For dinner I had a chicken taco baked potato.  Apparently they don’t have a kitchen here, so they order take out for the patients.  Learn something new every time.  LOL!  Apparently they are ordering from Jason’s Deli.  Have you ever seen a baked potato from Jason’s Deli??  They are HUGE!! I at not even 1/4 of one and sent the rest home with my mom to give to my dad to eat.  🙂  No sense throwing it away.

A physical therapist came to my room after breakfast and we worked on getting out of bed and standing up.  I did notice that my thigh was sore and she said that is most likely from the tourniquet they put on to slow the flow of blood.  Massaging the area seems to help relax the muscles.  When are you just sitting in bed, it is easy to do.  I was also given exercises to do.  My surgeon places a lot of emphasis on getting the leg to slightly hyper-extend.  You have to be able to straighten your leg out just like you need to be able to bend your leg.  Listen to the surgeons, therapists, and nursing staff.  Most of them know what they are talking about.

The therapist then wanted to take me around a lap to see how I am doing with just slow walking.  So, I grabbed my walker and off we went.  Well, it wasn’t THAT quick…but I was moving  🙂  The lap is just 500 feet.  Yes, I realize that doesn’t seem like a far walk, but believe me, it was.  I made it about 3/4 of the way around and then started getting dizzy, light-headed, and nauseous.  The therapist grabbed a wheelchair real quick and had me sit in it. She then wheeled me back to my room.  As soon as I layed down, I felt much better.

After lunch, the therapist came in again. This time I was able to complete the entire 500 foot lap.  Yay!!  I still have popping/clicking in my joint, but I believe that is due to the swelling and the fluid still in the knee.  It doesn’t hurt, just feels a bit odd.  After the lap, they put me back in the CPM machine.  I have a picture of one under “Equipment” on my page. It moves slow and it bends your knee and straightens it for you.  The goal set for me was to get to 90 degrees in a bend.  You can adjust the machine to go slower/faster and how far the bending/straightening will go.  It is a little hard to get into/out of by yourself.  I would recommend you have someone to help you.  The knee is going to be sore for a while and you don’t want to have to go to the bathroom and be stuck in your CPM. 

I took another nap after my lap (hmmm…I’m a poet and didn’t know it!).  😉  I had dinner when I woke up and then the nurse offered to walk with me another lap if I wanted to.  So, she helped me get out of the CPM machine and we went for another lap.  This one was much easier than the first two. I did have to do another injection of Dilauded (it is a morphine derivative). That made me pretty tired fairly quick  I took my regular meds and turned on the TV and promptly went to sleep.