Wednesday, June 6, 2012

My Diary: Insomnia and More

A Diary of Somewhat Random Ruminations:
Day 10 After Total Knee Replacement -- Insomnia....not a good companion for a TKR. I am finding it increasingly difficult to sleep in my knee immobilizer. In fact, we have declared war on one another. I am required by the physical therapist to be in the immobilizer at least 6-8 hours. Last night at 3:45 am, I freed myself from the aforesaid strait jacket and threw it against the wall. I am not kidding. During my wakeful periods last night I counted sheep. I recited Bible verses. I prayed. I wrote blog posts in my brain. I planned out my week: therapy, more therapy and even more therapy. I drank water. I got up to make multiple trips to the loo. And I watched the clock: 11:40 pm, 12:20 am, 2:05 am, 3:45 (immobilizer thrown across the room), 4:10, 4:40, 5:35, 6:30, and finally, 7:20. I don't think I hit any REM sleep last night. Oh well, there's always tomorrow night.

Day 11 -- Exhaustion. It's not as though I am really doing anything to be so tired (except not sleeping at night). My housework is limited to loading and unloading the dishwasher, doing a load of laundry here and there, folding, vacuuming when the fancy strikes me, wiping down counters and making up our bed. Nothing too taxing. I also spend what seems to be an inordinate amount of time icing my knee. I go to therapy three times per week. Once there, I spend a good 1 hour and 45 minutes working out or being worked on. Then on my off days, I try to work on my exercises at home. I don't miss any meals (!)  I take naps every day. EVERY DAY. I am ready to have a little energy to do something else, but "tired" seems to be my middle name. The Husband laughs that after I shower and wash my hair, I have to recover with a one hour nap. Sadly, I think he's right. Yawn. Yawn.

Day 14 -- Pain FREE. I am stiff. I am sore. But I am pretty much pain free when in a resting position. The constant, annoying and sometimes debilitating pain in my leg is gone. GONE. Wow. It's been a long time coming. I get up now to walk and it feels as though I have had surgery. I can handle that. I say that my knee "grumbles" when I move around too much. But it really does not hurt. Thankful. Can I scream THANKFUL? I am. I really and truly am so very glad. Thank you, Jesus.

Day 15 -- Maybe I spoke too soon. I had a stomach virus and fell last night on my knee in a bent position. I could not get up. I had to call The Husband to come and help. Thank goodness he got there fairly quickly. The knee feels like a brick landed on it. It did. I am hoping that all is well. I have therapy tomorrow. See post on Calamity Jane.

Day 17 -- The knee is fine. I saw the x-rays. The implant is lovely and shows up prominently. It is reminiscent of an alien object. I wonder at the marvels of modern medicine that afford me the opportunity to even have a new joint. I am amazed on the one hand that my body does not reject this foreign object, but I digress. It seems as though I strained the surrounding muscles including the hamstring during my fall, but I have been icing religiously and doing my hamstring stretches. Everything feels as though it is settling back down. I hope so.

Day 18 -- Cabin fever is really bad. Shirley, my new friend at therapy, and I are sharing stories as we watch one another's progress. She is a day behind me, but our therapy is advancing differently. That's one thing I like about Southern Joint's Therapy Department. They see so many joint replacements (basically seems to be 90% of what they do) that they can tailor your therapy to meet your individual need, yet remain within the recommended protocol. In short, they know what they are doing.

Day 20 -- Pain flare up following Physical Therapy. We added 1 pound weights to the knee today and the top of my knee began to have some serious muscle spasms. It almost felt as though it wanted to lock up on me. Not scary, but just painful. Even the drive home was rough. I am alternating ice and heat today. I will try to massage later to see if I can get the cramps to ease up. I have been fortunate not to have much, if any, pain except immediately following therapy, but this seems to be sticking around. Ugh.
You never realize how "tired" you get with pain. I am developing great empathy for people who daily deal with severe chronic pain. I have a couple of friends who struggle with this. I am going to start praying for them more consistently. It's the least I can do.

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