Monday, December 9, 2013

Diary of My Second Knee Replacement

   Yep. I just had my right knee replaced. Eighteen months or so ago, I replaced my left knee (and six years I replaced my right hip). In case you are wondering I am planning on giving Lee Majors and Lyndsay Wagner a run for their money. Not that you would know that to look at me. However, I digress. Back to my knee. My First Knee is currently very happy and doing her job, this new knee is not so sure.
Cute isn't it...

I am now on Day 10 of my recovery. I am going to try to give you the run-down to date of what has been happening thus far. Warning: this could definitely boring for those of you who do not have or are not contemplating the addition of artificial joints to your life. So feel free to move on whenever you can't take it anymore!

Some things to keep in mind as you read this:  I was definitely not overconfident going into this knee surgery; in fact, truth be told, I was dreading it and had waited as long as possible to schedule it before year end, but I believed  I was emotionally prepared to handle the recovery process. I was not. In fact, this knee replacement has thrown me for a loop! Why, you ask? The pain. The pain. The Pain. Are you getting my drift?  This knee replacement is totally different from what I experienced before. Sadly, my recovery thus far has seemingly been defined by said pain. I don't want to scare anyone off, I am just trying to be truthful. Stay with me, because I am confident that the picture will change and the pain will no longer dominate my life. I am on that pivot point. I can feel it.

   My surgery group, Southern Joint Replacement Institute, is the best in the Southeast. They are amazing and have a tried and true protocol both for surgery and for the rehab that is phenomenal. I know. I've benefited from it three times. Before I had my first hip surgery and then again before my first knee surgery,  I investigated all of the local doctors that conduct these respective surgeries, and I could not find anyone else who offered the comprehensive level of services that SJRI does.
    After you meet with your surgeon and determine that the joint replacement surgery is a go, several things happen. You meet with the Surgery Scheduler (Susie Ashley, in my case) and she gives you a date for your surgery (you won't be given the time because that is set the week before with Susie and the Dr.); Susie also gives you a time to come to a Joint Replacement Class, an appointment for a blood draw, an appointment with a hospitalist for a physical check-up, and a time for an evaluation by a physical therapist You feel a little like you are going back to school. You are.
    At your joint class, you will be given a notebook. Then you know that this was not an illusion, you really are going back to school. Definitely take the time to read it cover to cover. But do not obsess over the contents. There are no tests. You will just need to be aware of the fact that for the six weeks after your surgery, your life will not be your own. It will almost totally be controlled by that lovely metal and plastic artificial joint that your surgeon has implanted in your knee. It is calling the shots. Trust me on this!
    Six weeks. Get a calendar and mark it off. Make sure that you do not plan anything of any consequence (for example: Thanksgiving or Christmas-- two holidays that fell during my recovery period.) or you will regret it. I will tell you when I get through this, if my timing was as bad an idea as I think it was and is. But I am not there yet. I am in the middle of it!
   I'll be back at some point with info on the hospital stay. Headed off for a required (in my book) afternoon nap!

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