Sunday, July 3, 2011

Post Op - The First 24 hours

It's been nearly six days since my knee replacement.  I've attempted to write several times, but find it challenging to do the most mundane things, such as balance my laptop without putting unwanted pressure on the wound.  While I have discovered that one chair in the house is mostly comfortable, my body is contorted and typing isn't very much fun.

Nothing has been what I expected.  The first 24 hours I had minimal pain, unless I attempted to move my right leg, which felt like it weighed about 100 pounds. Sleeping was practically non-existent the first night, not from pain so much as simply not being able to move myself and get comfortable.  The nurses were outstanding, and made every attempt to help me cope, but it seemed that a comfortable position for sleeping wasn't going to happen for me.  I am not a back sleeper, and that was my only option! When my doctor visited early on Tuesday morning, he reminded me that I didn't have much pain because of the  anesthetic being combined with a long term pain mediation, and that I would be experiencing some soon.  He said, "This is the honeymoon stage, and it isn't going to last."

An hour or so later, I was sitting up in a chair, (getting there was an exercise in determination, and took an unbelievable long time!) digging into some surprisingly healthy looking breakfast, when I was hit with a wave of nausea so strong, I barely had time to hit the call button and request a bin!  I was so darn hungry!  The nurse put anti nausea meds into my IV, and also gave me meds for that the rest of the time I was in the hospital, but I wasn't ever able to eat.  It was pretty miserable.  The hospital offered some appetizing meals, and the few bites I was able to keep down were very good.

I knew the honeymoon was over when the physical therapist arrived mid morning Tuesday.  Holy Cow! While I still wasn't characterizing my pain level as much above a 3 (on the scale of 1-10) I was distressed to find that I couldn't make my right leg do a thing.  I could wiggle my toes, and move my foot (while lying down) but I couldn't force that darn leg to lift, or bend, or anything else!

This post is going to have to be in stages, as I can't sit here writing for another minute!

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