This morning I finally took the advice of some of my blog friends, and re-read my blogs since I began my recovery journey. Gee, I've come a long way, Baby! I'd almost (but not quite!) forgotten those miserable early days when I could hardly make myself do the exercises, and to ride the stationary bike was excruciating. Now, I ride 20 minutes at a time, and even longer when I'm enthralled in a book and forget to check the time. My range of motion is good, and I've fully graduated to the cane. I wheeled the walker down to street to return it to it's rightful owners yesterday.
So, I was a little freaked out on Saturday when I discovered a fluid filled bump right on my scar, just below my knee. The doctor had put the fear of death in me about getting any infections while healing, so I called my primary care that morning when they opened and made an appointment. She looked at it, pronounced it infected and prescribed a strong antibiotic. I was also told that if it got any worse to head for ER, and that I should call the surgeon on Monday. Yikes!
It was really sore, and she had said I could use a warm compress if I chose to, so that night I did. It felt a little better, and wasn't any larger, so I went to bed.
Sunday morning, I put a warm compress on it again and it opened, but there was just a couple drops of blood. I put a bandaid on it (in case there were any germs floating around to latch onto the open area!) and went to church. Later, Kailyn and I did a little shopping and had lunch. When we got home, I thought I'd take the bandaid off and see what was happening. Ouch! It wasn't pretty!
I didn't know what I should do. It wasn't a big area, only a little more than a centimeter or so in diameter, but it was right on the scar and now it was open and oozing some nasty looking stuff. I decided to call my surgeon's office to see if they had anyone on call before I made my husband drive me to ER (just to be on the safe side). Surprise! I received a call back right away and was told that what had happened was that a suture had decided to make a break for it through my skin instead of dissolving like it was supposed to. He said to make a solution of 1/2 peroxide and 1/2 water, and using a q-tip, clean the area three or more times a day and keep it open. Oh, and if it got worse, go to ER, and call my doctor on Monday.
This morning I called but of course my doctor is on vacation! Finally one of his associates called me back and he agreed with the on-call doctor's diagnosis and in fact, said that it was fairly common. (I wish I would have been warned about this!) I'm to continue with the antibiotic, the cleansing, and I will see him on Thursday. Of course, if it should get worse or the swelling spreads or reddens, I am to go straight to ER.
I forgot to ask him about going to the pool, but the on-call doctor had said it would be best to wait, so rats, I didn't go today, and it looks like I won't get to go this week.
So, after that long and drawn out telling, I'm trying to come to grips with where I am today. I'm already having PT withdrawals, because this is the first Monday I haven't had PT in six weeks. I'm only scheduled twice a week now, since my range of motion was at 119 out of 120! But, you know, I'm feeling pretty good, despite my weekend fears and concerns. I did my home routine, and I'm going to have to beef it up, as it's all getting pretty easy. :)
Last week I was so busy I barely had time to read blogs or write. On Wednesday, I got a haircut and treated Kailyn and I to a pedicure! Thursday was spent with my friend Deb, shopping for classroom goodies and luxuriating in a long, chatty lunch. Then I had the best massage I've ever had in my life that afternoon! Julie also massaged around my knee as it is supposed to help with swelling. She was very gentle and I could hardly feel it. When it was all over she asked how I felt and I replied, "I am the most relaxed I have ever been in my life! When can I come back?" I made another appointment for this Wednesday!
My goal for the next few days is to take really good care of myself. It's my last week of "vacation" before I need to get my classroom organized and start inservices next Thursday. I have help coming in with me to school next Monday-Wednesday. I've purposely scheduled PT appointments to get me out of the school building mid afternoon. If it works for Julie, I'm going to try and schedule another massage one of those days as well. I may still need my cane when school starts, but in many ways, I'll be more relaxed for this new year than I've been in the past.
I'm glad I took the time to read back over my summer blogs and comments. This recovery journey was huge, and I proved to myself that I am capable of meeting some pretty daunting challenges. I've learned that I can face pain, and do what I need to do in order to overcome it. I've learned that my house will not fall apart (irreparably) if I'm not in control of it!