Monday, August 15, 2011

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!

Today, even with a new hole in my knee, I feel pretty good about this summer adventure.  Wow, I amaze myself!  (And, I really like my new haircut.  It's super easy to fix!  Perfect teacher cut!)


  1. You have come a long ways baby. When was your surgery? I can't remember the date. I remember my husband had his in June one year and had to start school using a cane. Actually, the football players were most encouraging and helpful. The kids applauded his strides toward getting full use back. I think that is great thing about teaching. (My husband was a high school principal.) The kids really do care and will be supportive of you and helpful I am sure. Keep going for the massage.

    I like your hair cut!

  2. You are beautiful! So glad you find yourself in this gentle healing place, and that you're being so loving toward yourself.

  3. Nice hair cut. I'm getting mine cut shorter for the start of the year too, just haven't yet.

    I'm glad your minor set-back was easily fixed without the ER co-pay. Sounds like you are doing fabulous.

  4. Yes, you've come a very long way. But there is plenty of the journey to wholeness ahead. Easy does it! Glad to hear you're going to take it easy and stay out of PT and the pool for a few days.

  5. You are looking so well and I love your cut and the way it frames your face. I hope your suture heals without further medical intervention. I think you are wise to stay out of the pool until it has. Your massages sound marvellously healing! Keep up with this gentle therapy.

  6. How wonderful that you are taking such good care of yourself and being so gracious to yourself. I'm hoping for you that doing this upcoming school year when stress builds--and it will!!!--you will be able to return in memory to this summer and your growing belief in yourself.

    You will be able to visualize "And all shall be well. And all shall be well. And all manner of things shall be exceedingly well" as Juliana of Norwich said so many years ago.

  7. Great cut! I miss having you right around the corner at Riverview. I miss the feeling of community. Would I go back? Nope!!

    Sending good thoughts your way for a peaceful start to a new school year.

  8. Soon you will be in the land of complete recovery. Keep the positive attitude. It's contagious.

  9. I would have freaked out about the infection scare! Take it easy getting back to school. There's so much to do to get ready and it would be so easy to get worn out. Have a great school year.

  10. Love your new cut, Sandi. I sure hope your infection heals quickly - keep a close eye on it. Good Luck starting school. My friend, Di, is in the very beginning of her recuperation.

  11. what an ordeal (again)...but your attitude is wonderful Sandi. I'm so glad you read back over your blogs to see the progress, I've done the same recently and it can really change our perspective when feeling gloomy.

    I LOVE your new haircut beautiful ♥

  12. You are beautiful inside and out.

    Very inspiring post.

    Cassy from Acoustic Guitar Lessons

  13. Well done!
    Carry on as you are doing and life will return to normal. You'll be as good as new.

    Your bob (the cut) looks great.


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