Experiences before knee surgery

So here I’m at day four without prescription NSAIDS, the miracle drug which negates most of the pain from arthritis. I was instructed to stop taking NSAIDS seven days prior to surgery, and being a dutiful person have done so.

Well. Last night had me in tears, wondering how I was going to get through the next few days. By evening I was almost unable to walk the pain was so intense, and by the time I shuffled my way into bed I’d completely lost all fortitude and surrendered to tears. Gary, in his resourceful way, quickly went and researched what I could take to alleviate the pain without compromising my system for Wednesday’s surgery, and discovered the only thing I could take was Tylenol x-strength. Right. Did that. And while Tylenol certainly isn’t an NSAID, it quieted the pain enough I was able to finally fall asleep and rest for awhile.

It would seem the next two days are going to be interesting. But I will do this. I have to. Because as of Wednesday my medical team will be pumping me full of wonderful pain-relievers post-surgery and I’ll be on the road to recovery and pain-free mobility.

For those of you following this journey because you’re going to be facing your own knee replacements, be aware it gets worse before it gets better. And that’s okay. Because it is going to get better. I believe that.

In the meantime, I continue to do the pre-op exercises I’ve been given. They aren’t hard. But they can be challenging if you’re unable to fully extend your knee. It’s interesting to lay on the bed, your knee propped on a thick roll of towels, and flex to get a full extension, then hear all the cracking and crunching of the knee, accompanied by a frisson of painful, electric charges from knee to toes. Yep, fun times.

Then there are the leg slides. You start with your legs flat on the bed. Then, with your feet flat to the bed, you slide your legs up to a tight bend, back down, and repeat for however many times you’ve been instructed. In typical fashion, I’m doing more than required, twice a day.

Then you do a gentle hamstring stretch by pressing the back of your knee down into the bed, and repeat several times.

Those same exercises will continue throughout my recovery at home, along with a spate of others.

Grey Bruce Health Services has created a great little video for people having knee replacement surgery, which I’ve appended below.

And that, my dear readers, is the state of the thing for this Sunday, January 13, 2019.

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