Dec 12, 2016

A Pain in the Knee: Part III (aka The Recovery)

*Disclaimer: There are pictures of my healing knee without the bandage on so if you get grossed out by that kind of thing, then maybe this would be one to skip. But I wanted to post the healing process from seeing pictures of it healing to my feelings and thoughts throughout. So now's the time to chose your own adventure...

Day One (Day of Surgery)

Things aren't too bad. I'm feeling better than I thought but it's hard to move my leg. The top part of my leg is numb thanks to the nerve block and any time I move around I just get worn out, but it's not hurting as bad as I expected. I do have to get used to moving around on crutches.

Day Two

My leg has started tingling as the nerve block wears off. That's a weird feeling and I'm looking forward to feeling my leg again. I hate that numb feeling in my leg. I can't really put weight on my leg because it's still numb. It reminds me of having an epidural only just the top part of my leg is numb. It's pretty weird feeling.

Day Three

The nerve block wore off in the middle of the night and I want my numb leg back. My knee really hurts. Turns out knee surgery really hurts. It's been 48 hours since my surgery and I can shower and start my exercises now. I'm dreading them but also looking forward to the shower. I could do less of the exercises than I expected and I worry that I'm supposed to be able to do more. As for the shower, I had an anxiety attack right before I was going to get in and got really dizzy (thanks pain meds) and decided against it. I did too much. Maybe tomorrow.

Day Four

It's already feeling much better. I slept horrible - it's hard to get comfortable with this giant thing on my leg and the knee pain - but I can always hope it'll get better the next night. My knee is feeling better though. I could do more with each exercise, so that was definitely good. But I still can't do too much (the leg lifts are basically impossible and the heel slides (bending my knee) is really hard and always feels like something is going to snap). The biggest goal for the day is definitely to finally shower. I was successful but it was definitely stressful.

Day Five

Another terrible night of sleep. I actually woke up early in the morning feeling claustrophobic. I had to take off the brace and the wrap to free my leg for a few minutes because I felt like I was going to have an anxiety attack. I felt a little better after but I wasn't feeling much better. I was exhausted but couldn't fall asleep because I just couldn't get comfortable. I got dressed and propped my knee up and hoped things would get better as the day went on. Just feeling a little trapped today. It doesn't help that everything itches and it's basically impossible to reach everywhere that itches. Plus every once in awhile it feels like the stitches are pulling because it's almost like pinching on my skin. That's definitely not so awesome.

Day Six

I walked without crutches! I didn't go far and I definitely can't go fast but I did it! I can definitely tell my knee is already getting stronger. I can do more with the exercises. Those leg lifts are a pain however and I still can't get my foot off the floor but I'm getting closer. It's definitely nice that I can move around a little more without the crutches. That's definitely helping the morale!

Day Seven

The best part of today is definitely getting the stitches out! The stitches feel like they are pulling or maybe it's the tape - whatever, it's driving me crazy and I'm pumped to finally get rid of them! All this means that today was my follow-up appointment! I seem to be right on track at this point. I'll be starting physical therapy soon which makes me excited and nervous at the same time. Ready to continue moving forward and feeling stronger but I'm nervous because ouch! That little outing to get my knee checked out just about wore me out though and I was wiped the rest of the evening. Pain meds, ice, and putting my leg up was about all I had left in me (plus watching YouTube videos which I do a lot these days) was all I had left and all I was interested in doing. Oh but my knee feels so much better without the stitches. No more pulling feeling I was having which I have definitely confirmed was thanks to the stitches or the tape or something. But no more! So yay!

Day Eight

This was a bad pain day. I don't know if this was because they yanked on my knee trying to get that stitch out or if just going to the doctor itself was a bit of a workout and wore me out. But it was a painful knee day. It just hurt all day.

Day Nine

Definitely a better knee day but still hurting. I also fell asleep in the evening then woke up suddenly, making me jump which resulted in me hyper-extending my knee. Luckily the brace keeps it from doing any damage, although I did have a little bit of blood on my gauze. And it hurt pretty bad. It hurt bad enough to actually take something for it which by the way I actually made it the entire day without any pain meds. Yay go me!

Day Ten

My knee hurts off and on. It's not awful today. We figured out an easier way for me to take a shower today which was pretty exciting. I was so ready for a shower. Pretty much using the crutches all day because it is bothering me some. But I'm making it. This next week I have my PT evaluation and then I get going with PT which I'm pretty excited about and pretty nervous about. I'm ready to be able to bend my knee occasionally.  But for now, today was off and on with it hurting and bothering me. Mostly I was just really tired and wanted to rest.

Comment below: Have you had knee surgery? What was your own knee recovery process like?

xo, B

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