Jan 9, 2017

A Pain in the Knee: Part V (aka Still Recovering)

So in case you were wondering I'm still recovering. Yeah, turns out knee surgery is no joke. I'm still in my crazy uncomfortable knee brace and doing PT twice a week, plus all the at home PT I'm doing. I have definitely come a long way though and here is the recap from the last few weeks of knee recovery.

So here's my warning, this is a long post. It's a recap from the last few weeks of my recovery and how I have done. So definitely long. There are also some knee pictures but they are less gruesome. My knee is healing after all. But there you have it.

Day Eleven
I miss being able to lay on my tummy. I miss being able to move my leg around on my own. I miss not having to grab my ankle and pick up my leg in order to get into bed, or sit on the couch, or get into the car. I keep thinking that if I take the brace off then I can move my leg around freely and easily then I face a tough reality when I can't. Turns out it's not the brace holding me back. Had to take Connor to the doctor today (my mom is helping me now) and that little outing wore me out. It's amazing how such a little thing where I'm not even carrying a kid or really doing anything at all can just wipe me out. So I took a little nap. It wasn't long enough but it was something.

Day Twelve
Feeling a bit trapped today. The weather is cold. I'm exhausted. My back hurts. My knee hurts from moving around so much in my sleep last night. I have about a thousand things on my mind. And I'm frustrated because I can't do any of them. So feeling very trapped and frustrated today. On the plus side I got the dried blood off my knee. Maybe I'll try to get the pen off today too. Or maybe I'll just take a nap...

Day Thirteen
So definitely hurting today. I tossed and turned all night - as much as I could - and that didn't help. I ended up taking pain meds during the day which I hate doing but it was really hurting. I basically kept my leg up and slept all day. So definitely got the lazy down. We also discovered that my brace which is usually kept straight to 30 degrees bend only had been adjusted so I could bend it more, and that's definitely not helping with pain. No clue how that happened. Maybe the tossing and turning the night before. Anyway, knee pain - ouch. Pain meds - dizzy. Tossing and turning - tired.

Day Fourteen
Another rough night of sleep. It would seriously be nice to sleep at night but I just get so uncomfortable. So my knee is hurting again (more daytime pain meds) and so very tired. The biggest thing is definitely that I have my physical therapy evaluation today. I'm nervous heading forward because I was definitely sore after just today but I'll get stronger and I'm looking forward to that. I am looking forward to moving again and having help just bending my knee today felt A-M-A-Z-I-N-G!

Day Fifteen 
Another rough night. I learned last night that I'm having a side effect to the pain meds I'm taking - ITCHING! It is driving me up the wall! No seriously, it is driving me crazy. I was up until like 3 in the morning just itching. I couldn't sleep. I was so uncomfortable. So no surprise here, another tired day. Started my PT exercises at home today and they went well. Nothing too bad - the heel slides are the worst of the bunch but I'm doing the best I can. It's only day one and only two weeks since the surgery. I'm just frustrated and ready to be off the crutches and out this brace. But at this point I would take off the crutches. The absolute worst part about all this is the fact that I can't pick up my own son. I just want to be able to pick him up and hold him, but my leg barely holds me at this point and that definitely makes me sad. So honestly just a so-so day.

Day Sixteen
Another night of itching which wasn't helped by the fact that the kids were having a rough night so I'm a bit tired today. That's pretty normal these days though. More home PT which is hard but also feels good. I'm doing it twice a day and I definitely get a little stiff and sore but 80% of PT is what I do at home so I'm working hard to make sure I'm doing the best I can. I want to be back on my feet again! My knee itself is looking better it's mostly pen. The scar is healing great and the swelling is way less. And I even showered with about 10% of my weight on my left food so yay, good me! Baby steps!

Day Seventeen
I'm doing more walking around today without crutches! That's definitely exciting. I am so ready to be done with crutches. They are exhausting and annoying. I'm ready to be done with the brace but that's still a ways off. I'll be done with the crutches before I'm done with the brace so I'll take what I can. At this point little trips and being around the house prompts me to not use the crutches if it isn't hurting too bad but going out pretty much means I need them because it's just too much.

Day Eighteen
I got my bum handed to me at PT today. I feel exhausted and completely worn out (is that the same thing?) I wasn't sure what to expect, but there I was. Started with some stretching and oh the pain! My knee was bent and worked and I wanted to cry. It felt good to have my leg bent but at the same time it hurt pretty bad. After I got through the stretching part, it wasn't horrible. Everything else went well and I felt like I could do more than I thought I could do. So that was good. But that pretty much left me useless the rest of the day. First PT definitely left me feeling a bit worst. I put my leg up, iced it and took some pain meds. I imagine each PT will be a little easier on me as we continue to move forward and as I get stronger. But today wiped me out. One PT down - a lot to go but let's get this over with so I get back to moving around and feeling better (even if getting me there is torture).

Day Nineteen
PT yesterday seems to have wiped me today. My leg has just hurt all day. And yes I mean my leg - not just my knee. I have two more exercises to add in to my twice daily home PT and I'm just tired. I'm just having an exhausting, painful day.

Day Twenty
I can proudly say that I am moving around the house about 98% without my crutches. I only use the crutches in the house when everything hurts so bad that I just can't do it on my own. But all day today I have been crutches-free. Man that is nice! It's nice to feel like I have a little more freedom around the house at least. Hurting off and on today but nothing I couldn't manage. In the morning I had to take some pain meds but by the afternoon the pain was tolerable. So that's something. Trust me, I'm loving the less painful days too!

Day Twenty-One
Another PT day and I was dreading. But I survived. I did this bike pedaling thing which was basically rocking back and forth as far as I could go. It was definitely hard but it felt good at the same time. At the end we did the stretches - that knee bending thing I hate so much - and I got through it but man I hate it. I just closed my eyes, tried to relax and repeated 'it won't snap' in my head over and over again. It helped some but it still hurt. I was definitely looking forward to icing it and putting it up when I was done.

Day Twenty-Two
Not feeling so awesome today. I think part of that is because I was so uncomfortable last night and I'm feeling down because I just want to sleep. I don't know why but I just couldn't get comfortable last night and I'm frustrated about that. My calf is still bothering me quite a bit and that's part of my discomfort. Looking forward to my calf feeling better at least since the knee is definitely the longer road.

Day Twenty-Three
Feeling good today. Not sleeping awesome still but it's getting better.

Day Twenty-Four
I have been spending way too much time on my feet the last day or so. It's really bothering me but despite the fact that it's Christmas I'm still doing PT. Merry Christmas to me.

Day Twenty-Five
I have no clue what happened but my knee is killing me today. It's bothering me a lot and all I want to do is sleep and put it up. I did my PT which didn't feel like it went great but it went and I did it. My knee is just really bothering me today. It also didn't help that Addison and I ran into each other, which twisted me and my knee. Definitely wanted to get off of it after that.

Day Twenty-Six
Another PT today. I was completely dreading it but it wasn't as bad as I thought. I got all the way around on the bike and I was even able to get to 115 degree bend which is my best yet. So I'm feeling good about that but my knee is definitely hurting a lot. I'm looking forward to just putting my leg up. I have done way too much the last few days and I need a bit of a break today.

Day Twenty-Seven
I'm definitely feeling it today. I have a new exercise which is killing my leg and super hard. I think it's more strengthen related which is frustrating and definitely something I'm struggling with. All I know is my leg hurts today.

Day Twenty-Eight
Another PT day and it was a good day. I'm able to get all the way around on the bike now and it definitely feels good. I got 125 degree bend today which is just 5 degrees away from the average. It still hurts and it's still stiff and it doesn't come naturally but it's coming along. The strengthen however isn't coming along very fast and I'm stuck in the brace until it does. It's really frustrating to be in the brace all the time but at least I understand how vulnerable my knee is at this stage and how we are going to be doing more focus towards strengthen.

Day Twenty-Nine
I'm up to 20 exercises at home twice daily now. I feel like I spend forever doing PT but I know it's making a difference. It's just slow. It's funny because I have noticed with the flexibility exercises it was always just painful (still is sometimes) but with the strengthen exercises I am just exhausted. I have basically no quad muscle and it just wears me out doing any strengthen for any length of time.

Day Thirty
I woke up with my knee hurting today. It was not fun. I sometimes feel like I have a goose egg in my knee and it's just painful. I got through my PT at home today but it was just hurting all day. So not feeling awesome today with my knee (and not feeling awesome in general because I have a little cold too!) What a way to ring in the new year...

Day Thirty-One
I have no idea what happened but my knee is seriously hurting today. With it so dry, it is driving me crazy itching and sometimes it feels like the skin is just pulling apart. Sounds awful? It feels awful. I was definitely struggling today with my PT with my knee hurting so bad but I got through it. Just not a happy knee day.

Day Thirty-Two
Bad knee day. It has just hurt today. I struggled with getting my knee bent at all during my at home PT. I have just been hurting all day. I guess it was just one of those days. It did rain after all. But I survived all PT and I survived the day without falling down so really the day was a success.

Day Thirty-Three
Another PT today and we are definitely focusing more on strength. I can't get out of the brace until my leg is stronger, so that's where we focus. It doesn't hurt but I definitely get worn out quickly. The biggest thing about today is that I had a checkup with the doctor's office. Everything looks good and is healing well. I was given full range of motion with the brace which means I can bend my knee more than 30 degrees while in the brace. I was also given the all clear to sleep without the brace on. I was told that most likely it will be another month before I can actually get it off but at least I know now what I need to be able to do and the "deadline" in order to get the brace off. So that put me in a good mood for sure!

Day Thirty-Four
Not so awesome of a day. It's awesome being able to get around better because I can definitely walk more normal now. But I slept awful! I couldn't get comfortable. My knee hurt. It was weird not having the brace on. I figure - or at least hope - it will get better in time. But for now I'm just trying to make it through the day. (Did I mention that I'm back alone with the kids during the day again? Yesterday went well but it was a short day for me since I had PT and a knee appointment.)

Day Thirty-Five
Made it through another PT and feeling pretty awesome about it. Those leg lifts I haven't been able to do, well I was finally able to today. I kicked butt actually. I am really pumped with myself and feeling pretty awesome. Getting my brace off in a month doesn't seem so impossible now. I am definitely good with that. My leg got worked hard today and I was definitely feeling it by the time I was done. It was definitely hard to finish out the day taking care of the kiddos with my leg hurting so bad. But I made it. I was definitely hurting after my evening PT after going to a PT session today. Luckily I can just put it up and ice it and hope I can walk in the morning. But for the time being I'm mostly just pumped about being able to do a leg lift.

Day Thirty-Six
Feeling blah today but I made it to Friday so that's something! Didn't sleep well last night - I really pushed at PT and with my at home PT and just couldn't get comfortable which meant didn't sleep great. Not exactly helping the mood today.

Day Thirty-Seven
Today I had my first trip out and about. We went to Target and I made it. I move so slow but I made it through the store so that's definitely something big for me. I won't be doing any trips like that without Rob anytime soon but at least I can get out the house. I was definitely a bit worn out the rest of the day but luckily being Saturday I could just chill and put my leg up.

Day Thirty-Eight
Actually slept decent last night but just woke up feeling blah. The clouds most of the day didn't help. Just ready to be out the brace, able to move around without pain or lack of confidence in my knee, and ready for spring already. Luckily we just had a lazy day and relaxing was no big thing.

Check out the whole story:
A Pain in the Knee: Part I (aka The Backstory)
A Pain in the Knee: Part II (aka The Surgery)
A Pain in the Knee: Part III (aka The Recovery)
A Pain in the Knee: Part IV (aka Physical Therapy)

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