DAY 8: All of a sudden I am awakened with a knife searing pain in my ankle. Where did this come from? I shout bloody murder, frightening the cats and husband. For some reason the pain pills, Oxy, Motrin, Tylenol, and aspirin do nothing to quell the shooting pains in my body. I have no appetite, which is not good for the pain pills affecting my stomach lining. Hubby is patient and kind. Heaven surely awaits him.
DAY 9: The visiting nurse comes again, telling me my black ankles and purple hips are from the tourniquet that was strapped around my hip flexor and thigh, cutting off blood circulation to the leg. Why am I only finding out about this now? Nobody told me a tourniquet was part of the procedure. Nurse J removed my dressing, allowing me to count 26 staples. They look like staples for construction paper, only thicker. Finally, I can scratch my leg! Looks like a zipper. Walking was easier yesterday than today. I feel like a beginner all over again. I must remember, no craving and no aversion, for everything changes...
DAY 10: I am seeing the swelling go down in my calves after a few rounds of putting my legs upside down, against the wall, buttocks close to wall as I can get them, feet flat towards the ceiling. Walking is even harder than yesterday, ankles on fire, heels and ankles swollen more, even as the calves have subsided somewhat. I must keep remembering that the only thing consistent in life is change, for that is the universal law of nature. I learned so much about this in my meditation retreats, so why do I feel entitled to comfort and progress through my efforts?
DAY 11: My first visitor arrives, bringing me joy and diet tonic water, laughter and the beauty of deep friendship. Maybe the visit will distract me from my misery for a little while. My body has betrayed me once again, no poop for another 4 days! Aaaaggh!
DAY 12: I am happy to say that despite feeling in pain underneath the surface of each 24 hours, I slept well last night. I am remembering to be grateful for the little things in life at this moment. The PT came today and I walked up and down my stairs with a cane and the handrail. Feels easy, so the challenge for me is to not do too much. Hours later I may feel the repercussions.
DAY 13: Thirteen has always been my lucky number. More than 13 miracles and coincidences have happened on the 13th of a month in my life. Today my constipation subsided. Finally! I am learning the way of true empathy through this experience. The doctor told me this is one of the most painful surgeries there is, as far as recovery and healing. I am definitely humbled in so many ways.
DAY 14: Today my niece is Queen Sitting. My name is Mama Queen to the kids because when they were little I taught them that if they called me Mama Queen while we were out and about, I may say yes more readily to the toys they asked for. Today I report that am walking with a cane up and down the sidewalk (with my PT)! It feels so good to walk outside than to be in the house, sitting or lying down.
If you or anyone you know is having a total knee replacement surgery in the future and wants real feedback from my experience, please reach out to me. I am here to help.