I might even get so far as to post something car, plane or writing related soon. I’ve been using my time off to focus on completing the revisions to the book post feedback, and I’m on the home stretch.
Anyway, here’s week two of my post-op diary:
Saturday (day 8): I can feel I’m improving every day, if still not as quickly as I would like given it’s now just over a week since the op. I keep reminding myself I still have a week on my doctor’s note! I can walk for short periods without crutches, although getting up and down stairs is still a bit slow.
I can bend my leg to about 90 degrees, although I still can’t do the leg lifts. That frustrates me, but I can feel the muscles in there are still quite tender. More bruising appears to be coming out around the knee and up my thigh, too.
Sunday (day 9): Last night was a friend’s hen do in Birmingham. The barmen and staff were very considerate to poor old me as I was still on crutches and still needed to keep my leg mostly straight – but oh my word. I emphatically do not recommend cocktails and crutches. I think it’s a mercy Sambuca has anaesthetic properties!
Mostly, I’m very tired and a bit achy – but nowhere near as bad as I feared (hangover included – I stopped drinking alcohol at 7pm because I had no desire to damage myself!). In fact, I feel like I can walk and stand much better, and more movement is beginning to return. I do rely on the crutches when I get tired, though.
Monday (day 10): I saw the nurse to have my dressings and steristrips removed today. The incisions – one either side of my kneecap, both about 5mm long – are healing very nicely indeed. I’m not convinced they’ll even leave a scar. I can’t explain how nice it is not to have huge plaster-type things stuck to my skin!
I’m pushing myself to walk as normally as possible, which obviously tires my knee out; sometimes it feels a little wobbly, but not enough to make me fall over. I’ve switched from using the large and unwieldy crutches to a lighter single walking pole – easy enough to carry if I don’t need it, but quicker to get in the right place if I do.
I had my first bath in 11 days. Heaven. Although there are ways to wash when you can’t get dressings wet, it’s hard to feel properly clean.
Wednesday (day 12): I CAN DO THE LEG LIFTS! Woo! For the first time since the operation, I can do the leg lift exercises! And I can lift my leg onto the sofa by myself! Tremendously pleased. For the first time, I start feeling like going back to work next week is actually feasible. I can also bend my leg to about 60 – 70 degrees. That feels tight, and I’m not sure if that’s due to my knee still being swollen, muscles not having been used for a while, or both.
I can walk nearly normally, if slowly, and getting in and out of a car is still a bit entertaining. Most of the time, I don’t need a stick, although again I keep it with me, just in case. Every now and again my knee feels a bit wobbly for a split second – usually when going up or downstairs. I’m still taking the stairs one step at a time, though.
By the end of the day, my thigh muscles hurt more and feel stiffer than my knee ever did. So I decide another soak in the bath is a good idea!
Thursday (day 13): Not happy. We popped out for lunch, and while walking to the loos my knee gave way from under me without warning. Thankfully I’d got the walking pole with me, otherwise I’d have been in a heap on the floor. It immediately puffed back up again and refused to bend or move. And the pain? I was in tears with it.
Managed to get an appointment with my GP within an hour (who says the NHS is rubbish?). After examining me, he said I’d jarred it but not done any damage, and the swelling was a reaction to that – rest, use ibuprofen and ice packs, but make sure to do the exercises to strengthen the muscles back up. Essentially, it giving way is related to the fact the muscles are still weak.
Gutted. Really, truly, gutted. My knee and the muscles around it ache so much, and I’ve lost all the movement I gained during the week.
So, it’s been a week with some ups and a big down. In theory, I’m back at work next week – but I’ll think about that then!