Friday, June 28, 2013

Day 9 - Progress!!

Good news from the doc today!  Stitches were removed and he examined my knee.  He was very happy with the stability, as well as my flexion ability.  I've been doing good work getting my knee moving.  He was impressed and said it was even better than he expected.

So, next phase.  I am now permitted to weight my knee 50%.  I will also be able to walk w/o crutches in 2 weeks!!  At that point he said to go for 100% weight as I build.  PT starts next week, too.

What a relief.  I was ecstatic leaving the doctors office.

I walked around much more that I had been, using crutches of course, and played with weighting it 50%.  Not really sure how to guage 50%, but I did my best.  Walked from the parking lot into the movie theater - about 400 yards and didn't have pain that night.  Optimistic!!

Thursday, June 27, 2013

Day 8 - Gaining Mobility

This was a great day.  Had a horsetrainer and great friend come over for a while to play with my horses for me.  Loved watching her play with my newest horse, Chance.  We used the indoor and I got a little uncomfortable in the camp chairs, but it was ok.

Crutched around more than usual and spent more time with the able-bodied folks.

Had some friends bring dinner, which was delish!!  Lots of food!

Range of Motion didn't improve today, but I believe my leg is slightly stronger.

Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Day 7 - Getting an Education through Documentaries

I discovered documentaries on NetFlix.  Another bed day.  Feeling good about the rest as I assume I'm about to start the work of PT in a few days.  Moving around a little easier.  No pain unless I flex too far.  Still, only weight bearing at 20%, following doctors orders.  Flexion slow to improve, Ive got about 90 degrees still.  Quad muscle charlie horses are alive and well.

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Day 6- Quiet Recovery

Quiet day - in bed, flexing, leg lifting, hanging around.  1 visitor and some time with my daughter.

Pain is way less.  Leg lifts are easier.  Flexion is slowly increasing.

Monday, June 24, 2013

Day 5 - Lots of Visitors

I went downstairs a couple times today for visitors.  One friend brought lunch and I ate with her and my family at the kitchen table (kinda nice!).  A couple visitors came to me in my bedroom, but for the last visitor I went downstairs and sat on the couch with her for a couple hours.

I tried to keep my knee elevated, but I realized later that I should have gotten my ColPac out and wrapped my knee while I sat on the couch.  I was missing my ice machine during that visit!

By the way, buy a ColPac knee wrap.  Money well spent.

Feels good being off of Percocet.  Working on my range of motion and when I took my shower at the end of the day, I was able to get a 90 degree bend in my leg.  That's progress, folks.  Lots of leg lifts today, too.  Have some bizarre muscle knots developing in my quad.  One on each side of my quad.  They are sore to the touch and it just feels like massive charlie horses.

Sunday, June 23, 2013

Day 4 - Getting ambitious

I was instructed to not put more than 20% of my body weight on my knee for the first week, until my appt with the surgeon on day 8 post-op.  I had no desire to weight my knee so that was easy.  I was working more on leg lifts though, and flexing my knee more.  It lifted my spirits to see the range of motion slightly increased and the leg lifts coming easier to me.

In the afternoon, my husband agreed to take me for a drive.  I just needed some new scenery.  We loaded up our daughter and our dogs, thinking to take them to a dog park where I could watch from the car.  About 10 mins into the drive I had to admit that I wasn't going to make it very long.  The sitting position was hard on my knee and causing pain.  The car vibrating wasn't helping either, I'm sure.  But we got some fast food fries and frozen custard and it was heavenly!  I'd been focusing on eating well and not too much, hoping that I wouldn't have a lot of weight to lose during physical therapy.  The junk food was NICE!  :)

We parked in a quiet area near a bike trail and the dogs ran around for about 30 mins while I ate my frozen custard in the car and watched.  New scenery, my happy dogs, my husband and daughter walking together...  hugely uplifting.

I realized too, I'd been off Percocet for 1.5 days.  Percocet was part of my problem and getting off it was the right move.  I wasn't dizzy or nauseous and I had my appetite back.

I'd gotten a bigger, fancier DonJoy knee brace after surgery, with locking and guiding mechanisms at the knee joint.  I was starting to play with unlocking it more and moving my knee more.  Good stuff.  I still loved sitting in my bed hooked up to the ice machine, though.  What a great invention.

Saturday, June 22, 2013

Day 3 Post-Op - Exiting the Dark Place

This day was sorely needed.  The pain was a tiny bit less.  I was starting to feel compelled to move my knee a little.  I was able to do a few leg lifts and begin to build some quad strength. I started laying in more positions than simply on my back.

The hip on the same side as my injured knee was starting to really, really hurt.  Too many days in 1 position, I'm sure.  It became as uncomfortable as my knee.

My husband came home this day, too.  My daughter, who'd been gone for 2 weeks at camp, came home.  I'm sure this was a big part of my return from the "the dark funk".

My husband helped me take a shower.  I was so nauseous, dizzy, uncomfortable, but we got it done.  We used my shower chair and he stood in the shower to help me.  I was relieved to be clean and the water running over my knee wasn't awful.  This helped me return from "the dark funk", too.  I went straight back to bed, but had my sisters (my 2nd sister had come to visit), my husband, my daughter and son.  I was starting to see the light at the end of the tunnel.

I had some great friends that were ready to come visit with wine and games.  The shower had been so difficult that I asked them to hold off.  I wasn't up for more visitors than my family at that point.  They might have lifted my spirits even more, but it felt overwhelming to consider.

About 2 hours later, I went downstairs for the first time since surgery and my daughter and sisters took me to see the horses on the ATV.  The sun was setting, the horses were happy, and I felt a little more of the dark funk washing away.  I was smiling.  The pain was managed and I could forget about my knee for a bit.  Sweet relief.

Friday, June 21, 2013

Day 2 Post-Op - Let the Despair Begin

This was a super hard day for me.  My husband had to leave the country after my surgery and my sister was staying for 5 days to see me through this rough patch.  I love my sister, she is my best friend.  I was missing my husband, though.  I was also 2.5 weeks into this injury and feeling weary of the lack of independence.  I'm a horse trainer and I missed my horses and my clients.  The pain was simply awful.  My appetite was absent (I think in large part due to the Percocet).  I was lonely in my bed.

This was the day the doctor said I could shower.  He said let water run over the incisions.  Honestly, the pain was still so severe, the thought of taking all the bandaging off and getting into a shower was simply not appealing.  I thought perhaps it would lift spirits so my sister and I started to remove the bandaging.  I was already in such a dark place of despair, seeing my hacked up knee sent me spiraling even deeper.  I just wasn't prepared for the amount of entry points, stitches, bandages...  I was expected one for the ACL repair and a longer one for the LCL repair.  There were 6-7 entry points and my knee looked hideous.  I couldn't unsee it and it drove me to tears.

Other than that, more Percocet, restless sleep, nausea, grogginess, dizziness...  This was the worst day of the whole ordeal.

Thursday, June 20, 2013

Day 1 Post-Op

It went a little like this...  Sleep, pain, Percocet, weird drugged sleep, pain, Percocet, miserable trip to the bathroom, pain, Percocet...

You get the idea.

The compression machine would squeeze my knee too hard.  I had a lot of stitches and entry points that were sore.  I slept on my back only.  Moving my knee at all was just a bad idea.

I added Alleve on top of the Percocet.  That seemed to help.

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Day Zero - Surgery

I looked forward to this day with excitement.  I'd waited two weeks to get to this point.  Two weeks with a knee that had zero stability, pain, swelling, crutches, a couple different knee braces...  It was a challenge.  So when the surgery date was set about 5 days prior, I was pretty relieved and anxious.

I decided to spend the final days before surgery in bed.  I was getting obnoxious swelling in my ankle from moving around too much.  I'd weight my knee by accident and cause myself awful pain.  The knee brace (a DonJoy velcro brace) was helpful, but it put immense pressure on the damaged LCL.  That would cause my knee to ache for the following 24 hours, making sleep restless.

I arrived at the surgery center around 6am with my husband, Steve.  By the way, I cannot imagine going through all this again without him.  He's an amazing supporter and took excellent care at each step.  They prepped me for surgery, which started around 7am.  I decided not to accept the femoral block.  The anesthesiologist explained that I'd need more pain meds w/o the block but that I could decide after the surgery and she could give me the block then.  That seemed like a good option to me.  When I came out of surgery, if the pain was excruciating, I'd accept the block.  Unfortunately, the amount of anesthesia used during the procedure meant I would take nearly 2 hours to come back to the living.  The anesthesiologist was not available then.  The femoral block was no longer a real option, unless I wanted to wait 2 more hours for another anesthesiologist to become available.  I just wanted to go home (sorta - I was pretty out of it).  Hindsight... should have gotten the block.  It works for 12-18 hours, so the first day would have been a little more comfortable.

It was tough getting home.  I was still so groggy and had to make my way up the stairs to my bedrom where I would convalesce.  That was a solid 8 minute trip.  Once in my bed, my husband and my sister hooked me up to the compression/ice machine (loved this machine) and off to la-la land I went.

I got up to pee once the first day.  The pain was excruciating!  I took my first Percocet after that short and hellish trip to the bathroom.  And then, back to la-la land.  The anastesia and pain meds administered during surgery seemed to be in my system for the entirety of the first day, but the pain was unexpected and quite severe.