Staples Out! - Rise Again! - CycleBlaze

September 6, 2018

Staples Out!

This was a big day in the story of this recovery so far.  There was the first appointment with physio, back at the hospital,  plus new xrays of the repaired knee, and a reunion with the surgeon.

Physio did not start off quite "on the right foot".  Although we had brought the walker to the hospital, Dodie cast it aside as being too slow. So she just walked into physio. The therapist immediately freaked, declaring that this was overdoing it, and ran to find a cane. She then spent time adjusting it to just the right height. Dodie looked on impassively, but never did use or touch it. 

Dodie had come in ready to explain her sole objective of getting on, stationary training with, and as soon as possible, riding her bike. But the  physio pooh poohed this as being weeks away, and got out the standard book, turning to  standard exercise #1. She then gave Dodie a failing grade on her performance of #1. 

The lady was so self-righteous and school marm-y that Dodie and I exchanged several exasperated glances. I was about ready for us to walk out. But, we all persevered, and Dodie did eventually display a 90 degree knee bend and almost a straight leg when lying down. On this basis, the lady assigned exercises up to #11.  (There are 11 exercises prescribed for weeks 1-3, and 29 in total. The period of intensive physio is deemed to last three months.  The final exercise is called the "Split Squat (lunge)".  Dodie has not been seen "lunging" anywhere for quite some years!)

Up at the orthopedics clinic, various gimpy people lined the corridor. There were no available seats for able bodied assistants, or even those with bad arms or shoulders. So these just stood around. It was interesting seeing others at different stages of the knee surgery. We recognized a lady who had been operated two days after Dodie, and were curious to see her progress.  Like Dodie, she had been a flat out wreck on the hospital bed, but here were the two of them, (sort of) walking around. Admittedly, the other lady was "smart" enough to have a cane. Or maybe in two days she will throw it away! This place is the true "Lourdes" of our world!

The messages from the surgeon were all positive, but a bit unsettling (to me, anyway). She said she had perfectly aligned and installed the knee, and that therefore any history Dodie may have had of not being able to flex or straighten it completely is past. Except, big if, Dodie must  try hard on both the flex and straighten, to counteract tight tendons. That means trying to not have a pillow underneath the knee  while sleeping. That could be a challenge, and we'll see how it goes.

Second, the surgeon declared about time to discontinue the heavier pain meds.  I think that is also in the "we'll see" category. I think Dodie did really need them last night. Both the pillow and the meds are more likely to be a case of tapering over a week or so, rather than cold turkey - as the surgeon's comments seemed to imply.

And then, the staples came out! A very gentle and supportive nurse applied a new dressing, but that will come off in no more than a week. After that, a shower! The steri-strips that have now been applied will curl and fall off, and with that the surgery bit is all over. The mechanics will have taken away their tools and gone home. 

But of course, that leaves Dodie with the (oh,oh) physio!

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Bill ShaneyfeltHang in there!

Just remember as a current doctor friend said, "doctors are taught to make patients feel better, but therapists are taught to make patients get better." Most seem to be pretty good at it but, as an old retired doctor friend once told me "Remember 50% of all doctors graduated in the lower half of their class." And it applies to therapists as well.

You seem to be on a pretty favorable recovery, compared to folks I know with fake knees. Keep up the good work! Pain is your friend.
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3 years ago
david alstonWe know it's not a laughing matter but your post, and Dodie, made us chuckle a little.

David and Maun
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3 years ago
Kathleen ClassenDodie, my physiotherapist, who was young (he looked about 20 to me) said he was getting cynical because so few of his patients did the physiotherapy exercises he assigned. So I made it my personal mission to keep him from cynicism 😜. It is tough, and boring! I also found I had to find the fine line between pushing too hard, and not hard enough. So take care, do your exercises and you will be in the Alps on your bike in no time at all. Well, there is the other knee...darn. We are thinking of you in Bolzano.
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3 years ago