When I took a hiatus from blogging I had no idea it would have lasted this long. My absence was a planned one...I got a new right knee. After years of watching my activity level decline because of severe osteoarthritis in my knees, I decided to join the millions of other baby boomers and get a total knee replacement. Extreme? Yes! But I believe it will be "life transforming" and there aren't too many times you can have those expectations with a medical decision so I went for it.
So here I am on Day 11 after the surgery. Experiencing life as a patient is a wonderful grounding experience and every day I learn new lessons. Here are a few:
- Everyone has a different pain threshold. Doctors should not question or try to imagine some one's pain level. It is what it is!
- Even when the nurse gives good, clear discharge instructions...the patient will probably not remember any of it. (I have no idea when I am supposed to see the doctor again!)
- Pain is much worse at night. Take the medication and don't get behind.
- Every day is completely different than the day before. Knowing that can be so reassuring.
- Having a loving caregiver is essential. Buy one if you don't have one.
- You can't have too many pillows
- Take your own soft blanket to the hospital with you. Leave all jewelry at home.
- Take the stool softener.
- Don't let your cat or dog jump on the area you had surgery.
- Pay all bills, correspondence, work before your surgery. Recovery is a 24 hour a day job and you will not be able to think or blog during the post-op period.