Saturday, March 7, 2009

Day 12

After a couple of s0-so days, I'm back on track physically and mentally. What had been an ascendant line of progress dipped downward on Days 10 and 11 thanks to some unwelcome soreness and fatigue. It was discouraging. I muddled through my exercises and morning routine on Friday and could not muster much enthusiasm for John the Therapist’s afternoon visit. My decision to cut the Percocet dosage in half probably did not help my state of mind.

John arrived and began putting me through the therapy regimen, which mean gently pulling and tugging the leg to break down scar tissue. It did not take long for the leg to start loosening up. We got my leg to flex beyond 90 degrees, an important benchmark. When the staples come out on Monday, it will able to flex even more. John pointed out where the swelling had subsided and proclaimed me ahead of schedule in my rehab. A crummy day got a lot better.

I reminded myself later that “no pain, no gain” is the reality of this rehab. I need to push myself a little harder, knowing that small amounts of pain is a necessary evil. I can’t baby this thing. The scar tissue won’t disappear on its own.

I got my best night of sleep since surgery last night. Now that some of the swelling has gone down, I can rotate my knee and leg more easily and can find comfortable positions for sleep. It was especially satisfying that I did not need to wake up in the middle of the night for a pain pill. And the leg felt good this morning, with little pain or stiffness.

The two bad days were, as it turns out, expected and not very meaningful in measuring my overall progress. There's no rush. I'm doing well. And today, finally, I'm getting a glimpse of what life with a brand new knee might be like.

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