The saga of my recent knee replacement continues. I have made a radical decision with which I am sure my doctor and physical therapist will totally disagree. I am cancelling the remainder of my visits to the outside therapist and will oversee my rehab program at home by myself. Why? Well, first and foremost, I am really really really tired of pain. It wears one down.
I was supposed to have my second knee replacement on my left leg within the year of my first knee replacement on the right leg. But recovery from the first surgery went so poorly, I managed to put off having the second knee done until I could no longer put up with it. That lasted seven years.
Because of new technology and the added feature of a nerve block, I came away from my second surgery incredibly impressed. The pain was quite tolerable and I was told one week later that my bending abilities were a good two weeks ahead of schedule. I was pleased and encouraged as I continued doing the basic slow and steady exercises at home. Life was good. It didn’t take long to turn bad.
I started outside physical therapy last week. The initial visit was short and I did a minimal routine consisting of mostly passive machine treatments. That night and the next day, my pain level rose a bit, but not enough to push my response button. Then last Friday I had a full program of weight-related exercises and I admit I took the challenge with a no paid/no gain attitude and pushed through as best I could. By Friday night I was in agony. Saturday I could just about walk and Sunday was not much better. I was popping pain pills and swirling my cane at anything or anyone threatening to touch me. I looked like Dr. House.
I then remembered this is what happened with the first knee. Each visit to the therapist brought on more than a basic pain reaction to the workout, but more so I suffered horrendous levels of pain and sharp shooting daggers that were simply an experience to behold. Well, ain’t going to be doing any beholding this time. I will take over the therapy, keep it low key but steady enough that I challenge myself to acheive recovery and return my knee to as near normal function as possible…without all the unbearable pain.
The downside of this decision is self-doubt and second-guessing. I wonder if I am being too much of a wuss, that I have turned sissy to what most people have no trouble doing. Or, does my body simply over-react to therapy. I’ve had fillings put in my teeth and caps over them using no Novocain–I have that much of a tolerance level for pain. So I don’t think wimping out is my nature. Something simply goes amiss with this knee rehab stuff. Given the outlandish amount of pain I endured this past weekend, I know one thing for sure: my decision to do the rehab myself, at my own slow pace and in my own little room is certainly not…wait for it…a knee-jerk reaction.
On an entirely different note, my good ice cream buddy, Ron Carmean, has presented an insightful perspective on the late and great Chuck Berry that features a collection of quotes from his musical peers. If you are a Berry fan, you should catch Ron’s Omnibus blog this week. There’s a link here–just look for the Omnibus graphic across on the right-hand side and click on it.