Teaching Class Part II

So the teaching class was terrifying. They truly prepare you for the worst possible case scenario. Not only were my husband and I the youngest people in there by about 30+ years, every single person in there was retired. Like literally I was the only person asking about work forms and insurance claims and stuff. Quite hilarious.

My surgeon told me that getting a knee replacement at this age was a good and a bad thing equally at the same time and let me tell you why. My muscles are strong. I can stand from sitting position using only one leg and nothing else. I am still quite active in my life chasing kids and working full time and those kinds of things which keep me in better shape than most recipients, however I will need more than one replacement in my lifetime. But that being said, I can live with the fact that 25 years down the road it will more than likely start to bother me again… 25 years… yup i’ll take it.

My surgery is 8 days away now… and today I woke up a little scared but not too bad. To be honest, it’s the staples.. I’m mostly afraid of seeing 25-40 staples in my body, holding it closed… that freaks me right out!!!!! I just can’t wrap my head around it. I know i’ll have pain killers, and good ones, but seriously…. they are cutting my leg in half, I’m a little uneasy with the whole thing as you can imagine.

The teaching class said we will require all these crazy old people gadgets in order to function after surgery… a walker, crutches, cane, raised toilet seat, shoe horn, shower chair, shower scrub on a long handle, a thing a mer bob to pick things up from the floor… hummmmm. In the back of my mind I think this course is geared towards old people who live alone.. I don’t think I will be buying these things. I have a shower seat, crutches and a cane… I think that’s all I need.

I don’t know if I am getting more nervous or am coming to terms with it more the closer it gets, I’m not sure. I change my mind minute to minute on the whole matter.  But either way it’s coming, I’m having it done and at some point on July 12th I’m going to wake up with a huge incision, a bunch of staples in my leg and a brand shiny new knee…

Until next time friends.

xxoo

A Day of Learning

Today, me and my “support person” have been summoned to an afternoon of learning about how to take care of me after my knee replacement surgery. I am confident my husband will be nothing short of amazing, and seeing as my mom lives at my place right now and she is a retired nurse, I’m pretty sure we will have this in the bag.

I’m sure this class is a lot about what not to do until your incision is healed, like no bath’s, no cream’s, that kind of thing, but I guess I’ll have to keep you posted.

My surgery is two weeks from today. Today, this minute, I’m not as afraid of it as other days. I feel confident, strong and ready to take on the world today.

Until next time friends

xo

IMG_8515

How It Feels…

Soo the closer it gets the more nervous I get. I mean some days I’m fine and I’m ready and on mornings like today I’d say hand me an axe and i’ll do it myself. My knee replacement needs to hurry up and get here… I’m in a lot of pain. The meds they gave me don’t work worth a damn.. they keep me up ALL night but they don’t help with my knee anymore. They gave me slow release Tramadol 100mgs and I hate them, they are pointless. The less sleep I get the less I am able to tolerate the pain I’m in.. Here is exactly what it feels like for those of you who are in the early stages…

  • MEDIAL -on the medial side of my knee I have a very sharp pain when I walk. Some steps are better than others, some steps I take and it’s just a pinch and others take my breath away. There is no pattern or rhyme to which step will be which. It’s not a fun game.
  • SWELLING – my knee is always twice to three times the size of my left. Sometimes the swelling travels all the way down to my foot until my toes are unable to touch the floor, sometimes it stays in my knee. It restricts motion and makes it feel unstable.. like inside is weak.
  • BEHIND – have you ever hit your funny bone? Well not the sharp pain but that pain after that makes you rub it. That radiating pain that shoots from your elbow to our wrist when you give your elbow a good crack… I have that all the time behind my knee. From my knee to the back of my foot that pain is constant. It’s not enough to hurt all alone… but every now and then I have a break down because it’s constant.. when I’m tired, hungry or when I drive, it’s worse. Although not the sharpest pain, it is the absolute worst.. it doesn’t go away not matter what I do. I never get a break from it.
  • SPASM – Just typing the paragraph above I’ve had probably 6 spasms.. I call it a spasm but I’m not sure what exactly it is… every so often I get a sharp pain in my kneecap. By the time I say “ouch” it’s already gone… it’s about as frequent as having the hiccups… it comes and goes.
  • FLUID – Last but not least is the fluid buildup. I frequently have to get my knee drained. Anywhere from 30-60ccs of fluid gets pulled off my knee what seems to be every other month. To put it into perspective for you, a knee should have 5ccs of fluid on it, just enough to lubricate it, so lets say a tablespoon.. I have 12 times the normal amount.. when the buildup gets too much, it restricts motion and my knee wont bend or straighten…. then I have to go get a needles under my kneecap and fluid drained off. It is the most awkward painful, annoying, feel of relief you could ever imagine.

So that is all the knee stuff. That is what I feel. There is no medical lingo which bores me to death and is hard to understand… planters this and meniscus that and joint effusion and medial and lateral stuff… This is what it feels like to need a knee replacement. The short of it is…. it fucking sucks!!

So today it can not come fast enough. I want surgery today. I want to have this pain for a reason, I want it to have an end, or a purpose… the road to recovery is painful and I know that… but the road to surgery sucks pretty bad too.

Sleep last night totalled 4.5 hours .. pretty sure. The nights kind of run together. Here I sit at work, tired and sore and ready to cry but stubborn enough not to. My temp gets here tomorrow and training will begin. She will do some of my duties for 6-8 weeks, once she is trained up I will take days like today off… I should not be here today.

Until next time friends.

xo

Strong Enough

Today, I’m not strong enough to deal with this pain all day. Every step, every bend, every time my foot hits the floor it hurts. When I’m not moving, just simply sitting still, doing nothing, I hurt, it always hurts and I’m sooo tired. I’m tired of being strong. I’m tired of putting on a fake happy face. I don’t want to be strong anymore. I want to lay in my bed with the covers over my head and take a day off. Just one. I need one day. I need a little break. Can I please have a little break? Because I’m just not strong enough for this today…

😦

 

30 Days…

30 Days!

I have just 30 days to wrap my head around the fact that my knee can’t be fixed anymore. There are no more quick fixes or things to try to hold me over until the next quick fix comes along, we have tried them all. On July 12th I will be admitted into the hospital for knee replacement surgery. On July 12th in an OR somewhere they will remove my knee, put it in the garbage and put in a titanium one. I will go in whole and come out with a 10″ incision down the front of my leg held together with 40 staples. 40!!!!!!!!! STAPLES!!!!!!! This makes me very nervous.

I know I can do this! I’ve heard it can take up to a full year to recover from this surgery. Lots of hard work and patience and determination and I’m sure i’ll make it through just fine.

At the surgeon’s clinic he took xrays and discovered that my medial (inside) part of my knee is officially bone on bone. There is no gap left there.. It’s bad. I had some fluid drained off of it (AGAIN) and it made it feel a little more flexible. The more fluid on my knee the more the bend is restricted. Because my surgery is so close he couldn’t give me a cortisone shot.. I think if I wasn’t already married to an amazing man, I’m marry cortisone. It’s incredible. I can go into his office on crutches and skip out of there after a cortisone shot. It makes my skin nice and my hair and nails grow long and strong… It’s awesome. But this time, no dice. Apparently it affects something to do with surgery… so that’s out. ahhhh crap.. it would have been awesome if we could have just kept it juiced until surgery.. no pain days are GREAT days, but let me tell you, I can’t remember the last one.

Every morning I hit my alarm and lay there for a minute, my body still somewhat asleep, and my knee is mostly painless.. maybe just stiff and a little sore but nothing compared to when my feet hit that floor and I have to get up. That’s when the pain starts and it doesn’t stop until long after I fall asleep… I’m tired. I’m tired of being in pain.. my knee is huge.. HUGE!!!!!! I’ve nicknamed her Big Bertha…

img_8630Here she is in all her glory. No matter how many hours i ice and elevate it doesn’t get any smaller, EVER! Big Bertha the right knee. She is a wicked bitch and I can’t wait until she is gone for good. The road to recovery will be long and hard, but everyday will get a little better. I’m hoping once this surgery is done, I’m on here telling you guys that I should have had her replaced years ago.

 

So July 12th…. D day.

Until next time friends.

xo

Number Of Options Left = #0

Good morning. Today my mind is heavy. I have many things racing through my head this morning. Like a horse track one thing creeps in front of the other but just for a minute, then something else is in the lead and over and over again.

I went to my surgeon yesterday evening. I get there and of course, in true doctor fashion he is running over an hour late. This gives me plenty of time to study each pre and post surgical patient sitting in the waiting room. Most are in casts or braces or slings of some kind. Being an orthopedic surgeon the inventory of his waiting room makes sense. Of all the casts and stitches in that waiting room one lady walked in on a fresh breeze with a smile on her face and she scared me to death. At the front desk I heard the words “hardware removal from right ankle May 12th” she replied “you bet”. It was all fine and dandy and I was admiring her handbag and how she seemed pleasant without a limp or cast of any kind, until she turned around…. this lady had a very fresh incision that started mid shin, travelled down her right shin to the base of her foot, then down under her ankle and around to her heel. It was being held together in most places by a very new, thin layer of skin but still looked very…… fresh. Not gonna lie, I almost passed out!!! I started to have labored breathing and I felt hot and cold and shaky… oh gosh here it comes, I’m going to faint. The sight of that huge incision which must have had at least 40 staples just removed made me very unwell.. then she got up and moved seats since the sun was beating on her back…. I narrowly averted quite the situation.

So my name gets called and I hobble into the back room. I’m sitting in the chair beside the bed, because the bed makes me feel like I’m sick.. I’m not sick, I’m just loosly held together right now. So the Dr comes over and his first words were “Hi Mrs. MacDougall how is that knee doing…. WOAH!” So the woah was when he actually looked at my knee, it’s pretty huge!! So huge in fact that I can’t wear jeans that don’t have stretch to them right now… and I don’t do skinny jeans, I’m 36! Anywho back to our conversation… it went something like this;

Dr – Well that is the biggest knee I’ve seen all day. What is going on there?

me- Not too sure, it was good for a month. When I was here last time it was regular size and I was walking fine and all was wonderful in the world.. then BAM… it insploded (I make up words all the time FYI)

Dr- Well Mendy unfortunately there isn’t a whole lot I can do for you. The reason it did this is because the anti-inflamitory and cortisone injections I gave you during surgery wore off, and wore off pretty fast at that.

Me – So what do we do?

Dr – Well we can go down the injection road for another while if you’d like. You can have a cortisone injection that will last you 30 days as this one did, and you can get that every three months… no sooner. Or we can maybe discuss the fact that you may be young, but this knee is done and it needs to be replaced. Those are your only options at this point. Its a very big and very serious surgery, recovery is long and hard, but worth it. After surgery every day gets a little better where as now, every day only has the potential to get a little worse.

This is when I started to cry, because I’m a big girly mush full of estrogen and frustration and tears…lol

me – Dr. I want this to be over. I’m done. Let’s do it.

So that’s what happened yesterday. Yesterday I decided it’s time to replace my knee…. and I’m TERRIFIED!!! I have to call today to make an appointment to discuss the in’s and out’s of this surgery.. I’ll keep you posted.

Until next time friends

xo

Face Talks…

IMG_8586.JPG

 

I decided to go to physio on Thursday to see what they can do to get this knee bending if anything at all. I got Olga the opinionated know it all physio therapist… NICE.

For the first 10 minutes of my 30 minute session Olga took it upon herself to try to convince me now is the time for a knee replacement. She explained to me what the pro’s are for this surgery and how not getting it done was taking quality of life away from my husband and son… I.M.A.G.I.N.E!!!  While I tried my very hardest to be professional and compassionate to the fact that in her mind, she was helping, I’m pretty sure although my words were nice, my face told her to fuck off!! Oops.

The thing that Olga doesn’t know is I’m a research junkie. I know exactly what a total knee replacement surgery entails as well as how long my stay in the hospital will be, what the rate of success and failure is among people my age who had it done, what kinds of knees are available… almost everything. What Olga doesn’t know is that every morning I wake up in pain, I can barely walk and it’s not because I think it’s a good friggin time! It’s because I NEED to try every single thing in my power before I do this surgery. It’s not a little surgery, they are removing my knee and putting in a metal one.. BIG DEAL FOLKS!!

After Olga finished her speel about how now is the right time and I should have been here 10 years ago and it isn’t fixable and what are my expectations exactly because there isn’t much she can do for me, I was furious… and although I’m pretty sure my words were, “Olga, I’ve considered my options very closely and my choice right now is physio, so although I’m apparently 10 years late for this appointment, let’s just get started here”  my face must have clearly said “Listen lady, don’t tell me what to do, you’re not the decision maker for me, now shut up and do your job” which of course I’d never say in a million years to a person… but I’m pretty sure my face said that because she was CLEARLY intimidated by me after I spoke up. She started stumbling over her words and closing her eyes while she was talking instead of making eye contact and did not seem comfortable at all. That was not my intention, however, I know I need it replaced. My dr tells me, my rheumy tells me, my os tells me… I promise I know.

I go back to physio on Thursday and I’m going to be empathetic to the fact that this lady is only trying to help.

As for the weekend, it was great. It was a long weekend here in Alberta Canada. We had a few friends over Friday and Saturday, then we got the pool up and our kitchen reno make some progress… All in all it was a great weekend to do outside things and enjoy the sunshine.

Knee is sore, knee is swollen, walking is hard, such is life…

Until next time friends

xo