a Taj MuttHall Dog Diary: New Knee, Five-Day Diary (Was supposed to post Jan 24!)

Tuesday, March 24, 2020

New Knee, Five-Day Diary (Was supposed to post Jan 24!)

SUMMARY: Another adventure in artificial human parts.
FYI Some of what follows might have been posted on Facebook first.

Saturday Jan 18: I will be stuck upstairs in my house for probably a couple of weeks. That means: Bedroom, bathroom, hallway.  Then mostly to the house for another couple of weeks. Then slowly more activity outdoors.  On a walker for some number of weeks; then walking with a cane for more numbers of weeks.
Morning before surgery. Standing on a ladder in the corner of my yard.
To my left, Martial Cottle Park. To my right, looking up my yard to my house.
That window below the chimney? That's where I'll be looking out for the next few weeks.
No ladder climbing!

So I need to make sure that my room is ready for me, that my house contains all that I'll need and that my stay-in caretakers will need (food? entertainment? Clean rooms? Clean linens? Etc.).
Bedside table with the necessities;
I'll use the large receptacle for constant ice water.
I'll drink a lot. 
Also Kindle is there; also styrofoam thingie on dresser for PT.

I have 4 days to get it all ready: Go.

P.S. I have already arranged with various relatives to stay with me to cover me 24-7 for 2 weeks, except for one night towards the end. TBD.

Tuesday a.m.: I had decided that I wouldn't board the dogs for the first couple of nights like I did for my hip replacement last year. Turns out that worrying about that kept me up a good portion of last night--because it was very useful to have them out of the way while getting things figured out and recovering initially from the surgery.  Called my agility instructors, who also do boarding, and ask whether they could manage it at the last minute. Oh, and Chip needs eye ointment and pills.  They say, sure, if I can bring them up Wed. morning. I say, sure, 9:00, see you then.
Partial list. VERY partial list.

6 p.m.  I get home from shopping and errands and discover that Kaiser has rescheduled my arrival time for tomorrow to 9 AM instead of 11. I call boarding back and say, uh, how about this evening? They very generously agree, although it means they have to do some prep work in the dark.  And fortunately my morning ride to the hospital is able to manage the 2 hour change, also.

Tuesday evening: Made a lot of progress on my list. I think it's sufficient. It's not ideal; never did sweep the stairs or kitchen or vacuum the guest room, for example.  Didn't help taking 2 hours out of the plan to take the dogs up to boarding.

Wed. a.m.  Didn't sleep all that well again.  I'm fine with the surgery: Can't wait to have the new knee. It's everythng else...

Arrive at 9 a.m.  There's a delay; surgeon had higher priority things come up, etc.

They give me an epidural to numb my right leg--but it turns out to be a challenge. Because of my recently acquired extreme lower-back scoliosis, it appears to have twisted so that injecting into the right side numbs the left leg! After several attempts, the solution is to roll me onto my right side instead of left, and then although left leg numbs first, the numbing agent moves into my right side because of gravity.  Clever.

I get an IV sedative.

Wake up a while later with a new knee.
Post-surgery. Tubes still attached to left arm (I think).
There's this cool thing in the recovery room--every bed has a "skylight"
with some photo looking up. Nice, because we're in the basement.

Physical Therapist wheels in her own step for testing.
(It folds down.) Tricky!
With delays and everything, and with my right leg not wanting to come un-numb, it's not until nearly 6 that the physical therapist can check whether I can stand and walk (with a walker) and go up and down a step. I can. Off home.

Sister #1, who took me to the place in the morning and stuck around nearby
until they released me around 6 that evening.
She came prepared with electronic gadgets for "working" (so she claims).

Mr Fox No. 12 examines the knee brace and the foam elevating wedge
while Human Mom consumes breakfast.
Thurs. a.m. I have a very sturdy velcro brace wrapped around my knee and at least a foot above and below. Expecting to wear it for several days at least to support the knee.  When I took it off midday for a nap, discovered that my initial dressing over the surgery site had filled with blood and was leaking through. Instructions said to replace with sterile gauze if that happened. Taking it off, looked like it was old blood and not still oozing, so no worries.

They sent me home with an ice machine, so I'm icing and elevating and taking pain meds and being subdued, dozy, generally happy.  Home  Physical Therapist calls to set up an appointment for  tomorrow and, wow, it's the same excellent one I had for my hip last year! Yay!

This is the wrap that *I* use over the dressing.

Therapist comes, goes through the first simple set of exercises with me. After the last one, she says, well, that was not just an exercise; it was a test. So your muscles are strong enough that you don't need to wear the brace! Yay!

She replaces the dressing, and there was a small bit of oozing between yesterday and today, but not much. Lookin' good.
Sister #2 and I investigate my emergency supply of tape and dressing.
Apparently for some reason I kept this tape roll. Possible to remember Jake by--
I've always played with my dogs with empty TP and paper towel cardboard tubes.
Then Jake figured out that there were cardboard tubes EVERYwhere if one looked around!

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