We’ve always had certain “rites of passage” in our culture. I have a photo of my father as a toddler in a dress. If you knew my father, you would laugh right now. Anyway, he soon passed into short pants, and from there to long pants. The first bra is a girl’s rite of passage, and I suppose fraternity hazing is another one. I’ve come to think having total knee replacements is another rite of passage reserved for folks in my age group. “Happy 70th birthday. Here’s your pre-op date.”
Now It’s My Turn
I held out as long as I could. But when I couldn’t walk more than 10 minutes without needing to rest my knees, when gardening became impossible (not that I liked it, but just the same…), and when a cane became my third leg, I knew my rite of passage was at hand. UGH!
The preoperative assessment seemed thorough, and the nurses answered my questions. Then came what is called a “mini-mental” assessment, which I find insulting and reeking of ageism. How dare they assume because I’m older, I may be losing my mental acuity? My grandmother was mentally seven jumps ahead of everyone when she was 93!
So, when the nurse asked me to draw a clock, I said I thought the medical team should take the mini-mental, and not me. After all, they’re the ones doing the diagnosis, procedure, ordering the meds and caring for me. Let’s hope they have all their marbles!
It will be interesting to see how everything plays out. I can tell you I’m not afraid. I know nothing will happen that is not in God’s will. In fact, I anticipate seeing what God has in mind for my orthopedic adventure!
I look forward to eight weeks of driving-less recuperation. My outside commitments will go on hold while I do my exercises, catch up on my reading, and have time to work on my sequel to The Divine Meddler. I plan to binge watch movies and PBS Passport, and may even get a little quilting in.
Sharing my Journey
Blogging about my total knee replacement experience as I live through it may help those of you facing your orthopedic rite of passage. Please share your experiences in the comment section as I share mine.
I think it would stretch this topic thread too far if I stuck to my four-week blog subject rotation. So, for the next few weeks (or so) I’ll take you along on this journey. I should be six days post-op in the next installment. Here’s hoping that will be an upbeat blog. In any case, it will be an honest one.
Well, if it’s like Andy’s, the physical therapy afterwards will be the hardest. He stayed overnight post op because he was too groggy to wake up. The next day he passed his PT eval and was moving a lot better than I expected. He used a walker for a couple of weeks and then went straight for the cane. The pain wasn’t too bad, and he only took the pain meds to help him sleep the first night or two. He premedicated prior to PT sessions and it helped. If the visiting nurse doesn’t contact you within 24 hours, contact your surgeon. When Andy had his, the office forgot to set up the home care referral for the nurse and PT. They came a couple of times during the first two or three weeks, and he transitioned to outpatient PT, and the nursing visits stopped. If you need anything, call.
Thanks for sharing Andy’s journey. He did well (and he really didn’t need a home care nurse with you around :)))
If you need a PT to help you get through it, I recommend Lynn Reeder. She got me through re-hab with a combination of caring and “tough love”.
Thanks , Sue for including me on your
journey. I’m looking forward to reading your honest opinion of your whole experience. Best wishes and
best of luck .
My sister will be having this surgery pretty soon, so I will be watching closely. May the Lord protect you, and heal you quickly!
I’m glad sharing my experiences will be helpful for you and your sister, Ethel.
You are as funny as I remember!! I actually laughed out loud.. the part about checking your mental status!! Wishing you the best! Enjoy your time off! My Dad did great!
I remember our night shift exploits with fondness. Glad your Dad did well, Nancy.
Thanks Sue for your take on things, which is always interesting. I know you can find humor in any situation. And yes thanks be to God that He is always with us. I has my hip replaced at 60 because I didn’t like mine any more 🤷♀️ I pray that you find the process adventurous and that you love your new knee.
Please call any time you need anything.
Thank you, Carol
We know you will do fine. Nurses aren’t good patients because we know too much and are very observant of what is being done, right or wrong.
Will be in touch.
Got that right, my friend.
Wow, Sue! I knew this was coming, but now it’s here! Let me know how you’re doing, if you need any help! I have been pushing off TKR for years, but have seen your struggles firsthand. I know you’ve got this!💝🌟👏🙏🏻
I did my rehab or PT at the Genesee Valley Physical Therapy and it’s right across the street from Wegman’s on Mt. Read. Chris was my therapist and he was patient, kind, and very knowledgeble. Everyone there was wonderful and I can’t say enough about them. I didn’t have a knee replacement though, I fell and broke my femur. I’m done with PT and so glad I went to them! Good luck with the healing will add you to my prayer list.
Ouch, Deb! Broken femur is not good. Glad you made such a good recovery. I’m a frequent flyer at Lattimore PT just down the oad from me.
Hang in there my friend! I know you can do this….PT is a pain but worth every session.
Whatever it takes, right? Thanks, Nancy
Sue, make sure you continue the stretching exercises to prevent immobility at the new joint. It just takes a new routine but is SO VERY important. Keep the faith and pray through it all [cf. 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18
Thanks for your words of wisdom, Mike. Will do.