1. The Journey Begins

 

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Good company on a journey makes the way seem shorter. — Izaak Walton

Hello and welcome to my blog site.  This site serves to provide companionship to those who share the (growing) minority of people required to invest themselves in a revised knee replacement.

My revision story began three years ago when I started experiencing acute and shocking moments of pain in my left knee.  One day of rest would usually calm the joint and off I would go again to swim laps, hike park paths or walk the cobblestones of Rome where I was living for ten years.  Eventually these moments of pain elongated into 2 to 3 days of complete bed rest to control swelling and pain that came from one twist, one stumble or one oddly stepped moment in my daily activities.  My circle of friends became accustomed to my carrying a cane or a pair of crutches when we met.  They also understood my situation when I would call to cancel a planned arrangement with the statement, “It went out again.”  Sitting at a café or office table with an additional chair to rest the leg was commonplace.  When I taught, the additional empty chair was for my knee, not another student.  Then on March 28, 2018, seemingly out of the blue, I took my first step from the bed and could not believe the acute shooting pain that enveloped only the knee joint.  Every step after that was excruciating.  My world became the path from the bedroom to the bathroom to the kitchen and back again, if I had to really use the other rooms.  A week later, when I could finally get myself up and to a doctor, fitted with a knee brace, poked for blood tests to rule out infection, and x-rayed for hints of cause for the pain, I began a methodical route to the surgical ward for a revision of the knee (a full story of this phase is coming up on a new page).

I trust my recovery period will evolve into more self sufficiency and confidence.  Orthopedic specialists both here in Bangkok and in Milan and Rome, Italy tell me to expect a year before I feel truly able. I believe them. Knowing myself, I also believe that I will not waste a moment to push myself in hopes of turning twelve months into six.  And that is where my repair problem lies.  There is no pushing when it comes to joint replacements.  Different cultural approaches to physical therapy may form the issue differently, but the healing goal is the same: steady walk, capacity to meet daily needs and to be pain-free.  In so many words, hard work proves that five general rules prevail:  listen to your joint, exercise regularly but, stop when it hurts, and rest.  Befriend your ice-packs. Then go at it again tomorrow.  While I want, at age 62, for tomorrow to start today, learning to have even more patience is now required.  Let’s share that steep learning curve together.

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Author: amartinelbehri

Retired from working for large non-profits. I now write, take care of extended family, tutor English, and manage all aspects of living abroad while my husband works. I am recouperating from my 14th knee surgery and have some thoughts to share on many aspects of managing trauma, healing and starting over.

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