Last week, during an interesting conversation with Christine (PT), she told us that it takes SIX days to recover from ONE day spent in bed. By “recover”, she meant to regain muscular strength and energy, to get back to where you were prior to becoming bedridden.
This took on real meaning for me yesterday, when Odel had his first big outing – a visit to Sydney’s and Frank’s house for a family get-together. He walked 20+/- yards to our car, rode for 50 minutes, walked another 20 yards into their house. There he sat in a comfortable chair with his leg on a footstool watching golf on TV, except when he went a few steps to the table for our brunch. Then back to the chair… back to the car… 50 minute ride…back inside our home. We were gone six or seven hours.
We ate dinner at 6 pm, and he fell asleep on the couch at 7 pm – just like he used to do when he walked 18 holes (several miles, carrying his clubs) on the golf course!
Because Odel has been making good progress on his rehabilitation, it slipped our minds that there are consequences to surgery for more than just the affected joint. The surgery itself is such a trauma, to say nothing of the side effects of all the drugs AND the loss of strength and energy simply due to lack of movement. What seemed to us like a day of relative inactivity seemed to his body to be the equivalent of walking several miles during a round of golf.
We have a few more outings planned this week, and I know that getting out of the RV and into the company of friends is good medicine. After yesterday’s outing, though, we’ll be a bit more realistic about fatigue.
Odel’s surgery was just three weeks ago. Over the past several days, he has cut his pain pill consumption by about half. Swelling is way down. He still has a problem find a sleeping position that is comfortable for a prolonged time. He continues his prescribed active exercises at least three times a day, along with some passive stretching to straight his leg. He ices and elevates his leg after each set of exercises, and uses ice from time to time to reduce pain. It is easy to see that the last few degrees of flexion and extension will be more difficult to attain than the first many degrees, but we are both very determined! :)
Thanks again to everyone for your useful and encouraging comments. So many of you have gone through this before, and many of you more than once. We have many things to treasure in our lives, but GOOD HEALTH is right up there at the top of the list these days!