Saturday, April 23, 2011

KNEE REPLACEMENT DIARY: WALKING AGAIN AT TWO AND A HALF WEEKS

It’s been a very good week!

Christine (physical therapist) had Odel out of the motorhome again on Wednesday, taking a short walk back and forth along the concrete slab where we park.  We determined that the walker was unnecessary, and she suggested a cane sized correctly for Odel’s height.  As soon as she left, we loaded ourselves into the Jeep and drove over to CVS.  I ran in and, minutes later, Odel had his new cane.

Cane upThen we were off to Panda Express, for some of the greasy food Odel has been craving.  We zipped into a disabled parking slot right in front of the door, hung the temporary disabled placard (be sure you get one of these prior to your knee surgery!) from the mirror, and Odel had his first excursion away from the motorhome.  Yippee!

So, Week Three brought big changes.  Odel has been cleared to walk (short distances); has been taught a series of standing exercises for stretching and strengthening; has been able to get into the car for excursions.  He moves around the motorhome quite easily.  We’ve been able to take the lawn chair back outside, as he can sit comfortably on the couch again, and stand up from there.  He has begun to cut back on the pain medication, both in the quantity and the interval.

When Christine measured on Monday, Odel had 101 degrees of flexion (aiming for 110-120) and –5 degrees of extension (the goal is 0), and his knee’s circumference was 42.8 cm.  By Friday, he had 107 degrees of flexion (111 if Christine pushed his knee as far as he could tolerate), –3 degrees of extension, and his swelling had reduced to 41.8 cm circumference. 

What does all the mean in the real world?  It means he can stand.  He can do dishes!  He grilled our lamb chops for dinner last night!  He can carry things around, and can get his ice packs out of the freezer when I am not home.  And… he’s getting antsy, tempted to push himself just a little more than he should.  It’s not so difficult to watch daytime TV all day long when you’re a pain-pill addled invalid, but he is leaving those days behind – and fast.

26 comments:

  1. Sounds good. It's been a rough couple of weeks!

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  2. Happy to hear he is doing so well...3 wks out of surg and cleared to walk must be a record:) Congrats to Odel and his wonderful nurse!

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  3. It's to great to hear that Odel is making such wonderful progress! Maybe when we see you guys next Odel and I can hit the links! 8^)

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  4. I'm very sure that Odel feels so much better just being able to function as he used to again..That has to be a real "spirit booster", and much needed after what he went through...Sounds like he is progressing greatly...As you said...just so he doesn't "over extend" his progress...Great to hear Odel got out and about ....It's all easy from here, eh??

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  5. Keep it up, you are doing just great! You are almost there!

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  6. Woohoo! That's wonderful news. Great progress O'dell!

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  7. Great to hear from you. The progress report sounds wonderful. You know, I was watching all day for your update. :)

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  8. He has made such good procgress for such a short period of time. Must be that good nursing :)

    Is he at the point yet where he feels it has all been worth it?

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  9. that is great that he is out and about now!!..good for Odel!!

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  10. Thanks for the progress reports on Odel's recovery. Gin has MS and I've often wondered how she would handle a flare-up in our MH. His surgery and rehab have given me comfort if we need to make adjustments. Carry on.
    Syl

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  11. SO,SO,SO PROUD OF YOU, ODEL!!!!!!!! YIPEEEEEEE

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  12. Glad to hear Odel is doing well--great news!

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  13. Great progress and in such a short period of time, too. Keep up the good work, Odel.

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  14. Great news, Laurie! Such fast progress...must be because of his GREAT and tolerant nurse! Thank you again for the detail updates...it's a great service to all of us who live in our RVs and may one day be in Odel's or your position.

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  15. It is so good to hear your knee is improving, Odell! Especially for cooking and dishes! LOL

    Keep up the good work!
    Kathy and Grant

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  16. Odel's doing great! I'm sure the outing boosted his morale a lot, and he's well on his way to total recovery. Keep it up!

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  17. We sure remember all that, since both of us had knee replacements in the last few years. The progress is almost unbelievably fast (at least our grandparents wouldn't believe it) but it is common these days. Getting back to semi-normal is a wonderful relief! Yay Odel! And good for Laurie, being the strong capable caregiver! Yay Laurie!

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  18. Wonderful progress! Let's have no set-backs now from trying to gain too much freedom too fast. You might want to keep measuring that knee to use as warning sign.

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  19. Great news! So glad to hear that Odel's recovery has gone so quickly and relatively smoothly. Hope that it continues! Thanks for keeping us updated.

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  20. Good going Odel! Take just a bit longer stride on your leg with new knee, will help get to 0 and alleviate any limp. Worked for me both times. Hugs to you both.

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  21. Awesome progress!! You must be hearing your golf clubs calling your name, Odel! So glad to hear everything is going well.
    donna

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  22. Glad to hear Odel is doing so well! And that means a more normal life for you too! Tell Odel to keep up the good work.

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  23. Karen and Al asked "Is he at the point yet where he feels it has all been worth it"? When I put this question to Odel, the answer was a resounding NO. He said he expects to feel that way when he can walk again (and move and sleep, I imagine) without pain, but right now it has not been worth it.

    Takes a lot of faith in the process and outcome to go through something like this - a strong belief that it WILL be worth it eventually. A day at a time...

    Thanks for all your encouragement.

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