And here is where the longer story takes place. Although my experience with post-op pain was not as bad as I had expected, I have come to realize that returning to “normal life” is going to take a little longer.

Doing exercises three times a day is somewhat daunting. But I am determined to keep those up. I’ve found that I need long naps, sometimes two or three a day! For a non-napper, this is a big change! But I am embracing the nap πŸ™‚

Shelley named Sophie “the Healer Dog.” I put her on the bed with me when I do my exercises. Here is the Healer Dog trying to encourage me:


Noah returned home after two weeks, and after a couple of days, I decided to start taking longer walks with him. I was pretty excited this morning when my walk was as long as I had been taking pre-surgery! I walk slowly, but I feel steadier on my feet, and it is such a wonderful feeling to walk for that long and NOT limp. I know that I am still on pain medicines, but it is amazing how much limping made other body parts hurt.

Icing after exercise is another part of the recovery. The hospital sent me home with a lot of disposable ice packs so it has been very convenient to rotate those in the freezer to have ready when needed.

This week I went to PT for the first time. It was very disappointing… It might be partly because I am doing so well, and partly because I was already doing the exercises that needed to be done… anyway, it was a disappointing experience. The one thing I did garner from it was that getting on a bicycle would be helpful for recovery. I’m pretty excited about this. In a week I should be able to drive, and I will be going to the gym for biking sessions, and shortly after that I will be able to get back in the pool.

I still have good days and bad days. The bad days aren’t so much about knee pain as they are about just feeling terrible. And when I feel terrible, things just seem to multiply on that day. Like, last Saturday, I woke up just feeling bad. Then the neighbor’s dog kept coming down and making Noah bark like crazy. So then I made all the dogs come inside for a while. A few hours later, I decided to let the little girls out to see if the coast was clear, and Chloe started barking very insistently. I went to see what she was barking at, and it was a HUGE rattlesnake coiled up on a rock inside my yard!!! Eek. Wrangled all four girls back in the house while I was calling my neighbor to come and kill the snake. Before he got here the snake started to move. I didn’t want him to disappear in my garden somewhere, and so I went and stood about ten feet from it, which worked. Yep. That was a very bad day :/

Overall, I think I am doing better than most who have had knee replacement surgery. I’m sure that it was a partial knee replacement is one reason. Another is all the prayer that has taken place. And of course, I would like to think that a big part of it is that I remained active and continued to do my exercises up until the day before surgery.

I have to remind myself that it will take time to get back to normal, and to not be impatient.Β  I am actually very excited about “Debby 2.0” as Shelley named the post-op me.


15 thoughts on “Recovery

  1. Hi , I think you are doing very well!! Tending to exercise and cold packs etc as you should along with your impatience. I was gonna say “get out those projects”. I went over to your quilt blog and I see you’ve been at it! Good for You!

  2. Well I feel like a star today – thanks for all of the shout-outs! Oh wait, this post was about you… πŸ˜‰

    First, I think you are the poster child for what to do BEFORE knee surgery; the fact that you were already so disciplined with your exercise and activity probably has been key to your willingness to do the PT exercises. I’m sad that your PT visit was disappointing but I suspect you are the exception to what kind of knee patient they usually see, and they probably didn’t know what to do with you!

    Second, holy crap, you stood guard so the snake didn’t move????? I would have been all “well sorry dogs, we’re going to have to burn the garden down now” – you are a brave woman.

    Third, healer dog is doing a wonderful job. She needs a cookie.

  3. You made me laugh so hard with your snake comment! I just knew I wouldn’t ever walk in the yard again if it disappeared. And I kind of knew that snakes are generally not aggressive, and will hold still if they think something is threatening them. Heck, it was just hissing and rattling its tail when Chloe was barking at it! Shiver. It made me EXTREMELY nervous…

  4. You are amazing, Debby. Your determination is encouraging me to keep up with my exercise, even if it just means getting off the couch that day. Keep up the good work and keep healing.

  5. Keep plugging along- it sounds as if you can see much of your own progress and that’s always so encouraging. Healer pets help, snakes do not! Best wishes for your recovery.

  6. I’m sorry to hear about your bad day. I think that snake would have been the end of it for me and I’m not even recovering from surgery.

    Also, not sure if this will encourage you or not, but your recovery sounds right on par with my other friend who had a knee replacement a couple years ago. This is the friend who made up her mind if she was never able to run again she was going to be ok with that because she wanted so badly to not be in constant pain. Like you she faithfully did her PT exercises and followed everything she was told to do. She’s back to running about 25 miles a week πŸ™‚

  7. Don’t you think that recovery pain is way different than injury pain? Maybe it’s a mental thing with knowing it is going to get better or being on the “other side”.

    • I don’t have enough experience with either kind of pain, I think. All I know is that many people told me that knee surgery was extremely painful. And of course, recovery pain does usually include some pretty strong pain meds, so there’s that πŸ™‚

  8. Reading this is giving me encouragement. I know that at some point that I will need to have a knee replacement but I am not ready yet. In preparation we are selling our three story home and moving to one level. I did recovery in the old house 8 years ago for a broken leg that made me non weight bearing and put me in a wheel chair. I knew I could not be house bound again. The new house has a couple of steps but will be so much easier than the six into the old house.

    I can understand your difficulty with working on your projects. Healing is hard work. I am glad that you are progressing so well.

    Keep up the good work.

    • Wow, that is a big change, moving from a 3 story to a one story house! But I agree, I was very glad that I only had one step to negotiate for a while.

  9. Well, if it had been me seeing that snake, I would have totally blown out the new knee trying to run away!! You’re very brave for standing guard and watching the snake!!

    Glad your recovery is going well – and look at you with your walking self!! Good job!! (And thank God for pain meds – seriously.) πŸ™‚

  10. Deb- sorry about your snake! We never saw mine again after his visit. A really cute snake guy came and searched- even pulled up part of the deck. I hadn’t thought about him for months….somehow thought it was no longer “snake season.” Darn! Mine was incredibly large and I don’t want to see him again. Have you posted a “do not enter if you’re a snake. Violators will be terminated.”? I trust the chickens are ok?
    Any kind of bone surgery takes a long time to fully heal. (six months maybe?) Sounds like you’re doing great. I’m sorry about your therapy being a bummer. I’ve never really had a bad experience. Can you change therapists? I still do bike movements in the therapy pool-wearing a noodle around my upper chest to stay upright. I get occasional pangs in my “good” knee. As happy as I am with my surgery, I don’t want to have to do the other knee.
    I’m going to head over to your other blog and see what you’re up to…I’m working hard to keep up with my “block a day for a year.” I love the easy days!
    Take care, and please don’t get discouraged. You’re doing wonderfully.

    • LOL. My brother told me to count my chickens too. Thanks for the reminder that it takes a long time to fully heal. Its what I needed to hear today, when my knee is hurting more and things aren’t going as well as I would like.

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