Hello there and Happy Friday. I just realized that today is Friday the 13th, so be careful out there today!
After all of the anticipation leading up to my knee surgery, it’s hard to believe 1 week has passed since my procedure! Things are coming along pretty well so far. If you want the abbreviated version, this is basically how I have spent the past week:
Here’s a day-by-day recap of how things have been going so far.
Friday: I had my surgery last Friday and got home sometime in the early afternoon, and I started taking narcotic pain medication ever 6 hours. My knee was wrapped in an ace bandage from my surgery and I kept ice packs on it around the clock. This was my view for 24 hours…
In case you’re wondering, it takes 10lb of ice to keep your knee iced for 24 hours… thank you, Harris Teeter!
I was able to bear weight on my knee after the procedure and as instructed, walked to and from the restroom, but generally just slept and kept my leg iced and elevated for that first full day.
Saturday: this was the day when the real action started. I was supposed to remove my bandage 24 hours post-op and you may remember that this was one of the things I was *not* looking forward to. Something about peeling gauze away from an open wound seriously just grosses me out. Thank the Lord that my mom is a nurse and she did it for me, and it ended up not being a very big deal.
My incisions from my scope looked very clean and small. I thought my knee looked really good and not as swollen as I expected.
I took a shower, which was really unpleasant, and mostly rested and iced my knee for that day. I also put band-aids over my scope incisions.
Sunday: my instructions this day were to begin to try to ‘resume normal activities as tolerated’. This of course meant going to Baskin Robbins.
In all seriousness, I mostly just continued to rest a lot and walked around my apartment a little more than I had been. I played it safe when we went to BR and used crutches.
I definitely noticed an increase in my swelling, especially at the top of my kneecap in my thigh area.
Monday: I was pretty much going stir-crazy at this point and was dying to feel like a normal person, so we decided to grab some lunch at Hawthorne’s pizza. So I might have worn pajama pants and used crutches for this outing, but whatever.
Monday was also when my the soreness in my knee really started to bother me. I’m not sure if it was because I was gradually increasing my activities or that I was also trying to decrease my pain meds (or maybe a combo of both), but I would say Monday night was probably my worst night thus far.
Tuesday-Thursday: My instructions throughout the week have been to continue to increase my daily activities but to rest and elevate/ice my knee as soon as it starts to hurt. This pretty much has only allowed for me to walk around my apartment for 10-15 minutes at a time. I probably have iced my knee on average 7-10x throughout the day.
My more intense knee pain continued into Tuesday and Wednesday. I felt like I was walking a very fine line between ‘increasing activities as tolerated’ and overdoing it. I didn’t even take a shower on Wednesday because I was so uncomfortable. I think there’s a permanent imprint of my body on the couch.
Sometime toward the end of this week, I’ve felt like I may have turned a corner pain-wise. I comfortably got a good night’s sleep on Wednesday night. It has been 2 days since I’ve needed any narcotic pain meds and I’m up and about moving around my apartment now. Yesterday was also the first day I didn’t have to cover up my incisions and I think they are starting to heal nicely. It looks like they may not even leave scars. My knee is still pretty swollen- you can’t see the definition in my kneecap. I’m hoping that will improve in the next week or so.
Knee Exercises: I have a packet of knee exercises I’m supposed to be doing, most of which I’m familiar with from when I did physical therapy back in the fall. So far I’m tolerating about 1/3 of them (mostly the stretching and leg-lift type exercises). I’m hoping that I can start doing some of the rest of them this weekend. I have my own personal coach.
One of my biggest challenges is that my leg muscles are really, really stiff. Like, I can hardly bend my left knee at all. So I know I’m really going to need to start working on stretching. My doctor told me that starting right when I got home from surgery, I needed to practice bending my leg and well, I didn’t really do that… because it hurt! So now I’m suffering the consequences. But at least each day is getting a little better.
Overall thoughts on recovery: So far, things have gone exactly how my doctor explained they would go. Funny how that works I went into this procedure hoping I would have a swift recovery and be back on my feet in no time, but I’m realizing now that it has been 1 week that I’m going to need to be patient and give my body a little of time to heal properly.
My knee surgery did not quite go as expected, so for that I have been pretty disappointed. I don’t want to sound dramatic before I have a chance to talk about everything with my doctor, so I plan to wait and touch on that more next week after my post-op follow-up.
I realize there is no point in being upset over things beyond my control, so for now I’m just trying to follow my post-op instructions and do my leg exercises so that I can continue to move forward in healing.
Thanks for following along on my road to recovery! I plan on posting another update next Friday. Have a good weekend! <3