I’m dreaming. I want to ride my beautiful new bicycle to the brand new fancy grocery store in my neighborhood.
The bicycle is gorgeous. She is a fit-for-a-princess Tiffany Blue beach cruiser with whitewall tires, shiny chrome fenders, and every pretty little detail you can think of. She’s all ready to go, baskets and bell included!
The grocery store hasn’t opened yet, but holds lots of promise for me and my family once it does. There will be a gourmet bakery, where I plan to buy freshly baked bread on a near daily basis, not to mention fluffy sweet pastries for weekend brunches and special cupcakes and treats whenever I feel like spoiling the kids. I’ll be able to pick up crisp salads and tasty sandwiches (made with that yummy fresh bread!) to go on a whim. There will be delicious, colorful, local and organic produce and a butcher that will make even my vegetarian soul feel good about cooking meat procured from humanely and sustainably farmed animals. The liquor aisle will have craft beers, vintage vinos and everything else I never knew I would want to make mouth-watering cocktails for every occasion. My mainstay menu will get a full-on glam makeover!
But first, I will have to get my knee back. I had patello femoral arthroplasy on my right knee 8 days ago. I have quite a lot of work to do before I can ride my bicycle anywhere.
Disclaimer: this blog is about a privileged, first world woman’s journey through recovery from said surgery. I am (other than the knee) able-bodied and have the means and the health insurance to help me through this, physically and financially. If I weren’t, let’s face it…I wouldn’t be blogging about this or anything else. I would simply be hobbled. So now that I’ve cleared the air and fessed up to pretty much being an impatient brat in a hurry to ride her fancy bike to the gourmet grocery…
I’ve looked online for other people who have had surgeries similar to mine, like total knee replacement, and I was disappointed. I thought I would find a bunch of folks chatting about their recovery stories and surgery experiences. If you are one of these people reading this now, I hope you’ll post comments here, share links to sites and blogs you find helpful, and even share a bit about your own journey. This is harder than I imagined, and I imagined a nightmare!
I can say in all honesty that I experienced the worst pain I have ever encountered while I was in the hospital. That was probably due to the sad fact that despite the nifty invention of the nerve block catheter, I didn’t get any relief from it. My anesthesiologist confirmed that my catheter “migrated” during the surgery, so while it was definitely feeding anesthetic somewhere, I didn’t get it where I needed it. A day and a half later he gave me a single shot nerve block, and I found out what I was missing. Such a difference. Like the difference between biting on a rag to prevent myself from screaming at the nurses for more pain medication, to sitting up and smiling at the same nurses, politely asking for ice chips. Beyond the excruciating pain I truly didn’t anticipate, the lack of mobility was frightening, though now that I am seeing forward progress each day it is a little less so. Two days out of surgery and home, I was terrified. Scared that the pain wouldn’t improve and scared that my knee would never bend again. I fight with being dependent on other people to help me in and out of bed, onto the toilet (that was humbling!), and in the shower (also humbling). Nevermind having the household upkeep I am used to doing a certain way falling into the hands of teenagers, or being at the mercy of said teenagers for daily sustenance. I’m used to being in charge and being the caretaker. Submitting control remains a challenge.
I am making huge improvements every day, considering, yet they still feel insignificant. It’s hard for me, a formerly very active and fit person, to get excited about such tiny improvements. I’d like to be able to bend my knee enough to sit in the front seat of a car. I don’t think that’s a lot to ask. This morning’s outing to the pharmacy proved I’m not there yet. My physical therapist says I will be by next week. Stay tuned….I’ll keep you posted.