Day 4 after surgery. Rain and wind on the window. It’s dark outside and the wind roars down the chimney.
Cannyrob has just done my dalteparin (blood thinner) injection. The day is punctated by my phone alarms indicating activities: meds, exercise, shower, dressing, toilet. They all require help and supervision at the moment. Time passes strangely quickly….Wee Boy is here, keeping me company and finding comforting Cbeebies shows like Abney and Teal to watch. The floor is lava so he has navigate from one island to another (beanbag, footstool, chair.) My chair is an island where he can only sit on one arm. We read ‘Oi Cat’ together.
- Walking is a challenge. Bad leg, sticks, good leg. Bad leg, sticks, good leg. That’s on the flat. Stairs require a different technique. Cannyrob has posted helpful reminders. Turning needs finesse. The exercises look easy on the NHS Joint Pathways DVD but are really quite hard.
Day 5 Sunday. Sun is shining. I have slept all night. Not much pain. Till I tackle the first set of exercises at 8.30am.
11 pm Another day in. Oxycodone and ice packs help get me through the painful moments. Not to mention a KitKat and a Barnett’s scone.
Day 6. Lovely morning with my Next Door Neighbour. I am distracted from pain by her storytelling. She has a gift for narrative and brings me vignettes from her life. Everything from learning Gaelic to bus connections. Cannyrob comes home and supervises my next set of exercises. I have two new techniques for the ones which hurt most. One, Graded Swearing. I start at ‘Dearie Me’ and escalate through ‘Bloody Hell’ all the way up to ‘F***ing C**t’! Two, Mindless Singing ‘O My Darling Clementine’.
Day 7 Wednesday. Major outing to surgery to have dressing changed. Good to get a look at my wound. Healing nicely. I get the staples out on Monday. Progressing to doing more repetitions of my exercises. Making progress which feels good. I have begun a wee project (supported with some reluctance by Cannyrob) to pass the time; cleaning up my mother’s brass trolley from the 1950’s.
I remember vividly her delight the day it arrived. My Wee Sister and I played air hostesses and cafes with it and the tradition of the ‘trolley tea’ was established. In the kitchen, crockery, cutlery, jam and butter (elegantly curled) were set out on the top tray, with teapot, toast, cakes and chocolate biscuits on the lower level. It was then wheeled with some ceremony through the hall to the dining room where we had pink plastic trays with springy legs on the arms of chairs and sofa. We helped ourselves while watching the Tonight programme in front of the coal fire. Later it stood in the hall as the place for anything waiting to be collected or put away. Notes, letters for posting, gloves, swimming kit, clean laundry…..It also had several boxes for keys. It was the first place to look when you lost anything.
I am using it as a work station for my art stuff while I can’t work in the Wash House or go to the Art Group. I have some drawing to do including trying out the BBC4 Life Class. I have stuff to prepare for the Easter Exhibition including getting some cards made by an online printing firm.
Day 8. Managing to walk small distances in the house with only one stick. Adding some new numbers to my exercise routine: Hands, Knees and Boomps-a-Daisy and Rolling Home (another of my Grandpa’s favourites)
Click to sing along to Hands,Knees and Boomps-a-Daisy
I have, however, agreed not to sing while Cannyrob does my injection. Yesterday I suddenly burst into song causing him to drop the needle straight into my thigh. Today I have made a little progress with the jigsaw begun at Christmas and researching online suppliers for envelopes, labels and other stuff for the Art Exhibition.
My next door neighbour comes in again to keep an eye on me (what does Cannyrob think I’ll get up to?) She curls up on the sofa and, like Schehezerade, tells me stories of far away places and exotic encounters. (In her twenties she left England for a holiday in America and stayed away for four years!)
Looking back at posts I wrote after my right knee was replaced in 2011, I am shocked by how quickly I was walking outside and even gardening!. I certainly didn’t follow the exercise regime very strictly. I suppose I was younger but I wasn’t given the information and advice I’ve had this time. I ended up with a lot of pain long term and want to avoid that. Maybe I am just less driven and more content. I’ve heard of several people with poor outcomes who found the rehab too tough and have ended up leading lives limited by disability. Slowly but surely this time round.
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Elinor Kirk, wife, mum, grandma, sister, friend, retired dramatherapist, blogger, artist of sorts. Loves books, music, films, swimming, sunshine and cities. And chocolate.