Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Therapy. Ugh.

I knew therapy wasn't going to be a walk in the park; I had been warned.  I also know that if you don't do the therapy, the artificial knee will never do the job it's supposed to do.  So, five times a day, I deliberately hurt myself.  At first I timed the hydrocodone in such a way that it helped me through, although I will tell you that therapy was far from pain-free even with such help.  Now I've really let up on the pain meds; most of the time I only take one every six hours.  However, when I get a call from the therapist notifying me he (or she) is coming, I take an extra one.  Those therapists are heartless!  


This is my first exercise, in which I tighten up the thigh and try to put the back of my knee against the bed as firmly as possible.  I do it 20 times, holding for a count of five.  It is a lot more painful than it looks; I've made a lot of progress, though.


This is a leg raise I do with the new knee.  I do this twenty times.  For some reason, the first time always feels like I can't possibly do it, but then the other 19 come fairly easily.


    This one isn't so bad until the therapist comes; when he's here, he pushes down on the ankle while I'm trying to lift it, to give more resistance.  


This is my most dreaded exercise:  I slide my heel up as far as I possibly can, fifteen times.  Then I take a few deep breaths and do it another fifteen times; then I do it yet a third set of fifteen.  When the therapist is here, he measures to see if I'm bending the knee further than last session.  


  This one, my last exercise, is a piece of cake, and I'm getting my foot higher each day.  Again, when the therapist is here, he pushes down on the leg as I lift it, making it much more difficult.  


Since I have to go through this routine five times daily, I usually get started early, sometimes by five A.M.  I'm a morning person.  I always hope to have done all five sessions by 2 P.M., and what a relief it is to have that chore done for the day.


Cliff and I figure this artificial knee must really be strong, to be able to take all this punishment!  

10 comments:

Sonya said...

Glad it is getting better but sorry it is painful.

darev2005 said...

Wow. I don't know if I could do most of that stuff with my old knees, let alone a new one! And certainly not that many times.

I'm mostly known as 'MA' said...

I agree I don't think it'd be easy to do all those exercises with my old knees either. They look like something that would be good to try and do everyday. Who knows it might just help me too. If we don't use it we loose it for sure.

Milly said...

Good grief -- I got so far behind I kept reading with amazement that you had had "successful" knee replacement. Wow! Well, the praying for perfect mobility will start now, of course, but sorry that I was unaware that you had been having surgery. This IS a big deal! Glad you are doing the exercises and working hard at them -- and sorry that it hurts so much. I'll try to stay more abreast of events. M.

madcobug said...

Bet those would also be rough on someone with a back problem. Some of those exercises make me think of those. Your garden looks great. I don't know how you picked strawberries with that knee. Helen

TARYTERRE said...

Just stick with the program and that knee will get better faster than you can imagine. Good Luck.

Michaele said...

Are you still considered "normal" as far as everything has gone for the surgery and recovery? Were you expecting a lot of pain and therapy

Margaret said...

I didn't realize it was so grueling to recover from. I'll hope to be able to keep my own knees in good shape so I don't have to go through it. OUCH!!

Tink *~*~* said...

A lot of those exercises look familiar. I did not have a knee replacement, only surgery to clean up some torn ligaments, but the recovery exercises are basically the same. You will be so happy when you are strong and pain-free again. Hang in there!

Tink *~*~*

Kathy said...

You are one tough cookie! I have a friend who will be having a knee replacement in July and she is very nervous about it, but I think, in the end, walking without a limp and without pain will make the effort worthwhile.

Thanks for sharing your experiences with us Donna.