15 Weeks Total Knee Replacement (NQR)

It’s hard to keep a positive attitude. Recovery continues at a snails pace. I’m into my 16th week where most people are feeling good, have returned to work or have gone on to complete and record for us their hikes or long bike rides (I’m a member of an online support group).  I have progressed just the past 2 weeks where I can sit non-elevated, legs down with tolerable  pain and swelling.  I can stand for longer periods of time with equal weight on both feet! Walking is less painful and my leg is straighter at least in the morning. Swelling never reaches the crazy level anymore.  Most nights I can sleep at least 5 hours. I want to relate to most folks in their first 2 weeks of recovery… except most of those are at 0 extension and I am at best a 3, ROM changes throughout the day based on swelling.  But is it the best progress to date.  Progress!

That works about my leg and quilting!

I have had to make concessions, I can’t continue with these restrictions to daily life.  My family has to do most of the housework, grocery shopping and yard work. I can barely stand long enough to chop a salad or make a scrambled egg breakfast.  My OS allowed me to get a Handicap Placard for my car.  I’ve added a stool to the kitchen so I can do a little more.   Its awkward, I need to reach areas more than 12″ away from me but I’m trying to figure it out.  I also have on order a tall, padded swivel stool to go with my cutting table  upstairs.  It is table top and open underneath so my legs can tuck under.  No way can I stand to get a project cut out. I couldn’t sit in a regular chair  either until recently so even handwork was not possible.  Too uncomfortable in my recliner chair for handwork.   Crazy, I didn’t use these BEFORE surgery.   I never expected to be worse for this long. Some days it is hard to think it is ever going to be better.  I really want to see a 2nd doctor but I’ve heard stories no one will touch you until at least a year out because recovery can be so long for many of us.  We shall see what the next few weeks bring. I’m not waiting a year…   But currently short bursts of sewing, standing and then sitting again are tolerable.  Progress!
My ankle  pain often exceeds the pain in my leg.  Still 24/7 pain and tightness but pain is not as strong.  This very moment my ankle hurts more than the pain on the sides of my knee.  My knee is bent,  and appears to bow a little outward below the new knee creating much pain and stress on my ankle.  Walk is a limp to a hobble.  This surgery was supposed to help me, not make me worse than I was prior to surgery.   It has been 3 seasons since scheduling this surgery.  I am so weary of this pain and lifestyle.  Most of my day is spent getting ready for and recovering from physical therapy which starting this week is at the gym, showers, meals and home exercises are 2 and 3 x’s a day. Oh and TV and icing and/or heating pad.  Do you know how long it takes for a little 12 x 18 pad to heat top and bottom thigh and your calf?  Or to ice around the knee and the ankle?  I have had 15 weeks in PT that only let me work out 1 leg!  I’m exhausted just carrying a basket of laundry to the washer.  I’m excited about the gym.   I purchased a family membership for 3 with oodles of equipment, indoor pool, sauna and hot tub plus classes that costs only a few dollars more per month than my co-pay for PT for ONE WEEK!   That only worked on ONE LEG!  My recovery has to take priority.  I wish I had dumped PT a month ago but Dr ordered more…. it was mostly just a repeat of the same exercises that they assign for home.  Again… no change in max ROM (range of motion) numbers since about 7 weeks. Again my bend is good, I can not get my leg extension straight.  Most people have the exact opposite if they have troubles.   ROM yes, swelling is less I used to run more of a 15 with swelling to a 3-4 at better times.  I have to say due to NOT swelling as much, I have more consistent ROM during the day.   Progress!

Of course my primary plan of action is doing what I need to do to recover.  My doctor does not want me trying to stand all day at this time. I am starting to run edge to edge again and when caught up with the quilts in my care, I intend to try loading a custom.  Maybe  I can attempt  30 minutes a few times a day.  That puts a 20 hour custom running 10 work days though.  Unfortunately pain 24/7 really  isn’t conducive with artistic creativity.  No idea how that will play out, it’s my 3rd attempt at revising my return to work and I’m positive it is not my final revision either.  Again, for those waiting, I’m already almost 4 months behind schedule and no vision in sight of when I can return full time.  I know some of you are willing to wait but I completely understand if you want to schedule your custom quilting  with someone else.  I’ll be happy to make some  referrals! I know many lovely quilting artists and while I do not want to lose any of you… I know you want your quilts done.  Custom quilting –  No Progress.

Today, I will load on my computer longarm one of my projects for an e2e.   Woohoo!  Progress!