Weighty Matters

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Things Knee Replacement Surgery is Teaching Me

on March 31, 2017

It’s now two weeks and two days since my knee replacement surgery. I continue to make progress in my rehabilitation. Although I still have periods of significant pain and discomfort, those periods don’t last as long and the pain isn’t acute.

This experience is teaching me a few things about myself, or at least reinforcing some things that I might know but don’t necessarily always acknowledge.

I’ve learned that my stubborn determination serves me well when it comes to doing physical therapy. Remember that in order for my leg extension and ability to flex/bend my knee to improve, we have to push the muscles. We can’t stop at the first twinge of discomfort. I refuse to wimp out during P.T. When the therapist encourages me to push, stretch or bend more, I keep trying, even if it hurts. I have a goal to achieve as good a range of motion as absolutely possible and I won’t let anything – not even myself, block me from reaching that goal.

I’ve also learned that my stubborn determination can be a detriment when I want to force myself to do other things that my body just isn’t ready for quite yet. I think I mentioned before that I had it in my head that I would go back to work part-time next week. Nobody else was pushing me to do this. It was all in my own brain. I realized a few days ago that this is an unrealistic expectation. I need to have the ability to shift position, stretch out on the couch sometimes, and take a nap from time to time. I can’t do that at the office. Once I accepted that going back onsite at the three-week-post surgery mark would not serve me well, I was actually more at ease. I also saw that there is a significant amount of work that I can accomplish from home so I’m still getting things done.

See, that’s something else that has been reinforced. While I can revel in the occasional lazy day, or enjoy a glorious two week vacation, I am not wired to be at home and be unproductive for a long stretch of time. It is better for me mentally and emotionally to check in on work and do what I can from here.

Finally, I’ve learned that it really is okay to ask for help and that my discomfort with doing so eases with practice. My neighbors and friends have been super about transporting me to therapy or offering to get me what I need from the store. I will never be one of those people who takes advantage of the helpful offers, but I no longer need to feel guilty or uncomfortable with accepting the sincere assistance from people who care about me.

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