Weighty Matters

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Entering the Fourth Week

on April 10, 2017

I’m a few days shy of the fourth week anniversary of my knee surgery. Yes, I’m seeing improvement. My mobility is pretty good, my pain is reduced most of the time and I’m confident that I can return to driving. I’m not 100% by any means but the improvement definitely increasing.

I still have periodic episodes of pain in other parts of my leg. I believe these episodes are related to how active I might have been in the 12-24 hours prior. Saturday I went to Tai Chi class. Even though I only did Tai Chi from the chair, I then went to friends’ for lunch (up a flight of stairs), then did a little shopping.  That same night, I had a function to go to and I know that I was on my feet walking around for more than an hour before sitting down to dinner. On Sunday, the ache and throbbing in my glute and down the side of my leg were significant. I took it easy all day so last night and today are completely different.  My massage therapist can help with the rest of the leg so I have an appointment scheduled with her tomorrow.

At this point, I think I can reclaim more of my independence. I spoke to my physical therapist about it and he gave me a great suggestion. He said that before I actually drive anywhere I should sit in my car with it not on and practice moving my foot back and forth between the accelerator and the brake to test how it feels and my reaction time. I did that for a few minutes yesterday and it felt pretty good. So, I turned on the car and just drove up and down my quiet street. I even practiced jamming on the brake to see how my knee felt and it was fine.

My final test will be this afternoon. I’m still accepting a ride to P.T. from a neighbor. Then, after I get home from having put my leg through a lot in therapy, I’m going to do the same assessment in my car. If I feel that I can drive even after my leg has worked and is tired, then I will feel confident driving.

My caveat will be that I will not drive if I’ve taken a stronger pain killer. Under the influence of a narcotic pain med, I would be too worried about my cognitive reaction time and reflexes to risk being behind the wheel. If I’m only on acetaminophen, I should be fine. I’m already taking the stronger prescriptions far less frequently than I was in the beginning, which is another sign of my continuing recovery.

I plan to go into work tomorrow, Wednesday and Friday for half days and then again for a couple of hours to take care of a special project on Saturday.  This will help me ease back in so that I can get back to work closer to full time next week.

On other fronts, I’m still doing really well with my food intake. I have definitely noticed that as I cut back on the narcotics, my appetite began to increase. I’m aware of it and alert for it, so that I can be prepared. It doesn’t matter if I get hungrier as long as I don’t start making inappropriate choices. I’m so pleased that I’ve lost weight every week since my surgery which is a longer trend than I’ve experienced in quite some time. I want to build on this trend, keep going and, finally/eventually reach my goal weight.

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