The odds are pretty good that I’m writing this between naps. I’d forgotten how strong the urge to sleep is when recovering from surgery. When I had shoulder surgery years ago, I entered this strange, timeless world for weeks afterwards … awake for three hours, asleep for four, awake for two more hours, asleep for five, awake for another four hours, etc. I had to sleep sitting up in a chair. I couldn’t work and couldn’t focus on a book, so I watched TV. I ended up watching the HBO series The Wire from beginning to end, all five seasons.
I’m not as messed up this time around (the shoulder surgery was very invasive and massively painful) but I am sleeping more than usual. I’m sure the pain pills have something to do with that. I’ll get by without them for several hours at a time, then the pain kicks in out of nowhere.
The pain kicked in today because of physical therapy, my first of several upcoming sessions. As I told the therapist, I’m not sure if people go into her profession because they’re nice and want to help others, or because it’s the only way sadists can get paid to inflict pain without going to dental school.
As you can see from the picture, the knee is still so swollen, I don’t appear to have a kneecap. It’s as if my thigh now connects directly to my shin with no knee in between. Not surprisingly, a leg with no apparent kneecap has limited ability to bend, so that was the sadis … er, therapist’s goal today: bending the knee to at least 90 degrees. We got there after several attempts. I appreciated her help so much, when I came home I found one of the girls’ dolls that looked vaguely like the therapist and stuck pins in it.
The woman on the rack next to mine was also receiving post-operative therapy for the same procedure on the same knee from the same surgeon on the same day. Apparently he lines up all his left-knee meniscus patients in a row and goes at it. As someone who reads a fair bit about economics, I appreciate the efficiency.
In chatting about our injuries, I learned that the woman apparently tore her meniscus while playing tennis. She explained that she’s giving this physical therapy all she’s got because she’s a senior-league champion and is determined to play in a tournament a month from now. I was tempted to reply that I’m giving it all I’ve got because I plan to kick Jimmy Moore’s butt in disc golf in November, but thought better of it.
After inflicting pain on my knee for an hour, the therapist gave me two pages of detailed instructions on how to inflict the same pain on myself at home – twice per day. Okay, if that’s what it takes to walk normally again and have my kneecap reappear, I’ll do it. But I don’t have to like it.
As soon as I came home to begin recovery, Sara declared herself my at-home nurse and made herself a hat worthy of the role. She’s been a huge help, bringing me snacks, drinks, fresh ice packs, etc. She was a bit traumatized seeing me lying on a gurney in a hospital gown with an IV tube sticking out of my arm, so I think adopting the role of caretaker is partly her way of getting over it. But mostly she’s being helpful because she’s a sweet girl who loves her daddy … although she told me today she’s going to coach me through my physical therapy at home, so I reserve the right to declare her the sister of Damian from The Omen.
I haven’t looked for any undiscovered jewels like The Wire to pass the time in my easy chair, but I have been catching up on some movies I’d saved on the DVR and watching re-runs of Seinfeld here and there. One of these days I’d like to watch that series end to end and capture all the references to meat and fat being bad for us. I loved that show and still find it funny, but sometimes I wonder if The Guy From CSPI was a script consultant.
I appreciate all the wishes for a speedy recovery people have posted here and on Facebook. Chareva is serving me good recovery foods – meats, butter, farm eggs, green vegetables – and I expect to heal up quickly.