Knee-dful things…

Considering he had both legs sawed in half, Studley is doing great! After suffering with bone-on-bone pain for the last several years, he had bilateral knee replacement last week.

He was in for surgery at noon, sawed apart, given bionic metal parts, and released from the hospital about 26 hours later. Getting him in the car, and driving 20 minutes, reminded me of the sheer terror i felt when my ex-husband and i were driving home from the hospital with our first newborn kidlet.  “i have no idea what the fuck i’m doing, but here we go!”

no licking

The physical therapy regimen is challenging, but if followed to the letter, the results will be worth it. Rest, ice, compression and elevation – 24 hours a day for the first two weeks! Unless he is doing physical therapy, or using the toilet, he is to be on his back, toes-above-nose, wearing compression gear, and ice packs.

misery

Following the advice of the physical therapist, i froze several dozen bottles of water, and have been keeping them in rotation. They keep the coolers chilled for about 3-4 hours at a time. The schedule? Every four hours, round the clock, i swap the ice – including a visit at 2:45am. i live 10 minutes from Studley, and have gotten into a rhythm…

But sleep deprivation happens… i looked at my sleep tracker on my FitBit after a few days, and realized i needed help. Our friends came to the rescue – with one couple providing dinner so i could hit my fitness class, and another friend doing the 10:30pm stop, allowing me one night with six hours of glorious sleep!

sleepless

Studley has a high threshold of pain, but this is some hurtful stuff. Especially during and after PT, he is really wrung out. He’s staying on top of it with a pharmaceutical arsenal. Hallucinations? A few… He noted that i seemed to be ‘phase shifting’ one day. As he was dozing, he yelled out “Save the Bocce Balls!”  My favorite so far?

Studley: The cat is in the bed.

daisyfae: Ummm… You don’t have a cat.

Studley: That’s why I thought I should mention it…

Because he was tripping, and i’ve had to come and go due to the pesky day job and caring for my pets, i was a little worried about him sleep walking. He’s got beautiful, plush carpet, so i could easily spot tracks left by his walker when he got up while i was gone. If he wandered to the kitchen, i could tell.

i let him know i was tracking his movements – for his safety! As he regains mobility, he likes to get up and go to the kitchen occasionally, or to adjust the thermostat. i was a bit surprised one night to see the walker tracks go from his bedroom to the liquor cabinet. Sticking my head in his bedroom, i found him grinning… Last night? i found ‘crop circles’ in the dining room.

Friends and family have been supportive, with the best gift arriving yesterday from my niece, DQ! “Hope this is helpful! It was out of print, so I had to get a used one. Hope the pages aren’t stuck together!”

sexy time

daisyfae: That’s funny!  [flipping through pages] Hey, this is a real book!

Studley: Why yes… yes it is!

Many years ago, when Studley and i first met, we agreed on something very important – we NEVER wanted to burden our adult children. Unfortunately, being single and over 50 means you need someone to drive you to get a damn colonoscopy! So we made a pact – no matter what happened with ‘us’, we would remain “Colonoscopy Buddies”, assisting each other with routine, and not so routine, medical support.

We’ve done that…and done our best to keep it light and fluffy! He has been so appreciative of what i’m doing to help out with this one…

Studley: I can’t even begin to thank you…

daisyfae: You’ll have your chance. We just don’t know what it will be, or when it will happen… But you’ll do the same for me one of these days.

i’ve known he was pretty amazing from the first day i met him, but seeing him maintain humor through pain… Watching him push himself harder with each PT set… Seeing the frustration because he wants to do more…. His determination to succeed…

i’m looking forward to dancing, and hiking, and diving, and living hard with my bionic buddy for many years to come… He’s earned a new middle name*: Studley Bionic McRocklegs! Long may you run, baby!

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

*Had to dig through the archives to find the origins of his blog callsign. Somewhere about here it happened…

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27 thoughts on “Knee-dful things…

  1. Aside from a spooky resemblance to Kathy Bates, you seem to be doing a good job of home-nursing.
    And some readers would like some photographic evidence of “crop circles”

    Give him a bear hug from me. 🙂

    • i have delivered your hug, and it was welcomed. Even got a bonus grope! Did not think to get pictures of the crop circles, as he’d done them sometime between 10:30pm and 2:45am! He’s much more mobile, and far less hallucinogenic, so I think I’m past the need to track his movements!

    • You know this situation – unfortunately yours has gone on so much longer than this will… He’s stubborn and independent, but wants to heal properly and quickly, so he is an absolutely perfect patient. We’ve both had moments of serious grumble… I’ve been sure to tell him when I just need to sit down for a minute, and he’s been clear when he just wants to put a pillow on his head and sleep! The laughter has kept us both sane… i’ll be back out and about in the blogosphere soon, and hope to catch up with you, and all my blogmates! I’ve missed you all!

  2. That is a definitely ouchies situation.I have had friends go through that one knee at a time. I cannot imagine having both done at once. Which reminds me. I must not mention my left knee to the doc next time I visit – – –

    Thinking of both of you.

    • Thanks, Archie! Most people do this one knee at a time, but he wanted to get it over with as quickly as possible… His surgeon, a smart young doc, said he was a great candidate for it, so it happened! Of the 250 or so knees he replaces every year, only about 15 are doubles. So far, Studley has wowed the doctors, nurses and physical therapists! Very encouraging…

      First week was pretty unpleasant for him, but now the pain is better. Mostly, he’s struggling to get comfortable while in the same damn position all the time. He visits the surgeon for follow up on Thursday, and we’re both hoping for some good news – that he doesn’t need to keep his toes elevated all the time!

  3. Please send him my best wishes for a speedy recovery. Seriously, Don’t forget to tell him I said hello. It’s important to me. Why did he have to do both at the same time? Wouldn’t there have been advantages to doing one now and one later? You’re a good nurse.

    • Best wishes delivered this morning with his breakfast! He was appreciative! When we were in NYC last year, that was when he came to the conclusion that the knee pain was getting in the way of living life well – we were walking the High Line and had to stop several times. We are looking forward to another visit – and we’ll be able to get around a lot more!

      He’s also lost 30 pounds since January! I’m down 25 or so… turns out, this ’round the clock’ gig is great for weight loss. My metabolism is jacked up sky high… I don’t recommend the sleep-deprivation diet, though. I’m getting goofy…

      Doing one knee means 4-6 weeks recover — then going through it again with the second knee. His target is to be back to work, bionic knees and all, in 3 weeks. He’ll start teleworking next week a bit just to catch up. Some people have one done, and because it hurts so much, never do the second.

      He was also pretty bow legged (which I thought was drop dead sexy when he wore his kilt). He is now straight-legged, and a full inch taller! Doing one at a time might have had him off-kilter, and caused back trouble! He’s a fan of ripping off bandaids, too…

  4. I can’t stop giggling at the cone of shame. Speedy recovery wishes there Mr. McRocklegs. May you both be up and at ’em soon without the need of the book. (though I think the book should be tested)

    • His surgery was initially scheduled for March, but was postponed because of a weird cardiology result on pre-surgical testing. Nothing serious, but we had so many trips and things planned that October was the next reasonable time to schedule. We came up with the idea for the ‘cone of shame’ for his hospital departure back in January – fortunately I was able to find where I’d stashed it so many months later!

      Totally going to test that book! There are a few pretty good options in there! 🙂

  5. Hell that sounds like some surgery and recuperation – good luck… to both of you….. Where do I advertise for a colostomy buddy… hmm… scratch that I’m dreading some of the responses I may receive!

    • Ha! Never thought about advertising for such things – and suspect you’re right. Some things are best not sought! Although it did bring a cool idea to mind – what if we could create a time bank for single 50-somethings who need medical transport? Let’s say i sign up to drive a few folks here or there as needed, and then when it’s my turn, i post the need for a driver to get me to the doc? This might be useful…. Hmmm….

  6. Definitely know the “over fifty and living alone” bit, and the need for a Colonoscopy buddy. Admire Studley for being able to do two knees at once. The only reason he could is because he’s in good shape from all the activities you two get up to. Admire you for taking on the home nursing role. Next time one of you decides to do something like this, a little better planning is in order. It’s not like you don’t have people around to help, line them up ahead of time. (I fondly remember the days when people who had major surgery got to stay in the hospital and have actual nurses take care of them for at least a week. It gave me a vocation. Unfortunately, cost cutting and the danger of antibiotic resistant nosocomial infection ruined that for all of us.) Give the old boy a salute from me, and take one for yourself.

    • We started another ‘cleanse’ at the end of August, and doubled our workouts… As of today, he’s down 35 pounds from where we started… and it turns out this round the clock care giving gig is great for metabolism. i’m down another five pounds since his surgery, and we’re both eating well!

      He had the option to go to a rehab facility, but he (and his surgeon) thought he would do better at home, if he had support. Hospitals these days are full of over-worked staff and nasty germs.

      We are definitely taking advantage of offers of help – two friends covered that 10:30pm shift so i could get sleep, and tonight another friend did the dinner drop so i could hit my fitness class. Tomorrow? A dear friend of his has been begging to bring him a meal and some snuggles – and that allows me to go to a board meeting.

      Hugs and salutes greatly appreciated! We are both doing well!

  7. Now there is a tale that can make one smile…

    My professional recommendation is for medicinal mary jane, if none is available the usual contraband will do of course, better for pain than any opioid and boy doesn’t big pharma hate that, of course you might arrive at his place to find the floor covered in pizza boxes and take out cartons but so be it, and if you happen to stumble upon a purveyor of fine herbs i recommend Leafly.com, a lovely informational site that can provide all you kneed (see that) to know about, or just provide hours of fun reading…

    • Oh, if it were only possible… but it is not, given those pesky job requirements! Another advantage of Dr. Mary Jane is that she doesn’t plug up the pipes! Opioids are the worst! But he’s been dropping the pain meds this week, and it’s still under control!

      i’ve been thinking of planning a trip to the ‘burgh. He has family in the area, and loves those goofy ball-dropping bumblebees. If i can find some tickets, might get out there for a game this fall/winter. The way they’re playing, i bet i can get tickets on the cheap this year… If we do, i’ll let you know. We’ll be upright citizens, of course, but i’d love to buy you a drink!

      Retirement lurks, however… a mere 782 days, 16 hours and 12 minutes – but who’s counting?

    • Oh, good god! She’s married! This is the niece who was taking care of my mother for years… she just killed a buck with her crossbow last weekend, and dragged the damn thing out of the woods pretty much by herself! Pretty sure she is not your type!

  8. The cone is a nice touch. Glad it went well, and that the worst is behind you both. Give him my best. It was great seeing you both this summer. I hope we get a chance for a repeat one of these days.

    • We aim to entertain, we do…He’s still doing well! Cleared the post-surgery visit with the doc, and we’re no longer having to ice him down 24 hours/day! i’m going to take those two coolers out to the shooting range next spring and blow them to bits…

      We may be down in your neck of the swamps sometime next year. His son/daughter-in-law just moved to Louisiana… Would enjoy a chance to meet up again!

  9. It’s pretty damn awesome that we even have the option of new body parts. I like the two-fer thing, the whole thing will be in the rear view mirror before you know it. You’re lucky to have each other,

    • It was pretty phenomenal to watch this process – from pre-op to post-op in about 4 hours, and standing up on those new body parts later that evening! He’s been diligent and tenacious about his recovery – doing everything he’s been told. May have over done it on his first day of outpatient PT, but is now back on track and working at a better pace – i am in awe of his determination!

      We are a good team – he’s the peanut butter to my jelly, the gin in my vermouth! 🙂

    • He was genuinely concerned about ghost cat. As i was genuinely concerned about him seeing ghost cat! He’s rebuilding his endurance, and dealing with some residual pain, but already likes the new knees better than the old ones!

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