The Road to Recovery: The Highlights

I haven’t spent much time in front of my computer lately. I’m way behind on blogging and following my favorite bloggers. I've missed you guys! The days after my surgery were memorable for a few select moments.

Day 1:

734’s Dad panicked for a split second when he woke up to see me cold as can be with the covers off, conked out. Poor guy thought I OD’d on Percaset until he woke me up. After making us coffee, he removed the gauze and changed the bandages. He took pictures. Okay Benson, here are those scar photos you requested ;-) If you’re squeamish, scroll down. But seriously, are these the lightest weight scars you ever saw? I had to marker my knee “YES” to confirm that it was the correct one to perform surgery on. My favorite Red Sox mug says it all.

Big sis’ Jane took the late morning shift. Fed me lunch. Watched old movies with me. 734’s Dad returned after getting in his work, workouts and taking care of 734. (Who was a little peeved that he was gone for so long. Yup, the little guy is spoiled. Usually one of us is around for him.)

Day 2:

734’s Dad realizes he’s a blanket hog. He was horrified that the covers were off me again – and that I had no clue I was cold. It was funny to listen to him scrounge around in my kitchen looking for things, realize that my microwave is an antique that sounds like hamsters on a wheel, and that I have no toaster because it would take up too much space. At one point he yelled from the kitchen, “You are so busted!” “What?” I asked innocently from the bedroom. “I found your Hostess Cupcakes above the refrigerator!” he announced, “Finally something unhealthy in this place.” I laughed. Yeah, I had a weak moment in the days leading up to the surgery. It happens. His cupboards are just as healthy – minus the Pringles.

In the afternoon, we went for my first “walk” – too long in retrospect, but it felt great to get out of the house and start my comeback.

Day 3:

I felt stunning. Thick, old glasses. 734’s Dad said I looked fine and “wasn’t ready for a shower.” Yeah, he lied. He was being kind.

My sister picked me up for my first rehab appointment – with electrical stimulation, stretching, and the H-Wave machine. By the end of my appointment, I was very woozy. Jane took me to lunch. I had to leave. Jane took me to the grocery store. I sent her in to get some yogurts and bananas. I was too low on calories on that last pain pill and ended up being sick the rest of the afternoon. Live and learn.

Day 4:

On my own for the first time in days. 734’s Dad volunteered to help set up a cyclo cross race course. Couldn’t stand looking like this anymore, so I wrapped my knee in Saran Wrap and hobbled into the shower. Felt much better. Oops, got my stitches wet anyway. Tried to dry them out with a blow dryer and gave up. Then let them air dry.

Day 5:

I texted 734’s Dad “Good luck on your race. Go lap those cyclo cross geeks. I’m taping the Laker game for ya.” I was joking when I sent it, but I knew he probably had it in him too.

He kicked butt out there. He won his age group in the cyclo cross race on a single-speed mountain bike and came in third overall. Think he shocked some of the other participants, many who were younger than him. Yeah, I was proud of him. It was only his second cyclo cross race and he did it for the cross-training. After the race, he came up and made me dinner. We watched the extra credit stuff for the film Man on Wire (which we loved) and the Lakers game.

Day 6:

Sister Jane took me to rehab. I spent 5 minutes on a recumbent bike in the easiest setting possible. And it did not feel easy. Plus more stim, stretches, and H-wave. Afterwards, we went out for a nice deli lunch.

Day 7:

734’s Dad drove me to L.A. for my one-week follow-up visit. I got my stitches removed. Learned more about the big honkin’ piece of cartilage that was removed. And found out when I can start swimming and biking again.

After a good lunch, I took a half Vicodin. Five hours later I had a very comical hallucination/dream, which truly deserves a post of its own. That was the last time I took a painkiller.

Day 8:

Didn’t sleep well without the painkiller. Wasn’t about to take one again. Tossed and turned for a few hours. Back to rehab. 10 minutes on the recumbent bike.

Day 9:

Didn’t sleep well again. More tossing and turning. Still left the painkillers in the little bottle. Deal.

Day 10:

Wo-hoo, I may be sleep-deprived, but I’m driving. My building manager had to get my Prius out of the carport for me. Walked into rehab carrying my crutches. Walked out using them again. My P.T., Laura, explained the art of going off crutches. And told me not to walk very far over the weekend or it would just slow down the progress in rehab next week. Finally escaped my tiny place to spend the weekend with the boys. 734 couldn’t stop sniffing the crutches for about 15 minutes.

Sorry for the long post. Playing catch-up. Things are gradually returning to normal in some ways. And for that I am grateful.