It's hard to tell. I've still been taking my vicodins fairly regularly. Occasionally I go through times when I feel like I ought to be getting off the damn drugs, so I put off taking one. Sometimes this works fine, other times, not so much. It probably doesn't help that I had my first PT session this morning.
This evening I was lying on the couch, feeling sore, watching a boring movie, trying without much success to curl into a fetal position. I've been lying on my back for 5 days. I miss sleeping on my side. I miss curling up. My cell phone rang, and I realized to my dismay that it was across the room. I didn't hurry to go answer it, but once it had kicked into voice mail I stood up to go check it out.
Standing up is extremely painful, because I spend my seated time with my leg propped up above my heart. Then I swing my leg down from its pillows, down to the floor. Then I bend over and pick up my crutches. Then I rise to vertical, and all of the blood that was hanging out in the upper part of my body rushes down into my leg. I don't have any weight on the leg, and I don't have any muscles clenched, so it's just like a dangling sausage swelling up.
I stood up this evening and actually started yelling, it hurt so much. Not just the knee, but the thigh muscles were on fire too. "Ow, ow, OW, dammit, ow!" Somehow yelling at it made me feel a bit better. Then I put some weight on it, walking with the aid of my crutches, which strangely enough makes it feel better (even while hurting in a different way). I think that the weight and the tightening of the muscles gets the blood circulating properly again.
The "standing-up" pain passes within a few minutes. I know this. But even so, it really sucks. I checked my drug chart, and found I was overdue to take both of my pills. I took them and had a bite to eat. I walked around the house, putting a little weight on my leg. I even sat at the computer for a bit and read some LJ, and I wrote this post. I feel better now, which is good. Still very achy, but no more sharp pain.
I need to get some Tylonal. I've been told I can take that in place of the vicodin. I think my mistake is not that I'm trying to slow down the vicodin, but that I'm foolishly not taking anything in its place. I'm clearly not ready to be off the painkillers altogether, especially now that I'm starting physical therapy.
The PT, on the other hand, went fairly well. Actually, I mean that it hurt. They moved and stretched my knee, and it wasn't fun. But at least I now have exercises I can do at home, and I know what's allowed and what isn't (more or less). I can start putting some weight on the leg, and use just one crutch around the house. I'm on the road to recovery. It will be a painful road, with a lot of hard work, but at least I'm going the right direction.