So I picked up the crutch and tried walking without it. I could do it! It wasn't graceful, but it was definitely weight-bearing. I set the crutch down and walked away from it.
Since my little epiphany last night, I've spent the last 24 hours walking around my house unaided. Well, limping. Okay, hobbling. But that's not the point. The point is: look ma, no hands!
It doesn't feel great, of course. The joint is very very stiff. It feels like I'm wearing an immobilizer of some sort, even though I'm not wearing anything on the knee. I have to concentrate to get myself to move and bend the knee as I walk, and even then it doesn't go through a "proper" gait yet.
And yeah, it hurts. But as long as I'm careful, it feels somewhat okay -- not comfortable, but not excruciating pain either. In fact if I leave the joint in its "comfort zone", it doesn't hurt hardly at all. It's only when I try to use it, bend it, straighten it, treat it like an actual knee, that it hurts me.
That brings us to this evening. I was hobbling about the house, wishing my knee would act less like a bone, more like a joint. I'd done my PT-prescribed exercises for today, but it occurred to me: the only way for this knee to start bending more is to start using it more.
So I went for a walk around the block. Seriously! I used my crutches (I'm not totally insane), but I put at least a little weight on my leg for each step the whole way around. I also tried to focus on getting it to bend and straighten in a normal walking-motion (with only minimal success, but it's a beginning).
Now I'm tired, and still very stiff and sore, but I'm proud of myself. I am definitely on the path to recovery. Go me!
Now for a few more pictures. Here is me, napping with my cat, about 24 hours post-surgery. For the first several days, I lived the life of a cat - I did almost nothing but sleep, with a few breaks to eat.
Here I am unwrapping the bandages - same time as the "labeled" picture I posted, but from further away. 48 hours post-surgery.
Same time. Having gone through the scary work of removing the pain-pump from inside my knee, I reward myself with a "doctor bear" from my cookie-bouquet my sister sent me. C took these pictures by the way; he did a great job helping me out.
As the swelling goes down, all of the fluids drain to the side and bottom of the knee to create colorful bruises. Ooooh, pretty, isn't it? 4 days post-surgery.