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Knee Healing and Pain - cellophane — LiveJournal
the story of an invisible girl
Knee Healing and Pain
Today I brought a crutch to work. Monday I didn't bring any crutches, and then I was so proud of my mobility that I went for a walk around the block. And up 3 flights of stairs. Without crutches!

Tuesday I also didn't bring any crutches to work, but by the afternoon I was regretting it. Major pain...probably not helped by the fact that I'd forgotten to bring my usual supply of tylenol and advil with me to work. I found some advil to take, but I still took only half my usual drugs. By the time I went home last night, I was hurting too much to do anything more than lie on the couch, prop my leg up, and whimper occasionally.

I went to bed early, but mysteriously awoke this morning at 4:30am. Quite unlike me -- usually I have trouble falling asleep, but once I succeed I stay mostly-asleep. This morning I was awake for an hour or two...naturally it meant that when my alarm went off and I was supposed to get up for real, I was too tired!

Eventually I made it up and into work, bringing along one crutch. I'm still very sore today! I was feeling so sad and sorry for myself this morning, just wishing I didn't hurt anymore, didn't have to be at awake, didn't have to go to physical therapy, etc.

I am also sick of reassuring people that I'm okay. It's one thing with people I care about, because with then I can just be honest, but it's especially hard with strangers. Especially the people who work in the same building as I do -- they are basically strangers who I see often. We don't generally exchange more than "good mornings", but when they see me on crutches they have to ask sympathetic questions. They are just kind people showing concern, certainly not the sort of behavior I'd like to discourage, but I'd really rather not talk about it. I don't want to tell them that it hurts and I'm sad, so I display false cheer. "It's getting better every day," I tell them. "I had some knee surgery, but now the knee is all repaired. I just have to heal from the surgery, and it'll be great. I'm feeling much better, thanks!"

I mentioned my recent extra-soreness at my PT appointment today. She said that she wasn't surprised. Tomorrow is the surgery's 4-week anniversary. She said at 4 to 8 weeks, it's not surprising to start hurting more. ("That doesn't seem fair," I told her.)

Now that the edema (which is medical talk for swelling, but sounds cooler) has been greatly reduced, the body can get to work on serious healing of the damaged tissue. It's doing more right now, and also I'll be able to feel more without the edema dulling my nerves and sensations.

Great. So even though I'm getting better, it'll keep hurting for a long time. I shook off some of my sadness though, when she told me my flexibility looks great. That part of my healing is doing really well. This is a good thing! I'm completely on track. (Just gotta occasionally remind myself of this.) I'm just tired of it hurting, tired of it not working right yet. I'm impatient.

She also pointed out that I'm at the point where I'm generally feeling better -- I feel like I can do more, so I'm likely to push it too far. She's right...after all, look at everything I did on monday! So I need to be careful, let it rest, remember that I'm still healing.

Resting sounds good. I'll make sure I do more of that tonight. Sleep, ice, and elevation are my friends.


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jeffreyab From: jeffreyab Date: April 21st, 2004 01:36 pm (UTC) (Link)


And good friends they are.

Sleep well Rennie.
bjorng From: bjorng Date: April 21st, 2004 02:15 pm (UTC) (Link)
I've been doing that sleepy-but-awake-early thing a lot lately, and I wouldn't wish it on my worst enemy. Yuck. I miss the days when I could sleep like a stone until my alarm went off.
cannibal From: cannibal Date: April 21st, 2004 02:25 pm (UTC) (Link)
Hugs... very glad you have PT. Try not to overdo it too much.
encorecrazay From: encorecrazay Date: April 21st, 2004 02:34 pm (UTC) (Link)
Glad you're getting better but don't push it too much, you want to do that walk in a few weeks. Think I might give a little contribution, don't need a picture either.
renniekins From: renniekins Date: April 22nd, 2004 08:33 am (UTC) (Link)
Fortunately the walk is still about 6 weeks away. Hopefully by then I'll be much better!

Thanks very much for your contribution. Maybe I'll come up with something fun to photograph for you anyway, even if you don't make a request!
mindgames4one From: mindgames4one Date: April 21st, 2004 03:18 pm (UTC) (Link)
Healing takes a while-- don't push it because that will make it take even LONGER!!

And I have to listen to my own advice....
renniekins From: renniekins Date: April 22nd, 2004 08:32 am (UTC) (Link)
Very true, very true. It's frustrating though, isn't it?
mindgames4one From: mindgames4one Date: April 22nd, 2004 08:35 am (UTC) (Link)
Sure is! After 5 weeks, I sure thought I could pick up something equivalent to a folding chair, but I was wrong! bummer.....
pi3832 From: pi3832 Date: April 22nd, 2004 07:08 am (UTC) (Link)
I really enjoyed this bit in your post:
I am also sick of reassuring people that I'm okay. [...] I don't want to tell them that it hurts and I'm sad, so I display false cheer.

When you're in pain the last thing you want to be is cheerful. It's unnatural. When you hurt you're supposed to be pissy.

It'd be nice if you could just be a pain in the ass, you know? "Yes, it hurts, and I'm fucking tired of it! Got any more stupid questions? Then get out of my cubicle, idiot."

In the end, that's what friends are for. I used to get mad at myself when I would get pissy with my friends and family. I mean, you should be nicest to the people who mean the most to you, right? But it doesn't work like that.

Only your friends and family understand where your bad attitude is coming from, they know that it's temporary, and forgive you being angry and bitter.

So, you end up cursing those you love and being nice to people who don't mean jack to you.

It's weird, but there you go.
renniekins From: renniekins Date: April 28th, 2004 09:29 am (UTC) (Link)
Yes, that is so true! It's kind of a shame that our friends get all the grief...but I suppose in a sense, "that's what friends are for". Somebody to put up with your troubles, and help you through them.
From: jgoodall Date: April 22nd, 2004 07:31 am (UTC) (Link)
Hey Cutie,

I know it's a pain, but hang in there. When I broke my heels and ended up in the wheelchair for a summer, the pain of learning to walk again was almost unbearable. But, all the Physical Therapy is so worth it! Some day, you'll be able to look back and say "look what I have done" in regards to recovery.

And in the meantime, just try to enjoy all that extra attention you are getting. I know it's annoying at times, but it's better than people ignoring you and hitting your leg. :)

renniekins From: renniekins Date: April 22nd, 2004 01:20 pm (UTC) (Link)
This is true....I know it'll be over eventually. And not even that long, in the grand scheme of things! Just feels like forever sometimes.

Yes, I should milk my extra attention and people's kindness more! Might as well have some good come out of this. (:
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