Saturday, September 12, 2009

Sixty is just the beginning Or so I keep telling myself!

On October 21st, 2008, I turned sixty. I really didn't think much about it, I mean, just another day. My health had been good, I had a good job, my daughter and grand kids were fine. So what if I turned sixty.

Just goes to show that life can get back at you! On Friday I was fine, then on Saturday I helped my niece load a piece of furniture onto her truck, turned around to go back into the house, when the most awful pain ran through my left knee. I thought I had twisted it, nothing more. But as the days went by it reached the point where I would have to hold to the wall to walk, and I didn't read the Aleve directions, just thought Aleve is like Ibuprofen, I could take two every four hours. Not so, you are only to take two a day! Needless to say, they upset my stomach to the point I thought I was having a heart attack. So I drove myself to the emergency room, just in case it turned out to be my stomach and I wouldn't be embarrassed by calling an ambulance. Of course my brother got upset with me, he said "What if I had passed out or something?". My response was that I'd still end up at the hospital. He didn't think it so funny.

Have you ever had a drug induced stress test? That's one of the tests they did on me to determine the condition of my heart. One minute I'm sitting there talking with the doctor and nurses. One starts injecting a fluid into my IV, when suddenly, I couldn't breathe. The doctor said, "Hang in there, it will be over in a minute, pat your right foot up and down!".

I asked, "What does patting your foot up and down do?"

She said, "Nothing, but it takes your mind off what's going on."

I looked at her and said, "Well, you can stop telling people to do that because it doesn't work!"

Have you ever had a sonar of your insides? It is so cool! Everything looked good except they discovered two gallstones in my gallbladder. They weren't near the opening, nor could they tell how long they had been there. But unless they gave me a problem, they wouldn't do anything as the only solution would be to take my gallbladder out.

The hospital gave me a clean bill of health, except no one checked out my knee. So for another two weeks I hobbled around until I couldn't stand it any more. My regular physician sent me to an orthopedic doctor, his name is Dr. Tim Cool. I had several x-rays, then they sent me to a room to talk with Dr. Cool. He showed me the x-rays, the cartilage or cushion was completely gone, it was bone on bone. His answer, total knee replacement! What I heard him say about what he would do in surgery and then recouping afterwards was nothing like the real thing! But I knew the second step I took the morning following the previous afternoon's surgery, that it would be worth it! I had the surgery on December 17, 2008, at times now I forget that I ever had the surgery. It was painful at first, but I hung in there with the physical therapy and now the only pain I have is when I travel down steps and it's not really a pain but a stretch. Doing the physical therapy and having a great doctor is the answer to having a successful knee replacement. I've talked with others who had the same surgery, but quit their therapy once they were able to walk about and drive. They ended up not having full use of their knee. At work, we have an exercise room with weights, such as lifting weights with my knees and pressing a plate with my feet (my favorite, it makes my back and legs feel good after I stop).

It's time for bed, so I'll continue my year on the next post.

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