What's With Wally?

Warblings from Wally David


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Oh! My Aching Knee – Day 2 & 3 – Negative Ned and The Power of Postive Encouragement

I had a whole blog post written about a guy I nicknamed Negative Ned. Dude was a bummer, maaaan.  He was a guy in my group rehab sessions while at Park Ridge Hospital for my total knee replacement. (TKR) He is a guy in his early 70’s and in relatively good health compared to a lot of the folks in the group. Yet two days post surgery, he was saying how, even though he needs his other one done, he was not going to do it based on his experience so far. I was going to get all high and might on my soapbox and tell you how I gave the guy some straight talk. But this morning, I’m just not in the mood to.  I did give him some frank words of encouragement, even though his name is not Frank. I hope they helped him because if not, he is going to have a rough go of it. His son was with him at one point, but looked totally disinterested in the exercises “Ned” was doing and the progress he was not making.

Sara was at some of my sessions and really encouraged me to make progress and not give into the pain.  It was very helpful to have her there cheering me on. She is not a very “Rah rah” type of person, and not a BSer, so I know that if she said I was doing well, then it was the truth. Thank you Sara! I really appreciate the powers of positive encouragement.

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Oh! My Aching Knee – Day 1 – I guess it was the right decision.

Wow. I will tell you one thing. There is no wasting time after total knee replacement surgery, that’s for sure.  I’ll skip all the things that fall under the TMI category. You’ll thank me later.

I didn’t get much rest overnight. Vital signs being checked, IV machine beeping all the time, general discomfort, all conspired to keep me up most of night. Around 5:30 I started to fall asleep and in came the parade.
Two Care Assistants/Medical Technicians marched in at 5:45 AM to get me up and out of bed. Getting the t-shirt on was not much of a challenge, save for trying not to pull out the IV line. Getting my shorts on was a different story. I definitely put them on one leg at a time. The right leg as not bad but the left leg. WOW, that hurt. Hauling my ace bandaged-wrapped leg up was murder. But then I had to “skootch” and drag my butt to the edge of the bed. That was much worse.

Next came the walker. I guess the green tennis ball are an add-on for the legs of the walker. My destination was a vinyl covered, fake leather reclining chair. The chair itself is nice and comfy. However, the fact that they required my leg to be propped up with a pillow under my lower calf was causing my leg to be straightened. Oh..the pain. It came from the fact that it was being stretched by gravity. If the knee were up on a pillow then it would stiffen and be much more difficult to get bending later.

Someone is at the door. I’ll be back in a minute; talk amongst yourselves.

Ok. I’m back. The surgeon came in to check on me. He expected the straight-legged position to be uncomfortable. But he told me we did the surgery at the right time. Although I’m “young” at 47 to have it done, he said that it was a “real mess” in there when they opened it up. If I had not had it done now, it would have been over the summer or fall at the latest.

So, despite the pain I’m in right at this moment, I guess it was the right decision.


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Oh! My Aching Knee – Day 0 – Then, I Got Queasy

The big day is here. My total knee replacement is happening today.

Getting ready to leave. I was packed last night and amazingly enough, I slept right through until my alarm at 6:30 AM. Last time I had knee surgery, I woke up four hours early.

As I took a shower this morning, I looked down at my knee and I flashed forward, envisioning the big scar that was going to run the length of my knee.  Then I thought about the metal and plastic that will be in there within six hours or so.

Then, I got queasy.


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Oh My Aching Knee – The Night Before

Big day tomorrow. I’m having a total knee replacement (TKR) of my left knee. I’m 47, but I have the knees of an 80 y/o. Being overweight and an old repair done 30 years ago have led me to this point. Pretty much bone on bone in there with loose stuff floating around.

Everyone who hears that I’m having it done knows someone else who has had a TKR. To a person, the results are positive. That is comforting to hear.

Because of my relatively young age to have this done, my hospital stay should be shorter, my rehab easier and my return to work sooner than normal. I hope that is all true.

Tomorrow is the big day. Wish me luck.