Knee replacement surgery has been a bumpy ride.
For some people, knee surgery may seem very routine. For others, like me, we are sensitive to many of the medications and may experience complications.
I was in the hospital an extra night to balance out the pain medications. I was getting dizzy, my blood pressure was dropping, and I was vomiting. Once I was feeling stable, I managed the physio exercises with the in-hospital therapist, and I checked off all the boxes such as being able to go up and down stairs using a rail and a cane. I was finally cleared to go home on day 4, it felt good to be home and shower.
On day 5, a pain in my calf on the surgery leg became so intense. I didn’t know how I would manage the few stairs to get up to my bedroom and bathroom. Picture me pushing myself up the stairs with my arms, on my bum, with my husband holding my leg. Once I got to the landing, my husband helped me roll onto a bath towel and he dragged me to my room.
The next couple of days were painful. The calf pain was so intense that I could no longer bear the weight on that leg. Eventually, we called an ambulance. We went to the ER where I had a Doppler ultrasound. Thankfully there were no blood clots! However, the mystery of the pain and the inability to walk remains. I am on the case to figure it out.
There are a few critical things that everyone needs to consider BEFORE & AFTER getting knee replacement surgery:
1. Have support 24/7.
Whether it is a significant other, friend, or someone you hire. You should not be alone and expect yourself to do much for the first few days other than focus on your physiotherapy exercises.
2. Don’t just rely solely on one person.
Have more than one resource. My husband was doing all the cooking, house care, along with all the caregiving. If you depend on just one person, they may burn out. It is a lot of responsibility and work to bear. It was a blessing when neighbours made us meals that lasted through the weekend.
3. Ask how you can offer support / help out.
If you are preparing for surgery or you know someone who is post-surgery, consider offering support or a helping hand. If you are unsure how to be of help, ask! Asking how you can support someone during a time of need is an incredibly meaningful and helpful gesture.