Thursday, July 26, 2012

With surgery completed, new lifestyle begins

In the parlance of restless sleepers, I'm a tosser. Just ask my wife. I'll find a comfortable spot on the bed with two pillows - one under my head and the other off to the side. I first lie on my right side, then on my left side, on my back and finally on my stomach which is where I usually end up. Then I settle in and wait to go deep. That lasts for about fifteen minutes before I get restless again. It's a routine I must follow or it takes much longer to fall asleep. It's almost like a cat that has to twist in a circle before it settles in.
I've tried going straight to the stomach and forsake the drama but that has yet to work. Colleen's not too happy with my nocturnal habit but most times she does get used to it.
Tonight it's going to get worse.
Following my knee replacement surgery Tuesday morning, I was released from the hospital this afternoon, nearly a day early. because there were no complications, the range of motion was improving and I was able to walk a long distance with my walker.
So we packed up and headed home.
Not the home I left, but rather an accommodating home that holds a temporarily handicapped resident for about three months. Furniture was pushed back to widen passageways, throw rugs were removed, a side table was brought into the TV room so I could continue my computer work and Colleen put together a shower stool for easier showering.
Those are the easy ones. But these past two nights at the hospital forced me to take a hard look at my sleep position alternatives. There is no way I will be able to toss and turn.
Hospital beds can be maneuvered electronically and mechanically in all sorts of positions. But the one at home just lies there, mocking me again to find my own mysterious comfort position. With my 31 metal staples in a perfect line, each twist brings a shot of pain. If I lie directly on my stomach with legs straight out, I'm also pressing my wounded knee to the mattress. Not a good choice.
Lying on my sides is out of the question because those previously mentioned muscles and tendons come alive. The least objectionable position may be lying on my back sandwiched between two large pillows to minimize my swaying and twisting. I will still feel the muscles underneath the knee - already sore from being held aside as my new metal joint was installed - stretch and complain quite bitterly for awhile. But that's just a prelude to my off-site physical therapy awaiting at 9:30 a.m. Friday.
Earlier post


  1. Dear Jim, thank you so much for your blog. I have been told that eventually, I will need a knee replacement. Do not relish the idea. So helpful to hear your comments. Best wishes to you in your recovery. Diane

    1. Diane, you are very welcome. For someone new to the procedure it can be daunting and a little scary. My wife had both knees replaced when she could barely walk down the literal garden path. Now, she enjoys snow shoeing, bicycling and hiking ... and is pretty upset with me that by waiting so long we missed out on our treks together. Just go in with both eyes wide open and you should be fine. It's not the journey; it's the destination.

  2. How true you are..I had my knee replacement surgery last week. It was hard for me to sit in hospital. My husband took my laptop just to check email when I insisted. After one hour and 15 minutes operational procedure I was in my room and having lunch. He took some pics then. I am glad that my process got fully well.