Surgeons have this secret language that only they seem to understand. When Curt was doing ortho surgery every day, I'd ask him the typical, "How was your day?" and he'd reply, "Oh fine. Did a couple total joints, a ACL repair and a few minor scopes." From a surgical standpoint, my procedure was about as simple as they come. In my naivety, I assumed my recovery would in turn be simple. And the first 12 or so hours when I was jacked up on morphine actually were easy. I even said to Curt, "I thought my knee would hurt a lot more."
Enter day 1-2 post-op. Last night my knee started throbbing and it grew more difficult to walk. By the time I went to bed, the Viocdin wasn't coming close to touching the pain. I couldn't find a comfortable spot and even the slightest flex of a muscle shot pain through my leg. I laid stiff as a board in bed thinking like Happy Gilmore, "Go to a happy spot," cause there was nothing else I could do. I finally fell asleep, but woke this morning to more of the same and almost passed out coming from the bathroom. Thankfully, my friend Brenna, and her daughter Grace, arrived at 8 a.m. to watch the kids. I took more Vicodin (which by the way, gives me chills, numbness in my hands and feet, a chemical headache, hyperawareness to sound and exhaustion - you people who like it are CRAZY!) and crashed for the next 3 1/2 hours.
While I was dead to the world, Brenna tidied my house, did my laundry, emptied my dishwasher and made my kids two hot and nutritious meals. She was so kind - I wanted to kiss her. We sat and chatted until Curt got home from work and it was really enjoyable.
After she left, I dropped the little bit of a facade I had going and fell apart. Curt is always so empathetic and his gentle kindness reduced me to a moaning mess. I was not expecting my knee to hurt so badly or to make backward progress. I didn't expect to be completely worthless to help the kids or help out around the house. I didn't anticipate being unable to walk to the bathroom or needing to ask for help to take a shower and get dressed. I wasn't expecting to have pain strip me of any sense of pride. In the past, I've always bounced back quickly. Have a high pain tolerance (or so I thought). My helplessness led to some heart-to-hearts with God about time lines. His recovery time line wasn't matching mine or even coming close.
My sweet husband unwrapped my knee for the first time since surgery and we were both shocked at how swollen it was. It really didn't even resemble a knee and the fluid around it was so compacted that it felt hard. He helped me take my first shower since surgery. Tucked me in bed with ice packs galore, a water bottle and more pain meds. He even called the orthopedic PA to find out a time lime for a "normal" recovery. And guess what? I'm normal. In theory, the swelling will go down as will the pain and I'll be feeling better soon, maybe even in the next few days.
My recovery expectations were unrealistic, but the silver lining is the tenderness, thoughtfulness, and gentleness that God is showing me through my amazing husband and friends. And I'm so grateful for that.