2019 Life Logs, Day 70: Sunshine is Back

2019 Life Logs, Day 70: Sunshine is Back
Date: Monday, March 11, 2019
Weather: Sunny and Windy; High 48, Low 35 degrees F
Location: At Home in the Cottage, East Falmouth, MA

Whew! The dreariness of yesterday went away overnight. For the next ten days it looks like we will have mostly sunny days with high temps in the 40’s with lows in the 20’s and 30’s F. The only exception is this Friday with a high in the 50’s but rain. One rainy day out of ten is not bad. I’ll take it. My life continues to deal with just the basics–get up, exercise, shower, eat, ice knee while resting and reading, start over, and then start over again. Then I get to do a bit of cooking for dinner, eat, ice knee while watching cable news and reading. Today I did walk next door to visit by neighbors Shirley and Doris, but only Doris was at home. Shirley was at a meeting of her fellow hookers—rug hookers. Shirley has hooked some beautiful rugs over the years and really enjoys meeting with her group. Tomorrow will be a bit busier as I the physical therapist visits and I will be picking up Ollie and Jonah after school. Plus, I will try to fit in another visit next door so I can see Shirley, as she and Doris leave on Thursday for a few weeks’ stay at Doris’ home in Scituate.

My knee surgery was two weeks ago today and I am pleased with the progress so far. There is still internal swelling, thus the need to keep my leg up with ice on it as much as possible, but the tight feeling caused by the swelling loosens just a little bit more each day. I am so thankful that I can drive now, but I will continue to take things slowly.

2019 Life Logs, Day 69: Drizzly, Dreary Day

2019 Life Logs, Day 69: Drizzly, Dreary Day
Date: Sunday, March 10, 2019
Weather: Skiff of Snow Early, Rain and Wind; High 46, Low 27 degrees F
Location: At Home in the Cottage, East Falmouth, MA

Today was drizzly and dreary . . . definitely a good day to curl up with a good book. So, I did. I can’t really ‘curl up’ as my knee needs to be kept straight much of the time, but I did the best I could. I have handled being homebound in stride, but the dreariness today got to me. I had planned to walk across the driveway to visit with my neighbors Shirley and Doris, but I got a call from my friend and their niece Karen telling me that their concrete drive-way pad was very slick and that if I were contemplating a visit, maybe I should wait until tomorrow. I also got an invitation from Heather to join her at Jonah and Ollie’s Cub Scout Pinewood Derby competition. But that was an all afternoon affair, and I decided I needed to stay home to exercise and ice the knee. Thanks to Heather for sending some photos of the event. Otherwise, I did some aquarium cleaning and made a new batch of kombucha. That was it for me today.

2019 Life Logs, Day 68:  On the Road Again

2019 Life Logs, Day 68:  On the Road Again
Date:  Saturday, March 9, 2019
Weather:  Warming Up a Bit; High 45, Low 23 degrees F
Location:  At Home in the Cottage, East Falmouth, MA

My little Honda Fit is on the road again with me behind the wheel.  I have many miles to go to get this left knee fully rehabilitated, but since it is my left leg, driving is fine.  I didn’t go far today, just to Heather’s to do laundry, but it felt freeing to be able to drive on my own again.  And it was a good day to be out and about as the weather was mild.  The high today was in the mid 40’s allowing the boys to play outside in shorts and light jackets.  Maybe spring is just around the corner.  At least we are going to spring forward tonight as we move our clocks an hour forward.

2019 Life Logs, Day 67: Reading

2019 Life Logs, Day 67: Reading
Date: Friday, March 8, 2019
Weather: Still Sunny and Cold; High 35, Low 26 degrees F
Location: At Home in the Cottage, East Falmouth, MA

Reading has filled my days since the knee surgery. I immersed myself into the world of Inspector Gamache in Louise Penny’s mystery novels until today. I still have five books in that series to finish, but today I decided to read one of the books Heather gave me for my birthday, ‘Educated’, a memoir written by Tara Westover. Tara, the youngest of seven children in a survivalist family, was born in 1986 in Idaho. She had no schooling, not even homeschooling, but at age seventeen she managed to self-teach herself enough to pass the ACT. That got her admitted to Brigham Young University where she stepped into a classroom for the first time in her life. It is quite a story and I managed to read almost half the book today. I could get used to this lifestyle of exercising a little, reading a little, and repeating that all day long. But it is time for me to start getting out and about a bit more. I still need to keep my leg elevated for periods of each day and I need to keep it iced as much as possible. But slowly, very slowly, I will begin reentrey into the real world. In the morning, Jed leaves town for six days, so I’m sure I can find a way to help Heather by doing afterschool pick-up this week. I’ll try driving for the first tomorrow and see how that goes. It has been chilly ever since my surgery making it a good time to be homebound. But it looks like the coldest days are behind us, at least for the next few days. Sunday looks rainy, but most days look partly sunny with daytime temps in the upper 30’s and 40’s, rather than in the low 20’s. Most accommodating.

2019 Life Logs, Day 66: Over the First Hump

2019 Life Logs, Day 66: Over the First Hump
Date: Thursday, March 7, 2019
Weather: Still Sunny and Cold; High 28, Low 15 degrees F
Location: At Home in the Cottage, East Falmouth, MA

I wish I thought knee replacement recovery would be a one “hump” affair, but I’m not sure that will be the case. Today is day ten after the surgery and I did feel like I made it over the first hump. I’m down to taking Tylenol three times a day or every 8 hours and any pain or tightness I have is manageable with exercise and ice. I feel like I am getting my energy level back and it is much easier to get around and to do the prescribed exercises. The visiting nurse that came today was the ‘real’ nurse who has been on vacation in Florida. Evidently, I have had substitutes. Today’s nurse said if things continue as they are now, I will be released next Wednesday—ready for outpatient physical therapy. She said I could start driving as soon as I feel up to it, just as long I don’t have to revert to taking stronger pain medication. She said as soon as the snow and ice is completely melted, I can start taking walks outside. And she said I can reduce the time that I have my feet elevated to a couple of hours during the day. She also talked to me about nutrition and recommended that I keep track of how much protein I am taking in each day. She says as long as the body is healing from a wound, it needs 75 grams of protein daily. If you don’t eat that much, your body will ‘steal’ it from somewhere and that robbery can lead to tiredness. According to her, protein during the wound healing process equals energy. I had Heather go to the store to buy some Kefir, cottage cheese, and yogurt for me. Heather added protein powder to that list. I don’t normally eat dairy, but I will add it for now. The nurse also said to eat eggs daily as the albumin in eggs aids in wound healing. Her suggestions check out with what the National Institutes for Health say about wound healing, so my focus tomorrow will be figuring out how to get those 75 grams of protein while eating boiled eggs for snacks!

2019 Life Logs, Day 65:  The Day After

2019 Life Logs, Day 65:  The Day After
Date:  Wednesday, March 6, 2019
Weather:  Sunny and Cold; High 29, Low 13 degrees F
Location:  At Home in the Cottage, East Falmouth, MA

Today was like having a hangover after having a bit too much fun the previous night.  Yesterday was such a wonderful celebration of my birthday with friends and family, so spending today alone paled by comparison.  I did have a visit from the physical therapist, and she gave my knee another thorough workout that my leg didn’t forget about easily.  I am having a little muscle pain still tonight, but exercise and ice will take care of that.  I spent the rest of the day either exercising or propping my leg up and reading or resting.  I am very pleased with how things are progressing, and I know I need to keep following the prescribed plan, but the part I find the hardest is keeping my leg above heart level for part of each day in order to reduce the internal swelling.  In that position, I even find it even hard to read, but hopefully I have only a few more days of this.  Today I talked on the phone with friend Christina Brodie who had the same surgery three weeks ago.  She said she views her exercise and rest routine as her job right now, and I’m going to adopt that thinking.  Going through the prescribed exercise routine four times during the day only takes two to three hours, but when you add the leg-up rest in-between exercises, it takes a great deal of the day.  And as the swelling subsides, I’ll be able to sit up at the table and work on my long list of computer projects.  So, no lack of things to do . . . just hard for someone who is used to being on the go much of the time to sit still for so long.  But that’s my job.