on my last leg… er… knee

My home is starting to look like a medical supply store.  This is new territory for me.  I know it’s inevitable that your body starts to betray you as you age.  I know I have been  lucky with few health problems so far.  I guess that is why this is such a big deal to me.  I don’t have much experience with having to adapt my little world to help me do things I used to do without thinking.

In The Great Scheme of Things,  it’s just a partial knee replacement, a pretty common procedure and not at all comparable to some of my blogger friends who deal with chronic pain and  conditions that they have lived with for many years.  Friends, you truly have my utmost respect because you deal with daily pain and discomfort with such grace and style.  In no way do I want to make light of your situations.

But this IS happening to me and I just have to make some comments on the whole thing.  As I have done my entire life I try look at things from a humorous viewpoint to get me through the fear and uncertainty.

The bloody Hi Loo… pip pip cheerio!

In my bathroom I now have a raised toilet seat and a toilet safety frame…. It seriously is named the Hi-loo and  (trust me)  we have  had a great time describing the Hi Loo in our best British accents.   I inherited a walker from my Dad; it folds up and everything.  I also have a cane, which is great fun (if you don’t really need it) because you can shake it at people and yell things in an old lady voice like ” get outta my way… can’t you see I’ve had a partial knee replacement!”

I also have a shower/bath seat, which I think is going to be a wash.(sorry I couldn’t resist)  The shower seat fits best in the tub with the hand held shower.  Unfortunately that is my husband’s bathroom which, in itself, gives me the heebie jeebies.   I would have to disinfect the entire bathroom before entering, or maybe even set fire to it to get it really clean.  I tried placing it in the shower in my bathroom, but there’s not enough room for both of us.  I’ll figure it out later.

I  inherited my Dad’s armchair.  The seat is a bit higher than most chairs and it has sturdy arms which one can use for some leverage to get up and to sit back down.

This caused me to have a pear shape!!! Seriously!

My recliner, my best friend (or so I thought) where I spend most of my spare time, is a no-no.   Very sensibly so, because when you are seated in a recliner your legs are not above your heart (to keep swelling down).

I think I may have just discovered why my body shape is rounder in the middle than other ends.  It’s that damn recliner.  Everything entering my body by mouth  sinks to the middle and stays there. Wish I had known this, I could have been standing up all these years and would have just have large feet instead of a large derriere.

I have a garbage bag on the seat of the car.  To enter the car, back yourself up to the seat and slide on the garbage bag across to where you belong!   A small stepstool to enter the car was also suggested since the knee will not bend without extreme pain for a while.

In addition to getting all this equipment ready, I have been doing some exercises to prepare for  surgery.My water aerobics was a perfect prep for joint replacements.  I am also learning to do ankle and calf pumps, quad sets, gluteal sets, deep breathing and bed transfers.  Not to mention Hip Abduction, heel slides, short arc quads, and foot slides.

By the time you read this, It will all be over except for the crying.   I really don’t even know what kind of patient I am going to be …because I have never been one.

How do I use this thing????

I have been a 6 for quite a few months now on the pain scale.  I am pretty sure I will hit number 10 somewhere in the middle of all this mess.  I just hope I can be a zero again someday.

S0…. if you don’t hear from me for a few days… it’s  because I turned out to be a lousy patient and I’m hanging out on the right-wing end of the pain scale.

Come to think of it, I’m probably not the only right-winger crying this week.


About Life in the 50's and beyond...

Welcome to Life in the 50's and 60's and beyond .... where I write about my childhood memories, music of the 60's and about life in the country. I am a mother, grandmother, farmer's wife, business owner, and retired teacher.
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17 Responses to on my last leg… er… knee

  1. marymtf says:

    My mother always insisted I sit while I eat. She said that if I didn’t, my feet would swell. I guess that solvel the mystery of why we are rounder in the middle. We ate our meals at the table.


  2. Judy says:

    May your recovery be quick, the pain level be low, and ‘yes’ us right wingers are feeling our own kind of pain right along with you. But, it will all pass because life is short and it is good.


  3. Diane Thomas says:

    I did get a chuckle out of your blog. But, Doug and I wish you a speedy recovery. You’ll be out Christmas shopping with the masses in no time.


  4. Caddo Veil says:

    Oh Ruth! I’ll be stepping up my prayers for you–I know you can do it, you’ve got Spunk!!! (I was howling over your description of disinfecting your husband’s bathroom!) God bless you big–love, Caddo


  5. I wish you the best, Ruth. My sister had this done last year, and she was pain free after a short while; I hope that happens for you, too. I love a high toilet, pain or not. I like canes, too, and when the day comes when I have to use one, I will proudly. And I’ll shake it at people, too. I’m with ya, Ruth!


  6. I am laughing my fanny off by the pain chart which is now as common as the over the counter pain analgesics in our homes are. Which pleases me really. But I think back to the days 29 yrs ago when the charted numbering system was just a theory and one I had to begin using..

    The problem was pain is so subjective that there needed to be a universal system that both patient and doctor can use and both relate to.
    Next you will be presented with the drawing of a human body, front & back where now you are to draw with an “X” to where it hurts. Followed by using other symbols to show what l kind of pain you are feeling? stabbing, shooting constant etc…sounds utterly absurd until you do not know have the words to explain. Soon I became thankful for another way to explain what i was feeling.

    Now I head to the doc with thoughts of both in tow. Its no fun getting old, yet the alternative is nothing I am ready for either.
    So my dear Ruth, I need to know…….”Will you still love me when I am 64?” 😉 cannot help myself…


  7. You seem to have everything covered…and a “partial” of anything sounds better than a “whole” when it comes to my body…Best to you…Keep smiling!…you’ve made me use my upward facial movements this morning…mkg


  8. Amy Elder says:

    Keep your sense of humor. It can help get you through the pain.


  9. Karen says:

    Ruth, I was thinking of you yesterday and glad you are to this point! I laughed out loud (yes I spelled that out…I am so old fashioned) about the whole theory of why we are rounder in the middle. Have I told you my theory of laying on the bed and letting your face drop off the side so the wrinkles smooth out and go the opposite direction. Problem is I haven’t tried this yet as I’ve no time to lay on my bed each day to try it out….so gravity keeps pulling that lovely skin down, down, down. Just know I am thinking of you in recovery. May it be amazingly fast and pain-free! Karen


  10. Good luck! You’ll be just fine and back at the 0 smiley face in no time. I think it takes patience, self-kindness and acceptance to get through, oh, and a big dose of humor which you already have. No problem there!
    My thoughts and prayers will be with you!


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