Wednesday, April 14, 2010
A twist of the knee and it's boring to be at home all the time.
I've been home a lot since I twisted my knee. In truth, I also tend to stay in either the upper house or the lower house for long periods of time. Those three stairs can be killers when your knee is sore.
There are a few hazards around my house. One is my dog Jake, who thinks any time I'm outside it's play time. He likes to come over and bump me when he's playing. Since he was a puppy, I've met those bumps with both knees bent, both to protect myself and to make it uncomfortable for him. However, sometimes he forgets.
The other hazard is my nasturtiums. They are growing like weeds, long stringy weeds, that grab at my feet when I go up the stairs. It broke my heart to cut them back, but my knees are more important to me than they are. (I'm, not showing a photo of the cut-back nasturtiums. It isn't pretty.)
On the up side, physical therapy is working. My muscles were beginning to freeze in their defensive position. It hurt to do just common ordinary things.
Today at physical therapy while waiting for electro-stimulation to do its work, I talked to the man next to me. We were both having knee things done, but he was recovering from getting a new artificial knee. "Believe me." he said. "From the next day the pain that you're feeling goes away."
It always comforts me to talk to people who have had this type of pain. It is very painful, but a lot of people don't believe that. I think they liken the injury to overstressing a leg and having muscle pain. They have never, ever woken in the middle of the night to your muscles freaking out causing you pain. They have never had to deal with the pain for more than a few days.
It's been about a month and a half now. Since we finally began physical therapy I can see an improvement. I can walk without the walking stick. I can walk out to the mail box. I can get out of chairs if they're tall enough. (If the chair height is lower than my knee joint, getting out of it is worse than getting in.) I can go up and down our three stairs without the support of the wall and my walking stick - provided I don't do it too often.
So, I am much encouraged. I'd rather have my own knee than an artificial one. I'd rather do the positive steps to make it well than to sit and complain, though I've done my share of that.
If you are facing knee pain and still aren't ready for knee replacement, I'd encourage you to do physical therapy. It isn't always comfortable, but it's working toward something good. You can look forward to doing the things you always did.
In my case, that's going to Curves, a gym for women only. I've been going there since the last time I got out of physical therapy and I've learned to love it. It gives me something just for me. That's the only reason I do it - so I can feel better. Well, maybe that's not true, I'm beginning to enjoy exercising to music and the company of the other women. It's not one of those gyms where everyone is competitive and you don't have to wait to use the equipment. You just go there and do the things that are right for you.
So, physical therapy followed by Curves. Physical therapy until it's done, followed by Curves, forever. That's my recipe for success.