January 13, 2009

My brand new knee...22 stiches...one week later

Hi everyone!

I know one thing, I won't ever have a problem finding my right knee, I'll just follow "The Yellow Brick Road"! WOW, that is quite the scar! Last Wednesday January 7th I went in for my TKR (total knee replacement) on my right knee. My wife Jill and I arrived at the hospital at 7:30 AM and we got all checked into my pre-op room, the hardest part at that point was the wait! My surgery was scheduled to start anywhere from 10-11, but it all depended on how the other surgeries before me were going.

I had a wonderful pre-op nurse who came in and explained everything to Jill and I and made sure we were both comfortable. At about 10, my anesthesiologist came by to explain his procedure and to let me know that before surgery they were going to put a nerve block into my right leg. They would run a small catheter into my right groin down to the top of the knee, this would help immensely with the post-op pain I was told. To be honest with you, at that point I wasn't worried about the post-op pain, I was worried about the pain of them putting a catheter into my groin! He promised I wouldn't feel a thing as they would give me some "feel good" medicine to make sure that wouldn't happen.

At 11 they came to my room and said it was time to get the catheter put in and Jill was not allowed to follow along anymore. It was hard for me to say "goodbye" to her, as that seems to be such a permanent thing, so I said, "See you later Honey"! She gave me a kiss and a nice squeeze and I was on my way.

Once in the surgical unit my anesthesiologist came in and gave me some of that "feel good" medicine, and I don't remember a thing as they put in the catheter! I was still awake but nothing really seemed to matter at that point! My doctor, (Dr. Matt Heinrich) came by and explained everything to me, had me mark my leg to be operated on with a marker and off we went to the operating room. The next thing I remember was waking up in my room and my wife Jill there by my side, a very nice comforting sight to see! The surgery itself took about a hour and a half.

Wednesday night was pretty much a sleepless one as the great nursing staff I had were in checking on me quite often and giving me medicine when needed. I really wasn't all that uncomfortable, the worst part was anytime I tried to sit up in bed, I would get sick to my stomach! The gave me some medicine to try and combat the nausea but it didn't seem to help a whole lot.

Thursday morning, Jill was there to see me bright and early at 6:30 to see me before she had to go to work, she is one of the most caring persons I've ever known! After Jill left they brought me some breakfast, I tried to eat something but I couldn't keep anything down. About 9, Dan from the physical therapy department came in and got me out of bed and I started walking (with a walker). I had another PT session that afternoon, otherwise I was pretty much in bed the whole day doing what exercises I could for my knee in bed.

Thursday afternoon my good friends Joey Trimyer and Stacey Conley (both of Conley Sports here in Austin) came by and we all had a nice visit, plus they brought me some of my favorite cookies! Jill came back to visit that evening and we had a nice time together. At this point I was feeling so good I thought I'd walk out of the hospital without a limp! I slept better Thursday night so that was a real treat!

What a difference:

Friday morning Jill was there to visit bright and early, she always brightens my day! They then came in and took the catheter out of my right leg, they said I would more then likely start to feel a little more uncomfortable in a hour or so. Before that happened, PT came and took me to the swimming pool for some "pool therapy" It's amazing how much better you can bend things when you have the water there to help! By early afternoon my knee started to really hurt so I started using my pain pump like I was supposed to use, up to this point I had used it very little, that helped to take the worst of it away but it continually was throbbing. The good news though was the pain I was having was from post surgical pain, the pain before surgery from bone on bone was gone!!

Friday evening Jill came for a visit but they had given me a shot for my nausea, it took the nausea away but I got so loopy I could barely remember she was there!

Saturday morning Jill was there for a early morning visit and a good cup of coffee, breakfast even tasted good! More physical therapy that morning, and I was also up on my own doing as much as I could. Saturday afternoon Jill brought our boys Matthew and Christopher for a visit, it was great to see them! I even "walked" down to the cafeteria with them for supper! I probably could have gone home that evening but thought it might be best to stay one more day.

Sunday morning Jill and the boys were there and the doctor came in and gave the OK to go home and we left the hospital! I know my biggest challenge now will be the rehabbing of my knee and I'm working very hard at that!

I want to thank all the wonderful people that have sent nice notes and have had me in their thoughts and prayers, it means a lot to me! A big thank you to the doctors, nurses, physical therapists, and everyone else at St. Davids Hospital in Austin who took such great care of me, and of course to my incredible wife Jill who has been right there with me every step of the way!

I will update everyone on how things are going at least once a week. Take care everyone and have a great day!



roughkat said...

Good luck with the rehab. My mom had knee surgery just before Christmas and is working hard at the rehab. About a month later and she's doing great. Knowing your work ethic I know you'll probably be doing extra rehab just to heal faster.


Laura Yasso said...

Dick, wow, that is one LONG scar! Glad you got in for surgery ahead of schedule. Hope your recovery is swift so you can enjoy the cruise. Happy recovery...and see you soon! Laura Yasso

Kris Hartner said...

I've been getting updates from Dave Shelbourne. Wow. Hoping your knee didn't go bad because we had you running all over the place when you were out here in Naperville back in November! We wish you a quick recovery and hope to see you soon.
Kris Hartner
Naperville Running Co

Daniel said...

Wow, that's definitely an impressive scar. Everyone at NB is wishing you a full and speedy recovery!

TriMoot said...

Oh YUCK! That looks TERRIBLE!
But I'm sure it's going to feel better later....much later!
God bless and best of luck with the rehab!

Anonymous said...

Hi Dick;
Greetings from Minnesota (-33 below zero in Central Minnesota yesterday...I envy the weather in Austin).

I was on the web searching the topic "running with knee replacement", and I found your website...unbelievable!!!

Thanks for sharing your experience..your positive attitude helps to motivate any runner facing the possibility of TKR.

Best of recovery and moving on to new workouts...no endurance snow shoveling workouts in Austin :)

Anesha said...
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