January 21, 2009

Brand New Knee - 13 days and counting!

Really need to get my leg straight!

No more stitches!

Hi Everyone!

It's 13 days post-op, so I thought I'd give an update on how things are going.

Last Tuesday January 13, I "dumped" my crutches, cane, and walker for my own two feet! I have to admit the first couple of days walking on my own I was a bit shaky as it had been over two months since I walked on my own! Absolutely no pain from bone on bone while bearing total body weight, post surgical pain was another story but that continues to get better! The worst part of the day is the night time when trying to sleep. If I get a hour and a half to two hour of continuous sleep that's very good, at that point my knee aches so bad that I usually have to get up, walk around a bit, put ice on it, take some meds, anything to try and get it to settle down. It usually does and then I will fall asleep for another hour and a half or so until around 3:30-4:00AM when I get up for the day, thank goodness I've always been a early riser and have never required a lot of sleep! If any of you have any ideas on what I can do to get a better sleep, please let me know! I know eventually things will get more back to normal, I just need to stay positive and keep working hard at my rehabbing of my knee.

I met with my doctor, Dr. Matt Heinrich yesterday and he said things were really looking good and he took the stitches out. His biggest concern and mine also is the inability to be able to completely straighten my leg out, the bending part is way ahead of schedule and I can now walk up stairs pretty much like a normal person! Dr. Heinrich said if I'm unable to get it to straighten completely, he will have to put me to sleep and "crank" on the leg to break away the scar tissue. If I don't get it to straighten I will always have a little hitch in my step, so I'm working real hard at it!

Besides working on my own and going to PT, he ordered me the "ERMI Knee Extensionater II, sounds like something from an Arnold Schwarzenegger movie!
I will use that 4 times/day, it won't be fun, but hopefully it gets me to my full extension and the doctor won't have to "crank" on my knee!

Take care all and have a great day!


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!


January 6, 2009

Total Knee Replacement Surgery

Hi everyone!
Just wanted to give you all a update. My doctors office called today and they have moved up my surgery to tomorrow! I'm very happy to be able to get it done earlier, but also very nervous as this is a biggie! Thanks to everyone who has sent me their thoughts and prayers, it's very much appreciated!

I will be in the hosptital about 4 days, but I will let everyone knows how things went when I get back home.

Take care all and have a great day!