Wednesday, January 9, 2019

Home Again,and Papa's Got a Brand New Knee

It has been an interesting and full two days.

We left Monday afternoon for the VA Hospital in Huuntington, WV, for Larry's knee replacement surgery. The surgery wasn't until Tuesday morning, but some VA hospitals have something called HopTel, where those who have to travel a long distance can stay overnight. We got lucky this time--they had a room available. This meant not having to get up at 3:00am to make the long trip downstate, and a decent night's rest.

And now, here we are home again with his new knee. If you have had a joint replacement, or have been with someone who has, you know the surgery itself is the easy part. The hard part is the work that must be done later to get the knee working properly. That involves lots of physical therapy and exercises. Larry did very well with all of that last time, even though doing this work means pain and more pain. But it is necessary, and he knows it. His first knee works so well he can climb trees, crawl under buildings and do pretty much anything he wants. We have high hopes that this second knee will be just as good. I'll be busy being nurse for the rest of the week, probably, although Larry is no slouch when it comes to getting up and moving.

I can't tell you how good it was to turn into our driveway after the long and painful (for him) trip home. Well, painful for both of us, because after a night of sleeping in a not-so-comfy recliner that wouldn't (recline, that is) and the constant noise and staff visits all night long, my joints were not too happy either. My issues, fortunately, are arthritis, and not bone-on-bone wear as his knee was.

The dogs and cats were happy to see us, and were well fed and cared for by a neighbor in our absence. So, after getting Larry inside, I checked critter food bowls, then moved all our stuff from van to house, managing to slip on a little bank and landed on my behind, thoroughly muddying my pants and amusing of the dogs. It snowed a little bit this evening, just enough to make things wet and slippery. I hurt nothing, ending up sitting on the bank with my feet in the driveway just like I was sitting down in a chair. Figuring out how to get up with three tote bags, a handbag and a small suitcase hanging on arms and hands was the hard part!

But home--how good it is to be back here. There were a few lights we'd left on to  welcome us, and the fire burned cherrily in the gas fireplace we use as our main source of heat. I am so glad not to have to haul in wood and light fires in a chilly house any more. Wood heat served us well for years, but now I completely appreciate the free gas. I turned on a few more lights, put on some music, unpacked, poured a glass of wine, took care of Larry's needs (water, medicine, etc), and now I can just luxuriate in the pleasure of being home.

Copyright Susanna Holstein. All rights reserved. No Republication or Redistribution Allowed without attribution to Susanna Holstein.


Quinn said...

I know that feeling of how good it is to get back home! I'm glad the "easy part" at least is behind you, and I hope the second recovery and rehab will go as smoothly as the first time for Larry...and I hope you take good care of your self while you're taking good care of him :)

Anonymous said...

Healing thoughts for Larry's second knee. I bet it heals as well as the first one and he'll be out doing too much very soon again. And patience to you for all the nursing you will be fielding. Surgery over, now it is time to work on PT & exercises.

Batsy in Idaho

Joy@aVintageGreen said...

Whew - done - home. Glad that Larry's second knee has been 'done' and just the rather hard work getting it strong again begins - and he did so well last time so that is a great incentive.

Karren said...

I've had both knees replaced, (one at a time, fortunately), and can sympathize with the job that's ahead for both of you. Painful and exhausting, but that therapy is what makes the knee work, you're right. I think it's a team effort too, as you said, because the support person has to do all of the driving, scheduling and backup work through the whole process. I wish you and your husband strength and energy enough to stick through it all the way. And aren't we glad we can have this surgery in these days to give us a new lease on life?

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