Posted by: chlost | October 4, 2012

Healing is a two lane road

It’s enough to drive me crazy.

It has now been 3 weeks since my surgery. I am finally feeling I am myself. For good or bad, that feels right. Last night, I actually ate a real meal. The entire thing. It was wonderful.

Yes, physically I think I am  now doing well, with the exception of a stiff knee. It feels as though there is a thick, tight rubber band wrapped around that knee.  There is the issue of the coumadin levels which don’t seem to be able to be maintained at the desired levels. Coumadin is a blood thinner which is taken after surgery to prevent blood clots. My levels have not been within the desired range. But other than that, physically things are going well. The staples are out, the incision is healing.

Knee Replacement wound which has been stapled ...

Knee Replacement wound which has been stapled closed (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

In fact, yesterday I was told that I don’t have to use a walker any longer unless I will be walking a long distance or if I feel the need for its assistance. If I could have jumped for joy, I would have. Now I  hang on to Merle’s back pocket as we walk. As I have learned in hiking, it is important to maintain the three points of attachment.

My mental recovery may not be as swift, however.

I am home all day. It is just me and the little dog.

All day.


Daytime television?  What a joke.

Even the internet is boring after a while. I check facebook, then my emails, and read the new blog postings.  I watch the previous night’s episode of the Daily Show. Then check emails and facebook again Okay. Now what?

My busy daily schedule does include doing my therapy exercises. I have set that for 10:30 am and 3:30 p.m. That gives me some structure to the day.

But I am not yet driving. My mind is not yet able to concentrate on reading a book.  I don’t feel comfortable showering when Merle is not here. I have cleaned up some dishes, thrown some clothes in the wash, and then………what?


“Is boredom anything less than the sense of one’s faculties slowly dying?”— John Berger

Yes, it feels as though my faculties are slowly dying. My brain is slowly recovering from the numbness of the anesthesia, but I still don’t feel as though I am, or ever will, return to the level that I was pre-surgery. No one prepared me for this. I was under the impression that I was having surgery on  my knee. I believed that my recovery involved therapy for the muscles and tendons of that joint. It would require practice and energy to bring the knee back to life.

The brain was never mentioned.

Maybe I am unique in this. Perhaps my brain was particularly susceptible to the effects of the chemicals used for the surgery. It’s certainly possible. Obviously, I was very sensitive to the pain medications prescribed post-surgery. It isn’t a stretch to think that there could be other chemicals to which I am particularly sensitive.

The other possibility is that it is all in my imagination.  Perhaps I am merely confusing plain old being alone with nothing to do with a loss of mental acuity. Maybe it is just a lack of practice in thinking, like a baseball player at the beginning of spring training.  It may just take a few practice swings before I feel warmed up and ready to go.

All I know is that I cannot imagine being back to work, actually having to think and come up with logical arguments, making reasonable points, or understanding a complicated issue.

And I can only hope that any writing that I do, whether here or on a thank-you note, makes some sense.

It’s nearly 10:30 now. Time for the exercises.



  1. It’s only been 3 weeks… that’s not very long. Give it time. I know that doesn’t help ‘at the moment’ but what’s the old adage ‘time heals’ . Well, it does. When I had BC surgery some years ago, I felt that life had changed forever and I’d never feel normal again. Well, I do. But it took time… and perhaps it’s not the old normal, but a new normal – and that’s OK.

    • Three weeks…I know it is not a long time in the big picture, but it seems like a long time from here. I am, as another commenter pointed out, going to be learning some patience apparently. Or I will drive myself nuts.

  2. Can you do more creative things? I practiced my napping regularly and got pretty good at it. Reading was tough. I got through one book only. Keep writing when you can. Daytime TV is definitely lousy, but think of it as a challenge to keep your mind active. Pardon my rambling thoughts.

    • You are right. The writing is probably the best thing for my mind. It is a bit creative. Napping, although it sounds wonderful, is just not something I can do; if I nap, I am awake at night.

  3. I think you will be fine in the long run. It’s just getting through the short run that’s hard. (And I am also reminding myself here.)

  4. When one cannot change the situation one is in…ADAPT. It’s a lesson I’ve been working on, and it’s starting to actually work.
    Rent a pile of movies you’ve been thinking of watching.
    Make lists of all the things your going to do when.
    Write a story for your grandbabies. Family history or fiction.
    Like Jon said, take lots of naps. Sleep heals.
    Keep writing.

  5. Yup, time to tell your brain it’s going to love reading again.

    • Agreed. I think I will try a pretty short and easy read this weekend. We’ll see.

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