Being home now for a little over two weeks from the rehabilitation hospital, the progress continues. There have been a few setbacks, such as straining my new knees while trying to get up from a very low handicapped toilet at the surgeon’s office. Pain and humiliation! I also got righteously angry and spoke out, because I can’t be the only tall person with bilateral knee replacement to use the restroom at their office.
The challenges are mostly in the “getting up” category, which includes all chairs, especially low and armless ones. I’m working with my physical therapist to strengthen everything and develop strategies. I have stayed home from a lot of events (all, actually) because I know I’d get stuck, and well-meaning people can’t really help. Except for my son Matt – he got me up from a low chair at the coffee house with no pain!
I know that my pain and limitations are temporary. With rehabilitation, hard work, and a positive attitude, I will be back to moving freely in a few months, with better balance. This is not always the case, especially with degenerative and chronic diseases and conditions. I am grateful for my progress, my attitude, and all of the people who have walked beside me, cheering me on.
This experience as a patient has certainly opened my eyes to pain and recovery. My empathy has grown. I will use this learning in my work with patients.