Expectations … and Reality

Kate 2Kate Wyland

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Whenever we deal with a life-changing event we develop certain expectations about what is going happen—good or bad. When we get married we usually plan the day carefully and expect to have a wonderful time. When we move a distance we allow for a lot of hard work and minor emergencies on the way to an exciting new life. If we’re lucky what we plan meets our expectations.

I had my right knee replaced two weeks ago. Given my sensitivity to medications and the unpleasant experience my brother had last year, I expected a difficult time and planned ahead. To my relief things have gone much better than I anticipated.

We moved a few months ago and still have boxes to unpack and rooms to organize. So that became my first focus of attention, particularly my office. I’m always amazed at the volume of paperwork ordinary living generates. Add in selling and buying houses and the amount can be staggering. I don’t know if it’s this way all over the country but in California an amazing number of trees are sacrificed to document real estate deals. After unpacking and getting my files in order, I tackled our taxes and actually got all our stuff to the CPA in a timely manner.

Next came the kitchen. We moved from a house with a large kitchen and lots of storage to one with a much smaller space and fewer cupboards. After a fair amount of trial and error and ingenuity I think I’ve finally gotten it into good shape. If I could only find our missing serving bowls and cookware. I foresee a garage sale in our near future.

With the house as organized as I could get it for the moment, I tried to get myself in as good a shape as I could beforehand. I found a physical therapy center that rented time on their Alter-G machine and started making use of it two or three times a week. (The Alter-G is an anti-gravity treadmill that uses air to support your body weight. It allows you to exercise your muscles without stressing your joints.) In addition I rode my stationary bike on alternate days and did the oh-so-familiar PT exercises for the legs. While I was not as consistent in my exercise as I would have liked, I did improve my fitness level.

I also included a non-traditional item in my preparation—acupuncture. I’m allergic to so many medications that I was worried about finding a pain medication I could tolerate. Since acupuncture can be quite effective for relieving pain, I made it part of my treatment plan. After having a session the day before surgery, I actually slept through the night—something I had not expected—and was relaxed and ready for my procedure.

fireworksCome the big day I felt as prepared as I could be. And with one exception all went well. We were able to find a pain medication I could tolerate—though it does have one unfortunate side-effect. Unlike my brother, I’ve experienced relatively little discomfort and have had no problem starting my exercises. My biggest problem right now is caused by the pain med. It puts me to sleep. I can’t seem to stay awake more than ten minutes at a time. And when I am awake I’m less than fully functional. It was kind of okay the first week but is getting really old now. I’m trying to cut down on my dose but haven’t found the right balance as yet. It’s hard to concentrate on writing when I’m fighting the sleepies or when I hurt.

At two weeks I’m walking on my own, have good flexibility in my knee and have been cleared to drive as soon as I solved the sleepy problem. All in all, my reality has exceeded my expectations.

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photo credit:  <a href=”https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-sa/2.0/”>(license)</a&gt;

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Healing is her life. Will it be her death?

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Two dead bodies. One dirty cop.
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Connect with Kate Wyland:
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Website : http://katewyland.com

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23 Responses to Expectations … and Reality

  1. wyoauthor1 says:

    Wow, Kate, you’ve experienced a lot these past few months! Congratulations on the new knee and may you continue rapid improvement with minimal pain. Sleep is good — rest is needed. When you completely rebound from the surgery, you’re going to have the energy and reduced pain to tackle the remaining boxes, exercise, and have that yard sale! LOL My mom had both knees replaced — the first one was worse, but she also had it done when winter first came on, so she couldn’t/didn’t want to be outdoors (she lives in Montana); her second one was done in May, and she did much better with it — of course, spring and summer in the Rockies BEGS one to get outdoors! She is very glad she had the surgeries and she is walking nearly pain-free. Best to you!

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    • katewyland says:

      Thanks Gayle. This experience has made me more positive towards having my second knee done in a couple of months. Then I should be able to walk and hike with ease. Interestingly I keep hearing that the second one is worse. I hope that doesn’t prove true.

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  2. Doris says:

    Glad the surgery and follow up has gone so well for you. Getting so much done prior sounds like it helped also. Here’s to continued success, and getting over the sleepy thing. Sending healing thoughts your way. Doris

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  3. I’m glad things are going better than you expected and hope they continue that way.

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  4. So glad you’re doing well. It is funny that we sometimes fear something when in reality we don’t have to. But if you’ve never been through the situation before how is one to know? Sounds like you are getting lots done in spite of it all. Best of luck – feel better soon. I know all about the pain meds. They do the same to me. I’m a walking zombie!

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    • katewyland says:

      Unfortunately my brother had a really painful time with his replacement last year, so I was more than a little apprehensive. Thank goodness I didn’t duplicate his experience. Now if i can just get back to normal soon. 🙂

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  5. Feel better soon and I hope you find the right medicine ratio as soon as possible so you can get back to writing and living your life normally! I too am allergic to several meds and it’s always scary to try new prescriptions as I never know if it will affect me adversely (I usually have horrible skin reactions). Acupuncture I’ve heard does wonders. Stay strong and positive, Kate!

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    • katewyland says:

      Isn’t wonderful to worry more about the meds than the procedure itself? I have to be so careful with what I take. I am relieved to have found one with a relatively benign side-effect. And the acupuncture I’ve received since the surgery has really helped. The doc is somewhat surprised at how well I’m doing–ahead of schedule.

      Liked by 1 person

  6. Nancy Jardine says:

    Your recovery is mostly good, Kate, from what you’ve written and is great to hear. Maybe as well as the medicine effects, it’s a case that your body just needs to take a while to recharge itself. I think maybe all that stacking of kitchen shelves might actually have been a lot more exercise than you’ve given credit to. Take Care!

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    • katewyland says:

      As i said above, the moving chores were a great distraction but were also tiring. So I’m taking it easy and just accepting that my head will be on vacation for a while.

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  7. Mike Staton says:

    Fantastic news that your knee replacement is going fantastic and you’re not have awful complications. Hopefully, your body will adjust to the pain meds and you don’t nod off. The acupuncture sounds intriguing.

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    • katewyland says:

      The acupuncture was quite helpful. I never expected to be able to sleep the night before. The sessions after surgery have helped get rid a lot of fluid and swelling. I’m sure I wouldn’t be as far along without it. Now to see if I can get off the narcotics.

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  8. S J Brown says:

    Sounds like you are progressing well. I’m sure little by little you can reduce the pain meds and get back t normal.

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  9. Neva Bodin says:

    You did something few rarely do I think–prepare for your surgery in a physical and mental way. Good for you you and am so glad it is going better than expected. It can be a very different experience from one person to another. Good post and should inspire others to be as proactive as you are!

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    • katewyland says:

      Obviously, anything can happen with surgery so I wanted to be as prepared as I could be and not have anything hanging over my head. This was the first time I actually was able to achieve that–usually I’m the world’s worst procrastinator. And I guess it’s good that I did, I’m certainly not accomplishing much right now. 🙂

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  10. Travis says:

    It’s always good when reality exceeds expectations. It’s often the reverse for me. I feel for your knee replacement. I’m sure it’s in my future as I damaged one years ago which has adversely affect the strong one over the years.

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    • katewyland says:

      Interesting comment from my PT yesterday. He said hip replacements are generally more successful than knees because people tend to wait too long. By the time they do the knees the structures around the knee (muscles, tendons, ligaments, etc) have been seriously damaged and they can’t be fixed. So if it looks like you’ll need a replacement, do it sooner rather than later.

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  11. Wranglers says:

    I did a lot of praying for you. As you know, Del had a bad experience with his first knee, but the doctor was very careful with the second and it went great. He had it the last of November, and now he is pain-free in both knees, Stay on the meds as long as you can and sleep. That’s how your body heals. After my foot operation this year, I took my pain pills for the first 30 days, went back and got another 30 days, by the time I had almost finished them I didn’t need anymore. I would get my laptop out and fall asleep. I’d wake up, use it a bit more than fall asleep. My son and DIL would fix my supper I’d eat and fall asleep. Now I’m good. The bottom of the foot still hurts, but it was cut and broken in a lot of places in order for it to heal. Cher’ley

    Liked by 1 person

  12. Kathy Waller says:

    I’m glad your surgery went well. Hope you’re off the pain meds soon. Being sleepy/asleep when you have better things to do is not fun. What you said about people putting off knee surgery too long interests me. A friend (in pain) has been refusing to have knee surgery for a good twenty years. She doesn’t want to be grounded. I guess I’ll stop nagging her about it.

    Like

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