Sunday, October 13, 2013

Too Long!

When I scheduled my last blog post on Tuesday, July 23, the day of my knee replacement surgery, I had no idea it would be nearly three months until I had an opportunity to blog again!

Everything went well with my surgery, and I was released from the hospital on Thursday afternoon, just two days after surgery.  I started home physical therapy the following Monday (I think!); my first therapist made it seem like coming to my home was a terrible inconvenience, and even threatened me with a revision - a forced bend of the knee done under anesthesia - when I couldn't bend to 90 degrees by Friday.  Yeah, it didn't set well with me, either.  But the following Tuesday the regular therapist for our area was back on the job, and he was fantastic!  Despite the fact that therapy was difficult and painful, I looked forward to seeing Ben three times a week and was sad when he said he was sending me to outpatient therapy after just two weeks with him.  But by that point, I had said goodbye to my walker and was sporting a classy cane.

I reasoned that if I had to use a cane, it might as well look nice, so I took a fat quarter, cut 5" wide pieces, seamed them together, then created a tube.  I also stitched a casing for elastic at the top and bottom.  After I threaded the tube onto the cane (I had to take the rubber piece off the bottom), I pulled the elastic tight, tied it in a knot, and manage to slide the ends into the tube.

I have had many people ask me whether my cane is an umbrella, and whether I prettied it up myself!  One person even had a long conversation with me about how I could market my cane covers.  Sadly, I thought my idea was original, but I found several places on the Internet where people sell them, and I would have to perfect my design - do something different to secure the fabric at the top and bottom of the cane - before selling them.  But I would be happy to make covers for anyone who asked.

My schedule is extremely full, and is likely to remain so for the foreseeable future.  Physical therapy is progressing slowly.  I saw my surgeon on Wednesday, and he told me that his observation has been that the younger a knee or hip replacement patient is, the harder the recovery is because their ligaments and muscles are still strong and resist the stretching they must do to get the knee to bend to at least 120 degrees and also to straighten fully.  So I continue to go to therapy twice a week.  (The last time I was measured about a week ago, I had a 102 degree bend, and could extend my knee to -2/-3 degrees - almost straight.)  In addition to PT, we have one other obligation every week, plus church.  My limit is three days out per week, and all that adds up to four, so my fibromyalgia is acting up, making things even more difficult.  I will be able to double up on some appointments starting a week from Monday - a doctor's appointment for one of us early in the afternoon, then PT late (the latest appointment on Monday and Wednesday is 5:30, and since I am scheduling far in advance, I pretty much get my choice of times.)  That will definitely help.

We received bad news last week:  my husband's kidneys are failing again.  They were extremely stressed for some still unknown reason during his stem cell transplant last November, and things never improved.  He had to resume treatment for his Myeloma a little over a month ago and because it hasn't started working yet, the light chains (for those of you who understand the mechanism of Myeloma) are plugging up his kidneys.  Unfortunately, the treatments which would probably be most effective and act quickly will cause further kidney damage, so he is in a difficult situation.  We met with the kidney doctor last Friday to discuss things, and will see the oncologist on Tuesday.  The nephrologist's (kidney doc) best guess is that at the current rate of damage, it will be a couple of months before Phil will have to resume dialysis, meaning it might not be all that long before he will have to have surgery to place the catheter he will need for home dialysis since it needs several weeks to heal before it can be used.  We will also have to have a refresher course since it has been nearly four years since Phil was on dialysis.  On the other hand, if the rate of damage slows down, we could have quite a while to wait.  So we will prepare as best we can.  And I will work as hard as I can so I can finish PT before we need to deal with the dialysis issue.

As you can tell, there is never a dull moment at our house!  We have been doing a Bible study as a family called Quieting a Noisy Soul.  The timing is perfect, as God's always is, as we are learning how to rely not on our emotions, but on the truths about God that are in the Bible.  It is difficult to see how much we don't know about God, but encouraging that He wants us to know Him more and more, and is patient with us while we learn.

I have more pictures on my computer to share in future blog posts, so hopefully my silence will not be for long.  Right now, though, I need to go downstairs for pizza!