Tuesday, January 31, 2012
Mark is sleeping in his bed with the CPM machine working his right leg. I am sitting on the loveseat/bed with my feet up. The loveseat is in a little alcove by a very large window that affords me a panoramic view from the 8th floor where we are. Last night the city lights below were beautiful. Mark has not been able to enjoy the view yet, but I hope he will soon.
Things are progressing very well for him, according to the physical therapist. Mark’s right leg has caused him more pain from the beginning and is not as flexible or strong as his left right now. The therapist says his right leg is typical, while his left leg is something to write home about. I am so very proud of how hard he is trying and how well he is following recommendations.
The big thing with knee replacement surgery is the angle of rotation he can achieve. The doctor measures the possibility right after surgery, and then it is up to the patient to try to achieve this maximum level. Mark’s doctor said Mark should be able to achieve 140 degrees of rotation. He will need to continue to use the CPM machine until he reaches 120 degrees. The therapist said they would like him to get to 90 degrees before he goes home.
The day of surgery, yesterday, the therapist measured 60 degrees for his right and 70 degrees for his left. Today when she left after two physical therapy sessions and 2 hours per leg on the CPM machine, he measured at 85 degrees on his right and 95 degrees on his left. This is super.
This afternoon Mark walked out of the room and partway down the hall with a walker and the help of a therapist. You can’t imagine how good it is to see him on his feet, even though I know it is a struggle for him. He said it felt good to be up.
Medically, the discharge or bleeding from Mark’s knees has slowed way down, which is a relief as this has been a source of concern. They removed the drains from his legs just now. His IV was removed today. I love to see them remove the tubes and things. I asked the nurse if he was out of the woods for needing a transfusion and she said not until after tomorrow. If there is a problem with blood counts it will be the second day after. So let’s just keep our fingers crossed on this one.
The latest thinking is that he will go home on Thursday. As scary as it is that I will be on my own taking care of him, it will be nice to be in the comfort of our own home again.
Last night I went home, primarily because I didn’t realize I could stay and I wasn’t prepared to. I felt bad leaving Mark last night and plan to spend tonight here. I hate to leave him alone when he is so dependent on others right now for every little thing. And he hasn’t been great at keeping track of his medicine schedule, so I can help make sure he stays on top of the pain.
I started this post two hours ago and am now able to finish it with all the interruptions we’ve had. We have recycled back to 2:00 with Mark asleep in his bed; the CPM machine is on his left leg, and I am on love seat.
Anna just called to tell me she is on her way back home to Columbus with Arthur. She went to the grocery for me to get some bottles of water to freeze for use in the cooling machine for Mark’s knees. You can fill the little cooler up with ice and water, but the technician said a good tip is to freeze bottles of water and reuse them as needed. So our second freezer at home is now full of bottles of water. I have obtained the prescription for pain medicine that I will fill tomorrow. We made an appointment for physical therapy on Monday.
Last night I was afraid we might have bitten off more than we can chew by doing both knees at once. Today I feel very optimistic.