21 January, 2016

Back to the leg and leaving the hospital

21 January 2016

R. Linda:

As it happened, I was sent home with a torture device from the hospital. Yes, I was. I was told this mechanical wonder was prescribed by some surgeons to speed the leg bending process after surgery and others wanted the patient to work out the kinks on their own, I had the first kind of surgeon. Well, I was strapped into this thing first day in hospital . . . here let me show you, see below:

Continuous passive motion machine AKA torture device for some
I was all set for a pain filled gruelling session of torture, because I had heard about this device while in the hospital, actually I saw it being used on some poor soul a few rooms down. Me PT person was walking me down the halls to get the leg exercising when he stopped to ask a nurse a question, and there I was standing outside one of the patient rooms. I looked in because I could hear complaining.

"Oh hell is it time for that infernal thing?" A cranky voice shouted.

"Now sir, you know your doctor ordered this. Is that comfortable?" She asked strapping him in.

"You know it isn't when it starts moving!" Was his retort.

Well, having one of those "infernal things" delivered to me room made me take an interest.

The machine was turned on and the moaning and the "that hurts dammit" made me take pause. I was to be subject to this very same torture. I reluctantly went back to me room to stare at the machine sitting across from me bed. It was all lined in sheepskin making it look like it was a comfy thing but now I knew better.

In the nurse came, the same one that had strapped that other patient to one and that made me cringe. Me roommate groaned when he saw it and said, "Oh God that thing! Glad it isn't for me! Had that the first time I had knee replacement surgery and oh God, how that hurt. Passive my ass! I thought I'd go through the roof each time I had to use it. AND the PT people kept making it move my leg higher!"

So with that statement I was ready for a screaming session followed by a yelling session. I was strapped in and told to ignore the guy next door, which was pretty hard when he asked them to close the curtains between us so he didn't have to watch the torture. She told me they had it on 70 degrees and I needed to get it to 100 as soon as I could, because using this thing would improve me ability to bend me knee. The degrees were the angle of bend in the knee. I told them because of the swelling that was impossible. She told me it was not. So much for me protests and excuses.

She turned it on, and this gentle whirring noise started and I lay there watching me knee being pushed back towards me chest waiting for the pain to start. I lay there wondering why I wasn't in excruciating pain. It was the ON-Q that had blocked the pain sensation and so me leg was easily gliding back and forth. I will say by the second day of me being home and machine home with me, I had reached the desired 100 degrees. But back in the hospital, me roommate had them open the curtains to watch with a stunned expression on his face that I wasn't wrestling me way out of the machine. I do believe if I did not have that pain inhibitor I would have been doing just that.

Once home I found getting into me bed an impossible task. We have an old fashioned four poster bed which is set high off the floor. I couldn't get in it for the life of me. Me operated leg felt very heavy with all the new metal inside it. Between me mam and Tonya they took the mattress and box spring and put them on the floor so all I had to do, was to slightly sit down and there I was. I am not one for sleeping on the floor as you well know, especially after the mattress tried to murder me in me sleep when I first moved in. I be sure you remember THAT episode (see Don't Try This At Home -- for that matter don't try it PERIOD! February 16, 2015). This sleeping in this manner made me frustrated so I worked those PT exercises to death to be able to get more mobility and did it in three days time. Tonya and mam got the bed back together calling me a wuss and all sorts of nice names because it was a chore to undo the bed and there I was demanding they put it back.

PT day one was very interesting for me at least. The first person to show up was a young lady who did heart, blood pressure, and paperwork. We chatted a treat and then in the afternoon the PT person showed up. He was missing fingers on both his hands and I politely did not ask about that, though I was very curious. He slipped on blue latex gloves and I watched the empty finger holes with fascination. It was hard to look away, and I wondered how he did his job without most of his digits. He was a bruiser of a guy, so no messing around. He had me in contortions that again if not for the ON-Q would have had me begging for mercy. At one point as we were finishing up the torture, he became fascinated with the electric fireplace. He went over to look it over, telling me to do 10 more receptions. He'd turn to ask me a question as I struggled with tired muscles until I realised he wasn't really paying any attention to me. I started doing the exercise with me other leg which was very easy. He had no clue and had turned to talk to me several times, and there I was with the wrong leg pumping away. I know I was cheating, but gees the first day home and six exercises right off the bat, with 10 reps each, three times a day, well to this guy it was rather much. All in all, I was able to do what he told me on me own and worked me way to three visits total from home care before being released to the outpatient PT services. On his last visit he took the ON-Q out and left me quaking that now the pain would start. To me surprise it didn't. I was sufficiently mobile with the knee not to need a pain killer.

My first visit to outpatient PT had me jittery I'd not last the car ride there. I sat with me legs across the backseat hoping I could last the 25 minute ride to the facility. I did with ease. Me new PT person was a woman who did a lot more than me last PT person when I had first broken me leg. She explained what muscles were weak and why we needed to strengthen them something the other one had not. She set me to coming three times a week but by week number two, I was down to two times a week and we got rid of the cane.

So I be progressing. Am back at work part time but from home. I can drive but they don't want me driving on slick, snowy roads, so I wonder if I be home all winter! Snow coming in this weekend so looks like I will not be driving for a while. I am bored I will tell you that. There is just a certain amount of exercising one can do twice a day that keeps one occupied for an hour and then there isn't anything to do because why? I moved to the freaking wilderness and I can't go out for the icy snow, the impassable roads, so here I be making paper air planes. Maybe I will take up origami. Make shamrocks and crazy stuff, annoy the family.

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  1. you dodged a bullet! no snow for you lololol. i am sure you are delighted it went south! as to exercising the wrong leg ... gees louise you are lucky you didn't get caught roflmao

    1. Yes we did. AND he was too busy looking over the fireplace. What can I say?