Tomorrow…

A neat new knee; image from patient information booklet.

…At what I hope will be an early-but-not-too-early hour, I’ll begin my journey into the land of the Dually Bionic Knees. It’s nearing time for my second TKR—total knee replacement (otherwise known as TKA—total knee arthroplasty).

My reason for writing this piece is to explain in advance what will probably be lapses in my twice-weekly (Wednesdays and Saturdays) posting schedule. Unlike some of my more diligent fellow bloggers, I don’t have much (translation: any) backlog of posts. I usually wait to see what grabs my interest a few days before.

One cheery thought about my life after recovery is that the next time I pass through airport security, I’ll be spared a repeat occurrence of my most recent pre-flight stop a couple of years ago.

As I stepped onto the platform, I told the woman whose quick judgment we were all depending upon for our lives that I have a left knee implant. “No; you don’t,” she said, firmly and indignantly. “You have a right knee implant.”

My efforts to enlighten her were fruitless. I left, hoping she’d been more alert if any possible weapons or questionable contraband had surfaced amid scans of my fellow passengers.

The next time I take flight, which won’t be for a while, I’ll have simplified matters for tired/frenzied/confused security personnel. The explanation that “I have implants in both knees” should spare me from another pointless exchange with security personnel.

At least, that’s my hope. Nevertheless, if they still feel compelled to pat me down for that switchblade they’re sure is strapped to my inner knee, so be it.

After all, I’m now a confessed money launderer; my photo may be on prominent display in an airport back room somewhere. There’s just no telling…

(Note to any National Security Agency folks excited that their Google key word search may have hit pay dirt: this is a frail attempt at humor by a woman with an overzealous superego. I’m boringly harmless. And yes, “pay dirt” is a bad pun; I confess to that too.)

But I digress.

I know that a rough recuperative period lies ahead. I’m hoping it won’t be as bad as the last surgery six years ago, when an icy winter made it nearly impossible for me to venture outside. Now, it will simply be the summer’s heat that makes it nearly impossible for me to venture outside.

As I’d wondered in retrospect whether my lengthy pain period back then was due to my failure to apply ice often enough or to move around enough, I’m determined to excel at both tasks this time. (Apparently, lolling in an opioid-induced haze does not facilitate the hard work needed for rehab.)

The first two weeks post-op will be spent at home with frequent ice packs and lots of stretching exercises so that I can get close to normal in both bending and straightening my knee. I have my choice whether to have physical therapy (PT) virtually with the hospital team or in person with someone who’ll come to my home.

After two weeks, I’ll be in outpatient PT for several months to more aggressively build up the knee.

I want to stress that I’m not looking for sympathy. With the surgeon’s steady hands, a reliable robotic device as his chief assistant, and some luck, I’ll eventually be in better shape than I am today.

Before long, I expect to be kickin’ up my heels–at least figuratively.

One of my English blogging friends wrote recently that in the UK, the wait for knee replacement surgery is two to five years.

I don’t for a minute take for granted my access to excellent and timely medical care. I wish it were universally available—just as fervently as I wish everyone who’s ailing could look forward to good results after treatment.

I do know that for a while, it will be tough for me to sit in one place for long. Hence this explanatory notice to you.

Incidentally, I’ve been so involved researching and writing my posts and enjoying yours that I somehow missed observing the three-year blogginversary of annieasksyou.

This seems to be a good time to note that when I started this effort, I had no idea how much joy I’d find in the blogosphere. I treasure you, my blogging friends. I learn from you; I’m inspired by you. You expand my world.

And I’m always delighted to see that I’m reaching people from many different countries. As I’ve written before, I just wish I could read the work of those of you whose first language I don’t understand as you’ve written it.

As I’ve also written before, thanks to all of you, I am one happy blogger!

Cheers,

Annie (soon to be TKA—The Kickin’ Annie)

38 thoughts on “Tomorrow…

  1. Good Luck, Annie! I’m sure you will recover with ease and grace (knees and grease?).

    When I had shoulder surgery, they gave me a nifty ice water circulator for the recovery (essentially a fish tank pump in an Igloo cooler that circulated ice water through some sort of glorified strap-on radiator thingie), and it worked like a champ. Ask about one, it was amazing.

    Rgds,

    TG

    Liked by 4 people

    1. TG: Thanks so much! I actually have a nifty ice water circulator that we retrieved from the garage and cleaned and tested. I discovered, though, that it doesn’t work so well when you don’t use it. Lesson learned!

      Liked by 3 people

  2. Annie. I hope your upcoming surgery goes very, very well!, and that you have a quick and easy recovery! I’m all recovered from my last one, have one more, relatively minor one to go (still to be scheduled). I’ll look forward to “seeing” you in this space again (as will all of your faithful fans) when you’re back in action again! Stay well!
    George

    Liked by 4 people

  3. Great post, Annie! I know you are in good surgical and robotic hands and bet your recuperation goes smoothly! You will be one happy camper with both knees having been replaced. Jumping up and clicking your heels, playing hopscotch and cycling to And fro ain’t off the table!

    Liked by 4 people

  4. Oh Annie, it’s lovely that you consider your readers but don’t worry about posting or comments or other blogs AT ALL. You’re undergoing another big procedure so just focus on you, on getting through it and recuperating and all that jazz.

    I can see why neither the summer nor the winter would be ideal for a knee replacement. I just hope you have some good A/C or a fan on full blast, and maybe shove an ice pack down your top if you venture outside. Kick up your heels and take some time to do absolutely nothing, followed by the things you enjoy or want to do.

    And Happy Blogiversary!! That’s an awesome milestone and you should be very proud of all you continue to achieve with your blog, not to mention the support you provide other bloggers.

    What date is the surgery, the 15th July? I really, really hope it all goes as well as possible, and that the recuperation period goes smoothly too (and hopefully a little more easily than with the first knee).

    Keep your sense of humour. You’re one step closer to a machine, and you’ll be one bad ass double knee bionic woman! 😉

    In all seriousness, I wish you all the very best. Sending lots of love your way,

    Caz xxxx

    Liked by 4 people

    1. My dear friend Caz: thank you for this very generous comment. Yes: it’s July 15, and fortunately, we do have some air conditioning.

      I do hope to be a bad ass double knee bionic woman.

      And I should have given a shoutout to you and your wonderful blog, Invisibly Me, when I mentioned the UK delays.

      I gratefully accept your love and send mine to you. xxxx

      Liked by 3 people

  5. I have read that the opiate haze for the first couple of days is a really good idea after surgery. You don’t need the suffering for those days, it’s the continuing of that haze that becomes problematic.
    Here’s hoping your surgery goes well, and that recovery goes even better.

    Liked by 4 people

  6. Hey, best of luck! I expect you are fully prepared and that it will go well. And happy anniversary. I absolutely can’t believe it’s been 3 years. What I’ve learned and enjoyed here, and the connections you have opened to the world and my fellow readers — it’s all impressive as heck. Thank you for work. Take a well deserved rest. Feet up — or not, whatever you’re supposed to do. I have no idea, but you’re the science writer (as well a political writer, humanist, humorist, and more). So, break a leg? No, that’s not right either, but you know what I mean. Onward.

    Liked by 4 people

  7. Thank you for this head-up about your knee operation. I hope and trust it will go swimmingly. I remember the power of opiates from when I had elbow reconstruction after a fall (in which I had managed NOT to land on one of the children in my Music Together classes who had gotten right behind me without my realizing it…) May you heal well in the weeks ahead!!!

    Liked by 3 people

  8. Wishing you a smooth and speedy recovery Annie! Take it easy and read a good book or two. This summer seems to be write-off in terms of nice weather anyway so maybe it’s a good thing to be inside in the A/C. PS. I’m sure the wait list here for hips and knees is well over a year, possibly two now with the COVID delays.

    Liked by 3 people

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