Night and day seemed to flow together. I suppose flow isn’t quite the right word. It is more accurate to say that they intruded upon each other, even clashed. There were meals to be eaten. They were undoubtedly very tasty, at least in my wife’s opinion, but I had no appetite, forcing as much as I could down like a little kid surrendering to broccoli. Most of the time during those First 48 was spent in semi-consciousness, dozing. Someone was continually “checking vitals” or hooking one of my two legs up to a continual passive motion (CPM) machine alternatively every hour and a half, keeping one of the two in restrained constant motion throughout the night. The catheter was removed sometime during that foggy interlude and then came the painful and awkward process of sliding from the bed onto my feet and into a walker and then the nearby bathroom, which seemed so close and yet so far away. Thus began the extended trips on the walker, along with heel lifts, leg raises and knee bends in the first primitive stage of therapy. And then, somewhere around the 72nd hour after surgery, I was whisked off in a car and returned home for the long process of returning to normal activity.
The ride along the length of Rt. 706 from Montrose to Wyalusing seemed surreal. Had all of this stuff really happened? A glance at my heavily bandaged knees confirmed that it had. So far all has gone well, including an early release and my first physical therapy session at ProCare just six days after bilateral total knee arthroscopy.
So the new knees are installed, and a whole new routine has begun. It is not necessarily fun, but it is challenging. And who couldn’t use a challenge at a stage in life when challenges are few and far between? It can be painful and a bit depressing with an occasional step back, but it definitely offers the exhilaration of accomplishment at other times. I’ve already learned there is the potential of something better around the next corner and then the next and, if all goes well, I will be doing things I hadn’t been able to do in a long time. There will be no impressive feats of athleticism or physicality. Just a return to an active lifestyle that have been conveniently avoided for some time.
Right now recovering from this surgery is the dominant thing in my life, and pretty much all that is on my mind. But that is changing with the passing days as I reintroduce myself to the outside world and become increasingly interested in what is going on around me. I must say that there will be plenty to write about this spring and summer as American politics loses all sense of propriety and continues to play out like an out-of-control reality show. It will be good for a lot of laughs, not to mention apprehension, and there will be all kinds of fussing and shouting and apocalyptic pronouncements.
So I just wanted you to know that all is well and your support has been appreciated. This will not be a weekly commentary about my knees. I’m moving ahead— one step at a time.
— Retrospective from Feb. 23, 2016