I finally have one new knee. I’ve been needing both of them replaced for over five years. Finally, on April 22 Dr Cobus Smith replaced my left knee. He’s a great surgeon and a very nice man with a good sense of humour. I know! Unusual for a surgeon.
The surgery itself was a walk in the park. The anesthesiologist, Dr Lee convinced me to have a spinal block and it was a great decision. I woke up feeling as though I had just had a nap. I was in no pain because there was the spinal wearing off and I also had a nerve block in my groin. It’s much better than getting a general.
So I was alert, in no pain, had a catheter, one drain in my knee and IV pain medicine.
The hospital room was semi-private which meant that it was two beds crammed into a room that was meant for one. It was stuffy and hot.
Then the nerve block wore off. The pain wasn’t unbearable but it was enough. I was standing two hours after my surgery and walking first thing the next morning.
That was probably the worst time. At first there was a painful burning in my shin each time I took a step. This was when I discovered that it really was like learning how to walk again. There were movements I just could not get my knee to make. It was frustrating. The worst part was that I was unable to get comfortable in the hospital bed. I couldn’t manage to roll over and ended up dosing while sitting up most of the time.
My first experience with physio wasn’t great. I swear the man who came to work with me was the most clumsy guy I’ve ever had the misfortune to meet. He actually hit my new knee with the walker, held my arm so tightly at one point that I couldn’t even reach the walker and then he grabbed ny hospital gown at some point and gave me a horrible wedgy. Who does that? Hahah
I did all my exercises and I went to rehab. I didn’t do the things they told me not to and I did what they suggested I do. I was a good patient. More than three months on I’m now at one with my new knee. I love it. It’s such a pleasure not to have pain every time I use my left leg.
What we need in Canada though, is a medical system that doesn’t make people like me wait over 5 years for a replacement. I’m on a waiting list to get my second knee and it could be up to 22 months.
That is unacceptable.