Two weeks ago I had full knee replacement surgery. It’s kind of amazing how good I feel compared to then.

I’m tracking different things right now than I was. So I figured I’d do an update on those.

Strength: As my PT said, my strength just kind of has been coming back, without me working a lot on it. I walked over 4000 steps a couple of times last week. I also hurt after doing that. I’ll talk with my PT today to find out how much she wants me walking. But I’m mostly walking unaided, and walking is starting to feel normal again. I still use a cane when I’m walking outside, mostly because I am being cautious and I don’t want to accidentally fall.

Flexibility: As of this morning, I can bend my knee to ninety degrees. It hurts and it’s uncomfortable, but I can do it without having to pull or push at my leg. I still have a long ways to go. However, I feel as though I’ve made remarkable progress so far.

Pain: I’m still having pain issues, more now than I did at the start. (Still so thankful that my doctor started me off with the peripheral nerve block.) Will talk with the PT about that today, see if there are stretches or exercises that target some of those sore spots.

My brother got a full knee replacement about one month before I did. For him, starting around the two week mark was when his pain seriously decreased. I’ve never had the pain that he did, but I’m hoping that in the next few days, what pain I have will start to diminish more.

Swelling: I’m still swollen, as one might imagine. I’ve been trying to ice more. I believe that icing more will help reduce the swelling which will reduce the pain more, but that connection is not as clear as it might seem.

Why? Because part of the pain is muscular, not just structural/surgical pain. I feel like it’s a delicate balance between warming up the muscles while keeping the surgical location iced. Icing and them warming the muscles makes them a lot more pliant, which is why I’m getting more flexible. But warming the area does not necessarily decrease the swelling, and my doctor would really like me to decrease the swelling more.

Brain: For much of the first week, I would sleep through one out of every third hour. I figure that was the combination of the nerve block with the oxycodone. I’m also pretty certain that was really good for me, that I was healing a lot while I was sleeping.

In addition to being tired, I just couldn’t concentrate. I timed myself a few times–the longest I could focus was between five to ten minutes. I just didn’t have the brain to do more. I couldn’t even watch a full TV show. 20 minutes max.

Slowly, over the last week, my concentration time has improved. As of yesterday, I was able to focus for more than an hour. It felt really good to get some work done finally!

Of all the miscalculations, the lack of brain power has been my biggest. I had assumed that once the operation was over, I’d be sitting on my butt writing the entire time.

Not so much.

I have started to have some fiction thoughts. And tomorrow morning, I plan on actually starting a new short story. Or at least spending enough time to figure out the new story (which is due Nov 1).

I’d hoped to write a whole brand new novel in October. That isn’t going to happen. However, possibly starting in November I will be able to focus on writing, and be able to do a novel a month. We’ll see.

One last bit, because this is sort of an accountability post – constipation. The opioids really block you up. At first, I was using the stuff they gave me to get some movement. It was nasty. Medically induced diarrhea.

Finally got that out of my system and have been dealing with it more naturally. I’ve doubled the amount of magnesium I’m taking, and that’s been working wonders.

I’ve also been drinking coffee. Coffee works as a laxative for me. Being able to have coffee in the morning, for medical reasons, has been totally lovely.

And I think that’s it for me for this morning! I’m going to be spending much more time over at TH2 this week, as I’m less wobbly, finally. There was spaghetti last night, and there will be stew this week. What sorts of fall foods have you been indulging in recently?