Hogan's Alley

Monday, June 12, 2006

Tender Mercies And Close Calls

Although it took much longer than I had been led to expect, I have finally returned home following a total knee replacement on one knee. What I had expected to be 10 days to two weeks stretched into over three weeks. Most of the delay was due to the development of some atrial fibrilation a few days after the surgery.

It took an extra week for the cardiologist to find the correct levels of medication needed to stop the fibrilation and maintain what is called a good sinus rhythm. The knee itself has been doing beautifully. There has been less pain post-op than I had been experiencing daily before the operation.

After leaving the hospital, I transferred to an inpatient rehab facility for two weeks. Since I was admitted on the Saturday of Memorial Day weekend, the first three days were largely a waste of time. What made it worse was that I was placed in a bed in the nursing home section of the facility, instead of the short-term rehab section. I was treated to an unwanted live-in preview of what the future may hold. A very depressing experience.

When the facility's decision makers returned to work on Tuesday I was quickly able to arrange a move and twice a day rehab sessions began. The physical therapy operation at the facility is locally famous, and deservedly so. My daily progress was visible and very encouraging.

In general, the staffs of both the hospital and the rehab facility were splendid. They seemed to enjoy their work and cared about the people they worked with. There were, of course two or three people who were so stupid that it was frightening to think of them going anywhere near patients who were incapable of advocating for themselves.

Now I will put the experience behind me, at least as much as I can with three-a-week outpatient physical therapy will allow. I'm not sure how much blogging I will do, given that I can't sit in front of the computer for hours at a time reading the news and reacting. We'll see.

In any event, it is certainly great to be back home and reconnected to the net.