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Carol Perkins: A patient, patient

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By Carol Perkins

For at least five years, I have been avoiding knee replacement surgery. I went the way of shots in the knee, meds for arthritis, and even stem cell replacement therapy, but nothing changed the fact that I was dealing with "bone on bone." It was not going to get better and a replacement was the only answer to the pain and the limp, both of which had become part of my life. A part that I couldn't control.

When I set July 12th as the date for my surgery and Dr. Fee from WKONA as my doctor, I wasn't going to back out. I went for all the pre-op appointments and worked in a trip to Texas before being "laid up." "You won't be down for long," the doctor assured me. "We'll have you walking within hours of the surgery." That sounded good to me, but I wasn't counting on the pain that came with the walking. Pain that I was there until it wasn't.

Dr. Fee asked me the morning after surgery if I thought I could have come home the same day.

"Absolutely not," I said. "As a matter of fact, I'd like to stay two more days!" How many patients want to stay in a hospital longer than necessary? I had such good care while there and knew two more days would have been a great start toward a faster recovery. I heard him ask the lady in the next room the same question, and she replied almost the same way that I did. Insurance companies dictate how long we stay rather than our doctors.

Home Health began immediately and will continue for four days a week. A nurse will come once a week and a physical therapist for four days. Most of the exercises I can do without assistance, but quickly discovered the degree of pain involved in pushing myself to improve beyond the walker and on to the cane may temper my advancement.

Guy is getting the hang of the Polar Care Cube, guiding me on the walker, and bringing whatever I need even at 4:30 in the morning. Knee replacement is a family affair. One person would be "hard-pressed" to do this on her own. Those who have both knees replaced at the same time once puzzled me, however, now I understand. After having one replaced, I'm not sure I would have the second one done. Thank goodness my left knee doesn't need it---yet.

Like the pain of childbirth is easily forgotten the minute you see your baby, the pain of knee surgery will be forgotten as soon as I can walk down the street, get in and out of the car, and no longer need a wheelchair at the airport. I must tell myself to be a patient, patient.

Carol's most recent book, based on a true story, The Case of the Missing Ring, is available through Amazon, both paperback and ebook. You can contact her at

This story was posted on 2021-07-17 12:28:24
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