On the Road Again

I’ve been lax in updating my progress since getting my latest bionic knee. It’s been six weeks and I thought I better say something.

I adopted a mantra along the way to answer the reoccurring question, “How are you feeling?” My response has been, “Better than yesterday but hopefully not as good as tomorrow.” Two thoughts on this. First, it hasn’t always been true. There have been days where progress clearly took one step forward and two steps back but that is to be expected with this kind of recovery. Sometimes you work the exercises a little too hard only to wake the next morning too sore to do your best rehab. Fortunately, there have only been a few of these and they seem to be fading in the rear view mirror.

The second and more random thought about this statement, is that it really could apply in general. As good as today was, there is no reason to not hope that tomorrow just may be even better. If we can approach life with this positive attitude, we won’t be likely to miss the opportunities that can in fact make tomorrow even better than today. As I said, it was a random thought, but in this shut in, cooped up, measure every little bit of progress day to day grind, two hours of sleep a night routine, one has a lot of time to think pretty randomly.

I have with my past updates tried to recognize my heroes, the surgery staff, the hospital nurses and eventually the host of physical therapists. I added to that those friends and neighbors that have, without even being asked, stepped in to clear my sidewalk and driveway, drive me to appointments and just plain showed up when I needed a little conversation break.

Today marks the six week anniversary of the surgery. I am walking without a cane for the most part. My wife/ nurse / coach / still makes me take it with me outside of the house for some added support in this weather, but in reality, I just end up carrying it. I have started to leave the house now with much more regularity and have returned to my old bad habit of going out for breakfast and consuming too much coffee. I even returned to the gym a couple of times to start building back up what I clearly lost. I will accept the new aches and pains as something refreshingly different and just my upper body muscles saying thank you.

The big progress marker, I got cleared to drive again. Deb, bless her heart, has been driving me everywhere, and I have been….well a s**t about it. It is a difficult task to be the rider when you have always been the driver and especially hard to take when my style is, to put it mildly, a bit aggressive. I have a new and far better understanding of why our elder parents fight so hard when they are being asked, mostly told, to surrender their driving privileges. Of all our independent activities, most of them have no bearing if we can’t drive. Don’t get me wrong, I am not advocating for hundred year old’s out cruising the boulevards, but we all need to be a tad more empathetic when approaching that treacherous crossroad on life’s highway.

I am close to dancing, but just have a few more “stretches” to go. Their target, the PT people, is 120 degrees of bend and 0 degrees on extension. Currently my numbers sit at 110 and 4 degrees respective, close, but not enough just yet. As I near this end of my recovery journey, I want to thank everyone who has been kind enough to check on my progress and at times, to just be there for me when I needed an ear to bend instead of my knee.

With that said, I’m going to close. It seems I still have miles to log before I am caught up on my driving and right now, I feel the need for speed. Beware you drivers out there going too slow. This whole recovery thing has been slow enough.

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