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Tuesday, February 24, 2015

In pursuit of "a new normal"

If there is one that that I don't like, it's change. Now, I know it's necessary, and I instigate it, often enough, myself. But even when I am driving the bus (or have pushed started it and am trying my best to keep it from going over the cliff) I don't LIKE it. No, I'll be more accurate than that. I DISLIKE IT.

So where do I find myself these days... at 1 mo+ post-op on two not-really-settled-in-yet prosthetic knees? Yep, I'm stuck riding that damn bus... the one with "change" stenciled on its side... the one I was pushing like a mad fool to get rolling just a couple of months past.  LOL

I like my routine. "Normal" days, life... whatever that happens to settle into... is generally something I can deal with. Normal used to involve remembering where I left my stick, which I took out when I did chores or worked in the garden, so I would have it when the knees gave up on pain and upped ante to "NO, I ain't gonna." Normal used to involve a pace that I was familiar with. Endurance was always... ALWAYS... my thing. Yeah, there was recharge time, collapse in a puddle in a corner time... but those were timed well and put at the end of the day, out of sight of the rest of the universe.

The first thing to discombobulate my "normal" was having kids. No, not the birthing of them, but the "having"... those years that follow when, just as you finally think things have settled down and you have found a new normal, one or more of them has a growth spurt or a few new neurons connect in a different way and you are off in a new phase, a new stage on the roller coaster of growth.

In retrospect (and only in retrospect) I can be thankful for the time I spent with babies, toddlers and youngsters "underfoot" as I learned that is was possible to actually accomplish things when you only had ten to fifteen minute bits of time. I learned how to string starts with pick-up-and-continues until I got the laundry done or the dishes washed or a garden tended. It wasn't my natural way, but I did it.

Now, though, it looks like "normal" is going to be a moving target for a good long time and there are few aspects of the change that I have any control over in the short term. I know that in the long term, following my doctor's advice with the "exercise, rest, ice, elevate" regimen will bring about the best result: strong legs and a good range of motion.

In the short term, day-to-day run of life, though, it all seems like a crap shoot. To be totally honest, I have to say that even at this early point in healing I can say that most of the time my knees don't hurt as badly as they used to. Most of the time, once I get walking about here in the house, there is no pain. Maybe a little stiffness, but no outright pain. I can stand and balance, briefly, on either leg. I can kick. No chance that I will be picked up for a local soccer team this month and I can't kick high yet... so unless I find a brick to stand on I likely won't even be kicking a duck in the ass. But they are still out of control. They swell, get stiff, hurt. Yeah, you say "Ice, ice, baby!" but when you are barely above shivering after getting into bed, I am not voluntarily putting MORE cold on any part of the body. And then there is the barometric pressure... I dunno why the surgeon decided to give me an upgrade to the "internal barometer" version of the knee. I didn't think Medicare covered that and I sure as heck didn't want to pay for an upgrade... but apparently I got it anyway. Damn.

So, yeah, where did that target run off to this time?