At last I feel like opening up my laptop and writing to you again. Today, almost to the time, my new knee is 12 days old. I did intent to blog my way through the operation etc, but nothing had prepared me for the strange way feeling of not wanting to communicate much.
SO, on 30th August I went into the Schoen Clinic on Wigmore Street, London, having had my last sip of water at 11, and last mouthful of tea at 6.45am that morning…and watched hubby eat his lunch ( no comment). I was a bit apprehensive, but once ensconced in Room 211 all nerves left me, and I just waited for the op. Hubby went back to work before I went down to join a conference call, so I chatted with the nurses etc. I was wheeled down, despite being able to walk, and just as I was about to go into the anaesthetic room, the nurse gave me a big hug! Oh how I needed that, and how wonderful that she did it unsolicited. Everyone should get a hug before an op!! The next thing I really remember was waking up in the recovery room seconds later, feeling very nice and woozy. And then as everyone finds, time moved on and I was back in my room. I could sort of move my bandaged leg, and not feel much. Thankfully tea and food came soon, and the surgeon popped in to say it had all gone well, and could I now try bending the knee…yup…and it might be a good idea to do something like that every 15 minutes or so to get it going. Being a good girl I set my alarm on my iPhone and slowly but surely bent the leg on queue…until 1.06am when the nurse came in and helped me to use the walking frame to get to the loo…then, a few steps more, and back to bed. I was introduced to an ice machine called Game Ready which pumps ice cold water into a sleeve wrapped round the leg – bliss!!! Even the little tinkling water sound made everything feel good.
I managed 4 hours sleep with the Game Ready on all night so I could stop the 15 minute moves, but had to ring for pain relief just before 6am…luckily this meant I was almost first to get all my meds. It seemed HOURS till breakfast but only minutes after that Sam the surgeon came in with Barry the anaesthetist, and Rachael the clinical nurse to check on me, and tell me to get up!!! ( in fact, every time Sam came in I was eating!!) He wanted me sitting in the chair, gently moving my knee with the help of a mini skateboard after my first physio. So, up and at ’em it wasn’t, but after the old ‘top-and-tail” wash I was whisked down to X-ray to make sure all was in place, and then had a lovely young lady put me through my paces with the frame. In the afternoon and lovely young Italian boy got me onto the crutches and we did the same…and then he said “lets do a step” WHAT??? But I am in hospital! I’ve had an operation…oh, ok..oh, that’s not so bad…what do I have to remember? “Up to Heaven, Down to Hell” – good leg first going up, crutch and bad first coming down…( I still have to say it to myself out loud to get it right! Blame the meds!!
Apart from the changing nurses on day and night shifts, and the different gorgeous physios who came to torture me, the days were all like that physio-wise. I managed to get a shower on day 3, thank goodness, and by day 4 I was allowed out. Each day I managed more steps with the crutches, more stairs, and the knee bent further and further ( this seems very important, but so is straightening it, and I wasn’t so good at that – it hurt!!!) Each day Surgeon Sam came to say hi, and on Saturday he was accompanied by his beautiful young daughter. I felt very old and scruffy!
Sunday was going home day – woohoo! Showered, dressed, made-up, and raring to get out, I was wheeled down to find the exit blocked by a huge crane – a very large bit of “art” was being installed outside the clinic ( which had only been open three weeks) so I discovered the backside of the place, loading bay etc, and at last was deposited into my own car with hubby. oh joy!
I cannot fault the way I was looked after at the clinic by all the staff – and managed to get a good bye hug from Sondra the nurse. The building itself had been refurbished, and that was fine, apart from the very noisy air-conditioning which was also impossible to get at the right temperature – strange oversight. I was amazed that I was able to walk, albeit with crutches, to the car and away…in my room I’d been walking with one crutch, when I remembered it! I won’t say it was pain free, but pretty near.
Thanks to all the staff at The Schoen for their care.
And so, onto the next exciting adventure of The New Knee…