November 10, 2017

By  Jana Hassett

From 0 to 130 in 4 weeks.

That can’t be car speeds with 4 weeks as the measure of time.  A good protractor could measure the degrees from 0 to 130, but in 4 weeks?

What about a Goniometer. A goniometer is an instrument that either measures an angle or allows an object to be rotated to a precise angular position.  What makes that worthy of a celebration?  Total knee replacement surgery.  If you haven’t experienced it, you’ve missed a chance to challenge yourself to get fit, get out of pain, and “get back into life”.

For over 2 years I’ve walked with both knees not bending.  The pain from bone-on-bone rubbing and pinched nerves was more than it was worth.  More and more I sat in the truck while Tracy hiked or explored rock hounding sites.  I thought about having something done last year, and then in November Tracy needed open heart surgery to replace his Aortic valve.  Not then!

Then I spent the next 4 months making 5 trips to San Diego from Utah to be with my mom as she slowly faded from Ovarian cancer.  After her passing in April I wandered what was next.  But we had planned a trip around the northwest to visit friends and family, pick up some rock and visit Yellowstone.  That took us three + weeks in August.  Not then!

After that trip I visited a retired Nurse friend and asked if she could recommend any Orthopedic Surgeons in my hometown.  She did and after a review and x-ray in late September, I was in surgery Oct. 10th.  Four weeks later I was learning how to walk, bend my knee, ride a bike, and sleep all night.  Not bad for 4 weeks work.  If not now when?

I was on opioids for 5 days taking 2 a day.  Then dropped back to one a day and hit an emotional bottom.  It was then I realized the impact of Percocet on people (including myself) and stopped taking them.  I switched to Tylenol and healing began anew.

Each week the Physical Therapy team have changed/modified my exercise plan to promote healing in targeted areas.  And each week the surgical site has healed a little more.

At week 4 I can bend that new knee to 130 degrees, making the staff @ the local PT office happy and myself as well. Approaching week 5 and I’m at 132 degrees on the Goniometer scale.  I’m grateful for the staff’s expertise and kindness to push me to heal!

 0 to 130 in four weeks – not bad for an old woman.

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