Day 2: Rising to New Heights

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November 1st 2013
Published: November 2nd 2013
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Day 2, and the road to recovery at the Recovery Inn begins. Chuck had a short night last night, but better than expected, still feeling no discomfort. He had a fever of 102, and staff watched him closely. By mid-morning, it was back to normal. The staff here are all angels!

Breakfast at 8:30 featured scrambled eggs, sausage patties, whole wheat toast, cranberry juice and decaf coffee. At 9, the occupational therapist evaluated him, put him through some paces, and helped him get washed up and dressed in some lovely Velcro-tear-away pants and t-shirt. The surgery gown is off! The physical therapist arrived at 11 for a few more paces and moved Chuck using a straight board to sit upright in a recliner. Following a lunch of comfort food (grilled cheese sandwich with tomato soup, chocolate chip cookie and vanilla ice cream), and another physical therapist returned to move him back to his bed and lift legs as high as possible over his head to stretch out those hamstrings. Still no discomfort or major pain. No standing today, because his quads are too wobbly while the pain med "balls" are still attached. The doctor reduced the dose from 6 to 4 this morning; still no discomfort. This afternoon, he ordered it dropped further to 2. Chuck is slowly being weaned off the quad pain blocks; these will be removed tomorrow morning, along with his thigh-to-toe Ace bandages. Might even get a look at some lovely stitches (or sutures). 😊

The photos show the CPM (continuous passive motion) devices being used during this first phase of rehabilitation. They help control post-op pain, reduce inflammation, protect the healing tissue, and provide a continuous passive motion in a specific plane of movement which moves the joint in a controlled range of motion. They are used 3 times daily on each leg, 45 minutes at a time. His leg is simply placed and strapped into the device, and the elevation and motion is controlled by a remote. (Yes, guys, he now knows how to use the remote!) So, the nurse or aide sets the device on one leg, sets it and forgets it for 45 minutes; then comes back to repeat it on the other leg. Adding this up, it's almost 6 hours of continuous perfect motion for those new knees!

Yesterday, the range was 50 degrees; earlier today it was set to 55 degrees; tonight it was 60 degrees. The range will be increased over time. Pre-surgery, his range was 120 degrees. We're shooting for better than that post-therapy.

You'll also see some interesting green wraps on his calves. These are electronically squeezing on and off all day and all night, keeping the circulation going strong and those blood clots far, far away.

Oh, and dinner? Chicken stir fry with garlic bread, a peanut butter cookie and chocolate ice cream. All very delicious. Most likely, the meals won't be that great at home -- but the ice cream will keep him satisfied!

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