7/2/2017 Day 30 of the New Knee Project

I haven’t posted anything in a while.  In the last post, I had driven a little. Now, like Toonses the Driving Cat, I drive all over the town. Only without the carnage. I’m also walking without the walker though I try to keep it handy just in case.  I favor the leg but its getting stronger every day. I’m also mowing the yard again.

6/18/2017 It’s Day 16 of the New Knee.

This morning, I drove a little. Angie took me to the old Sears store parking lot to get a feel for it. Then I drove from there to Kroger for groceries and then home. Then I took her car solo to gas it up. Probably about 10 miles total. I’m not ready for a long trip but that will come and now I can start thinking about driving myself to work and physical therapy.

6/16/2017 It’s Day 14 of Jim’s New Knee Project.

Starting yesterday or the day before, I think I turned a corner. I’m walking better, still with a walker of course but my leg is straighter and more confident with less of a limp.
I saw the surgeon today and the staples were removed as well as the waterproof bandage.
My pain Rx allowed for as many as 8 Hydrocodone per day but I’ve only once needed more than one per day since discharge. I’ve been using Tylenol except at bedtime to help with sleep. I’m going to try to skip that tonight and then test my driving skills on Sunday.

6/10/2017 Total Knee Replacement

On June 2, 2017 I had a total knee replacement on my right knee. I had originally damaged it 34 years ago tearing ligaments and requiring arthroscopic surgery for repair. For the last 34 years I’ve occasionally had to wear a knee brace.

In November 2016, I wrenched it very badly and saw a specialist who gave it cortisone but warned me that the cartilage was thinning, a condition known as osteoarthritis,  and I would need a replacement before too many years. The shot itself was excruciating, like a needle in my knee, but the cortisone worked in a couple days.

In late March, 2017 I had another flare-up of arthritic pain for no apparent reason. Enough pain to to interfere with sleep, I hoped it would go away for a week before making an appointment and then it was almost another week before he could see me. Then another cortisone shot.  This time the shot was painless but about 36 hours later the cortisone started making its way through the joint and I felt the worst pain of the entire episode. Once past though, it was under control and got better quickly.

A week after that injection, I was back to normal but realized that if this episode had just happened with no visible trigger it could happen again for no obvious reason. And since it had flared up 4 to 5 months after the last injection, a new flare up in the same time frame would interfere with me seeing the upcoming solar eclipse. So I called and arranged for the knee replacement. On June 2nd to give me time after to heal before the eclipse and time before to complete some obligations, namely some spot bird surveys I was subcontracting for the US Forest Service.

As I write this, it is 8 days since the surgery. Pain level is far better than expected. I had a good night’s sleep last night.

Black-chinned Hummingbird

Lenore Gifford has this Black-chinned visitor this week.  She appears to be a female Black-chinned Hummingbird. The picture doesn’t show the best diagnostic, the tail and wings, but the bill is obviously long and curved.  Even though I got no picture of them the tail extended just barely past the wings, if the bird were a Ruby-throat the tail would have extended further.

Black-Chinned Hummingbird

Black-Chinned Hummingbird