KR Day Minus 10

March 18, 2011

Regularly Irregular

After much tests comparison and attention to detail the decision today was that the recent irregular EKG is not inconsistent with past EKG results. Dr. A went back in my chart to 1995 to look at past tests including results of treadmills and MRIs. In his opinion I’m good to go for the planned surgery date. I’ll sleep more restfully tonight.

He also said he would talk to Dr. Muffly about my C. difficile history and our concerns about antibiotics and hospitalization.

A new inhaler was prescribed to continue warding off bronchial congestion.

After spending nearly an hour with Dr. A I’m reminded how fortunate we are to have such a positive relationship with a dedicated physician. He truly listens. I told him today that he can’t retire until after I die. And, I’m not planning on exiting for a good many years yet.

KR Day Minus 11

March 17, 2011

“Nancy, have you ever had a heart attack?”

After a couple of days without focusing on the upcoming knee replacement today brought a new concern. My surgeon called with news that the Monday EKG shows heart damage similar to a past heart attack. Although I’ve known of a heart murmur since I was five years old I’m unaware of any infraction. The surgeon said he would talk with my primary physician before my appointment for the medical clearance tomorrow.

My stamina hasn’t been up to par the last few months but I’ve attributed that to the consistent knee pain and the extra effort required for mobility. Climbing a flight of stairs has been no fun at all.

Hopefully, when compared to my previous EKGs this one isn’t that different or there’s a simple explanation such as misplaced leads. Should be an interesting Dr. A appointment tomorrow. I have complete faith that he’ll take the proper precautions before approving the surgery. Let there be no misunderstanding, I want nothing to interfere the the schedule date and time. I’m ready to get this completed.


KR Day Minus 14

March 14, 2011

I’m now two weeks away from total Knee Replacement surgery. The morning was spent at Swedish Medical Center going through the pre-op procedures including writing the first check – but, I’m sure not the last. Tests included blood work, nose swab to detect MRSA and EKG which was irregular. After three tries it was determined to send the results to my primary physician to compare to previous results. I certainly hope this does not complicate proceeding with the surgery as planned.

I’m impressed with the hospital’s efforts to prepare patients for successful surgery. A great deal of information is shared as to what to expect, pre-op instructions and time frames. Completing the paperwork and insurance info before the big day is a relief.

I’ve stepped up the home exercises to have the leg as strong as possible for the rehab. Water therapy continues to offer relief. I’ve become so addicted to the Arthritis Aqua classes I’m worrying about how long I’ll have to stay out of the pool. Hope the incision heals quickly.

Can’t say I’m looking forward but I am eager to getting the surgery behind me and to be working on the physical therapy.

This Much I Know

December 3, 2010


The one thing that our recent road trip to Illinois confirmed is that I must schedule the knee replacement and get on with life. The current conditions are intolerable for the lifestyle I desire. Many aspects of travel were complicated with my inability to move comfortably, walk very far, or stand for any length of time. With one hand needed for the cane there’s only one available to deal with purse, keys, coat or anything that needs carried.

I enjoy traveling too much to be so limited and uncomfortable. For two days afterwards I could barely function enough to get out of bed and fix simple meals, Returning to aqua arthritis classes for two consecutive days have helped some.

I know what’s necessary, it’s up to me to suck it up and get it done. Then there will be a hopeful future.

Friendship Motivation

November 18, 2010

I wasn’t particularly excited about about getting to the Arthritis Aqua class this morning. I could easily have persuaded myself to stay home. Knowing friend Mary would probably be there and expect me to be, I hauled the body out of bed, shaved the legs, donned the swimsuit and headed to class. Once on my way I’m never sorry. Thankfully the friendship connection was just the motivation I needed.

Yesterday’s Effort – Lots of ironing but no exercise program. After the leg swelling of the night before and seven days in a row of water classes or exercise routines I thought a day off could be just what I needed.

Today’s Effort – Arthritis Aqua class with Debbie – 45 minutes. One bathroom scrub down and lots of standing at an art show opening.

A Circus Act?

November 16, 2010

In the Arthritis Aqua class this evening Teresa had us “perform” a new exercise while we were using the floatation “donuts”. “Keeping feet together, bend knees up and our, like a monkey on a stick.” Sure enough, the movement made us look like the old-fashioned monkey on a stick toy.

After feeling like a trained seal on Sunday, today’s “Monkey” made me think perhaps we are training for the circus.

Yesterday’s Effort – 75 minutes of water therapy and arthritis exercises. With Michael home sick I decided to skip the arthritis “chair” class in the morning. Did a few stretching exercises at home.

Today’s Effort – Arthritis Aqua class with Teresa at 5pm with an additional 20 minuets afterwards.

Feelin’ Like a Trained Seal

November 14, 2010

For some reason a number of non-swimmers had their chairs turned towards the busy therapy pool his afternoon. I have a hard time thinking of geriatric therapy exercise as a spectator sport.

As I worked on my sit-ups with floats there was something about the repetitive motion that made me feel like a trained seal at an aquarium. I can only hope I was halve as entertaining.

Today’s Efforts – 60 minutes of water exercises plus bubbles.

Priorities–Making Time

November 13, 2010

A year ago I would have sworn that life was too complicated to find time for a daily exercise routine. Since my knee issues created the need for regular water therapy priorities have changed. Between rehabbing from meniscus surgery and trying to avoid knee replacement I’ve committed to doing all I could through exercise. Fortunately nothing in my life stands in the way of that commitment.

Bob has been completely supportive and has even joined the effort. More than half the time he joins me in classes and personal workouts. The reward is that at his annual physical his triglycerides were better than they had been for years. He’s also more flexible and walking a bit straighter. Aches and pains still remind him of age but they seem more tolerable and manageable.

Currently one of our first conversation points each day is when are we going to the Buck Center. We compare our schedules for the day and commit to a specific class or time for exercise either together or singularly. This new habit was not only necessary but rewarding.

Making time has become the priority!

Today’s effort – 65 minutes of water exercise – all the elements of the routine Mandy laid out and many of the Arthritis Aqua+ exercises. Plus, 7 minutes in the jetted pool.

Pain & Frustrations

November 12, 2010

Attending the arthritis exercise class for the first time this week, I found that I even had a hard time doing some of the upper body exercises, a new experience that does not please me. Is it because I missed a couple of classes, was a total couch potato last weekend, the weather as been cold and damp this week, I’m experiencing more pain? Or, some unknown variable?

Later in the day, during the Arthritis Aqua+ class there was grinding knee pain during some of the weight-shift exercises – something that is usually eliminated in the water. Discouraging.

Determined to prepare a complete dinner since Michael would be home tonight. I was practically in tears by the time all was on the table. I tried to space the effort with rest periods between prepping different dishes But, even so, I was muttering, “I can’t do this anymore,” by the time we sat down to eat.

Pain and Frustrations – I don’t want to live like this.

Getting Used to the Reality

November 11, 2010

I waver between accepting the need for a knee replacement and depression over the situation. Even in the pool there is sometimes a distinct pain upon bone-to-bone impact. At those moments the question is “when” not “if”.

I find that I’m constantly thinking about all the things I would like done before surgery. My understanding is that there probably won’t be much physical work except rehab for the first couple of months. While I know that I will have all the help necessary for my care I also know housekeeping won’t be the primary focus for either of the men in this household.

I need to keep focused on organization, housework and the physical conditioning.

Today’s efforts – morning home exercises plus Arthritis Aqua class. And, for morale a much needed perm.