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And the band played on ... week two, June 2015


Alert for the squeamish:  This post shows the staples in Jimmy's knee!

The saying goes, "The third time's the charm."  And it held true for Jimmy.  His left total knee replacement surgery was originally scheduled for March 18th, nearly three months ago.  Jimmy's Mom passed away the week before that in Mobile, AL, and he couldn't line up all the ducks to attend her funeral and make the necessary per-surgical appointments.  Postponed, the next date was May 4th.  We waited.  A freak accident the morning of surgery canceled that one, too!  More waiting.  New date for surgery was Wednesday, June 10th ... check in Sutter Hospital in Sacramento at 5 am.  He made it.  The waiting was over.


Before, going into surgery.


After ...


He had a private room on the 5th floor, with a distant view of the Sierras. The box in the foreground was hooked up to the "new" left knee, suctioning the excess fluids that build up after such a procedure.  That meant little-to-no swelling, which means less pain and quicker healing.

We were really impressed with Sutter Hospital and can easily understand why it's rated in the top 100 hospitals nationwide.  Equally glad that we live close enough to take advantage of their facility.  (A new state-of-the-art Sutter Hospital being built will open its doors in August.)  A huge thank you goes to son, Matt and his wife, Jen, who live exactly two miles from Sutter (rather than our 65 miles away).  We spent the night before surgery with them, and I happily stayed there the two nights Jimmy was hospitalized.  I'd planned on walking to Sutter, at least once, but intermittent light rain fell on Wednesday and it was too blamed hot on Thursday to even consider walking.       


The hospital kicked him out (figuratively) late Friday morning.  Earlier, the drain tubes from his knee were withdrawn, as well as the nerve pain block above his knee, after which his surgeon removed the old dressing and put on a new waterproof "bandaid."  In between old and new, I counted 24 staples.  It looks painful, but he pretty much didn't feel pain, thanx to the meds.  You see his knee is only slightly swollen.  I left the photo smaller, but you can enlarge it if you want to count for yourself!

When we left Sacramento, the temp was a blistering 100°, but only 94 at our house.  The drive home made me nervous because I didn't want Jimmy's new knee to be compromised by the near-two-hour drive (inc a Walgreen's stop to drop off his script).  Talk about sweating ... for more than one reason!  But, we made it just fine.  The staples come out on Wednesday the 17th, one week after surgery ... the home health nurse will take 'em out, not me. 


And here he is at home on Saturday, three days post-op, walking (with the aid of a walker, of course)!  His leg is straight again and the knee is barely swollen.  Key ingredients to a full recovery are exercise, ice, and elevation. He needs to do exercises three times daily, with me (the helper-worker, aka Nurse Ratched) assisting, at least for the time being.  A big shout-out to Laurie who nursed Odel thru knee replacement surgery a few years ago ... her tips were helpful, especially the tip on how to make a good, slushy ice.  Jimmy will wean himself off his pain meds as his knee/leg grows stronger and heals.  The other thing the medicos stressed were to get up and get moving: from chair to couch to bed to bathroom or kitchen, and then park it with the knee elevated.  No lying in bed all day and/or no trail walking (haha) till he gets the OK.

We have a big trip planned for October, and healthy knees will be required!  If he'd been able to have the surgery as planned three months ago, he would've had those extra three months' worth of healing, but 'twas not to be. Now, he's more than willing to work that knee!  Nurse Ratched is more than willing to help.

6 comments:

  1. I'm glad he finally made it through the surgery. Keep him working on it, NR!

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  2. So glad that the third time was a charm. Looks like Jimmy came through the surgery with flying colours. Wishing him a quick recovery, so that you can hike the trails once again.

    www.travelwithkevinandruth.com

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  3. Nurse Nickie, please remember to take care of your own self , too. And YAY JIMMY! love y'all a bunch!

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  4. Glad Jimmy got his sorely knee'did surgery over with and is now walking down the road to a speedy recovery.

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  5. Great to see Jimmy up and about ... easy baby steps till the doc gives the OK.

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  6. Seems like everyone gets their knees done anymore. I'll be interested to see his recovery progress as Wayne will eventually need his done too. Where ya going in October?

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