Saturday, November 14, 2015

Time Goes By, the Knees Heal

It's been ages since I posted. My newest knee is coming along very well after its hematoma(giant blood filled bruise) --a second surgery to clean that up and to get an errant vein to stop dripping-- It set my physical therapy WAY back and I ran out of physical therapy for the year. There has been zero response to my letter asking for a dozen more sessions. I got to 120* though and at school I catch myself just zooming around, I can go up and down the stairs with NO HANDS!! not fast but I can do it thoughtfully! I can walk an exercise mile easily, but I have not yet done 2 miles. Stiffness comes with weather changes. I forgot, there was a third surgery to manipulate the knee out of its scar tissue and to remove the deeply caught stitches from the hematoma repair. Yeah, since October of last year I had 6 general anesthetics! It's a wonder I have any brain cells left. During my recovery I was able to see the entire run of Judging Amy, the show holds up.

  I do find myself thinking more and more of retirement, but not because my body is failing, more because the pressure on teachers is becoming so great that I am starting to feel it deeply back in the art's hallway where we are the third world country of education. We have a great new principal, but the dealings with the state for our grants and low grade are all-encompassing. I have seen excellent, solid, creative, experienced teachers in tears. I have seen first and second years high tail it out of education for the horrible treatment and low pay for life they now suffer from. 2 anti-public ed govs in a row and really, three presidents of both parties-- the career has become menial and the abuse unbelievable. I am sure education will rise again and teaching will return to a career path, hope there are people left with the desire when we get through this period.

This was supposed to be about my knees. oops.

Monday, July 27, 2015

8 Weeks into Second Knee Replacement

The right knee has been tougher to deal with. I had a hematoma on top of the knee and at about 3 or 4 weeks out, I had to have a second surgery to clean that out and find the cause. I had a large vein in an unusual spot that was seeping. I ruined my surgeons perfect record of 19 years! It was a stubborn vein and took several cauterizings and he stitched it 4 times to make sure it held., then he stitched the incision he had to make in my original incision. That turned out to be a grueling painful stitch removal. ouch. ouch. ouch. I am back to full strength physical therapy (PT) and back to progressing with the bend and stretch. I have taken more pain meds with this knee than the first one, The knee swelling up full of blood is rather uncomfortable. School starts in less than 2 weeks and I needed this whole time to recover. I haven't been sitting at the computer long enough to write about this second experience. I have been moodier, lonelier and crankier this time! I have also had lots of good times with friends. It has been an emotional roller coaster of a summer.

This has been a heck of a medical year, early fall I had my cataracts removed, one eye at a time, then the week before Thanksgiving I had the first knee replacement, June 11, I had the second knee replacement. everything is good and I expect a healthy year ahead! I wanted all this done before retirement and it is done.I am pretty bionic right now, in my purse I have a separate ID card for each eye and one for the left knee. The right knee ID card should come soon. looking forward to that.

Friday, June 5, 2015

It Has Been Seven Months

I am prepping for my second knee replacement which will take place next Wednesday. I am excited rather than apprehensive-- already planning my recovery and I know what to expect. A nurse I call "mine" is going to be on duty and I already told the rehab professionals I had last time I want them again so I am ready to rock the newest knee. It has been amazing how much better I have felt with only one bad knee I can walk fast, stand a lot longer and just so many good things that sneak up on me and I think wow! that's new. Occasionally I would catch myself walking at the speed I needed for my old knee, it is a habit of years, then I would speed up.

This last week of packing up my classroom and getting it ready for what might possibly be my last year of teaching did let me know that I really do need this surgery. It was a rough year with a style of discipline in our building that does not work for our students, we are getting another new principal that I know and respect and love as a parent of 3 of my former students. I hear she is tough, but I do my job and if you do  your job--why worry. I know it will be tough to overcome the laxity of the past two years but I also know she can do it.  She took an alternative school into hand an turned it around. She'll do the same for us. We have had three principal changes in 4 years and churning of teachers in one of the most stable schools in the city. We are churning again this year, though some have thought about staying to give our next principal a chance.

I had become almost positive I mean 100% positive that this would be my last year in my career, it had become so miserable in some ways, now, I don't know, I could be revitalized mentally as well as physically. Onward and upward, If I retire I can go to ISU for $5 a class.. I could go to the grand kids any time of the week or year... there's that.

Monday, January 26, 2015

The New Knee: again

I had my second to last physical therapy today, I met all the goals except for the 120 degrees. I have made it to 117 degrees several times. The knee feels mostly normal at work and I can walk pretty fast. The other knee is the one that hurts so I am ready to schedule it for June. I will discuss that tomorrow at my orthopedic follow up. I am ready to exercise and get going and ready for more traumatic surgery and recovery. I barely think about it at work, though at night I am tired and want to elevate it and rest it. The swelling is tremendously lessened over the past few weeks, and sometimes the scar looks pretty good. I know someday it will be a thin white line, right now I don't want to "wear it out in public". My posture is so much better since I am in less pain. I can walk up and downstairs and it feels completely normal. This post is mostly for my brother Rick. OH, and funny thing, I dreamed last week that I ran, naturally and comfortably. I will not be running, but I did enjoy it in my dream!