Friday, October 3, 2008

Oh no. . .

With yesterday's blog about the mundane act of checking the daily mail, I thought I had written my last blog entry regarding my arthroscopic surgery almost a week and a half ago. Unfortunately I was wrong.

I am quickly becoming the poster child for people who should NOT have surgery.

All this week, I have been back at school on my feet, movin' and groovin' and letting the math fly as I spryly and adeptly moved to and fro along the dry-erase board that spans the front of my classroom. In fact, many students wondered if I even had surgery, as I was showing no pain and moving without any noticable hitch or limp. Doing my physical therapy on my own each day, I'd faithfully do my leg lifts and quad clenches throughout the day as I typed on the computer or watched TV. I felt like I was ahead of schedule, and that having to move my follow-up visit with my surgeon from today (It was right in the middle of my BC calculus class) to NEXT Friday would only give me more time to heal and strengthen on my own. I was suspecting that when he next saw me, he wouldn't belive I was the same guy he operated on because of my amazing progress.

That feeling lasted until the middle of the aforementioned BC calculus class: today around 11:00. It was then, when as quickly as students moan when assigned 30 homework problems, a sharp, enduring pain overcame my knee. It instantly became difficult and painful to walk. My mind immediately went back to 4 years ago when on 2 different occasions, litterally overnight, I went from comfortable to intolerable pain because of a bacterial infection in the knee. I quickly found the closest thing to real wood I could find to knock on. I didn't even want to let my mind wander there, but it did. Instead, I tried to rationalize that it was just because I had spent all week on it without crutches or canes, and that my knee just new the weekend was coming and was ready to take a few days off. Even now at 5:22pm, I'm trying to stay optimistic, thinking that the ice and elevation will alleviate my pain and discomfort.

As my next class came in, I knew I couldn't stand and teach for anther 90 minutes, only to follow it up again for last period. Walking was now very difficult. My students quickly noticed my grimacing, so I confessed to them my situation. They very quickly volunteered to skip the lesson for the day, saying that I should sit and take it easy. I admire there extreme unselfishness on a Friday afternoon. They talked me into it.

As students worked on an assignment from their textbook, I sat at my desk with foot elevated grading papers, occasionally answer questions from the class from the comfort of my chair. Comfort is a lie. My knee was really hurting. With a phone call from my wife, in no time, she came by and brought me my ice pack. She's so wonderful. I felt horrible for her to have to hear the news about my knee. Her mind immediately went to the possiblity of another infection too. I decided that because my knee didn't appear to be getting too swollen and the pain had not continued to progress, that I would hold off on calling my doctor and just monitor it closely. In my mind, I HAD to act as if this was just soarness from overuse and nothing else. I'd call medical exchange on Saturday if things got worse overnight.

By the time school got out, after all that sitting, walking was almost impossible without a cane or crutches. With arms full, I lumbered gingerly to my vechicle and drove home, singing constantly to take my mind off the situation. When I got home, the pain was no worse, but I thought I was going to have to crawl in. It felt like 10 minutes to get from my car to the inside of my house, each step feeling like pins sticking in my knee. I tried to forget that's what the infections felt like.

So here I sit with swollen knee committed to relaxing it for the entire weekend hoping and praying it's not what I fear. There's no doubt it is inflmamed and swollen, more so that it has been, but the pain is tolerable, and the infection pains were not. That's something to cling to. Only tomorrow will tell.


Anonymous said...

Oh Dear!!! I hope the pain is because of too much use and nothing else!!! I will check in with you this weekend. Take care. LC

Anonymous said...

Hope you are feeling better. Don't mess around with this, get back to the doctor and check it out. Perhaps it is the avenging angel of the physical therapists that has attacked.

kwkorpi said...

I didn't even last the rest of the night. I took a shower and way yucky yellow infected goo running down my knee. I new it was infected.

I'm now in the hospital after an emergency surgery late Friday night. The MRSA infection is back. I'm on a Vancomycin drip, and as of now, am waiting for what my doctor will say tomorrow, Monday, about whether he needs to do ANOTHER surgery to clean out the yucky yellow goo out again.

When on pain medicine, it's manageable. Without med, the pain is excruciating.

As for the avenging angel of PT, they were devils, not angels. The infection had nothing to do with too much or too little therapy with it. Call it "luck" I guess.

Yep, "lucky" me!