Almost Two Weeks After Getting Surgery Doctor Shares His Progress
Cold Turkey – No More Pain Medications
In my previous post, Percocet – An Honest Review, I discussed how this opioid pain medication with controversial oxycodone helped me through the darkest days of pain in the seven days after surgery. I also talked about the horrible side effects including constipation, and urinary retention (the inability to pee!). After that post I decided it was time to try and wean myself off the Percocets.
I slowly increased the time between consuming a pill from every 4 hrs to every 5-8. One way to do this was by ‘bridging’ with Ibuprofen (Advil) 3 hrs after taking a Percocet. This helped to increase the time in between Percocet ingestions. As of 8 days post surgery I simply decided to go cold turkey as I was down to one Percocet every 8 hrs. By utilizing cryotherapy (application of ice) and the odd Ibuprofen it wasn’t as hard as I thought it would be except for this…
The Post Opioid Comedown
On of the ‘perks’ of Percs that I wrote about is optimism. One challenge going off the Percocets was feeling ‘down’. My initial optimism about the surgery was suddenly gone as ‘reality’ slapped me in the face. My knee/leg was still very swollen, sore, and ‘angry’. Also becoming reality was that I won’t be walking without crutches for at least another three weeks – very hard to accept when my 4 yr old son wants to play soccer/hockey/baseball with me. I had 2-3 days where I felt that I had little to no improvement but luckily my first post operative meeting with surgeon was coming up.
Meeting with Surgeon
Day 9 post surgery I had x-rays taken of the knee and discussed them along with the procedure with the surgeon. He was very happy with the x-rays, and explained the procedure through a number of surgical pictures that were taken. After that my stitches were removed and he did a few checks for strength and range of motion. Again, he was very happy with my progress and told me that the procedure went great. Optimism back! This time naturally 🙂
I am still utilizing the Continuous Passive Motion (CPM) machine 6 hrs a day to improve the range of motion of my knee. As I am writing this my knee flexion is up to 85 degrees which is only 5 degrees away from our current goal of 90. I have been using NMES (Neuro Muscular Electrical Stimulation) to keep my Vastus Medialis (inner quad muscle) firing. I’m riding my bike in brief periods with my good leg, and doing straight leg raises and heel slides. I still have a challenging road ahead but hopefully the worst has now passed!
This post is also featured on The GoodLife Blog.