Knee blog: little milestones (kilometerstones?)

Back to Bed came by on Friday and put the bed up on blocks; Carrie rearranged the items on our nightstands so we could switch sides. She brought my clothes back upstairs, and I laid in a supply of Norco for the upstairs bathroom. Have been sleeping up there since Friday night.  Tricky part is I'm supposed to make only one trip a day upstairs & downstairs (plus perhaps one pair of climbs outdoors)--so I have to get washed & dressed and then head downstairs and stay there till bedtime. The water pressure upstairs is great, but there's no shower bench and no hand-held showerhead. Downstairs I have those, but lousy water pressure--could barely rinse everything out of my hair.  So today I ordered a backless bench, a clamp-on tub grab bar and a shower step for upstairs.  I figure I can sit on the bench facing backwards to wash my hair.  Beats wrecking my back, knees & neck standing over the kitchen sink with the sprayer (which IS pretty powerful). 

I gave up on the rapid-release Tylenol during the day--instead, I am taking one 650 mg. extended-release "Arthritis Strength" Tylenol each at bedtime and after breakfast (or before PT).  I have continued my morning Celebrex. But last night I slept from 3 till 9am on one Norco, so at 9 I took my Norco; at noon one Celebrex and a "loading dose" of two 650-mg. time-release Tylenols.  I've managed to keep the pain from breaking through now, taking one Norco every 6 hrs., and went back to a single time-release Tylenol tonight.  In a little less than 2 hrs. it'll be time for my next Norco.  And at 9 I'll get up, take a Norco, wash, brush my teeth, change into exercise clothes, do about 10 min. on the cycle. and knock back one time-release Tylenol along with my Celebrex and a shot of espresso, then apply gentle heat till the PT gets here at 10am.

Friday we got to 120 degrees of flex (measured this time--he brought the goniometer) and began working on building my left quad up again.  (That neuropathy is a bear when I first get up after sleep or a nap).  Ominously, I have begun feeling some lateral posterior pain in my left knee--in addition to the medial condyle pain I've always had.  All things being equal I could turn around and get the left TKR done whenever, but all things are NOT equal: my home help availability is spotty unless I enslave my son Gordy; I have that cruise coming up and performance commitments till mid-Feb., and we HAVE to get our albums recorded by then.  Most of all, Northwestern Memorial is not fully "in-plan" for my insurance, so it only covered 60% (sticking us with >$27K out of pocket).  Dr. W. goes on staff at Evanston North Shore (which is fully in-plan, covered at 80%) this summer. I was hoping that my unloader brace would do the trick for my L knee--but now that the lateral condyle appears to be shot (and threatening to trash the L lateral meniscus, which could result in arthroscopy), no point in shifting the weight via bracing.  I am hoping to stall via therapy, topical meds and careful support till Dr. W moves to Evanston.

John, my therapist, put in for 3 more sessions of home PT before I have to start going to ATI (which will pick me up & bring me home). Hope it's approved.  Meanwhile, need to talk to Dr. W's office about whether to switch from Celebrex to Aleve (which I am allowed to do tomorrow night) or take both, in order to further wean off Norco. If I'm still taking Norco in 2 wks, I won't be allowed to drive, which could wreck a whole lotta plans.

Went to Bob & Kathy's yesterday and ordered in Thai.  They gave me a pound of "Rise Again" blend coffee (named for the late Stan Rogers, roasted in--where else?--Nova Scotia).  Good stuff--it makes a nice shot of espresso, which is how I'll use it. Went out to Tiffin for dinner tonight.  To my chagrin, the chairs were low (the banquette was taken up by a large party) and the floors vinyl fake wood. So once I sat down, the chair dug into the vinyl and stayed there--moving was agony. We grossly over-ordered food and took most of it home.  Now I know why Type 2 diabetes is endemic in India--half the cuisine is based on potatoes & rice, which are very high-glycemic index. (Made me a regular gal, though).  

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