What to Do With Post-op Time

“You need to let the little things that would ordinarily bore you suddenly thrill you.” ~ Andy Warhol

Photo by Kaboompics .com on Pexels.com

Having to rest post-operatively is not an easy thing for me. Considering I was doing heel pumps from the time I left the recovery room (still sedated) to my hospital room, movement has always been important to me. While I can sit and savor silence and solitude and rest . . . when forced on me, I detest it.

So what do you do to pass the time after a knee replacement? Certainly not by lying about wrapped in bandages and ice packs waiting for the pain to subside. Movement is key to a quick recovery. The night after surgery I was home, strolling down the alley and back with my walker. I’ve been up and down the stairs multiple times each day, in and out of the continuous passive motion machine for 2 hours at a time which straightens and bends my leg to set degrees. I’ve showered and done laundry and cooked and chosen my own rehab path – – continuous cooling at night while sleeping, compression and movement during the day.

What is with these PT exercises they expect me to do? Who lies flat in bed and raises their leg straight up, especially two days after having the quadricep tendon sliced in two? How about we bend the knee while standing in a more natural position, rather than fighting gravity to raise it? Honestly, it’s not my first rodeo on total knees. I had the first one done 3 years ago and I can bend it just fine. Marching while holding to the walker is a more natural movement that allows the leg to bend automatically as it’s lifted.

While I don’t avoid movement, I can’t only do movement either. I have to take moments to rest. There are only so many books to be read and magazines to be perused. I’m not an avid fan of television or movies. I have my computer (obviously) and blogs with which I catch up, but those need not be done on a daily basis either.

Reading – I am a huge reader, both of physical books and those on my Kindle as well as audiobooks. Presently, I am reading several which is par for the course. Physically – What Did You Do in the War, Sister? Belgian Sisters in the Nazi Resistance. Audiobooks – The American Civil War from The Great Courses, The Invisible Woman (just finished) and Grandma Gatewood’s Walk. Kindle Books – Red Blanket (just finished), Atomic Habits – because who doesn’t need to make good habits, The Seven Day Switch (a modern take on the Freaky Friday tale). This last one has me chuckling out loud quite often – how many times have you looked at an acquaintance and thought to yourself “they have it soooo easy . . . “

Magazines – Taste of Home – you KNOW I love to cook, This Old House – I love working on old houses even more, and Simply Sewing – c’mon . . . I own three sewing machines and a serger.

Podcasts – depending on my mood, the podcast changes. Sewing With Threads, Not Your Average Runner, REAL AF with Andy Frisella, Coming Clean with Paige Hathaway, The Ed Mylett Show (I have to admit that while I enjoy listening, especially in the passive movement machine, I almost ALWAYS fall asleep – what can I say, Ed has a very relaxing voice.), and then there are the unsolved murders and true crime stories. The Thing About Pam is actually a dateline episode that captivated not only myself, but also my daughters leaving one, who had just finished middle school, to state, “Awwww c’mon . . .I could do better than that!”

Planning – We are a large family, with a lot going on. Between two jobs, three kids at home, a spouse, older kids, grandkids — it’s a lot to keep going. My all time favorite planner is customizable from Plum Paper. As with our calendar in the kitchen, I use a color-coded system to keep everyone and everything straight. I also like to jot down notes from events, things the kids have said, recipes, etc. Looking back at past journals brings some very poignant memories to the surface as well as remembering from where a recipe came or how the kids have grown and evolved into young adults.

What do you do when you’re forced to rest?

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