Sam is easing back into the real world

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It’s been almost two weeks since knee replacement surgery and I’m starting to feel like myself again. The first two weeks of recovery are intense. It’s a mix of pain, pain management, not enough sleep, physio, icing, elevation, and a lot of medication. The pain meds are obvious but after surgery you also take anti-clotting medication, antibiotics, and iron pills.

But now, the worst of it is over. I get my staples out tomorrow. I’m no longer taking serious pain medication. I’m sleeping 3-4 hours at a stretch which feels heavenly compared to 1-2 hours. I can sleep on my side now. Some of the sleeping does involve dogs. They’re great nap companions.

Sam napping with dogs

I can read. Also, I don’t need crutches about the house. I’m climbing up and down stairs pretty regularly. The mobility aspect of this recovery is much speedier with the second knee, now that I have one good leg. There’s a month now before back to work.

The recommended medical leave for knee replacement is 6-12 weeks. Last time I just took 6 weeks and I think I’ll do the same this time. I don’t have a physically demanding job. Mostly I sit at a desk or attend meetings. I can do physio in my office and I’ve got a freezer for ice storage.

My doctor made it clear it was up to me about length of leave and by six weeks I felt ready to get back at it. I was sleeping properly and I wanted to get back to some of my academic writing. It felt wrong, since I’m paid to be a Dean, not a publishing scholar, to be home from the Dean’s office and working on my own research. I also missed the people in my office and the projects on which we were working.

I was amused both times by the people who were shocked I took leave at all. Surely, they said, I could just work from home? I’m not sure I’d do my best administrative work while on morphine, frankly. But even after those first two weeks I wasn’t quite ready to go back. I was still struggling with sleep and physio took up an awful lot of time.

Mostly the ‘no leave’ crowd were either American or had business jobs, or both. I felt pretty comfortable with the low end of the recommended leave last time and I think it’s likely I will this time too.

I’m already starting to get a little bit bored. I’m binge watching The Expanse (I’ve stopped and started before but never made it all the way through) and doing a lot of physio.

Sam’s physio companions

I’m hoping that weather picks up this week and I can sit outside and see if I get any birds at my new bird feeder.

Sam’s new bird feeder

Once the staples are out and everything is healed, I’ll head back to the gym and the recumbent bike, some weight lifting, and maybe more aquafit.

I’m really looking forward to riding my bike to work this summer too.

Sam’s pink Brompton


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