It’s the 18th day of summer break and it’s 11 days post-op. I am doing well, very well. I’ve been up walking, with support, since the first day. Hours after the operation, I was up with a walker and an assistant and I made my first steps on my new knee. Those first steps were tentative at best. Each day is better and each day I get a little stronger and more flexible. I am thankful.
Going in to the operation I was excited and anxious – I wasn’t sure what to expect and I tried to envision what it might feel like, but I had no idea what lay ahead. I had talked to folks who had had their knees replaced; each told me that once they had completed the physical therapy, they were surprised how normal their knee felt. Normal meaning pain-free. They encouraged me to do the exercises and do the physical therapy – with integrity.
My surgery over a week ago this past Monday and I was home the next day late int eh afternoon. Before I came home, I had a visit from a physical therapist to see how far I could walk and if I could manage stairs. I passed and got my walking papers. Since, I’ve been up and down stairs – carefully – one step at time and I’ve been faithful in my physical therapy, I listened.
My first physical therapy appointment was Wednesday morning and I’ve had two more sessions on Thursday and Friday. Then the weekend arrived, I did my exercises, moved, and made time to ice my knee. I’ve also been careful with my meds and with managing my pain. I came home with some pretty serious stuff and I’ve been able to forgo the meds (for the most part) and manage the pain with Tylenol for arthritis
I listened. I’ve been doing heel-slides, calf-presses, leg lifts, side leg lifts, marches, standing side leg swings, leg curls, and calf raises to name exercises I can name. All of the exercises are basic, simple, easy to perform, and designed to re-build my right leg’s strength, range of motion, and endurance. Each day gets better.
I had physical therapy Monday and again Tuesday. Monday’s session was difficult and I came home exhausted. Tuesday’s session was different. I asked with my therapist if I could transition from the walker to a cane and she checked the doctor’s orders and said yes. Tuesday’s session was better, much better.
As we walked to the car after my therapy session, I asked O (my driver\daughter) if she was interested in visiting the Morton Arboretum. She said yes. I really only wanted to visit the arboretum and drive slowly around the drive and enjoy the beauty of the forest and take a peek at the new exhibit – trolls.
— Clay Watkins (@makingdayscount) June 22, 2018
The Morton Arboretum usually has a summer exhibition of some sort – one year it was tree houses and each summer is different. This year it’s trolls.
‘Troll Hunt’ is here! There are trolls amid the trees at Morton Arboretum — one of them 50 feet long https://t.co/07mAfjEpzj
— Clay Watkins (@makingdayscount) June 22, 2018
O asked me where I wanted to go and I told her it was her choice – she chose the east side.
The east side is larger and wooded, heavily wooded. The west side has the prairie and the daffodil glade. I’ve spent many afternoons walking the west side trails and enjoying being outdoors.
Across the arboretum there are seven trolls scattered across the sprawling 1700 acres of the Morton Arboretum; four on the east side and three on the west side. We came across the first troll when we entered and a second troll almost immediately after we began our drive through the rolling hills and forests. I asked O if she felt up for an adventure and she said, yes. We decided to stop and visit one of the trolls.
We stopped at the parking lot (P14). I got out with my cane and began walking along the chipped path, slowly. O walked ahead and I followed behind. It took a few minutes of walking along the path before I could see the troll – it was huge.
The trolls are the creation of a Danish artist using recycled materials. Each is different. The troll we visited was nestled between two maple trees and seemed to be guarding the forest. I took several pictures before we returned to our car. I couldn’t walk fast enough for O, who was being attacked by mosquitos. It was a great walk and when I got to the car I felt triumphant.
Tuesday was an excellent day and each day gets better as I get stronger, more flexible, and gain endurance.
Yesterday, we traveled north to the lake. O loaded the car and B drove. Ivy and I were patient passengers. O and her friend unloaded the car and then headed out on the lake. It was beautiful day on the lake and by the lake. I stayed ashore, I am not allowed on the lake or in the lake lest I get my incision wet or worse. We are here until Sunday when we’ll head home.
For now, I am thinking of trolls and dreaming of visiting the six remaining trolls later this summer. Today is going to be a great day so I’d better jump up, jump in and seize the day. Making the Days Count, one day at a time, dreaming of trolls and other mythical forest creatures.
When was the last time you came across a troll or another mythical creature?