This is the sight that greeted me when I arrived at the rehabilitation hospital on Friday morning (albeit it one in which everything was in focus) and boy was it a welcome one. Wednesday and Thursday were like speed bumps on the road to recovery. It wasn't the knees per se but more aftereffects of a long surgery. He was nauseated, his blood pressure was high one minute and dramatically low the next and it was clear his systems weren't all working as they should. Three specialists, two x-rays/sonograms and a rolling cart full of pills, liquids and injections made him all better, thank goodness. If I worked at it harder, I probably could have completed a medical version of the Twelve Days of Christmas.
The important thing though is that he's back to his old self and, after missing therapy for two days, back to rolling that skateboard around as well as the other tricks the PT people have up their collective sleeves. And he couldn't be happier. Not that he enjoys the pain; it's just what you have to do to get back your strength and mobility.
Wayne is doing his therapy at a full-fledged rehabilitation facility attached to the hospital where he had his surgery. My guess is it's about 60 beds but it's hard to say. There are 40 rooms but some of them have two beds in them. Wayne's room has only his bed. This is the primary rehab hospital for the area so in addition to orthopedic and stroke patients, it also handles spinal cord and traumatic brain injuries so the therapists are first rate.
They're serious about maximizing your recovery, too. Wayne has two physical therapy sessions and one occupational therapy session every day, each one-on-one with a therapist and each lasting for an hour. Each morning he gets a schedule telling him what's scheduled when and, of course, there are meals, a shower, and time to rest/be seen by physicians in between. Phone calls and visitors are discouraged until evenings; you're expected to work on getting better.
And Wayne is. Physical therapy focuses more on range of motion and proper gait; occupational therapy is more practical...strengthening the upper body so you can push yourself up and strengthening the legs by performing tasks requiring you to stand in place. This afternoon he had to walk from one end of a long table to the other, retrieve some objects and bring them back. While this exercise would be more meaningful to someone who's going to be using a walker longer than he will, he benefited from the repetitive walking and turning.
Speaking of walking, he's motoring along quite well, especially for a guy who only took 6-8 steps on Tuesday and nothing more until Friday morning. At the end of the last PT session today, Wayne walked all the way from the therapy room back to his room. The therapist was, of course, right there with him, pulling a wheelchair in case he needed to sit down but he didn't. I counted 95 steps when I walked just from the elevator to his room and we figured from the therapy room to the elevator was another 95 steps or more. I was impressed! You'd think when someone cut your knee out and pounded an artificial one in it's place it would hurt to stand up but the real pain is in bending all those muscles around it.
I don't intend to turn the blog into a step-by-step account of Wayne's recovery but it is a means to keep family and friends aware of how he's doing. And when it comes right down to it, our lives right now revolve around Wayne and his recovery. It's just really good to see how much progress he's making towards that goal.