Friday, July 16, 2010

Free at Last, Free at Last

No, I'm not actually free, and I certainly don't mean to disrespect Reverend King by using that phrase.

However, this morning I got my walking papers from the Benson Rehabilitation Center. I have graduated from physical therapy. I don't have to go there any more!

For the past six weeks since my knee replacement surgery, I have had three (sometimes only two) one-hour appointments each week with the therapists and their assistants. They've done a good job guiding and directing me as I learned to build up the leg muscles and operate the new knee.

I still have an assortment of exercises to continue at home, for muscle strength and joint flexibility. But the official measurement said I reached the target of 120 degrees of flex on the knee (the other knee freely moves to about 125 degrees), and I can get to 2 degrees from total extension, which is nicely within tolerance. (My surgeon actually said that 2 degrees is considered flat.)

Because I'm was so pleased with my angels at the Rehabilitation Center, I got pictures of them today. The lady on the NuStep machine is my main therapist, Jodi.

Holding the clipboard is my therapy assistant Billie.

Jodi and Billie were insistent and constant on moving me forward, and I can't thank them enough.

Here at home, of course, I have my lovely Suzy egging me on and encouraging me in following up with the exercises. As a matter of fact, she is also in physical therapy for her back and she does her exercises right along with me.

To make things even better, my surgeon told me yesterday that I was right on course, and I could start driving again whenever I want. Guess who drove home from Tucson yesterday? He also explained a center of pain on the inside of the knee -- that's where the soft tissue was cut and stretched, and the pain will eventually get better. He says full recovery will perhaps take a full year.

As long as I can walk and drive and manage the remaining pain, I'm happy.

What a great time in ...Our Life on Wheels!


  1. Congratulations!!! That is wonderful news!! You have done well and made some really great progress!! Now you are off and running (well walking,ha!)

    Take care!!
    Mike & Gerri (happytrails)

  2. Happy graduation from therapy! Can't wait to see you two in a few weeks!

  3. So glad to hear the good news Jerry and to see the lovely picture of Suzy. Keep up the good work and you will be as good as new.

    So good to get caught up with you both. Our life on the road with the carnival is definitely keeping us busy.

  4. Congratulations, Jerry! That's great news about all those knee degrees and stuff - even better that you can now drive again. I'm sure even Dr. King would smile at your choice of a headline for this blog! Everyone deserves to be "free", even guys with wonky knees!

    Great photo of Suzy, too!

  5. Congratulations to the graduate! Your walking papers, indeed--and also your driving papers, I guess. I'll bet it feels great to move on from that phase of recovery. I'm guessing that you won't miss all those trips to Tucson.

    What a great picture of Suzy!

  6. Congrats on your graduation from rehab therapy. That is great news and just in time for celebrating that big anniversary you two folks have coming up soon.

    Nice to read that Suzy is doing P.T. also for her back. Hope that is going well and she is seeing some positive results from it.

    Have a wonderful weekend.

  7. That is great news, when you think of it six weeks is not a long time, remember when a broken wrist was in a cast for 8 weeks. So Glad to hear you & Suzy are doing fine with your exercise. Be safe out there. Sam & Donna.

  8. Those physical therapist type people are great folks. Broke a wrist in a motorcycle crash years ago & the therapist people worked wonders with it later. So amazing what can be done these days with the human body compared to years ago. With your new knee we will be expecting some precarious mountain goat trail photos soon. Maybe a bit of desert wind surfing & deep knee bends in the Chiricahuas:))

  9. So glad to hear this happy news! Good for you in being diligent with the rehab.

  10. Knees can be tricky little devils to heal! Den broke his kneecap in 1970..Off work 3 months, cast and crutches 6 weeks, walking cast and finally a cane and P.T. He never has a pain in it to this day. Did you get Suzy those flowers?? I must have a talk with Dennis....
    The driving must be the best news ever!!...independence day....WAY TO GO!!!

  11. Awesome news Jerry!!! Woot Woot! :)
    I love the picture of Suzy with the flowers. She's a keeper!


  12. Congratulations on getting released. What ever you do, do not stop exercising the knee. I am 7 months out from my total knee replacement and I still do my exercises as they help keep the knee limber. Try swimming. It is really good as it takes the weight off the knee. Keep on exercising!!!!!!


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