She’s going to need real therapy after this therapist is through with her

FATHER’S DAZE
Emmitt B. Feldner for The Review

Terry got sent home to rehabilitate after her knee replacement surgery last month, which on its surface seems a prescription for non-recovery.

Actually, you could dig down all the way to the core of that notion and it still wouldn’t be anything but bad medicine.

That’s because coming home after surgery meant she would be under the tender care of you know who – me.

Usually, patients who have had both knees replaced get sent to a local nursing home/rehabilitation center to recuperate.

But since the doctor would do a buy one, get one free for Terry’s knee surgery and she only got one knee replaced, she was denied that option for recuperation.

Apparently, the thinking is that, with only one knee to get back into service, I would be able to provide the therapy and help she needs – with thrice-weekly therapy sessions from the professionals at the local clinic.

Never mind the fact that I am nowhere near a professional therapist – or even close to being a rank amateur – and I’m more in need of really serious therapy than I am of giving therapy.

I’m not sure what the divorce rate is post-knee replacement surgery, but I suspect it may exceed the average for the general population.

After all, I could just see me trying to tell her to bend her knee just a little bit further – Terry would probably respond by telling me what I can bend, or trying to bend my knee so that my toes touched my belly button.

Nevertheless, she was home just two days after her surgery and I was there to answer her every need.

That was day or night, which meant she slept downstairs with her cell phone next to her pillow and I slept upstairs with my cell phone next to my pillow.

I’m not sure what people in our situation do if they don’t have cell phones, but I probably don’t want to know either.

That worked fine, except the night when I forgot to plug my phone in to charge and I woke up to a dead battery and several missed calls.

Needless to say, I haven’t repeated that mistake again – I’m not that slow a learner when it comes to the really important lessons.

It also meant that the patient was subjected to having to depend on me for preparing her meals, an area in which I probably have even less expertise and skill than physical or occupational therapy.

It was probably likely that Terry would pretty soon be longing for a return to hospital food.

Fortunately for her, we apparently have enough friends who are more than familiar with my lack of culinary expertise who dropped off enough meals and other food to carry us through the first week or so.

Terry had also planned ahead – after all, she knows better than anyone else my shortcomings in the kitchen.

She had prepared some meals ahead that I only had to heat up in the microwave – and fortunately, that’s the one kitchen skill that even I have mastered.

To fill in any remaining gaps, I was also able to rely on fast food delivery and pickup – also culinary skills that even I can handle.

I was also in charge of things like keeping her knee iced and making sure she got all her medicines, but again that was simple enough that even I could handle the challenge.

They sent her home from the hospital with a machine that circulates ice water through a wrap that goes around her knees, so all I had to was make sure to refi ll it when the ice melted and keep it running.

I was smart enough not to take the advice of one of our neighbors, who suggested Terry should just go outside and stick her knee in a snowbank.

I’ll just let him try that with his wife if she ever has knee surgery – and I’ll be the fi rst to give him the name of a good divorce lawyer if he’s really stupid enough to try that.

It did mean frequent trips to pick up bags of ice, as Terry’s knee needed lots of icing down and our refrigerator doesn’t make ice nearly that fast – I don’t think there’s a refrigerator anywhere that can make that much ice that fast.

She has been doing a good job of getting back into shape, doing the exercises her therapists have given her and working hard with them.

It was only a week-and-a-half after her surgery, in fact, that the therapist told her she could throw her walker away and start using a cane to get around.

She had plenty of motivation, of course, since it’s a lot easier for her to hit me with her cane than it was with the walker.

Besides, the walker got all bent out of shape when she threw it at me one too many times.


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