Chronic Pain, Disability, Disability Awareness, Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome, health

Week 7 Post-Op

Sunday 1st November (Day 43) to Saturday 7th November (Day 49)

This week has been absolutely mental, so much has happened and unfortunately, towards the end of this week I have had to focus all of my energy on reliving a lot of medical trauma, rather than my knee recovery.

Safe to say, I am extremely glad right now that I have this blog to help take my mind off things. So, let’s focus on some of the notable things that have happened in terms of my recovery from surgery this week.

  • Flexion Increase Day

My fellow spoonies and closest friends will know just how much I was dreading flexion increase day this week. After the pain and instability that came with the last increase, I was petrified that my recovery would suffer yet another setback.

Luckily, that wasn’t the case and whilst getting my knee to bend to 90° was not exactly fun, I haven’t had a huge amount of pain and there has been no instability so far. However, it has not been completely smooth sailing, now that my knee is free to bend by such a large amount, it often gets stuck and I then I have to physically straighten my leg, which is extremely painful but I am hoping rehab will help with that!

  • Anti-Coagulant Injections

Where do I even start?

For those of you who don’t know, I have had to inject myself with anti-coagulants every day since I had surgery. For the first few weeks, they were fine. All of a sudden about 2 weeks ago, I ended up in absolute agony just from getting the needle into my tummy, and ever since then I started having panic attacks every time it came to doing my injection.

I tried everything to get through it; numbing cream, injecting a different part of my body, but nothing worked. It would get to 6pm and I would start hyperventilating at the thought of having to do the injection, tears would stream down my face as I tried once again to find a place for the needle that didn’t hurt, I would shout to mum in the other room that I just can’t do it anymore, I contemplated giving up but the risk of having a blood clot stopped me.

On Monday, I spoke to my GP, who immediately arranged for me to go in and see the nurse to discuss things and find a way to get me through the last week and a half of the injections. The nurse very helpfully helped me find a new way to inject myself, which doesn’t hurt anywhere near as much and as of right now I have managed 5 injections with no panic attack. 7 more to go and then I am finally done!

  • Car Journeys

Guess who managed to sit in the car properly for the first time in 7 weeks? You guessed it… ME! Getting in and out is definitely still a process, but my word it felt amazing to sit in the front of the car for once, rather than having to lie across the back seats (it almost made going to the GP surgery worth it). Having said that though, god knows what everyone else in the car park thought when I was standing on my good leg, whilst reaching into the car to physically pick my operated leg up and get it out.

  • Walking

I got out for another walk and it felt amazing! I managed to walk a little bit further this time, thanks to having a 2-minute rest before walking back home. It’s only when I get out for these little walks that I realise just how far I’ve come and also just how far I still have to go.

I ended up in bed for 4 hours after my walk but the difference that little bit of fresh air has on my mental health is SO worth it. I will definitely never take being able to have short walks outside for granted again!

  • Quad Strengthening

Anyone with EDS or knee issues will understand my excitement over this but… I finally managed to write the entire alphabet with my foot this week.

Just to give some context for those of you who haven’t experienced the joy of physiotherapy exercises, one of the most common exercises is to keep your leg in the air and write the alphabet with your foot. I haven’t been able to do this exercise for years as my kneecaps would just come off after a few letters, so being able to complete the whole exercise is a BIG deal for me. Now I just need to start rehab, get even stronger and who knows, maybe I’ll be able to do that exercise more than once without being exhausted?

As I head into week 8 of recovery, it is time for me to get a bit sentimental and say a huge thank you to my incredible support system.

I never had any doubts that my amazing family and friends would be there by my side every step of the way through this recovery, but the one thing I never expected was that this blog would lead me to add even more people to my support system.

When I started this blog 3 years ago, it was just a place for me to ramble about my health with very few people reading it, I never in a million years thought it would get as many views as it now does. I certainly didn’t expect my blog to lead me to be part of an incredible chronically ill community and I certainly didn’t imagine that it would lead me to meeting some of the most inspirational and amazing friends.

Tana, Ellen, Soph, Amy and Laura – My fellow spoonies, I am so insanely grateful to have met you all and you all mean the world to me. Thank you for your never-ending humour, encouragement and advice (especially this week, there is no way I could have got through the events of the past few days without you all)!

Lauren x

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