Relative Something

*this* John W. Hays' take on things and experiences

Pain Management

with 2 comments

Which is more difficult: Suffering great pain ourselves or watching a loved one suffer pain that we can’t do anything about? It hurts either way. The good news is that Cyndie is home and making great progress in coping with the immediate after-effects of a TKA.

You know, Total Knee Arthroplasty. Geesh. Loosely, arthro -joint / plasty -molding, grafting or forming. Otherwise known as knee replacement.

Progress doesn’t mean mastering. As of last night, I would describe it as the pain having the best of her. Pain: 2 / Cyndie: 1.

My biggest challenge is figuring out how to keep her from doing anything that isn’t helpful to her situation while she is on pain medication. Keeping Cyndie from doing things is akin to herding cats.

She was on the couch resting when I stepped out to walk Delilah and tend to the horses yesterday afternoon. In the fraction of an hour that I was outside, she got up off the couch and worked on hanging up new shower curtains that were delivered to our house on Monday.

That wasn’t something that needed to happen and could easily have waited for me to take care of later.

This kind of behavior makes it even harder on me when she later cries in pain and admits maybe she did a little too much. Ya think?

I’m not a great one for policing her actions in general. How do you stop a perpetual motion machine? As a result, it’s complicated for me when my role in caring for her involves trying to control her activities. She tells me it hurts if she lays too long, so she gets up and walks. Looks to me like it hurts to walk and it hurts when she struggles back into bed.

Thankfully, there was room to increase the dosage of pain meds to manage her comfort at this phase of the recovery.

The saving grace of this knee replacement is going to be the iceless cold compression therapy machine Cyndie rented. Chilled water is automatically pumped through a wrap on her knee and it cycles on and off in programmed intervals.

I was able to watch Cyndie’s initial physical therapy session before we left the recovery hotel and I asked the therapist about how important the exercises are to optimizing recovery. Her answer: they are 100% the key to achieving full range of motion but you must do them all consistently as prescribed and no more than prescribed. Shouldn’t underdo or overdo it.

Hmm. I’m gonna opt out of being in charge of that.

Hopefully, it won’t be long before the pain is managed without narcotics altering her consciousness. It’s challenging enough for me to keep pace with Cyndie’s mode of operation on normal days.

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2 Responses

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  1. Good luck. I dare say I could easily find myself in a similar situation at some point.

    Jim Parker (@drjparker)

    April 21, 2022 at 7:14 pm


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