Tag Archives: knee walker

Thoughts on the one week, post surgery mark

Leading up to her surgery, the female DG spent considerable time on the internet trying to get a better idea of what she faced in her recovery from surgery to repair an Achilles tendon. (Looking back, she is somewhat glad that she didn’t spend as much time researching stage 3 glioma when the male DG was first diagnosed; she might have been more inclined to fold the tents – even in the good hands of the top-of-their-game UCSF neuro-surgery and neuro-oncology team.)

She found a ton of material about recovery from surgery following a Achilles tendon rupture – and it all sounded grim – but little about her less serious injury (severe deterioration and partial tear). So in the hopes of someone, someday, finding this post, she’s offering eight things she’s learned in the week since surgery.

1. Plan for pain but don’t be surprised if it’s more discomfort than real pain. That has been her experience.
2. Surgery takes the wind out of you – even if you’re fairly fit. She’s unclear if it’s the assault on the body itself or the anesthesia – or both. Don’t try to be a hero and do too much.
3. Do everything possible to make sure your spouse (or other caregiver)  knows how really helpless you’ll be. Being restricted to non-weight bearing activity necessitates balancing on one foot and not having the use of arms/hands (if using crutches or walker).
4. Ask your surgeon very early on if he orders cold therapy following surgery – and don’t leave the surgical center without it. More about this here.
5. Order a knee walker. There are different models.The female DG ordered hers through RentAKneeWalker. It arrived as ordered, and the customer service staff has answered two basic questions with courtesy. The knee walker allows you not only get around easier and more quickly. You can literally do more. The female DG can stand at the kitchen sink and kind of toggle between the sink and refrigerator to put a salad together, for example
6. Be ready to say no and yes. No when you’re really not feeling up to it and yes when people offer to help.
7. Spend the money on an wedge pillow to make it easier to keep your leg comfortably propped up in the “toes above the nose” position. No combination of pillows would have produced the same results.
8. Hope for temperate weather. The rarely too hot, summery temperatures of Menlo Park have been a boon.

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Filed under Achilles tendon surgery

Glory hallelujah, the knee walker arrives

The male dual G (gimpy and grumpy) had just emerged from his nap when the UPS truck arrived with the knee walker (her selected model shown here).  The female DG was elated – help was here if what she had heard about this scooter-like device was true. Male grumpiness followed almost immediately: “You didn’t tell this thing needed assembly.” She thought: “Yea, agreed, it’s not exactly how storks deliver babies, all cleaned up, diapered, and ready to go. But it’s not in a million pieces either.”

Thankfully the angels continue to descend, this time in the persona of Maggie Pringle who was delivering one of Trinity’s Manna Ministry dinners. Mother of three fairly close-in-age and now grown children, she displayed her Christmas Eve mechanical skills immediately, helping the male D G figure out what goes where and screwing various things in when two hands were needed. A former physical therapist, she helped the female DG onto the machine for test run. And away she went!

The intricacies of steering properly are still being learned as well as the necessity of keeping her right leg away from the turning wheels. (One gouge on the back of her calf will remind her.) And it will be a challenge to figure out how to get it and herself in and out of a car without help. But all in all she’s moving – and can even imagine a ‘knee walk’ around the block.

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Filed under Achilles tendon surgery, Support angels