A Dream Come True
After seven years of limping on an impaired knee, I met with Dr. Haas at HSS. He clearly and authentically told me the facts about my need for TKR. I felt his optimistic attitude about a successful and hopeful outcome. He said I also needed work in regard to a valgus problem.
I read the info from HSS and attended the classes with the staff. They prepared me for the surgical experience. Following surgery, I was up and practicing stair climbing. The staff was very helpful and informative, showing me how to navigate the cane and use the bathroom.
The best was yet to come. I stayed for 3 weeks with my daughter. I had PT 3x a week. She made me meals and encouraged me. I could walk a little without using a cane. I navigated the stairs two feet at a time. The PT and the nurse both took my vital signs and answered my questions. I only went outside once since it was winter. I slept a lot. For pain relief, I took extra-strength pain medication. I also rented a Game Ready ice machine for five weeks which reduced pain intensity and reduced time to heal.
I took a referral from HSS for outpatient PT near my home. That was difficult, but I felt supported by the staff and the fellow patients. I was told I was a "fast healer". Yay - thanks Dr. Haas!
At 8 weeks my scar was almost gone. Following Dr. Haas’ advice about moving my knee early on was difficult, but it really helped to get back in action. Chatting with other TKR survivors was helpful. I am still going to PT and increasing the variety of activities.
It was a dream come true for me to find myself in such good health. My immunity to colds was strong and I tried to stay out of crowds. At the 6 week checkup, I saw x-rays of my knee before and after surgery. I was shocked to see what a big difference was made as a result of the surgery. The x-ray of my left knee was perfectly straight whereas my former x-ray of that knee had been dramatically curved. That is when I regretted having waited so long to have surgery.
When walking in New York on a block that I used to avoid because of crooked bricks on the ground, I now was looking around at all the buildings, the people, etc. Formerly, I had to stare at the ground constantly to avoid falling. I used to always have an eye out for handicapped alternatives. People always gave me a seat on the subway and I had to walk backwards down the subway steps. When I realized how much energy that had consumed, I burst out sobbing. What a miracle to float across a sidewalk and to refrain from holding on to every railing. My balance now left me feeling that I had lost twenty pounds. I can walk freely and easily.
I feel now that I had received a new opportunity to live the years I have left. I work as a therapist and feel inspired to do better work because I have been so helped. It has changed my attitude and my life. Thank you Dr. Haas and HSS.