The Declarer (Floyd McWilliams' Blog)

Sunday, September 12, 2010


Day 1

Our bedrooms are upstairs but we have a side room on the ground floor that serves as the kids' playroom. It has a futon, a few cheap small tables, and a connecting door to the bathroom. I lay on the futon with my head under one pillow and my leg under two. (The first night I raised my knee too high relative to my foot, which caused some discomfort in my leg muscles -- the brace was locked to a straight position.)

I tried to get more sleep, and finally caught a nap in the early evening. Despite having had no food I took it easy that night, eating soup, yogurt, and crackers, and I stuck to that diet for the next few days. I woke frequently that night and had some pain, but did sleep reasonably soundly.

The next morning was the post-surgery followup appointment. Sherry drove me to the surgeon's office near downtown Palo Alto and I must have looked like a real sight (a pretty teenager in the waiting room was snickering at me): Unshaved, hobbling on crutches, wearing shorts, the long white hose, and the massive black brace. No shoes -- instead I wore rough brown socks with nonslip white chevrons. We waited nearly an hour. The surgeon's nurse assistant unfastened the brace, unwrapped the brandage and ... I had expected a gory mess of stitches. There were just five small circular bandages, four at various places around my kneecap and one on my outer hamstring.

The knee was very swollen, so the nurse assistant drained fluid. I did not like this at all, and she knew I wouldn't -- she told me to breathe out slowly. When that agonizing task was finished, she rewrapped the bandage and fastened the brace, and gave more instructions. These were similar to the post-surgery instructions, the most important being that I needed to spend 6-8 hours a day in the CPM machine.

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