Here’s lookin’ at you, Walker Boy

Hey, baby! Lookin' good...

Here’s my hubby coming home from work, one week and one day after his left knee replacement surgery.

Look at him wield that walker!

Look at him go!

He went back to work today, although I think he spent more time at physical therapy and the hospital (to monitor his Coumadin levels–to prevent blood clots post-surgery) than he did at work.

Hardly anyone goes back to work within one week, but Barry has a desk job and isn’t slinging cement blocks.  He can also come & go as he pleases, lucky fella.  As long as he gets a newspaper out once a week.

He’s still a bit challenged with swelling and bruising poor baby, but the physical therapist didn’t seem worried.  (He has purple TOES, dear reader!)

He keeps the knee propped up above the heart for hours at a time, the ice machine cooling the new knee.

He’s a good sport.

We’re doing well, dear readers, both of us.

If any of you wish to know more about the knee replacement scenario, please visit my new blogging buddy, Christine M Grote at Random Thoughts from Midlife.  Here is one of her many blogs about her husband’s knee replacement from two months after surgery, the lucky duck:  http://randomthoughtsfrommidlife.wordpress.com/2012/04/10/bilateral-knee-replacement-surgery-two-months-and-back-to-yard-work/

I spend a lot of time adjusting pillows, searching for pills, here’s your magazine, what do you want NOW?

But it’s OK.  He did the same for me during my gall bladder surgery–how many months ago now?  Let me count.  That would be sixteen months ago when the surgeon sharpened his knife and laparoscopically dove in to remove the hapless gall bladder, goodbye gall bladder, how I loved you…

Gosh, young folks don’t appreciate their moving bones and knees and functioning gall bladders, do they? OK, young people, I don’t really mean YOU.  I mean that I never appreciated mine as fully as I should.

Honoring the body parts which still work, which still zing, which still can run up the road and through the woods and down to the lake…

Any body parts which you’ve replaced?  Whispered goodbye?  Learned to handle gently, with care?

P.S.  Walker Boy approved this headline, so don’t worry that I hurt his tender feelings…he’s such a GOOD sport, isn’t he?

P.S.S.  Later addition–I don’t mean to imply that he’s pain-free.  He does experience pain during the day, but he’s dealing with it.  Knee replacement surgery and its recovery isn’t easy, but he’s up and about and doing his exercises.  Hoping this continues…

About Kathy

I live in the middle of the woods in Michigan's Upper Peninsula. Next to Lake Superior's cold shores. I love to blog.
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80 Responses to Here’s lookin’ at you, Walker Boy

  1. Cee Neuner says:

    Great for him. He looks great with his walker!

  2. john says:

    I didn’t see an elevator at the Sentinel and Barry is on the second floor … WOW is he doing well! Good thing it is too late for the bay to freeze, otherwise he might try to go out fishing by next week 😉 Kudos to the nurse supreme.

    What is that Finnish word for hardcore?

    • Kathy says:

      The Physical Therapists teach you how to go up stairs first. They want you to keep moving, exercising, flexing, as much as possible, as often as possible. There is a small window of 3 months in which to optimize the PT. Yep, he’d be out fishing for sure, John, if he could… Are you thinking “sisu”?

  3. Joanne says:

    He IS a good sport Kathy and it’s so great to hear how well he is doing after such a short period of time. He’ll be Running Boy in no time! 🙂

  4. Wow! great news…reminds me of the saying..you’ve come a long way baby!

  5. Barb says:

    I had to read parts of this to Bob – Walker Boy is definitely a good sport. Purple toes, you say? Is nothing sacred, Kathy? (I think not – I’m remembering the toilet post.

  6. Lori DiNardi says:

    Glad to see that Barry is doing so well. My mom recovered quite quickly from hers. Looks like Barry will too. Funny thing, I just drafted a blog about youth. Won’t be up for another week or so yet. I’ve got some other fun stuff to put up when I get a chance. Thanks for the update on Barry. Keep up the good healing, Barry.

    • Kathy says:

      I’ll look forward to seeing your blog, Lori. Glad to hear your mom recovered quickly, too. Seems like some do and some don’t. Glad you appreciated the update, too.

  7. Looks like Walker Boy is doing pretty damn walker-well! You go Walker Boy! We’re with you!

    But, seriously, Walker Boy has some real walker-worthy guts to be going back to work so soon!

    (So glad to see you got connected with Christine!)

    Hugs,
    Kathy

    • Kathy says:

      I would say he’s back at work half-strength, Kathy. Certainly not 40 hours a week yet. Problem is: there’s nobody to do his job. And in the weekly newspaper business, you have to produce. Christine’s insight has been a lot of help thus far, thank you!

  8. Dana says:

    That’s a pretty speedy return to work, if you ask me. Way to go, super healing Barry! I’m thankful to have not said goodbye to any body parts (or even broken any bones before). Allow me to take a quick moment and hug myself. 🙂

    • Kathy says:

      He’s still in some pain, Dana, but not as much as we feared. I am glad you are hugging yourself. You’ve inspired me. I’m going to hug myself, too. 🙂

  9. Susan Derozier says:

    Kathy – I can’t believe that Barry is doing so well so fast. Isn’t he still in a lot of pain? Give him a “bravo!” from me, will you? He is really Impressive. I was still moving from one chair to another all day long in miserable pain. Cheers and I hope he continues to improve!

    btw….my computer has been down for past several months off and on and I’ve lost all my email addresses. Could you please send me yours when you get a moment? Thanks! Sue

    • Kathy says:

      Yes, Susan, he’s still in a bit of pain. The meds are really helping. If he doesn’t keep on top of them, he’s in trouble. If he goes more than 4-6 hours, watch out. He came home yesterday and collapsed on the couch for most of the evening. It was really on the edge of what he could do. Today, he’ll do the same thing, I am sure. He doesn’t have to work a 40 hour/week, thank goodness. He’s probably just in to work for 4-5 hours a day. The physical therapy folks keep insisting on moving the leg constantly, stretching, flexing, etc.

      I feel sad that you were in miserable pain for so long. Did your meds alleviate the pain at all? Off to send you my email address.

  10. I think that is, in fact a very impressive recovery! Good for Barry!
    For you, Kathy, a little poem that my friend Robert Cole wrote, and posted today:
    “Hungry for poems,
    I drift toward starlings ringing
    in the waking trees.”

  11. Elisa's Spot says:

    I want to giggle but then if i giggle I might have to be the recipient of other giggles and ….so i won’t.

  12. bonnie says:

    Wishing all the best to Barry, and that the recovery goes well. Blessings to you both.

  13. CMSmith says:

    I had my gallbladder removed a couple of months before Mark’s knee surgery. I say, “Good riddens.” I can’t believe your husband has gone to work.

    Thanks for the shout out.

    • Kathy says:

      Jeez, Christine! We’re on the same organ-removal track! Gall bladders gone, and husbands with new knees. Go figure. He’s only to work part-time, not a 40 hour week. Thank goodness he can keep his leg elevated at work and relax when needed. However, he was pretty tired when he came home last night, and I’m sure he’ll cut back his hours even more if necessary.

  14. Glad to see him doing so well! 🙂

  15. Heather says:

    I’m just completely amazed he’s so mobile! I couldn’t put any weight on my broken ankle last year for a month, and then had to go another month in a cast before very tenderly using it with a brace on! I’m still careful. Congratulations on such a fine recovery. I’m sure Barry appreciates all your efforts. And his gall bladder 😉

    • Kathy says:

      They actually WANT him to put as much weight as possible on his knee, no holding back. He thought he was going to have to treat it tenderly, but they said “absolutely not”. He has only a small window of 3-4 months to gain back his mobility. (Yes, he does seem to appreciate Nurse Kathy’s efforts, **Grin**)

  16. Connie T says:

    You don’t how great you have it until something hurts or needs replaced. Wishing him a speedy recovery and not much pain.

    • Kathy says:

      That is so true, Connie. I guess we can never really know how good we had it until something goes kaput. Thank you for the well-wishes.

  17. At his rate of recovery, you may need to attach rockets to the walker so it can keep up with him! Glad he’s doing okay.

    • Kathy says:

      Somebody waved to him while he was walking into Physical Therapy yesterday and he took his walker and waved it in the air to the passerby. Jeez…. He’s doing OK, but still in pain at times. He’ll need to find that perfect balance of keeping it easy and getting done what needs to be done. Thank you.

  18. Dawn says:

    Glad he’s up and about…but I think a week and then back to work is a little agressive…but looks like he’s doing it! Here’s to speedy healing and a life back to normal soon!

    • Kathy says:

      It is a little aggressive, but then again he doesn’t work for a company where he can take much time off–it’s a challenging employee situation at work and if he doesn’t do the job, there’s not a lot of others there who can. Luckily he doesn’t have to work 40 hours a week, and can come home if he needs to. Thank you for the well wishes.

  19. Susan D. says:

    I’m really glad that Walker Boy approved the headline because upon first seeing it, I burst out laughing (of course). Great picture and he wears the walker well. I’m so glad that both Barry and you are doing so well! Of course you are. You’re “youse” ….

    Thanks for sharing the picture and the updates. Continued best thoughts for progress and healing!

    • Kathy says:

      We do have fun, don’t we? Of COURSE you burst out laughing! I think he looks very dapper with his walker, he does. I hope he continues to heal without any setbacks. Thank you, Susan D.

  20. Fountainpen says:

    It all sounds good, but gently and carefully into the days
    of healing and strengthening……is he doing that???
    Fountainpen

    • Kathy says:

      I got a little scared when reading your question, Fountainpen, hoping that he is moving gently and carefully enough into his healing days. I think he is. He spends long, long hours on the couch and in bed. He is doing everything the doctor ordered–the PA even agreed about going back to work. We certainly don’t want any setbacks. We were surprised at the rigorous amount of activity, stretching and flexing and moving they have him doing on his new knee. We expected that he would have to be more gentle on the knee, but they have him stretching it to the limits hours each day. Continuing to pray that it will go well… (And he’s not the macho type who would be out cutting wood next weekend. I’m sure he won’t be doing that until later in the summer…)

  21. Brenda Hardie says:

    Woo Hoo! Look at how well Barry is doing! Must be because of the awesome nurse he has 😀
    You’re so right Kathy, about us not appreciating what we have (regarding body and strength) until it’s compromised or gone. I remember as a young girl, watching my Grama struggle (and I mean STRUGGLE) getting up and down stairs. It took a long time to go up and down the half flight of stairs in our split-entry house and Dad and Grampa and Mom had to assist her on every step. She would always have tears running down her face by the time she was done. I remember being afraid and so sad that she had so much pain and I would look at my knees and think, whew…thank God my knees are ok! And here I am, many years later, struggling with knee problems. And I still thank God it’s not to the extent that Grama dealt with for so many years, but it will likely get to that point. I remember also, when her knees were replaced…(as the first patient at Mayo to have them both done at once) how amazing it was for her to put her legs over the side of her bed and bend her knees without pain! She cried tears of joy that day. I know surgeons, procedures, and technology have come a long way since then but I’ll never forget that miracle for my Grama. ♥
    I’m so happy for your Barry!

    • Kathy says:

      Hugs, Brenda… I read your story and almost cried with thoughts of your Grama. Tears of joy indeed! Life does contain miracles…

      • Brenda Hardie says:

        Thank you for the hugs dear Kathy ♥ And for taking the time to read my story about Grama ♥ Hugs coming back to you my dear northwoods friend ♥

  22. Karma says:

    Good to see Barry up and around. And to hear that you are doing much better as well, harried care-taker! It has been an eventful and busy week, but I wanted to pop in and say “hi” so you knew I’m still around. Hoping to get at least one blog post up before the big day!

    • Kathy says:

      Hey there my Karen, my Karma! What a crazy week or two it’s been, here, there, around the blogosphere. I do hope you’ll get in another blog before you Depart on Your Cruise. I am heading over to your blog Now!

  23. It’s good to hear that things are progressing as they should after Barry’s new knee was installed… Hope his recovery stays on track and that he will be up and running in no time. He looks great! You must be taking very good care of him. ♥

    • Kathy says:

      Why am I having trouble picturing Barry running, Barbara? OK, I’m sure it may happen again. I am trying to take good care of him. I hope all continues well. Gosh, I hope so. Thank you for caring.

  24. rehill56 says:

    I so appreciated talking to Barry last night. Kind couple you are! I am trying not to think too much like I’m gong to the dentist instead of major surgery! ha…

    • Kathy says:

      Ruth, I am glad you two had an opportunity to talk! It’s not quite like the dentist…lol…
      You know we’re cheering for you as you go through the surgery next week!

  25. lisaspiral says:

    Glad to hear you’re both doing well. Sounds like Barry is excelling at recovery and you are doing great at making sure he doesn’t do too much too fast. Now a little sunshine…..

    • Kathy says:

      I am TRYING to make sure he doesn’t do too much too fast. Sigh…a caretaker can nudge, but can’t control, can we? Don’t you have sunshine over there in Minnesota? We have some today, it’s truly lovely. thank you for pausing here.

  26. Sounds like things are going real well, Nurse Kathy! And your husband has shorts on . . it must be warming up in your neck of the woods!

    • Kathy says:

      Hi Patty! No! No! It is NOT warm here in the woods. He was wearing shorts and it was 32 degrees F the other morning. He is wearing shorts because the staples in his knee would hurt too much wearing pants or jeans–and he doesn’t have jogging pants. Love, your friend, Nurse Kathy (who shudders when looking at blood or an IV)

  27. flandrumhill says:

    A GOOD sport indeed… plus, he’s not the type of guy to run off on you. 🙂

  28. sonali says:

    Oh this is great to know. Hope the rest of the recovery is as speedy too. Perhaps, a wonderful helper who must be there beside all the time is’nt it? 😉 Good going!! 🙂

    • Kathy says:

      I feel sorry for people who don’t have helpers when they’ve been through major surgery. It must be so rough. Thank you for your kind words, Sonali.

  29. Sybil says:

    I think that’s pretty amazing “wielding” for someone who is one week and one day post-surgery !

    • Kathy says:

      He had a long weekend mostly off his feet, Sybil, but had to go back to work for a few hours today. It’s not easy…but it’s not as awful as some of the stories we heard beforehand, either.

  30. So glad to hear he’s doing well! (MY hubby would be SUCH a baby!!!! And getting NO sympathy from me! 😉 )

    • Kathy says:

      Some hours he’s doing great, Michaela. Other hours…it’s still pretty rough. Some hours he’s…well, never mind. I’m pretty sympathetic because I remember my moments of babydom after the gall bladder surgery.

  31. Colleen says:

    This is such a good-news blog Kathy. Both of us have been following Barry’s journey and are so glad to see him smiling and walking. And healing so incredibly quickly!!

    • Kathy says:

      He would be healing a lot quicker if the swelling would diminish. They could take a needle and take out some of the water, but that would increase the possibility of infection. So he continues to keep his leg elevated and iced quite a bit–in between all the physical therapy. Thanks, Colleen.

  32. Glad to see that he is up and around and recovering well! I’m not sure what’s more difficult – recovering from surgery, or being the caretaker of someone recovering!! 😉

    I haven’t had anything removed or replaced (unless you count tonsils/adenoids), but I did have to use a walker for a while back in 2006 when the entire left side of my body was numb. The doctors initially told me that I had a stroke, but it turned out that it was the beginning of my life with MS. Walkers are big and clunky, and not easy to use – but they do make getting around by yourself a little easier!

    • Kathy says:

      Barry’s actually really fallen in love (in like?) with his walker. He really doesn’t need it much–but it’s something to grab onto when you don’t trust your leg not to buckle unexpectedly. I am sorry that you’ve had to use a walker, Holly. Thinking you must not need to use one any more? I hope that things have stabilized enough that you don’t need one. A lot of knee surgery replacement patients graduate to canes.

  33. Robin says:

    Glad to hear Barry is doing well. I am also glad you found Christine so you have someone to compare notes with, or at least can see how things progress over time. 🙂

  34. Marianne says:

    Walker boy, that’s really funny Kathy. You’ll never guess what I saw a few weeks ago. Ok I’ll tell you. I saw a lady who appeared to be about 70 something. She had heels, stripped leotards and a mini-skirt on and she had a walker. When I passed by, she was talking to the pharmacist. Unfortunately, I didn’t get a change to see her wheelin the walker. I thought it was hilarious.

  35. Pingback: Break the mold, Cupcake « Lake Superior Spirit

  36. Reggie says:

    Yayy! You go, Barry! We’re all rooting for you.

    • Kathy says:

      I’m actually going to leave Walker Boy next week for almost a week. I think he’ll be fine on his own now. Am heading down to see my parents. Haven’t seen them since January for our trip to Nicaragua.

Although I don't reply to every comment on every blog, I do read all comments with mesmerized interest and try to return the favor by visiting YOUR blog or at least sending you heartfelt well wishes.

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