Recovering from Double Knee Replacement & Gaining a New Perspective

July 26, 2019

 At this exact time last year, I was recovering from bi-lateral knee replacement. After a lifetime of degenerative arthritis and multiple injuries and subsequent surgeries (my first at 17 years old), I knew it was time to get it done. The surgeon advised me against getting them both done at the same time, but I was adamant. I figured I did not want to go through the pain and healing twice. In hindsight, I wish I had listened to the surgeon. There is a reason why you should get them done one at a time. 

Holly Haze

      When you get one done, you are able to get up and moving right away, building strength and gaining mobility. When you get them both done at the same time, you are incapacitated. You need help walking to the bathroom, getting your pants up and down, showering, getting in bed, getting dressed, getting shoes on and off. You cannot drive for 3-4 MONTHS! The overall healing is delayed substantially when you get both done. As a mom of 3 who is used to running a household and working, I didn’t realize how much help I would need for all these tasks and more. Before my surgery, I was working out 6 days a week. I was a runner. I did triathlons. I went from the best shape of my life, to not being able to walk up the stairs to do laundry. Even if I could get to the laundry room, I couldn’t balance myself, let alone carry clothes to rooms. I couldn’t walk from the refrigerator to the sink. These are just a few things….trust me when I say, much of the things we take for granted were now gone. My family had to help out with every move I made. My daughter drove me to physical therapy for months.

Holly Haze

I used a walker for the first two weeks and after that, I used a cane for a month. . I had many tearful days and nights. I had pity parties. I was in pain, I was tired, I was sad and I was frustrated. Yet as I walked around like Frankenstein, I knew there was light at the end of my tunnel. I was acutely aware that for some, their pain was never going to end. This brought me much empathy for others in worse condition than I was and made me grateful for what I did have; mobility and overall health.

 

     Another thing I didn’t anticipate was the depression that comes along with cabin fever. I can see why people fall into a hole of sadness. I missed my tedious errands. As a mom, my every day consisted of grocery store trips, post office, the bank, the dry cleaners, etc. Aside from physical therapy twice a week, I was trapped. I was in a dark place.

     And then a setback. I knew my left knee was not healing properly. Something just didn’t feel right. I kept going back to the surgeon so frustrated, but he kept telling me to give it time. Finally, 9 months post-op, he agreed something was amiss and he was going back in to fix a tendon that was catching on the prosthetic. I felt deflated.  This was in April of 2019. 

     So as I write this, I am still not 100% and quite frankly, I am not sure I ever will be. This very well may be my new norm. This is not to say I have not made great strides, literally and figuratively…..I certainly have. In August 2018, I was back on the air at The Link. In November 2018 I returned to Pure Barre to work out. In May of 2019, I returned to Madabolic to work out. Just last week I returned from a two week trip to Europe where I thankfully walked (and limped) around Croatia, Slovenia, Italy, and Ireland. 

     The healing and the journey continues. I have learned to never take your body for granted. Many people cannot walk. Many will never improve. Even though my new knees aren’t what I envisioned them to be, I am staying positive and extremely grateful for how far I have come. My running days are over, but I now walk with a new outlook.