The Good Hurt

Apparently, the rule for a successful knee replacement is to exercise vigorously the weeks before it’s done. Because I really got to enjoy working at the Fitness Center in the weeks before mine was done, looking forward to the push, push, push, and now my general practitioner, my physical therapist, my surgeon and his nurse, all agree, I’m healing fast and without complications. The joint is stable, flexing exceptionally well, I’m in less than normal pain (ha!), and this is, all in all, a piece of cake. So, all of you facing joint surgery, get to a fitness center and work, work, work. The thing is, you coulda fooled me. I’m in pain, I cling to my oxycodone, this hurts! They took the bandage off yesterday and I think it looks ugly, a wrinkled black mark with stitching sticking up out of it, but they universally admired it. I can’t wait for it to get better.

Or maybe it’s prayer. I have had lots and lots of people tell me they’re praying for me. I strongly believe in the power of prayer, I’ve seen it work before. So now here’s another example and I’m grateful beyond words. Between sighing and groaning. And exercising.

One thing I’m doing is trying not to overdose on the oxycodone. In consequence, I’ve had exactly one episode where I sank into a kind of silken doze all lit with gentle golden light. And that scared the heck out of me and helped me understand the epidemic sweeping the country. And I have avoided doing that again. My surgeon’s nurse, Nate, said to me very emphatically that pain speeds healing, so try not to use the little white pills too much. People unable to tolerate opiates at all (allergic, for example) heal very rapidly, people with damaged nerves and so unable to feel pain heal very slowly. Life is strange, to learn the pain is a good thing.

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