They Came And Took It Away, Hey, Hey

Mrs Major\'s Smiling Face

In a surprise move this morning, Apria Healthcare, Inc., called to say they’d be by this afternoon to pick up the CPM. We both cheered. Cleveland just left with the dreaded machine. Now Mrs. Major is almost independent.

Bonnie asked what is Mrs. Major going to do while Son Major and I go to the U.S. Open. She can pretty much take care of herself, but we’ve got neighbors and friends lined up to do things like move the newspaper from the driveway to the front door each morning, hang around while Mrs. Major takes a shower, bring meals, and be on call in case she needs someone.

We live in a pretty incredible community. We had several neighbors volunteer to help. Charlene also has some women who play cards together and exercise at the pool together who are all over this. In fact, I think they’re kind of glad to see me go so they can spend more time with Mrs. Major. Read more

The Dreaded Machine

The torture machine for the knees

As posted earlier, Mrs. Major has a constant physical motion (CPM) machine that flexes and extends her legs. She is supposed to spend six to eight hours a day per knee in the machine. That’s next to impossible.

We call it dreaded because she can’t get in and out of it by herself. Well, actually, she can get out of it if her right leg is in it because she can roll to the left out of the bed lifting her right leg as she rolls. When her left leg is in the machine, she can’t roll to the left 1Her side of the bed is the left side when she’s laying on her back. It’s hard to get into because there’s a furry extension that she must lay on with her butt and it’s nearly impossible to get flat. The wrinkles make her sore: the princess and the pea sort of thing. The photo is an early one (bandages still on) of her leg in the dreaded machine.

She was a little down this morning. She’s getting very tired of not being able to go at it full steam ahead. She’s tired of the achy knees. And she’s tired of not ever being able to get comfortable. 

The great news is that her flexion is 103º in her right leg and 105º in her left. I think she has the dreaded machine cranked up to 109º. I heard great cheering from the other room when the therapist did the measurements.

Footnotes   [ + ]

1. Her side of the bed is the left side when she’s laying on her back.

More Progress

Mrs. Major was showing off for Son Major yesterday. She stood up from sitting on the bed without the use of her arms. Of course our bed is higher off the ground (24 in) than a normal chair (17 in), but, still…

Today, she also stood up and dried herself after her shower (she had been formerly sitting down to dry herself); then she walked out of the shower to her walker.

Staples Are Out

Mrs. Major\'s New Stripes

The nurse took out all the staples from Mrs. Major’s knees. The tool she used looked nothing like the staple puller I have in my desk. No wonder Mrs. Major didn’t want me to do it. The tool looked like a small pair of pliers that had two teeth on the bottom and one on the top. When she squeezed, the staple would bend upward from the middle, unhook itself from the incision, and Mrs. Major would gasp. Read more

Knee Surgery Update

Well, here you go. This is what Mrs. Major’s knees looked like yesterday when I changed her dressings 1You can click on the picture or title to get a large sized photo if you care to.

All in all, she’s doing very well. Monday, the home care nurse and physical therapist were amazed at her mobility and flexibility. She’s walking around on her own using a walker, but she can get herself anywhere in the house she needs to go.

Yesterday, the home health care company delivered a constant physical motion (CPM) machine. We put her leg in it and it flexes and extends her leg from fully extended to whatever degree she chooses to have it flexed. The scheme is to keep increasing the flex as time goes on. She started at 70º at the hospital but is now up to 90º. The physical therapist was here today and said she’s way ahead of schedule.

This morning her left knee was very stiff and painful. She was a little worried because she thought it was a setback, but after her exercises, the knee loosened up and the pain subsided. The PT said that it was normal considering she didn’t move her legs all night long. Maybe we’ll put her on the CPM tonight while she sleeps.

The only disadvantage of the CPM is that she can’t get into or out of it without help, so she’s not as independent as she was on Monday, but the therapy is doing tons of good, so the inconvenience is worth it.

She has been working very hard at her exercises. She’s very determined and courageous. I’m proud of her.

She has appreciated all the cards and calls she’s been getting. Thanks to all of you who’ve sent your well-wishes.

Footnotes   [ + ]

1. You can click on the picture or title to get a large sized photo if you care to