Saturday, January 27, 2018

A Tale of Cane and Able

It all began last summer - June and July.  First, it was having my arm go through a glass window and then, to add insult to injury, falling off the edge of a handicap ramp and smushing my left knee to mush.

Number One Son was adamant that for balance, it was time for a cane.  THIS did not make me happy, at all, but he was right.  It took me at least a month to accept that fact.

Online I went to look for a cane that would not look like a cane.  Seriously.  As I was looking for one that would not stand out, the music of "She's so Vain" was playing in my head.........

 Aha, on line I found an acrylic CANE that is see through!  It occurred to me that since it was see through people probably would not notice it.  Ha, that has not been the case.  People see it all right
and want to know where I found something so unique.  So much for being invisible. 

When the canes arrived, the acrylic one was tall enough for a 6ft 4 in man.  But, the glass and iron man nearby told me he could cut it down for me, which he did for less then $2.50USD.  Voila!

At first I would forget to use it or take it with me.  Then once I did start using it, I realized that I felt much more secure and now I notice when I do not have it....  Yes, it slows me down (I've always in the past been a fast walker) but I'm certainly being more careful and ABLE to get around.

Luckily I don't need it at home but on the treacherous cobble stoned streets of San Miguel, it is truly
a godsend. 

Hence, the cane makes me able.  No, this is not about those two guys from the Bible. 

And, yes, I am going to do something else to make matters even better.  I have also finally accepted the fact that it is past time to get my knees replaced.  The logistics of it are a bit overwhelming as I
will have to go to Houston to do this.  I have a call in to the assistant of the head of Sports Medicine at Baylor and we'll see what they say.  That is where I had the torn meniscus repaired about fifteen years ago with great success.  At the time, the surgeon gave me five years and said I would be back for knee replacement........

In the meantime, the cane will get a workout so that I can remain mobile until I can walk fast again!

Anyone having any first hand experiences with having a knee or knees replaced that wants to offer guidance will be greatly appreciated.  No horror stories, please.

See you on down the road and not laying on the road!  ha.....


Steve Cotton said...

Why do I have this picture of you bashing realkity into compliance with your cane?

parkprin said...

Not what I envisioned for myself 10 years ago but today I could be the poster person for complete major joint replacements --- all very successful ---and have but one bit of advice to offer: do each and every exercise every day plus more and you should soon be back to walking pain free and with speed. If you're given exercises to do before the replacement do them as you'll then go in with added strength in the affected area and those may well be the exercises you'll have to do after. A replacement today but a bump in the road. Based upon your postings that I've read for quite some time I envision you as a determined and motivated person. You will do well.

Babs said...

Steve, because you know me well! Ha.

Parkprin, thanks so much for taking time to write about your experience. I will try to find out what exercises to do. I have stenosis in my spine and neck, so this exacerbates everything .........I'm hoping to be able to fly up as soon as they schedule surgery and then do rehab.

I promise, I will do each and every thing they tell me to do, as this is not much fun right now. Your positive results encourage me.......

Unknown said...

My gorlfriend has had both her knees done and she swears by some kinda sleeve that cools your leg and keeps the swelling done, cost about $350.00 CAD but she said it was worth every penny. She ia away for another month but I will see is I can messenger for more details.
Good luck.

Babs said...

Thanks Shelagh - That is very kind of you. That would be helpful info.......

Anonymous said...

I've had a couple friends get their knees replaced, and they've all been very happy after they healed up. But that apparently takes about 6 weeks. However, my neighbor was out and walking around (somewhat gingerly) on his after a couple of weeks.

I wish you all the luck in the world. And with that, maybe you can look forward to a post-cane future.

And then go raise some Cain.


Kim G
Redding, CA
Where my mother is bi-mechanical: cane and walker.

Babs said...

Kim, I hope I can raise some Cain......or Dick or Tom or Harry! ha......

I love that your mother is bi-mechanical! Great.

Unknown said...

Hi Barbara
I understand as I fell last year in Puerto Vallarta on the busiest street at an intersection on a Holiday. Super neat. Carrying groceries. Bashed my already bad knee. And had now been the most painful time of my life.

I do NOT recommend Euflexxa shots either (has made the pain 1000 times worse). Then I spent 3 weeks just after that in SMA (April/May) trying to walk up and down the hills. Down was worse. Getting into taxis was very difficult as my knee would not bend. Saw 2 MD's in SMA.

One Chiropractor was referred to me who really knows his stuff but I could not get in to him. So sitting and having ice cream and watching the kids and their bouncing toys was a daily event.

I have a cane but do not use it (I have 3 of them). Looking at K Laser Therapy. This is supposed to help with deep pain. Will be trying Acupuncture for knees tomorrow.

There are a few GREAT Facebook groups for knee replacement. You can get much info there.

I'm personally being a weenie and not looking into replacement yet.

Glad you are blogging again as you got me into SMA initially!

Just keep moving forward!
Hugs from Oregon

Babs said...

Dear Kelly - I'm so so sorry to hear of your fall. Did you get an MRI and find out if it was a torn meniscus, which is painful as all get out, but easy to fix as an outpatient. After two falls here in SMA, I had both knees repaired in Houston about 16 years ago. I drove back from Houston ten days later with the only instruction being to NOT walk down hill.........

I've never heard of Eufflexxa shots. I have had cortisone for my spine and neck which helps me tremendously.

Wish you had contacted me when you were here. I'm so sorry you were here alone and trying to cope with all that! Yikes.

I'll be calling the head dof sports medicine tomorrow at Baylor in the Tx Medical Center to start the process. I have pretty much decided NOT to do both knees at once.

Thanks for taking time to write and for heaven's sake, if you're ever heading this way again, please let me know. I'll be happy to try to help in any way or to have coffee or whatever.

Good luck!

Life's a Beach! said...

I had my right knee replaced three years ago and the left one will need it in the future. I've vowed to wait until I have Medicare for the next one (and that starts in October). I think it's hard to find surgeons now who will replace both at once, and I don't know it's advisable. I don't think I could have handled doing both at once. Physical therapy to get your range of motion back is the most important hurdle in the process. That takes around 4 to 5 weeks after surgery. Ten weeks after my knee replacement, we left for Isla Mujeres and I was getting around fairly well with no cane needed. I picked out an adjustable cane at Walgreens. It was a metallic blue animal print. Love the see through plexi-glass model! I've had a few cortisone shots in my left knee, but lately I've relied on Voltaren and roll on linaments like Biofreeze and Salon Pas with Lidocaine. I'll be buying a big supply of Voltaren later this week in Mexico! I hope you get relief soon. You've had a beast of a year!

Babs said...

Thanks Bec for the specific information. I've decided NOT to do both at the same time. I needed to have an idea of how long I would be in Houston and your info helps.
HOw long before you drove a car again?

Yes, I've gotten cortisone, a series of 5 shots for my back, and that helps my knees too. It HAS been a beast of a year, for sure.....I'm trying to plow forward!

R. P. said...

C's mom had both knees replaced around ten years ago at separate times. She is going to be 91 and those knees are the strongest part of her legs. Good thoughts! Avanzar! Robert

Babs said...

Thanks R.P. for that info! It gives me hope.......

marilyn said...

Good Luck with your surgery, Babs!! You're so spunky, and your attitude sounds very positive, that will get you through it, I'm sure. I haven't had knee surgery but, everyone I know who has had it came out great. Those who have constant knee pain have not had surgery!!

It's good to read your blog and know that you still have your sense of humour while you're hurtin' .

abrazos, Lena J

Babs said...

Lena, thanks for your comment! Humor gets me through life, mostly.

Take care.