Where did the pain go?

My knee is healing so quickly! It was so stubborn at first so I thought it was going to be more difficult than the right knee. But some of the exercises I wasn’t even able to do with my right knee until week five, I’ve been able to do with the left within the first three.

And it’s almost straight! Just a few more degrees. I had my stitches removed Monday. It wasnt quite as pretty as my right incision, but Im not complaining.

In fact, I think it’s time to post before and after pics. I’m hesitant, because my legs aren’t the prettiest right now. Or then. But I’m excited so here it goes.

Before

DSC01245

After

2

You can see the right leg poking out just a bit, but it’s almost there 🙂

Can you understand how happy I am? I had to walk around (and not very well!) with those bent knees for years.

I wrote a post once about how sometimes I used to wake up and for a split second before I was fully awake I forgot and I would move to hop out of bed and was surprised that my body was in so much pain.

It’s the opposite with my knees now. Every time I stand, I’m still expecting that excruciating pain I used to feel. And it’s just not there. And it still surprises me. The pain from the surgery is starting to wear off and my knees almost don’t hurt at all! Four years of unbearable pain. Pain that was so bad sometimes all I could manage in a whole day was making a trip to the bathroom.

Two summers ago I was staying with my best friends parents. My best friend came home from college for her birthday and was so excited to spend the day with me. She had all sorts of plans for shopping and movies, and dinner. I woke up early and shuffled so very very very slowly and painfully to the bathroom. Then I sat down in the vanity chair and tried to recover. Everyone woke up an hour later and I was still sitting there. They went out to eat and I said I would try to make shopping latter. When they came back I had managed to walk the ten or so steps to the dinning room table. I sat to recover. I told them I wasn’t going to make the shopping. But I’d try to make the movie. Three hours latter they came back and I had made it to the kitchen eat in counter. I missed the movie. I felt so terrible that I missed her birthday. And then by night time I had finally made it back to bed. I literally sat  all day. And I’ve had so many many many days like this.

Days before the insurance, and medication. Before the steroids and Enbrel. Before the physical therapy and the surgeries. I know what R.A. is at it’s worst and it is horrific. I wouldn’t wish it on my worst enemy. And it’s not just pain that it brings. It’s embarrassment and shame, self pity, frustration, anger and disappointment and a whole lot more.

But do you know how lucky we all are who have this disease now? Can you imagine what it was like to have R.A.  even a few decades ago? Treatment plans are so drastically different. We have so many different and more powerful medicines available. I think about that sometimes. If I had been born in my grandmothers time, would my life have been nothing but those kinds of days?

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10 Responses

  1. Wow, how wonderful it must feel to be able to straighten up the knees after years of not being able to do so!

    From what I read and see (thanks for the photos!) it looks like you are having a wonderful recovery. That should come as no surprise – your positive attitude is easy to notice.

    I’m glad to hear the news!

  2. Congrats on your success!

  3. Your knees look amazing! I am so glad the surgeries worked so well for you.

  4. Fantastic. i read your last post too and thought it made great sense. Good for you for knowing what’s best for you.

  5. WOOT!!! This is so exciting! You’re really getting a new lease on life. Go shopping girl!!!

  6. my own grandfather was one of those people so I know you are correct. But it still seems like there’s no right time to have RA. 😛

  7. All that hard work and patience paid off! I am so happy for you! Keep up tne positive attitude. It is paying off.

  8. Everytime I read your posts, I feel your excitement and how you are so grateful for your “new knees”. I am so happy for you.
    And it is nice to know that currently there are so many more options for medication and treatments now then there was even 20 years ago.
    Keep up the great attitude.

  9. It is interesting to hear your thoughts about what it would be like to have this disease twenty years ago, because I often think about that. I know that I would straight up be in a wheel chair right now if not for the medical advances these days. I often tell people that I had a modern miracle in my life. It sounds like you did too!

  10. Hope you’re doing well!!! Looking forward to hearing how you’ve progressed these past couple of weeks.

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