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I'm caring for two old ladies.

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Kathy commemorated the anniversary of 9/11 by having her left knee replaced. She is now the proud owner of two titanium steel knees and is recovering nicely from the recent operation. The right knee was replaced four or so years ago. You can find a posting about it in my archive. Back then, three weeks passed before Kathy felt able to leave the house, and it was about six months before she decided the replacement was a good thing.

The left knee recuperation is progressing better despite incidents at the hospital with low blood pressure, low blood oxygen, and a broken hospital bed. Normally, they have patients up and walking the day of the operation, but they must have miscalculated Kathy's anesthetic leg-block because her leg remained numb all the first day. Day two, she could wiggle her toes, but the leg was unusable. That afternoon, the hospital physical therapist wrapped Kathy's leg in a splint and helped her stand. Kathy wavered a bit and said she was lightheaded. The therapist checked my wife's plood pressure. I don't recall the top number, but the bottom one was 32. The therapist helped Kathy back to bed and hovered until the blood pressure returned to normal. No one bothered her about walking after that. Next day, Kathy's leg was better and she could walk using a walker, but during the lengthy therapy session she had trouble staying awake and her blood oxygen dipped into the low eighties. Normal is above ninety. The low numbers caused worry about blood clots and precipitated a chest X-ray, eventually a ct scan, an extra day in the hospital and twenty questions about possible pre-existing conditions where the doctors absolved themselves of the blame. The following day, Kathy passed all the physical therapy requisites and we went home. On the bed issue, our complaint elicited only sympathy, no replacement. We alleviated the problem with a couple of pillows beneath the mattress.

Kathy apparently left the low blood pressure/oxygen issues at the hospital. We've monitored them closely. I bought a blood oxygen meter at WallyWorld for $19. That's a good deal. Through home-health, we've rented two machines. One to circulate cold water through a pad attached over Kathy's incision (closed by 21 staples) and one machine to move her leg through the normal range of motion. The cold water one was on almost continuously while in the hospital, now we use it intermittently thirty minutes at a time. The second one, called a 'cpm' machine exercises her leg for three two hour sessions per day, no exceptions. There is also a set of exercises to do several times a day. We're a bit busy and will be for the next month.

Kathy needs help going to bed, so gotta go. The other old lady? I'll write about her tomorrow.
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