Saturday, January 31, 2009

120 Degrees

This is my husband, Ken, in his CPM machine. Notice the TV remote in his right hand, that's how he's passing the time. There is so much good TV these days that he's learning all kinds of interesting things..right. I think CPM stands for Continuous Physical Motion but I can't really remember. The only information I can find on the machine tells me it's a Kinetec Spectra and we're not supposed to return it with the fuzzy pads, those are ours to keep. This tortuous-looking thing is actually supposedly going to help Ken recover, finally, from his November knee surgery. Scar tissue, we were told, was inhibiting him from bending his knee the required 120 degrees (optimal for healing), despite all the physical therapy he has gone through over the past 2 months. The CPM machine, we are told, will help.

Yesterday we arrived at the Portsmouth Hospital at 6:00am. Before hospital visits, even if they aren't mine, I cannot sleep. So I awoke very sleepy and tired yesterday morning, having slept only 4 hours. Few people were in the Short Stay unit that morning so were sitting in the pre-op room by 6:15. Around 9:00 (yes, it was a longgg wait) Ken was finally wheeled away while I was escorted to the Short Stay waiting room. Once soundly sleeping (and snoring, I'm sure), Dr. King cranked and pulled on Ken's knee, forcing it from a 90 to a 120 degree bend. At 9:10 (yes, we waited 3 hours for a 10 minute procedure) the doctor spoke with me just outside the waiting room, everything had gone well he said. Had it not gone so well, Dr. King would have had to use a nasty little probe to rip the scar tissue around Ken's knee to loosen it up. When I asked about the troublesome scar tissue the doctor went on to explain, not that I asked for this kind of detail, but he went on to tell me that you can actually hear the scar tissue snapping and popping as he forces the knee to bend. I still don't understand why they didn't let Ken stay awake during the procedure :)

So, now Ken is on the CPM machine the whole weekend and 3 times a day for an hour for the next 6, of course that's not true but I am pretty sure that's how Ken feels. This morning as he was walking around without limping and able to bend his knee 115 degrees ( the first time he could bend it that far in years) we were thrilled and hopeful. His physical terrorist will get it to the required 120 this morning during his PT appointment, I'm sure. much upkeep after 50!


  1. This is a great post, Joy. I like the procedure you describe and how human and fucking weird the experience of getting older and taking care of bodies is.

    And love the sarcasm in the post! You know I love and 'edge'.

    My God, that thing on Ken's leg looks like some sort of Alien-hybrid. Does it talk back to you?

  2. Yes...we hear it all night long, "keep pumping....120 degrees"...over and over.