Gosh It’s Been Cold

It’s amazing how quickly recovery from a total knee replacement can turn around! On Monday my physical therapist did a “progress report” for my surgeon. The therapist and surgeon had set a goal for me–a knee bend of at least 130 degrees. On Monday at just over 4 weeks from my surgery I had a 124 degree bend!! I was so, so excited! My straightening is not as good but I will get to the goal of 0 degrees. I am currently at minus 2 degrees of straightening. My other strength comparisons between my “good leg” and “bad leg” were good also! Life is good!!

On Thursday we saw my surgeon who had initially told me I couldn’t travel for eight weeks post op. He was thrilled with my progress, told me I looked more like an eight week out patient than the five weeks out I am. He approved our departure and then said, “you know we used to think you should stop every two hours, get out and walk around but now we just think, get there!!” I said, “stop, don’t tell him (pointing to the Cowboy) that, he locks me up in the truck and won’t let me out!” We all laughed and Dr. Fisher told me I should have coached him beforehand!

Back to Big Timber after seeing the surgeon in Columbus we met Sarge and Sarah for lunch and had an enjoyable hour and a half dining and yakking. Then it was off to therapy again for me where Rachel helped me with straightening my leg and also told me I was doing so well. As this was my last day of therapy in MT I had baked cookies for the two therapists who had helped me so much during my recovery.

And I’m sleeping!!! On my side!!! Without pharmaceuticals!!  Sleeping gives me a new attitude on life!

Now on the other hand our weather stinks! We went to Billings on Tuesday for a medical appointment and a haircut for me. Roads around Columbus were dicey and the wind howled! Navigating snowy/icy streets and sidewalks is hazardous when you have one bad leg!! Wednesday night another three inches of snow fell on top of the stuff that refuses to melt. Our high on Thursday was about 18 degrees.  On Friday morning we woke to minus 2!!

Our initial plan had been to drive to Arizona this year once my knee had healed sufficiently. We had planned to take the toy hauler RV and my recumbent bike as we don’t need to haul a “toy”–there is one in Arizona. The weather in Montana and the weather along any route we might have chosen put a stop to those plans. If it wasn’t frigid temperatures in the teens it was wind, neither of which is very compatible to RV traveling. When the Cowboy said, “we can’t fill the RV with water” my first thought was “we need a new plan.” The weather has warmed but melting isn’t happening very fast and there is still that wind to consider.

So, we’ve been packing suitcases instead of the RV. The Cowboy has been finishing up various projects and walking Emmi when the weather permits. I’ve been exercising and feeding us–this is the absolute best beef stew we’ve ever eaten. The recipe is written for a pressure cooker but could be adapted for stove top. I use regular chopped onion (do frozen onions exist??), I use Better Than Bouillon and water in place of the canned beef broth, I add a dollop of red wine to deglaze the pot and I leave out the celery. Delicious and makes enough stew that I don’t have to cook for two or three days.

And somewhere in my internet browsing I ran across this pumpkin gingersnap cookie recipe.  Oh my! These cookies are seriously good!

Life is good!






22 thoughts on “Gosh It’s Been Cold

  1. What wonderful news that you are so far ahead in your therapy. So good to hear you are finally sleeping comfortably:) I was wondering about you two driving to AZ with a trailer this time of year. Glad to see you are packing suitcases instead. Keep up the good work with your new knee!


    1. Taking a trailer brought back memories of trying to get out of Montana years ago when we always left after Thanksgiving and sometimes even waited until Christmas. Weather was always an issue!


  2. Really great news on the rehab progress- a cane for a little while,adds assurance.I’m sure you all are looking forward to getting to your Arizona home – so safe flight(s) & enjoy your winter.All the best.


      1. Therapists have their interest focused on your recovery; bless them- I’m with you,using a cane on your outside ventures.Once walking without thought “of that knee”,any support will be superfluous- yay!!

        Sent from my iPad



  3. Really great news on the rehab progress- a cane for a little while,adds assurance.I’m sure you all are looking forward to getting to your Arizona home – so safe flight(s) & enjoy your winter.All the best.


  4. Yippee! All great news Janna! A new knee, good nights sleep, and southbound! Beef stew/Vegetable soup are yummy this time of year. I use the crock pot a lot in the winter. Thanks for the recipe! That’s a beautiful photo you began the blog with…gay


  5. Well it sounds like your life is back on track or close.
    That is wonderful! Hope Arizona is close.. you must be
    a old pro at packing up by now. So much to think of.
    Your beef stew sound good and I will check it out! Thanks.
    We think we are cold…..in the 30’s and 40’s. That’s a haha.
    Have a blessed Thanksgiving wherever your at!
    I’m still only able to see half letters when I comment so
    it’s readable.🤗🍂🍁


  6. Oh yay, finally you’re able to sleep normally! No wonder you sound so happy, haha!! I don’t know how you managed for weeks sleeping on your back. So glad you’ve made such great progress in your recovery and that you’re cleared to head south.

    I was just thinking about beef stew yesterday. It’s been cold here in Florida (really!) and stew sounds good.


  7. So glad to hear your knee is improving and you have been cleared to travel. Thanks for the beef stew recipe. Will try it after Thanksgiving! We love soups and crock pot meals.
    Happy Thanksgiving.


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