Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Bye Bye Broccoli

The saga of my husband's total knee replacement continues ...

Surgery was just last Wednesday and already Beloved is doing much, much better than either of us had anticipated.  Clearly this is a blessing from the Lord.  Medical professionals are saying it has helped that:

* Beloved faithfully did his pre-surgery knee exercises for 2 months 
* his knee was not in horrible pain beforehand, although he had problems with stability of the joint (buckling)
* the surgeon is known for highly successful knee replacement surgeries
* extremely little swelling and bruising due to large, tight bandaging for the first 48 hours and a drain tube that took blood from the site which went through a filter and then was recycled into the IV in his wrist (!)

His range of motion is exemplary.  He can straighten his knee to four degrees (zero is the goal)  and bend it to 125 degrees (130 - 140 degrees is the maximum, when one kicks their own butt).  He continues to walk with the aid of a walker so as to not tire the knee too much since surgery is major and was only a few days ago. He uses a cane to travel on our stairs.

Yesterday was his first visit from the visiting home nurses association.  Our nurse was a delightful gal with a cheerful personality who knew her stuff.  She came with the necessary needles required for a blood draw to check the effectiveness of the Coumadin in his system.  

One of the necessary evils of this surgery is to prevent the formation of blood clots.  Great effort has been taken to keep the red stuff flowing smoothly:  an electric foot-squeezie machine on his feet for the first night after surgery, white toe-to-thigh stockings called "teds" to be worn every day for 3 weeks (they are removed at bedtime), and the drug Coumadin (aka Warfarin).  

Coumadin thins the blood.  Not only does the patient swallow this once daily, but also effort has to be made to avoid sharp objects that may cause bleeding.  An electric shaver is recommended instead of a straight razor.  Also, certain foods should be restricted because they contain Vitamin K, which makes the blood to clot:  spinach, broccoli, cauliflower, cabbage, lentils, chickpeas, seaweed, soybean oil, green tea and liver.  The foods don't have to be eliminated entirely, but this is not the time to gorge oneself on any of them.  We tend to eat a lot of these foods, so I am consciously switching to substitutions until Beloved is allowed to enjoy them once again.  

I thought I would share with you Beloved's favorite Broccoli Salad.  Maybe you will want to enjoy it while we satisfy our appetites with squash and corn.

Beloved's Broccoli Salad

8 ounces frozen broccoli, thawed and drained
3 ounces Hormel Real Bacon Pieces
1/2 cup diced red onion
2 Tablespoons sesame seeds, toasted
1/4 cup Sunmaid Golden Raisins

1 cup Best Foods or Hellmann's Real Mayonnaise (the name depends on which side of the Mississippi you are)
2 Tablespoons Marukan Rice Vinegar
1/4 cup Splenda

Combine all vegetables, seeds and raisins in a medium-size serving bowl.  Pour dressing over vegetables and refrigerate until ready to serve.  Makes 6  - 8 servings.

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