Down those terrible basement stairs, we descend once more.   Tom never leaves my side for the next four days.  Here’s a picture of him trying to put on those awful compression socks.  They have a hole at the end of the foot which means that toes are constantly sticking out. Presumably this is a design purely to irritate the patient.

My children-carers are all wondering what will happen next week when Tom has left and the girls are back at work.  After a nasty moment when a “home-help” was mooted I booked myself in to rehab in Reading.

Absolutely nothing I want to write about those five days.

Because I was still heavily involved in the opioids I became zombified.


Bit confused about opioid/opiate so I googled it.

“Pain-numbing medicine made from the opium poppy plant are called opiates.  Man-made versions of these drugs are opioids, but that word often refers to all forms of opiates.  Opioids and opiates work the same way.  Opioids are narcotics, which tell your brain you are not in pain.”

Got that straight now?

The opioids (codeine in my case) take me on a journey into the darkest recesses of my mind.  I don’t exactly hallucinate but I conjure up images of my surgeon wearing green welly boots and a grass skirt doing a tribal dance above my knee wielding a chain saw… Whooping!

They also blow you up, kill your appetite and reduce your mind to mush.  I thought I would read the whole of the second vol of Proust during the recovery period.  Some hope!  Didn’t read a word for four weeks.  Perhaps the thing I object most to these drugs is that after a few weeks they stop telling your brain you are not in pain and the expectation is that you double the dose and there we go into prescription addiction.  I stopped taking them and the brain pain is getting better and the knee pain is getting worse.


Conversely, it is the physios’ job to ensure the brain registers as much pain as possible. The physiotherapists in rehab are brutes. Sometimes disguised as angels with pink smudges of lipstick across their mean lips.  The favourite mantra is:

“If you don’t straighten your knee you will go back to hospital and have a MUA (Manipulation Under Anaesthetic) and that will be MUCH worse than doing a few painful exercises.”

“You have one hour with us and 23 hours with yourself.  If you don’t straighten your knee it’s your fault.”    Yes, they really do say that!

“Relax!” They shout! “Let gravity do its work.”

Today, I’m going to tell them that I respond better to praise.  I could give them a script:

Well done Margie! Your knee is a little more flexible!

Well done Margie! I can just feel the effort you are putting in to this!

Well done Margie! You are amazing!

They could just change the name and use it for other people.


I’m five weeks in and haven’t got my life back.  13th November is my birthday and brings me to the six-month mark.

According to various tittle-tattlers I hear, I will be saying:

“So glad I had knee replacement surgery, I’ve got my life back.”


support team

Kit (grandson)

Gina, Tom, Amy

Roxy (grandaughter)

Vicky (Personal Trainer)*

Gus (foot-warmer)

Emerson (physiotherapist)**

*Vicky Neal - 07944 543

Can't recommend her enough if you want to get fit in the park  or in your house.

**Emerson Rodriguez - info@complete-physio.co.uk

Very firm and very kind.  He knows exactly what he's doing.  Highly recommended!

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