Having undergone a right total knee replacement (R TKR), I am 4 weeks into recovery. That normally means 3 weeks of home health service with home physical therapy (PT) followed by another 6 or so weeks of outpatient PT. I’ve now just completed my first week of outpatient PT. My incision is healed well – the staples were removed on Monday 2 weeks ago.

Emmy has learned a whole new set of things to do! Interestingly, none of the PTs are very interested in her abilities. They don’t want her to do stuff for me, they want me to do things for myself. Well, facts of the matter are that I simply cannot do some things. I need a little gizmo to help me put on my socks – been using it for years! I also need assistance with getting my underbritches on and my slacks or shorts on. Emmy does that for me – I put my panties on the floor and work my feet into the waistband and into the legs. Emmy comes, checks it out, then picks up the waistband and lifts it up to me! Same with slacks or shorts, or even a skirt. She picks up the waistband and lifts it up to me!

PT gives me exercises to do at home between visits. Unfortunately, they don’t take into consideration that my mixture of RA and fibromyalgia flares the 1st or 2nd day after that. The flare knocks me off my pins for 2 days. Then, and only then can I do some home PT. But if I am too vigorous, it will lay me out for another couple of days. I do what I can, but try not to overdo it. The PTs will not be pleased with me!

Emmy helps with my PT. I lie on my back on the couch, and she noses my foot as I slide it up toward my bottom. She loves to “push” things, so she pushes my foot to help me get my knee bent as tightly as I can. Then she pushes my heel as I slide my foot down. This is a game she really loves to play! She can earn treats for that!

We continue to do the laundry together. I couldn’t do the laundry without her! She noses light switches up and paws them down as necessary. We practice downstairs where Himself has affixed a really large wall protector around the switch. Even keeping her nails short, she can scratch the paint and dig into the wallboard, so other switches we avoid unless I’m really feeling wimply!

I’m still using a walker. I’m a bit ataxic and off balance when using my cane. But even in the house, I put her leash on her collar when I’m walking with my cane. She knows just how to balance me. I feel much safer when she is on my right (“side”) and my cane is on my left.

Next year, sometime, the left knee will be done. And then she’ll walk on my left (“heel”) while I use my cane on my right. Smart little girl!

Thank you, Emmy! You are my wonder-dog!


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