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  1. PLEASE NOTE THAT ONE RECOVERY THREAD ONLY IS PREFERRED. PLEASE DON'T START ADDITIONAL THREADS ABOUT YOUR RECOVERY.

[BILATERAL TKRs] The Historian - recovery diary

Discussion in 'Knee Replacement Recovery Area' started by TheHistorian, Mar 11, 2012.

  1. TheHistorian

    TheHistorian Post-Grad

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    Well, that drew a lot of interest, didn't it?

    I've hit the point where the recovery curve slows down and broadens. At the moment I see little improvement from week to week, which is discouraging to someone who always improved at the rate of 110 per cent in everything. My walking is slowly becoming more of a normal gait, although the past three days my left knee has bothered me on standing up. And rising is a problem still. At 15 weeks I struggle to get out of chairs and my bed. But grocery shopping, getting gas for the car, driving to work, and working a half day hasn't been a problem. I resume work full time on Monday.

    I'm having problems, however, with friends, and faux-friends, assuming that because my recovery hasn't been faster or more aggressive that I must be doing something wrong. It's now 15 weeks since surgery and I guess I'm supposed to be completely healed and setting records. I'm down because I'm not more functional and the season I'd normally be camping, hiking, and cycling is slipping away, and I have people telling me once again I'm doing things wrong. I had to unfriend someone on Facebook because he demanded - "the clock is ticking Neil" - details on my exercises so he could give me his worthless advice; another person who wants to play the Nurse in Stephen King's Misery, and wants me as the trapped writer.
     
  2. Roy Gardiner

    Roy Gardiner Forum Advisor

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    Neil, this is the time when you find out who your real friends are, I reckon. Real ones will stop giving 'advice' when you explain the true story.

    Isn't it amazing that people who know nothing about knee replacement, especially a complicated one like yours, will think their advice worth something? I bet you find that the intensity of opinion is in inverse proportion to knowledge, too.

    I've lost the reference unfortunately but I was reading recently of a study showing that people's confidence in the correctness of their opinion does indeed vary inversely with how much they know. This is kinda Common Knowledge I guess -- hence the old thing about how we should put teenagers in charge of the world right now, whilst they still know everything.

    Your description of where you're at sounds about right to me. I am only just now trying to break the habit of using my arms to help get out of chairs, and as often as not I struggle without them.
     
  3. TheHistorian

    TheHistorian Post-Grad

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    Well, the "nurse" did have a single knee replaced two years ago. But his advice is horrible stuff - victim thinking writ large. The other folks I can't blame, because I went into this thinking I'd be back to normal at 8 weeks - see my thread back on the other side. Still, it's annoying, and because I'm not recovered, I annoy easily.

    Rising from a chair is a problem for an additional reason. Or about 100 of them, which is about the number of pounds of excess weight I am carrying. I've never been able to lose weight through diet alone, and besides I'm restricted in the kinds of vegetables I'm able to eat because of the PE and treatment with Coumadin. So until my exercise picks up to the point I begin running a sizable calorie deficit, I'm stuck at this weight.

    Mark Twain wrote somewhere that at age 14 he thought his father an idiot. But by the time he was 21, he marveled at how much the old man had learned in seven years.
     
  4. Roy Gardiner

    Roy Gardiner Forum Advisor

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    Mark Twain, spot on as always.

    Trade quotes, another famous one "Everything in war is simple, but the simplest thing is difficult." (Carl von Clausewitz) applies IMO also to diet. We can write simple rules on what not to eat and drink, sticking to them...
     
  5. RICBAK1

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    hi weight issue is what im having as well ,thats 1 reason i think i was walking around to much ,but physio give me big b#####. yesterday he is good and also very big irish man ,doing his way already more bend less swelling so maybe some advice is good.Good luck to you we will be there soon when we are ready back on bikes soon hopefully.
     
  6. RestAssured

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    Hello Historian!

    As you know, all of us heal at different rates, have different milestones that we set for ourselves and have different levels of support from friends and family! Worrying about ROM after 4 knee surgeries has become less important to me than being able to get out and enjoy life!

    By the way, and I know you don't want to hear this but..... I had to throw out my shoes after each surgery! I got to the point where I wore and still will wear a nice pair or tennis shoes even to church! God doesn't care that I have on tennis shoes, and He is the only one I go to worship! :angel:

    As far as the weight goes, you are right, in some respects. When I weighed 140 more than I do now, I could still get myself in and out of chairs or whatever I needed. The PT's taught me how. Having this surgery and losing the 140 pounds so far has brought a whole new outlook on life. I am ready to get out and start living again. It is a combination of healthy eating, and exercising that has brought me this far, and I will continue until I reach my goal. :yahoo:
     
  7. Pleinair5

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    I too am trying not to get discouraged by how hard it is still to do some things. Some days I feel good but I am so fatigued other days I can barely get off the couch. No one else can set a pace for your recovery, and if they try to I would avoid that person as much as I could. I find I can't predict when the hard or down days will be, it is just that some days I hit a wall.
    I have not been tested for anemia but did find if I take an iron supplement I feel better. I figure there was some blood loss, so if I feel better when I take it, I will for a while. For me, being anemic has sometimes caused me to feel out of breath in addition to being tired.
    Lots of things are still much harder than I thought they would be at this point. I am trying to accept that any progress is still progress. Some days I am pleasantly surprised! I think the step forward----step back----is sometimes the harder part, discouraging. I feel better if I make myself think back on where I was a month ago, two months ago, or six months ago, before the surgery, when I was on a downhill slide.......it has to get better from there.
     
  8. TheHistorian

    TheHistorian Post-Grad

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    I'm fine with having to do that. However, I'm not fine with advice being parroted to me for a situation it doesn't apply to. For instance, the nerve damage I have in my right foot isn't going to be cured by a new pair of shoes - which is what another poster all but suggested upthread.

    Congratulations on the weight loss!
     
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  9. TheHistorian

    TheHistorian Post-Grad

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    One reason I stopped posting at Bikeforums.net is that too often posters would assume I had some sort of mystical inspirational properties and then get upset when I proved to be human. One poster, who I met on a ride, put in 40 miles with me and all he could say at the end of it was "how do you make the magic?" There's nothing "magical" about my riding a bike unless you are seeing my legs as more crooked than they were. I have good and bad days just like everyone else; but some people saw me as "inspirational" and I wasn't allowed to have bad days.
     
  10. bottomshollow

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    Well, Neil, we'll let you HAVE all the bad days you want. But we WANT you to HAVE all good days. I wonder why people feel you can't be inspirational and human at the same time. I have been inspired by many people and mainly because they are just human and sometimes manage to do incredible things. Just keep in mind that who and what you are is not dependent on what other people think---and most of the time other people are thinking about themselves not us. Take care, we care.
     
  11. Pleinair5

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    One thing I love about this forum is the honesty. I can post progress and be cheered on and then three days later if everything feels on a downhill slide I can post that too and get support, understanding, and shared experiences of those who have been through it. Sometimes someone found a solution and shares it but sometimes there just isn't one except for time (or sadly, a trip back to the doc, but we'll all be here for support).
    All that said, Historian, you have a great spirit, so regardless of whether you are having a good or bad day in what you do, I am certain you have inspired many on this board (hey I am struggling and I only got ONE knee done). But everyone here knows and accepts that we are all human, so we are all allowed to have a bad day, or a few, and can complain about it here freely among friends.
     
  12. RestAssured

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    Well, you know your body and feet better than any of us! :) if you are not having a problem with gait for the sake of the shoes, by all means keep your shoes! I haven't dealt with nerve damage in my feet, so I can't "walk a mile in your shoes!" :wink:

    Thank you for the compliment on the weight loss! I feel so much better. It may be hard, but it is worth it.

    Good luck to you and I wish you healing to be able to do some of the things you would like to do again.

    I will pray for you.
     
  13. TheHistorian

    TheHistorian Post-Grad

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    I had blood loss from the surgery, and I was given iron when hospitalized, but the pills upset my stomach. I guess by now any anemia has to have been corrected - my surgery was 15 weeks ago.
     
  14. TheHistorian

    TheHistorian Post-Grad

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    Discussing this same topic, I wrote to a friend on Facebook:

    Please don't take this the wrong way, but while I admire you for being active and 'like everyone else' with your artificial leg, I'm not inspired by you. I'd never think there was any magic involved in your riding, just cussed stubbornness and an understanding that the rules are going to be treated differently by you. I'd still be doing my own thing regardless.

    I'd prefer other people do their own thing, and not depend on me for motivation. And I want to do my own thing, and not have the baggage of being their idol. Fortunately the folks at Bonesmart all know they are awesome and they don't need anyone to be awesome for them by proxy. :yay:
     
  15. Janet2012

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    Well, you aren't the invisible man, so you can't help it if you inspire someone towards a thought or action, but there is no obligation attached to that on your part if it is inspiration taken rather than inspiration given. Now, if some one thinks they've given you inspiration when you have taken no inspiration, that seems a matter of annoyance if that is an issue at all. Admiration, on the other hand, never has strings attached. This isn't about you, of course, as you wish to not be noticed at the moment. Just a little philosophical wading around on a thus far quite boring Sunday afternoon. You inspired me to think and write this, but I do not hold you responsible and you have no obligation on your part because I took that inspiration. And I promise you will not be my idol. ; ) I hope you are out having a nice ride this afternoon!
     
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  16. bottomshollow

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    :) You should be feeling much better now. Hope you really are.
     
  17. TheHistorian

    TheHistorian Post-Grad

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    I slept all day after spending all the previous day visiting my mother. She told me she needs to take an aspirin watching me struggle out of a chair. I said that's OK as long as she doesn't take a photograph.
     
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  18. RestAssured

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    Cute sense of humor! Sometimes we really need it when the going gets difficult. I know, you probably meant it, as you say you are doing your own thing! I have been in the situation before though, and I guess my perspective is different from yours. I hope the rest helped you, it seems to rejuvenate me when I am really tired.

    Something that might be worth mentioning, I have never believed anyone was looking for an idol when they came to BoneSmart! We are here to help, encourage, and reassure people who haven't been down the road we have. Some of us even develop lasting friendships! :heehee:
     
  19. TheHistorian

    TheHistorian Post-Grad

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    OK, in a little more than 12 hours I resume working full time. Another sleepless night beforehand.

    Meanwhile, I continue to be frustrated because my improvement is flattening out. Oh, we should all have such problems.....
    but next week I'd scheduled a hike up Pole Steeple in central PA, and I don't know if I'll be up to it. Aside from the fact its up a hillside it's not too long - less than two miles round trip - but still I'm nervous about it. Sooner or late I have to resume hiking, but I don't know if its a genuine problem holding me back or fear.
     
  20. BJ Mac

    BJ Mac Sr Bonesmartie

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    Neil, sorry to hear that your recovery is flattening out. I sure hope that you can do your hike since you seem to really enjoy your hiking, biking, camping and such. Have fun, and fear not!
     

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