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[TKR] 4 months post op and not coping

Discussion in 'Knee Replacement Recovery Area' started by Taralyn, May 3, 2019.

  1. Taralyn

    Taralyn new member
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    Hi everyone and thank you for this wonderful forum.
    I am 4mths post op left knee and feel I'm at the end of my tether. I had to return to work at 7 weeks as I don't get paid sick leave and can't afford to be off.

    I have struggled since I went back. This week I have cried every day on the way home because of the constant pain and exhaustion.
    I was crying in the supermarket today as I was overwhelmed at the thought of having to shop and get the trolley to the car.

    Ive spoken to my gp and surgeon and they say the pain and swelling can go on for a while.

    I'm just not coping trying to go back to normal life, my husband has assumed that since the surgeon said I could go back to work and drive at 7 weeks I should be able to just go back to doing everything I used to do and I struggle every day trying.

    If I don't take pain killers at night I can't sleep and if I do I'm groggy driving to work and exhausted while I'm there from not sleeping properly and being in pain.

    I was on Panadeine Forte but am now on mersyndol forte I try to only take one at night but most nights I have to take two just to get through the pain.

    I ice and elevate before and as soon as I get home and most days do my basic physio exercises at least once a day sometimes twice. I walk around a lot in my job.

    I am so sick of myself and with not coping I'm losing all my confidence and myself . Everything just seems too hard right now.
     
  2. Jockette

    Jockette FORUM ADVISOR Forum Advisor

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    Hi and Welcome to Bonesmart, we’re glad you found us. This is a very tough recovery and we all totally understand how you feel.

    Unless you are feeling exceptionally well, 7 weeks is way early to go back to work. I’m sorry your situation required that. At that point there is still quite a bit of swelling and the energy drain from healing takes a heavy toll on your body, thus the exhaustion.

    All your activity at this stage of recovery is maintaining your pain level.

    The “good” news is that since you are so active, you can stop those exercises, you get all those movements just going about your daily activities.

    You really do need to try to slow down and rest your knee when you get home from work. At 4 months you are only 1/3 of the way healed in this year long (on average) recovery.

    I really hope your husband can come to understand how important it is for you to slow down so your body can have the best opportunity to continue healing.
     
  3. Jockette

    Jockette FORUM ADVISOR Forum Advisor

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    I will leave you our Recovery Guidelines. Each article is short but very informative. Following these guidelines will help you have a less painful recovery.

    Knee Recovery: The Guidelines
    1. Don’t worry: Your body will heal all by itself. Relax, let it, don't try and hurry it, don’t worry about any symptoms now, they are almost certainly temporary
    2. Control discomfort:
    rest
    elevate
    ice
    take your pain meds by prescription schedule (not when pain starts!)
    don't overwork.
    3. Do what you want to do BUT
    a. If it hurts, don't do it and don't allow anyone - especially a physical therapist - to do it to you
    b. If your leg swells more or gets stiffer in the 24 hours after doing it, don't do it again.​
    4. PT or exercise can be useful BUT take note of these
    5. At week 4 and after you should follow this
    6. Access to these pages on the website

    The Recovery articles:
    The importance of managing pain after a TKR and the pain chart
    Swollen and stiff knee: what causes it?

    Energy drain for TKRs

    Elevation is the key

    Ice to control pain and swelling

    Heel slides and how to do them properly

    Chart representation of TKR recovery

    Healing: how long does it take?

    Post op blues is a reality - be prepared for it
    Sleep deprivation is pretty much inevitable - but what causes it?

    There are also some cautionary articles here
    Myth busting: no pain, no gain
    Myth busting: the "window of opportunity" in TKR
    Myth busting: on getting addicted to pain meds

    We try to keep the forum a positive and safe place for our members to talk about their questions or concerns and to report successes with their joint replacement surgery.

    While members may create as many threads as they like in the majority of BoneSmart’s forums, we ask that each member have only One Recovery Thread. This policy makes it easier to go back and review the member’s history before providing advice, so please post any updates or questions you have right here in this thread.
     
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  4. 2tkr

    2tkr junior member

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    It seems that you’re in “Phase 2” as I call it. Not sleeping, depression, feels like you’re losing your mind, wanting to crawl out of your own skin? Phase 2, in my opinion, is worse than Phase 1(4-5 weeks post op). I have learned that all of your feelings are legitimate. The good news is...Phase 2 only lasted about 1 1/2 -2 weeks for me. The worst is over. Stay strong, don’t apologize for feeling like dirt, and know that you have support.
     
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  5. 2tkr

    2tkr junior member

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    Oh, and maybe show your husband a YouTube video of a real TKR surgery. That should solve that issue.
     
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  6. Momma-me

    Momma-me member

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    I am so sorry for your struggle. My heart breaks for you. I’ve been in a similar situation where you feel all alone, you’re physically and emotionally bankrupt and no one understands.
    Well, if it helps... all of us here DO!
    Hang in there!! Hugs
     
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  7. SnowHare

    SnowHare member

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    I am also at 4 months post op. I cannot imagine going back to work at 7 weeks.

    I think you are smart to ice and elevate when you get home. I hope you don't have to do much, if any housework. You really, really need to rest, and you probably haven't been getting enough rest since you returned to work. I do know that healing happens better when we are rested and getting adequate sleep.

    Can you elevate your legs during your work break?

    You have suffered a major intrusion to your body. It takes time to get better. I understand the frustration of still being swollen and having pain. I'm feeling the same, without having the stressors of being on my feet all day and working.
     
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  8. Izabel

    Izabel senior

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    Everyone above has said it all, so just sending big hugs to you across the globe. :console2:
     
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  9. Celle

    Celle FORUM ADVISOR Forum Advisor

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    Hello @Taralyn - and :welome:
    Please will you tell us the full date of your knee replacement, so we can make a signature for you? Thank you.:flwrysmile:

    I'm so sorry you're still struggling and in so much pain.

    7 weeks is really too early to go back to work. We recommend taking about 12 weeks and then doing a
    Phased return to work . Going back too early can upset your knee and slow down your recovery. That seems to be what's happened with you.

    Have you talked to your husband about how you're struggling? Can't he see how much pain you're in and that you need help? Have you shown him some of the images in this thread?
    TKR surgery - WARNING: real life photos

    Recovery from a knee replacement takes a full year. It's not the sort of surgery you can bounce back from in about 6 weeks. So, your hubby needs to man up and give you some more help. So, maybe he's got a job. So have you. It's time for him to take some of the load. There's no reason why he can't do the supermarket shop, or some of the cleaning and other housework.

    Your most important job right now is to look after yourself and your knee.
    Go to work, since you have to, but stop doing extra exercises - walking at work is plenty of exercise for your knee.
    Come home from work, grab a quick snack for yourself, and then sit down and rest, ice and elevate your knee. Phone in for a takeaway meal to be delivered, if hubby can't/won't cook.
     
  10. Jodingers

    Jodingers member

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    Oh I feel for you :-( I'm almost 7 weeks and doing really well but I'm certainly not ready to go back to work.
    I don't and haven't done any exercises , just walking and exercise bike.
    I really hope this horrible phase passes soon for you.
     
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  11. Taralyn

    Taralyn new member
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    Thank you every one for your kind and wise words your support means so much. It's Saturday today in Australia and I've decided after reading all your comments I have to be kinder to myself and make my knee recovery my priority I've done minimal housework today and asked my husband to hang out the washing and he did! Amazing! Ive been icing and elevating much more than usual and only did ankle pumps and leg raises today as someone told me they help get the fluid moving. Just reading your comments has helped so much. I had my left tkr on the 11th January 2019. Much love to all and thank you again your hugs were lovely xoxo
     
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  12. redsta

    redsta new member

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    Oh I feel your pain! I am 3 months post surgery and feel like it's been a downhill slide from week 4/5 when I felt really good and positive. As soon as my activity levels went up so did the pain. My headspace isn't great either and have been quite teary. It's good to know I'm not alone. It's a long game and still early days - be kind.
     
  13. Jaycey

    Jaycey SUPER MODERATOR Moderator

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    @Taralyn So sorry you are struggling with the need to return to work early out. Can you get some to those instant ice packs and perhaps ice a bit during your workday? Or if you have access to a freezer at work take some gel packs with you to ice. Still very early days!
     
  14. 321Evie

    321Evie junior member

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    Hi @redsta, I hope you are feeling better! I am new to this forum and just saw you live in Australia too. I'm on then Goldie and just wanted to say hi from your neck of the woods :flwrysmile:
     
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  15. jboles

    jboles graduate

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    @Taralyn and @redsta I’m 2 months out from my revision and I too feel like I’m on a roller coaster to nowhere :bawl: it’s one step forward and two steps back and it just goes on forever. You aren’t alone on this ride and I know from how my left knee is, that it does get better. Patience is the word.
     
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  16. Lindylee

    Lindylee graduate

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    I'm glad you're easing back. You're 10 days ahead of me and there is no way that I could have gone back to work after 7 weeks especially a job that involves a lot of walking. I'm not doing as much as you and I still get aches, pains and swelling, but it's bearable now. As others say, you're doing more than enough physical activity being at work, so you need to rest, ice and elevate when you're home and ask for help around the house. Our NHS website goes even further than Bonesmart and says the only housework we should be doing for the first 12 weeks is dusting and washing up! Remember it's a year recovery so,we're only a third of the way there. Take care and be kind to yourself. :console2:
     
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  17. winemama

    winemama senior

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    I am standing my ground on this knee replacement, I am treating myself gently, and anybody who works around me or working on my leg will treat me gently. I sleep when I need to, when I want to, I’m just doing what’s right for me. Told my surgeon today, but I am taking the gentle approach for PT on my knee He was like OK do what’s best for you I said thank you
     
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