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Anxious waiting for surgery

Polarbear

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I am sched'd for November 25, total right knee replacement. It will definitely screw up Thanksgiving and maybe Christmas.

I'm getting a bit nervous because I hear all these stories! I was reassured in an earlier post that I do NOT need a live-in keeper, something I do not want and cannot afford. I value my privacy, my place is small and I have 9 cats.

I'm trying to anticipate every possible issue and find ways to deal with it in advance. I already set up a very comfy somehat reclinable chair in my bathroom (a marvelous 1950s-vintage metal outdoor chair that moves when I do) with a camping stool to put my feet up on. (bathroom is well-heated/comfy if I turn on the floor-heating). I thought- easy to lift myself up, take a step to the right to the toilet to take a 3AM pee, then step back to the chair, no walking. Then I hear someone describe something about a machine that will constantly move my knee all night. EEK! Now I need to find out if that's standard or optional.

I THINK I've worked out a way to feed the cats, elevating the food plates in one room and using a grabber for plates in the other room. I MIGHT have to hire someone to deal with the cat boxes if the ultra light-weight litter and platforms elevating the boxes aren't sufficient. Food, when I run out, can be delivered and frankly I so utterly hate to cook I'll be happy with either canned stuff or Reiser's salads/beans etc. I drink gallons of tea. Rather than brew bulk batches, I plan to buy the gallon jugs, stocking up with enough of them to get me thru two months. Ditto canned foods I like such as the stuffed grape leaves Big Lots sells.

I own a Clax cart, a wonderful tool for mobility-impaired folk and useful for general purposes afterward. I ordered a smock with large pockets to hold my cellphone, to be worn at all times. I am still, however, somewhat nervous from all the stories.
 

Carole4815

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There is a lot of information here on bonesmart about recovery when you are living alone. Like this: https://bonesmart.org/forum/threads/living-alone-will-i-be-able-to-manage-after-a-tkr.10512/

The machine that moves your knee all night is probably a CPM ("Continual Passive Motion") machine. They had one at the hospital that I used, but apparently they are very expensive; I only got to use it once or twice for about 20 minutes at the hospital, and I was not allowed to take it home.

My hospital (or my insurance?) gives TKR patients a portable commode to take home, free but apparently not all do. You will probably want an electrical outlet near your chair or bed, for your icing machine. I have no idea about caring for the cats (since I have no pets), except that it sounds awfully hard to do after knee surgery.

I looked up that Clax cart and it looks terrific!

Perhaps there is someone who could look in on you once a day, or who you could at least be in contact with via phone call or text every day, for the first week especially.

I live alone, and my boyfriend lives next door so he brought me lunch every day and would come over here for an hour or two later in the day, during that first week. When he was at work he would sometimes text me to see how I was doing. That was plenty of help and I did just fine. Basically I could do everything myself that needed to be done, but then luckily I didn't fall or unexpectedly need to be driven to the doctor or anything like that.

Like you, I value my privacy but during those first two weeks I had to have Home Health nurse visits or Home Physical Therapy visits almost every week day. I was SO glad when all that ended.
 
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luvcats

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If economics permit, I highly recommend having someone in for the first week or two to manage the cat boxes. 9 cats means a lot of boxes and bending and stretching, even when they are elevated. I only have 2, but I was glad someone else was managing that during the earliest days. I was also completely paranoid about infection and avoiding cat boxes while the incision was still fresh, even though it was covered, was part of my management strategy. I'm not sure it was necessary, but that's what I did both times. At about 2 weeks, I was able to manage again. I didn't have the option of elevating. One of my girls is fat and arthritic and she does not jump.

The Constant Passive Motion machines were standard issue for a while, but they don't seem to be any more. I never saw one.

I didn't have too much trouble going back and forth to the bathroom with my walker even right away. Standing up and sitting down were the biggest issues.
 

kneeper

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Your OS may not recommend the CPM. My OS was using them a few years ago. I found it uncomfortable (on my back as much as anything) and it is an annoyance because you need somewhere to set it up where it can stay when you're on your own. You can't just put it on and off the bed easily on your own. I didn't try b/c it's fairly heavy.
I found it moderately useful for "loosening up" in the first couple of weeks--but I used it quite a bit less at a time than recommended. There are other ways to make sure you're moving so many OS' don't use them.
 

Jockette

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I didn’t have a CPM machine either and I’m glad I didn’t. I fear it would have had a bad affect on my back, like kneeper mentioned. I did ask my PT about it and he told me they were old school.

I looked up your clax cart and it looks awesome!
 

Celle

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@Polarbear - We haven't heard from you in quite a long time. How are you getting on?

You said you were scheduled to have a knee replacement on November 25th 2019, but you were having doubts about your surgeon.

From your question about ROM in jdennysgirl's thread, I assume you didn't have that TKR. Is that correct?
If so, how is your search for a new surgeon going? Do let us know if we can be any help, won't you?
 

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