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TKR at the other end of the pool...

Carole4815

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today's lesson is no, silly girl, on your first day alone, as much as you have been thinking about it, you cannot have leftover chili...again I blame the meds for not thinking about how I was going to get the heated chili back to the couch using the walker..
This is why Tupperware with lids was invented. Put your hot chili in the Tupperware (or similar firmly sealable plastic container), seal the lid, put it (plus a fork or spoon) in a plastic grocery bag or fabric bag or purse. The bag can be securely looped over or fastened to one of the handles of your walker, or in your walker basket if you have one, and there you go. When you get to the sofa, take it out of the bag and eat it. Then put the dirty dishes back in the bag to take to the sink. Anyway that is what I have been doing and I hope it works for you next time.
 
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sistersinhim

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got home (it was really hard) and emailed the doctor and the nurse responded with you cannot do anything without the PT's approval
I don't understand this statement. It should be opposite from that. The PT can't do anything without your approval. You are the employer and they are your employee. What you say goes.
 

jeffjob

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@sistersinhim I so agree with you. Neither the OS or PT know how you are feeling. My LTKN did so well I was off the walker in 4 days. My home PT person was concerned but smart enough to have me show her his I could do with the cane.

We are in charge and of course take the responsibility of how we are doing. I did really well with both my TKR and I think it was because I did not punch my knees too hard but did everything they told me they were ready for. And something that was more then the health care providers thought!

I would not listen to someone telling me I should still be using a walker unless the really examined how I can do without it.

Be well and take charge of you!
 

LindaO

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Bless you! Although your telling has left me with a smile, I know how painful things can be so forgive my smile!
Slow and steady! Best of luck!!
 

Celle

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.I got home (it was really hard) and emailed the doctor and the nurse responded with you cannot do anything without the PT's approval...my bad...nobody told me or my daughter...
I disagree strongly with that nurse.
Of course you can do things without your T's approval. You're a competent adult and it's your body and your knee. You are the only one with the right to decide what happens to your knee. Others, such as your LT , may advise, but you have the right to decide whether or not to accept that advice.

It sounds as if your PT was advising you, based on some set protocol, without taking into account the individual differences people experience during recovery.
 

Jamie

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I think maybe what kd119 was talking about in relation to the PT approval was switching from her walker to her cane so soon after surgery.

kd...as you learned, this was not a wise thing to do. There are no awards for how soon you use a cane or try to walk without any aid. I'm sure you realize it now, but you put yourself at great risk for a fall hobbling to the bathroom at night with a cane. And, believe me, the last thing you want to do is get off balance and fall.

The guidance we give here (and I suspect you'll hear the same from your therapist) is to stay with the walker until you can walk without a limp using good, strong strides. When you allow yourself to limp, you are taxing muscles and other soft tissues which will tire you out faster, make things hurt that shouldn't and it doesn't improve your walking one bit.

So, try and be patient and use that walker to aid you in regaining your stride. I know everyone hates walkers, but it is such a great tool to give you a successful recovery. And, it's use is just temporary. One day you'll just get up and walk and forget to reach for it. That is a day we will all celebrate with you!
 
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kd1119

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hola and sorry in advance for the length...
it's been an ugly rollercoaster (figuratively and literally) first week post-op...
long story short the local transit system sucks...always late - and that's if they remember to pick you up (they didn't) and being told it'll only take ten minutes to pick up the next person and then you're next and 40 min later you're finally next...that would be 40 min over every country road in the county and then a rollercoaster ride through a trailer park - not as fast, of course, but just as twisting, turning, up and down...did I mention said bus is like one of the old school buses - the smaller ones - and I am pretty sure the shocks hadn't been replaced in about 20yrs...mind you, while it's getting easier, I can only marginally bend my knee to sit...so my poor knee felt every single bump and turn...the prior PT session was a piece of cake compared to that ride...
there is no one else to take me and they are the only game in town...PT is three times a week for six weeks - that's six rides per week...next Friday is my first post-op appt and I'm hoping that after the wound vac is removed, my knee will bend a little more - enough to get me to where I can drive again - hopefully three weeks...oh and yes, I am still using the walker...the cane was an irrational thing to do and shouldn't have been done - not once, but twice - and I blame the meds...and stupidity...said cane is now in the closet...
fingers and toes crossed and hopes and prayers that next week is easier...
 

Macknit

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Hi KD,
Welcome! I am a bit slow in getting to new posts as I'm right about 9 days ahead of you and I didn't even remember to post my recovery until day 10 (I blame the meds!).

I'm so sorry you have to rely on the bus to get to PT...we live out in the country and my husband's truck has been my mode of transport. This too causes my knee to feel all the bumps and valleys on our 35 minute trip to PT. It's a newer truck too, but I just think we are so sensitive at this early point!

PT over all has been good for me, though I was very happy when the clinic called to tell me my Friday (yesterday) appointment was cancelled, because of an error in their scheduling software :wave:Yay! I am just happy to relax for one extra day.

My wound vac was removed just before I left the hospital (I stayed 2 nights) Now the small incisions where the tubes went in are very sensitive. Fortunately, it only stung a little when they pull the tubes out. This seems to help remove any extra blood/fluid that accumulates from the wound. I had spine surgery in July and they used this vac also, it seems to be a newer item that helps with the wound in the early days.

My PT just told me to start practicing with the cane, but not to use it when in public yet... so I use it when I do 5-10 minutes of walking around the deck that surrounds my home. I feel more comfortable on the walker still:)!
 

Carole4815

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I have a cane but it is useless to me. I guess I just will never master it. For example if I lean on it enough to do any good at all, it wobbles dangerously and is likely to dump me on the floor. I'll stick to my walker until I am ready to walk independently (which might be later this week or next week), and leave cane usage to those of you who are more skillful and less clumsy than me. :heehee:

Also just wanted to say that after a few weeks I think it will become much more comfortable for both of you to travel on a bumpy road. By now (5 weeks), I am asking my sweetie to drive around on a pleasure drive with me after we go out to lunch and we drive around for about 20-30 minutes or so here in town. The roads here are pretty bumpy but they don't bother me much any more. Well, a little but I enjoy getting out which makes up for it. So, my guess is that pretty soon you will be fine with the bumpy roads. Time cures all.
 
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Macknit

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I'm so glad to hear the bumps become less noticeable over time, I'm just learning about how important it is to work on my patience in all of these "comfort" issues!
 
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kd1119

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question - with a wound vac - what is the process of removing it and how painful is it?
I'm guessing I'm going to need to ask my daughter to take off the morning to take me...sigh...
and, heaven forbid, he wants to put another one on...nope, not playing a whatif game...

so when I initially came home (9/15) it took me 30 min (sometimes more) to get myself off the couch, to the bathroom and back...in my defense, the walk itself is off the couch to a short hallway to the kitchen and across the kitchen and back...just now...4:14 min (with walker)...yeah, me!!!

now if I could just get back to sleep...
 

Macknit

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I'm just posting at 1:58 AM ....slept about 2 hours and was woken up with weird knee pain, just finished icing and elevating..... maybe I'll try sleeping again!?

Meanwhile, the wound vac has small tubing that goes into the wound, they just pull it out slowly which stings a tad, but it isn't anything compared to our knees:sad:! You won't need anything special to prepare for this.
 
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kd1119

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thanks - good to know!
p.s...before I get chastised, I know it's not a race and I did not race or hurry or a "quickened my step"...
I'm a numbers person...before I retired part of my job involved a lot of numbers...and a trivia person..
 

Celle

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.PT is three times a week for six weeks - that's six rides per week...next Friday is my first post-op appt and I'm hoping that after the wound vac is removed, my knee will bend a little more - enough to get me to where I can drive again - hopefully three weeks.
This early in recovery, you don't need formal PT at all. I think that long, uncomfortable bus journey is doing your knee more harm than skipping PT will do.

Why don't you phone the PT place and say you're not coming for a few weeks? Your knee can get all the exercise it needs, when you walk around your house. If you feel you need to do a little more, just do some heel slides -
Heel slides and how to do them properly

It's not exercising that gets you your ROM - it's time. Time to recover, time for swelling and pain to settle, and time to heal. Your knee is capable of achieving good ROM right from the start. Its ROM will gradually increase as your knee heals and the internal and external swelling decrease.
 
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kd1119

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Hi,

At 2a I made a decision and called and cancelled tomorrow's PT session. As soon as they open, I will be calling the transit dispatch office and cancelling the four remaining rides scheduled for this week.
This Friday is the post-op with the OS and hopefully the wound vac will be removed.
Yesterday I had another bad 40m bus ride that pretty much left me crying and I haven't ever cried from physical pain. I gave birth to twins (one breech) weighing together almost 14lbs and I didn't cry...said a few choice words, but didn't cry. I am off the pain meds - except before/after a ride. I am still using extra strength Tylenol as it helps with the ache.
So at 2a I decided that enough is enough. I am working hard at PT and I'm pretty sure that ride is undoing that and missing one session is not going have an impact.
And as I am on a high blood pressure medication, I am guessing that intense pain every other day is not a good thing.
I am going to take the rest of the week off and relax and not stress out about any of this. I will continue icing/elevating, of course, and the PT exercises and walking around the apartment.
On Friday I will have a discussion with the OS whom I really like. I am hoping once the wound vac is removed I will have a little more mobility. This weekend I can see what I can and cannot do and will decide on whether to resume the rides/PT.
So there.
p.s....thanks for everything - the advice and the information and the support...
muchly and greatly appreciated...
 
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luvcats

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I'm glad you made a clear decision based on your needs. I can't imagine that an extra hour of public transit on top of PT is doing you any favors. It's like no one considers that not everyone has flexible schedules and people who can drop everything to pitch in. I'm super fortunate that Beloved can be flexible with his hours and work from home, but we all know that is the exception, not the norm.
 

sistersinhim

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I am working hard at PT and I'm pretty sure that ride is undoing that and missing one session is not going have an impact.
Missing all your PT will have a positive impact on your knee. The bus ride in itself, then adding exercises on top of that, is too much for your infant knee.

I am going to take the rest of the week off and relax and not stress out about any of this. I will continue icing/elevating, of course, and the PT exercises and walking around the apartment.
Walking around, doing your daily activities is exercising your knee. That's all it needs and that's all many of us on here have done and our recoveries worked out just fine, without the pain of exercising.
 
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kd1119

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hiyah!

just got back from the first post-op appt...they took x-rays, took out the wound vac and removed about 40 staples...everything is looking great!!! keep up the PT - at home and clinic, but at my pace...
walker to cane to nothing, stairs and driving is all on me - whenever i feel i am ready, the PT people can help with the transitions...
was only expecting the wound vac to be removed, so everything else was icing on the cake and a nice surprise...they put a gauze bandage over it, but i can take it off whenever and don’t need to replace it...
still will need to use the bus, but we talked about taking the Tramadol and ES Tylenol before and after the MWF sessions...he said it will get easier and i know it will...
gonna take some meds, have some lunch and take a snooze...
have a great weekend, y’all!
 

luvcats

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Yay! No more wound vac or staples. I feel like staples out is the first big milestone for healing. I felt so good when mine came out! Everything just felt a little looser.

Keep taking it slow and easy.
 
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kd1119

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Hiyah!

The TKR surgery was six weeks ago Thursday...and it’s been a roller coaster...

Three weeks ago, after the wound vac had been removed and I was feeling really good, I went outside (using the cane) to see if it was easier getting in and out of the car. It was and I also had no problem with the pedals...yeah me!

I was walking around the back of the car to get to the sidewalk and thinking about no more bus rides and driving again when 66yrs of "right foot automatically first on the curb" took over. And yeah, the right knee collapsed and I ended up backwards in the street between two parked cars. Thankfully the kids were home and after yelling a couple times they all came running and got me up, inside and back on the couch. I was barely walking because I had pulled/overextended the IT band on the surgery leg.

After getting chastised for not having my phone or at least a spotter, I took a couple of Tramadol and they started packing my leg in ice. My knee felt fine - just the upper outer thigh was bad. I rested the remainder of the weekend and cancelled the Monday morning PT session.

By the next PT session on Wednesday, I was able to get on the transit bus (using a walker, of course) and got to PT. It was a painful bus ride, but most of them have been.

The fall set me back almost two weeks, but I think I am almost where I should be. The PT assessment two days ago had my ROM at 107 (up from the 92 at last assessment) and my knee flat (don’t know what it’s called) is at 5 or -5 (almost all the way down, but not quite). The PT said no worries - there’s been improvement, so all is good.

I saw the OS yesterday for the 6 week follow up and he was a happy camper. The incision looked good, balance was good, I'm off Tramadol completely and ROM was good He authorized six more weeks of PT three times a week. And he said I passed the four criteria for driving, so I am good to go!

I went out this morning and drove to Starbucks and got my first Coffee Frappuccino in six weeks...happy sigh...knee did good. I had a little tightness. And there still is some little bit of swelling and bruising that was expected. I know I won’t be able to sit in traffic for an extended amount of time, but the odds of that happening here are slim to none.

As of Monday the family taxi service is back in business with drop offs in the morning and pick ups in the afternoon. But the very best part is not having to ride the transit bus twice a day, three times a week. The city transit bus service sometimes forgets you, sometimes shows up an hour late and sometimes they don’t let you know when there is no driver for your scheduled ride. On top of the painful experience of actually riding the bus from anywhere to 10 minutes to an hour to get home which is 10miles away, not needing this service is the very best part of being able to drive again.

I know when the other knee is done (probably in January), I’ll need to take the bus again. But the right leg will be strong and hopefully I’ll only need to take the bus the first two weeks.

The last thing on the list is getting off the couch and back up to my room on the third floor. After six weeks down here in the living room, we are all ready. The other day I did climb up the two flights of stairs - one step at a time. Going up was good; going down a little shaky. But there are railings, so a little slower going down.

I greatly appreciate all the information and support. My brother-in-law is having a bilateral TKR early next year and I have already told him to stop here.

Thanks and have a great weekend!

Katie
 
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