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Bad at waiting

luvcats

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I'm having my LTKR on July 1.
I am so very, very bad at waiting.

I've needed replacements for about 5 years, but was originally told I was too fat and it wasn't an option. The way the surgeon said it, I really got the impression that it had to do with the replacement parts, rather than risk and I just let it go. I've been working with a pain specialist for several years to manage things.

Last winter I wound up in the hospital for an incarcerated hernia and was told by the ER nurse that 'too fat for surgery' was a load of ...fertilizer...and I should get a second opinion. When I was recovering I asked my therapist who their recommendation would be for knees, and once I was released from care, I got an appointment.

I did get all kinds of lectured about my weight (BMI 54 today, but 58 at the time of my first appointment.) but I accept the additional risks. I'm already on tramadol all the time and I'm completely disabled. I have no life outside my house and computer. I can only go grocery shopping because my favorite store offers ECVs for customers. I definitely accept the risks. I want my life back.

I just got my blood work done, and I have an appointment with my primary next week for the other pre-op tests. Fingers crossed.

I had my initial appointment in March. I am terrible at waiting. I've had entirely too much time being anxious. I'm really not worried about the surgery. More like, I'll get a cold and have to postpone after completely reorganizing my life and my husband's work schedule around my chosen dates.

Only a few more weeks to go.
 

Josephine

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Oh bless you! I have a high BMI of 43 also but I was lucky enough to have a surgeon who never, ever made any comment about it. I expected that to be the case because I nursed one of his patients who had her knee done with a BMI of 63 (400lbs) and she did very, very well.
 
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luvcats

luvcats

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Its nice to hear a success story about someone over 400lbs. I've lost 80 lbs since October. I think it makes now the perfect time for surgery because my muscle mass is still used to that weight. I know it will redistribute as I lose more.
 

kneeper

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Congratulations on finding a surgeon who will help you. After you recover you will be able to be active. It is an amazing change to go from clinging to the grocery cart for dear life ( or in your case needing to drive around the store) to being able to shop, walk and go up and down stairs as many times a day as you want to. :)
 

rosieNZ

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Fab! My BMI was 40 (but I have been 50 so I do know!!).
Stay heathy and don't worry. If its cancelled it will get rescheduled and when you look back any time pre op won't seem important.
Your life is going to change so much xxxx
 

Poctdb

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My surgeon says he doesn’t care about weight. I am at a 40 BMI but am very active. He said once the knee is fixed....the rest will come.
 

jeffjob

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I too was told I needed to loose weight and get my BMI below 40. My doctors told me it was more to do with blood loss and contamination of blood. Another told me it was just the insurance companies requirement.

Glad you found someone that will do it. I had a friend that had his done while he was 400+ and the replacements really took away the bad pain. Great job loosing the 80 pounds (that’s how much I lost) and you body will be able to move around more after the surgery with the weight gone.

I also get your worry about the surgery being postponed. I am a big planner and I have this whole year planned including a big trip that required me to get my knees done as scheduled. I did not go around anyone that was sick, I wore long pants outside and I was very careful of bug bites or my dog scratching my legs.

You have done so much to already make this happen. Do what you can that is in your control and do not waste time worrying about what you cannot control.

You are going to do great!
 
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luvcats

luvcats

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It is an amazing change to go from clinging to the grocery cart for dear life ( or in your case needing to drive around the store) to being able to shop, walk and go up and down stairs as many times a day as you want to. :)
It's been such a long time since I could do those things. When I thought surgery was flat out not an option, I just did what I could do, and didn't think too much about what I couldn't, but right now being able to just dash into a store without thinking about it is very high on the list of things I'm excited to get back.
 
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luvcats

luvcats

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If its cancelled it will get rescheduled and when you look back any time pre op won't seem important.
I know it will happen, but I want it noooooooowwwwww. lol I am so tired of the pain. You all know where I'm coming from.
 
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luvcats

luvcats

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I too was told I needed to loose weight and get my BMI below 40. My doctors told me it was more to do with blood loss and contamination of blood. Another told me it was just the insurance companies requirement.
This is what I was told too. The rate of infection is significantly higher in people with high BMIs and the risk of blood loss is also higher. What I wonder, and haven't found the answer to, is, how many of those people with unfortunate outcomes have diabetes, uncontrolled blood pressure, or some other underlying issue common in overweight people that affects those outcomes? I don't know how they control their statistical data.

I also get your worry about the surgery being postponed. I am a big planner and I have this whole year planned including a big trip that required me to get my knees done as scheduled. I did not go around anyone that was sick, I wore long pants outside and I was very careful of bug bites or my dog scratching my legs.
This is me exactly. My husbands job is project oriented, and we have the whole year plotted out. We also have a big fun trip scheduled for December, and we could go anyway, but I really, really want to have my new knees for the trip. Plus, I've already hit my maximum out of pocket for this insurance year! So many reasons.

It will be what it is, but this is me, bad at waiting. lol
 

lovetocookandsew

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I don't think anyone is good at waiting, and waiting to have a painful knee fixed is hard. Whether we're waiting for a surgery to fix a problem, or waiting for a special occasion, waiting can be the hardest part. But then the day finally arrives and the wait is over! I kept myself really busy during the last weeks before my surgery so as to keep my mind off what I knew was coming. While I was glad to be having the surgery, I also knew firsthand what it entailed, so I had lots of kangaroos jumping away in my stomach. Being super busy left me little time to think plus made me so tired between the busyness and my bad knee acting up, that it helped with sleeping at night.

Mine actually did need to be rescheduled as my surgeon needed surgery, but I made it through that wait also, and so will you if that were to happen for some reason. Reading other people's threads, I haven't seen that many who had to have their surgery dates moved, but it does happen, and we all get through it. As prepared as you are, I am sure you will do great; just keep your focus on the goal of taking back your life! Good luck and please keep us posted. We'll soon see you on the other side!
 
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luvcats

luvcats

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Yesterday my husband moved a tv into our bedroom. It feels like it's sitting there saying "let's do this!". lol He also moved a mini fridge up on a table so it's easy to access.

I realized I'm going to have to stay upstairs until my knee is ok to bed about 90, or at least 75 degrees, because that is all the space I have between the commode and the wall in the downstairs loo. The upstairs will be much better for early recovery.

Tomorrow is a trip to get rubbing alcohol to make home made large ice packs. My leg is too large for the 'one size fits all' cuffs that work with the machines.
Wednesday is finally my pre-surgery physical. I've already done the blood work, just need the ekg and a nose swab.
Almost there.
 
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jeffjob

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Do you have your walker and cane?

Great you are working on ice packs and elevating and ice are important. If your leg really swells try and get it above the level of your heart.

I did not need a bath bench or even chair. I was able to stand at the sink and wash myself until day 5 when I could take a shower. I had no problem standing for the time it took for the shower as well.

Sleep is hard to get the first couple of weeks. The new knee may just hurt enough or not allow you to get in your comfy zones. With my left leg I was sleeping good after about two weeks. My right leg had a lot more work done and at day 17 I am still only getting around 5-6 hours at night. I am not a nap person but had to take them this time around..

Stay positive it will help tremendously. Sounds like your husband will be a great help. My wife has been that to me. Yesterday on day 16 she took me for a drive to the shore and we had a great sea food lunch. I napped, iced and elevated when I got home and did fine.

Keep up the great prep!
 

KarriB

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Congratulations on the weight loss! It’s not easy, especially with limited mobility. I had my TKR done while overweight (unsure of my BMI) and while I did experience an infection, I’d still do it again. The freedom to do what I want was totally worth it. You may want to double bag the homemade icing bags, just in case they leak.i made these for my dad when he had a THR. My PT had big gel icing bags that were wonderful and can be ordered from amazon.
 
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luvcats

luvcats

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Do you have your walker and cane?

Great you are working on ice packs and elevating and ice are important. If your leg really swells try and get it above the level of your heart.
I have the cane I currently normally use when I leave the house, and I have one of the ones with 4 feet for stability should I need it. I believe my insurance will provide a walker as I leave the hospital. If not, I live in a highly urban area and Amazon delivery comes fast. lol

I also ordered the... Lounge Doctor? The special leg elevation pillow, which comes in an extra wide version. Since the plan is to have serial replacements, the investment made sense.

Sleep is hard to get the first couple of weeks. The new knee may just hurt enough or not allow you to get in your comfy zones. With my left leg I was sleeping good after about two weeks. My right leg had a lot more work done and at day 17 I am still only getting around 5-6 hours at night. I am not a nap person but had to take them this time around..
I had emergency surgery for something else last year and got really good at sleeping flat on my back without moving. Those lessons will help me now. lol

Stay positive it will help tremendously. Sounds like your husband will be a great help. My wife has been that to me. Yesterday on day 16 she took me for a drive to the shore and we had a great sea food lunch. I napped, iced and elevated when I got home and did fine.

Keep up the great prep!
I'm pretty good at positive until the exhaustion hits hard. But then I have a fun trip scheduled for December, and I know that will help.
 
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luvcats

luvcats

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I had my TKR done while overweight (unsure of my BMI) and while I did experience an infection, I’d still do it again. The freedom to do what I want was totally worth it. ]quote]
That's really how I feel about it. If you know the risk is higher, then you can be hypervigilant about watching for signs and catch it early if it happens. I want my life back. I'm willing to do what it takes to get there.

[quote[You may want to double bag the homemade icing bags, just in case they leak.i made these for my dad when he had a THR. My PT had big gel icing bags that were wonderful and can be ordered from amazon.
I definitely have plans to double bag the ice. I looked at the really big gel bags and they seemed really expensive for what they are. So I'm going the home made route.
 
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luvcats

luvcats

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Yay! Jumped through my final hoop yesterday and had my physical. All my blood work came back clean and I'm ready to go.
I received my Lounge Doctor pillow yesterday. They make an extra wide one, which I thought would be a good idea since I plan on having my 2nd knee done September 4. I'll need the room to have both legs elevated.

I have homemade ice packs in the freezer, each made a different color, both because it amuses me, and so that my husband will know which ones may not be completely refrozen. I made a few extra in case one leaks or something.

I have a few meals in the freezer. I have plans for a few more things.

I've hired a pet sitting service to come and handle litter boxes for my husband. Of all my chores, that's the one he hates the most.

I think I'm ready. 18 days to go.
 

KarriB

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Sounds like you’re getting prepared! I had a basket beside my chair that was filled with necessities like tissues, pen, notepad, phone/iPad chargers, remotes, etc. It just helped to keep things organized for me.
 
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luvcats

luvcats

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@KarriB I already have a little nest like that near my recliner. I'll be setting one up next to my bed at the last minute. I'm planning to spend most of the first 2 awful weeks up in my bed where I can get proper elevation on my knee. My couch is low and squashy, I'd never be able to get out of it!
 

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