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TKR Carole’s recovery thread

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Carole4815

Carole4815

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[...]I'm so envious of your rolling around in bed.
Aw!!! I do sympathize. It won't be long, though; your Newbie is only 3 weeks behind my new knee, and I didn't even try to sleep in my bed until a few days or weeks after I probably could have.
Me too! Obviously we were dromedary in a past life.
That must be it! Either that, or giant water balloons. LOL

I wear the same teva. I wore mine same day of surgery . Still wearing them. I can not wear tennis shoes. So these are my old faithful sandals
You lucky lady!! My hospital would not allow Tevas at all. They wouldn't allow any sandals, or even open toed shoes, or anything fastened with Velcro. Pretty tough in our hot climate. Oh well, I guess that even if they had been allowed, it would have turned out that mine were too small after I swelled up so much.
 
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Carole4815

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I have another walk to describe! :dancy:Exciting to me, maybe not so exciting to the reader. :loll:

Yesterday afternoon I went to the grocery store again, only this time it was a much larger supermarket, similar in size to a big Safeway or Kroger's. It was not too crowded, which was nice. With my rollator walker, once I was inside the store I walked all around the perimeter and bought 7 items. Walking up and down each aisle would have been a bit much for me at this stage, but soon. I practiced "heel-toe! heel-toe!" walking with longer strides and the best gait I can manage, and stopped briefly to rest two or three times, but did not have to sit in my walker. For me, this was a lot of walking and aerobic activity (believe it or not), so I am pleased that I was able to do it.

My sweetie went with me in case I needed help, but I didn't. Afterwards I insisted on putting the rollator and groceries in the back of my SUV by myself, despite his offers to help. I did that just to prove to myself I could do this independently at some later date.

After returning home, I rested until bedtime and iced for several hours. Both knees were slightly sore, neither more sore than the other. Maybe my non-surgical knee was simply not used to walking so far, or maybe it is trying to tell me I'll need to get that other TKR this spring. Time will tell. Anyway, I have been resting a bit more today, and maybe tomorrow I'll be ready to go for a walk again. :egypdance:
 

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You did great!

Any walks I did in a store were always more comfortable than in my neighborhood, unless I shopped too long, of course. I think the shopping cart was a big help for me. The floor is smooth and it’s climate controlled. Win, win!
 

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Another wonderful outing and some good milestones.
I'm headed for my first solo trip to the grocery today. It will be lovely to have an almost normal activity day.
 
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Carole4815

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[TMI] Today I put away more of that stuff that I bought to help me cope with surgery, including the toilet riser and safety bars. I do not need it any more and the exercise will do my quads some good. Of course, after removal I decided to clean both the riser and that part of the bathroom, and it is nice to be capable of doing that. [/TMI]

Later today I will mop and clean the rest of the bathroom too. I also need to put away my leg lift and my second icing machine (I have two, long story). I'll leave the first one out for now. I gave my socks assist to my sweetie, who could really use a device like that. We agreed that it will shuttle back to me if/when I have my second TKR next spring.

Today we have an election, including both state offices and some hotly contested local elections. It's raining, and the lines could be pretty long. But, we want the best for our suburb, and so we're definitely going to go vote! I am sure that I can handle it, especially with my rollator to sit on if needed. There is a handicapped ramp at my polling place so I can just roll right up to where I need to go.

I am using my rollator less and less, especially inside the house. I got online to stop my regular monthly delivery of frozen meats, because I no longer need that service (now that I am going to the grocery store).

For those of you still stuck in "TKR jail", or suffering with pain, ROM worries, and cabin fever, I just want to say that weeks 5-7 were better for me than earlier weeks, and weeks 8-9 have been sheer bliss for me. I hope they are for you too. I feel like I have pretty much returned to my normal life at last. Well, except that my sleep patterns are still messed up, except that I have to watch myself to be careful that I don't overdo, and except that now I can do so much more than before surgery. There is light at the end of my tunnel and I think it is a beautiful bright future beckoning.

This is why I am in no rush to schedule my second TKR. Life being as it is (grumble grumble), I will probably have to have it done next spring. But meanwhile I want to spend the winter out of "TKR jail" before having to face going back in.
 
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luvcats

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Isn't it funny when cleaning your own bathroom is a huge victory? lol
I was just thinking when I went to bed last night that it is probably time to dismantle my bedside nest.

It must have felt amazing to go out and vote, just to do a new thing and see new people. I want to hear all about it.
 
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Carole4815

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It must have felt amazing to go out and vote, just to do a new thing and see new people. I want to hear all about it.
Well OK!! I love to ramble on about things like that so here you go:

It was drizzling, and all the handicapped spots were taken so I parked down the street and we walked from there to the polling place. When we got there, the line for my precinct was really long and slow moving, so we were standing for quite a while. The gentleman in front of me kindly offered to let me go ahead of him, and so did the gentleman in front of him. Both were seniors like we are, and I thought they were very gallant to let me go ahead of them. I guess I must look more pitiful with my knee scar and walker, than I thought. :rotfl: I really think my neighborhood is great and all the neighbors are so kind, and this is an illustration of that. Most of my neighbors are elderly and were brought up back in the days when manners and consideration of others had a high priority. I don't know all of them so it was fun chatting with everyone in line.

I voted for my favorite candidate for each of 15 positions, and then either yes or no on four amendments to the state constitution. After voting there were chairs right by my voting booth, luckily, so I was able to sit for a moment while waiting for my sweetie to vote. Then we hiked back to my SUV. Next we ran a couple of errands (at drive throughs), and ended up at our favorite restaurant for lunch. I ordered shrimp pasta alfredo, which is utterly divine and pretty high in calories as you might imagine, but after all that activity I didn't gain anything overnight from it.

Afterwards we came back home (sweetie lives next door to me), and I just iced and rested for the remainder of the day, and watched the election results come in on the television. I'll finish the bathroom cleaning later. :) I am icing again this morning since I almost, but not quite, rejoined the ODIC yesterday. So, didn't sleep well at all due to very minor pain last night that interrupted my sleep each time I resumed joyfully flopping about. I am a light sleeper which I really think is a big disadvantage during TKR recovery.

BTW, on another topic, not having the toilet riser in place is no problem at all at the stage I am at! It is easy to stand with one hand on the sink counter and the other on the wall to steady myself. I should have put it away weeks ago, but just didn't know.

My sweetie is over-the-moon with how far my recovery has advanced this week. I probably mentioned that decades ago he was caregiver for two close family members with terminal illnesses. So this time, it's very emotionally healing for him to be able to see me actually improving day by day, week by week.
 
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My sweetie is over-the-moon with how far my recovery has advanced this week. I probably mentioned that decades ago he was caregiver for two close family members with terminal illnesses. So this time, it's very emotionally healing for him to be able to see me actually improving day by day, week by week.
This is so awesome!

At not quite 9 weeks you have far surpassed where I was even months after that, in all aspects.

When I was 4 months post op I had a major set back after spending the weekend with friends and dealing with their standard low toilet. I did not have my portable riser yet, but I bought it soon after so I would never have to suffer like that again, both during that weekend and the month after that it took to recover. I can manage the low ones now, but it’s still not easy.

Either I have the slowest healing process ever, or I chose my surgeon very poorly. I do believe it’s a bit of both, but mostly the latter.
 

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@Carole4815 I love your ramblings...I get so much hope when I read everyone's progress. It sounds like it was definitely more than you expected, but the results were tremendous!!

My recovery has been getting better for sure, (I'll be 6 weeks on Tuesday) though my attempts at walking the road around our property (about 2 acres) have back fired so far! I have my final 2 PT appointments, that have been fine and non-aggravating only a few new muscle twinges...but this slow walk on a chip seal road with 2 small hills keeps irritating all the soft tissue, swelling my knee, and just causing very tight muscles! I'm wondering if it is because of the straightening of my leg that all my muscles don't understand the walking process yet!?
 
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Carole4815

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This is so awesome!

At not quite 9 weeks you have far surpassed where I was even months after that, in all aspects.
Thank you! But remember each knee and each surgery is so different. I tell myself this every time I read about somebody walking miles or doing other things where I lag behind.
 
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@Carole4815 I love your ramblings...I get so much hope when I read everyone's progress. It sounds like it was definitely more than you expected, but the results were tremendous!!

My recovery has been getting better for sure, (I'll be 6 weeks on Tuesday) though my attempts at walking the road around our property (about 2 acres) have back fired so far!
I'm relieved to find out that somebody likes reading my rambings! LOL I figured people were probably thinking, "oh gosh, will she EVER quit?" :rotfl: As for walking around your two acre property, I'd probably have to stop and rest before getting all the way around it. I think my muscles and legs just aren't used to the "new normal" either, so I try to pay attention to my gait and "heel-toe" and so on.
 

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@Carole4815 your postings sound so normal. And that is exactly what I need at this point- a belief that normal will return. I know that it did with my first TKR, but now that I’m back at the beginning again, I need all of the positive future images I can find.

congrats on getting your life back...all will continue to be better for you!
 
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@Carole4815 your postings sound so normal. And that is exactly what I need at this point- a belief that normal will return. I know that it did with my first TKR, but now that I’m back at the beginning again, I need all of the positive future images I can find.

congrats on getting your life back...all will continue to be better for you!
Thank you! I *do* feel like my life is returning to normal. It seemed like forever but I am almost there. I still need to remind myself to watch out and not overdo.

Just now, after not sleeping well last night, between my last post (above) and this one I fell into such a sound sleep that I thought I had slept over 12 hours and it was almost 6 in the morning. oops! It was almost 6 in the afternoon, instead. Guess I was pretty tired. Anyway, that brief, but deep sleep did me a lot of good. When I awakened I took a long shower and washed my hair, another one of those "normal" things that I appreciate so much now.

I envy you, being done with that second TKR already. I am just not emotionally ready to go back to living in my recliner for another couple of months. Besides, due to constant rough over-use my recliner needs some repairs which my sweetie said are easy and he wants to do. Plus, I need to get a lot of dental work done (first appointment tomorrow! with my OS's clearance), and I need to work on my weight and blood sugar before going back for another surgery. My fitness for any upcoming surgery really deteriorated in the past two or three months.
 
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Restorative sleep! Builds stamina.
How wonderful!
I’d have to watch the Bogart “The Big Sleep” after that.
 

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@Carole4815 I wasn't really ready for the 2nd TKR until 4 months after the first. And even then, I decided to add another 2.5 months before doing it again. (I explained my reasons for moving that date forward to now in an earlier post.) What convinced me at the 4-month mark to move ahead was how good the bionic knee felt and how increasingly bad the other one felt. As much as I was enjoying my increased mobility, I was also struggling to deal with the pain from the unfixed knee. At times I had to use my cane again because of the pain. I now had compelling evidence that the surgery brought a great outcome (walking at a distance again w/o previous agony) and I wanted that for both knees.

Nevertheless, I think my memory of the first recovery had gotten a bit more like glowing sunsets and unicorns than reality. Today I am one week out from surgery 2 and the previous days have been as brutal as everyone describes. Yet I am still glad that surgery #2 is in the rearview mirror and that I am moving in the direction of less pain.
 

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I'm relieved to find out that somebody likes reading my rambings!
I adore your ramblings. Those of us still stuck at home get a window to the outside following along on your adventures! Keep them coming!
I am just not emotionally ready to go back to living in my recliner for another couple of months.
Since you don't have the deductible issue pushing you to get them both in, I wouldn't. 3 months is entirely too long to be cooped up and feeling terrible. Next spring will be a much better time when you're happily used to the wonderful new knee and very tired of the cranky old one again, and it isn't all that far off.

Good luck at the dentist.

Yet I am still glad that surgery #2 is in the rearview mirror and that I am moving in the direction of less pain.
In about 3 more weeks, you're going to be really, really glad you bit the bullet and got it done. Just hang on tight. Better days are just around the corner. I'm very tired of being an invalid, but I wouldn't change my choices.
 
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More tales of my increasingly normal life:

This afternoon I went to the dentist to get my teeth cleaned, and also to get a filling replaced which fell out on the day of my TKR surgery. My surgeon cleared me for this as long as my dentist gave me antibiotics beforehand.

It was a 45 minute drive each way. I took my sweetie with me in case I needed help with all the driving. I didn't, but better safe than sorry.

After the dental hygienist cleaned my teeth, my dentist replaced my filling fairly quickly without needing to use any Novacaine. That was pretty cool, I thought. Also much to my great surprise, he didn't find any more cavities. That was nice to know. (...While I was there, I used the bathroom and much to my surprise and glee, I had zero trouble standing from the somewhat low toilet.)

Once done at the dentist, we went out to a late lunch at our usual restaurant and then returned home. I fell asleep in my recliner almost immediately, and napped for a couple of hours since I didn't get much sleep last night. My back is still hurting so I am using my heating pad for that this evening.
 
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