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TKR Dealing with negativity

FourCats

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I have a brother who had a knee injury several years ago which he was able to heal with time and lots of PT. He doesn’t understand that my issue is arthritis and healing is not possible, that it will only continue to deteriorate. It is hard to talk with him without getting upset because he has all these “reasons” why my decision to have surgery is not the right one. Does anyone have any suggestions to help me deal with his negativity as I don’t want to not be in communication with him?
 

djklaugh

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@FourCats Alas it is difficult to change the mind or beliefs of someone like your brother who thinks he is right. I think you just need to tell him thanks for his opinion but it's not his knee and you are going to go with the recommendations of your surgeon "and beyond that, bro, we just have to agree to disagree. Now this topic is closed. How are things going for you? What's new with your job?" -- Or similar ...
 

Celle

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I agree with djklaugh .

It's your knee, not your brother's. Just tell him you're going ahead with the advice of a surgeon you trust.
You don't need your brother's approval, so don't discuss your knee with him.
 

Jaycey

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@FourCats our former colleague had a great description of pre-op knee pain. See if your brother can relate to this:

"I had barely any ongoing pain, just what I refer to as a 'stone in the shoe' pain which came and went erratically. Sometimes it lasted for an hour, sometimes for a week but I knew what caused it so let me share that with you.

Arthritis has the effect of making our joints crumble like an old concrete step.



It breaks down, creating lots of grit and debris. Generally this stays in the pouches at the side of the joint but every so often, a bit gets into the weight bearing part of the joint and then we get that extreme pain and can't bear weight on the leg at all! Pain killers do nothing, nor do things like braces. We are just conscious of this horrible burning pain that all of a sudden goes away!



It's every bit as disabling as the constant bone-on-bone pain so many others suffer and is a very good indicator that a joint replacement is needed.

To assess your need for replacement, print off the form in this link, read the instructions and fill it in
Score chart: how bad is my arthritic hip/knee
 
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FourCats

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Thanks for all the support! He has heard the grinding in my knee and has watched me struggle to get up out of a chair. I want to believe he’s just concerned that I might have problems given my diabetes and being overweight. But it is discouraging not to have him on board. My sister told me that he’s afraid I might be able to kick his butt!
 

Jaycey

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My sister told me that he’s afraid I might be able to kick his butt!
:rotfl: You go girl!

Many of our members are overweight and deal with diabetes. Staff will keep on eye on you and treat any complications quickly.
 

kneeper

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And your new knee will enable you to exercise, which can be helpful for both things.
 

Tykey

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Here's a blunt answer
Why allow yourself to discuss it with anyone, other than with people who are qualified to do so? . Other than us, of course because we understand from our own experiences which are actually are relevant.
 
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FourCats

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Because he is my family.
 

Celle

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He may be family, but you don't need his approval. It's your life and your knee and you are the only one who has the right to say what happens to it.

It sounds as if you have your sister's support, so go ahead and do what needs to be done.
 

lovetocookandsew

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I get that he's family, but family can be wrong. Arguing with someone who has made up his mind, is without a medical degree, who is also not your surgeon, can drive one nuts. Tell him you would like his support; not his advice. He's already given his opinion, and it's time to stand up and let him know you heard what he had to say, and you're not taking any more advice from him. Thank him for caring, and tell him what you need now is support as you make your own decisions. If that works, great, if not, you might need to stop discussing the topic with him, and just let him know the day of when you're at the hospital, etc. With the current restrictions in many places, you are unlikely to be allowed anyone in the hospital waiting room, so you can use that as an excuse as to why you didn't tell him your surgery date.

I also suggest you get ready for him to try to butt in and tell you you need heavy PT, or more of it, etc, after your surgery. Make up your mind now how you want to recover, and don't let ANYONE push you to do it their way. After surgery you're going to be weak, tired and vulnerable, so making your decisions now will enable you to keep to your plan and ignore anyone who tries to push you into their way of recovery. Your brother's injury recovery is a totally different case and what worked for him will be very unlikely to work for a surgical recovery. His knee was injured; yours will be something altogether different, therefore needing a different recovery protocol. But that doesn't stop strong and/or pushy people from trying to guilt others into doing what they think you need, even when it's contraindicated. Having a plan in place will enable you to keep to your decisions when you're at a weak point in your recovery.
 

MutilatedInPain

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I have a brother who had a knee injury several years ago which he was able to heal with time and lots of PT. He doesn’t understand that my issue is arthritis and healing is not possible, that it will only continue to deteriorate. It is hard to talk with him without getting upset because he has all these “reasons” why my decision to have surgery is not the right one. Does anyone have any suggestions to help me deal with his negativity as I don’t want to not be in communication with him?
Have you tried telling him that you can both “agree to disagree” about it?

Tell him point-blank that you do not want to discuss it. If he again brings it up, immediately change the subject, i.e., “How about The Pirates this year?” (Fill in your local sports team.)

Change the subject to anything else. If he does not get the message and respect your boundaries, you may have no other choice than to avoid him.

Never argue with someone whose mind is like cement — all mixed up and permanently set.
Good luck with your surgery AND your family!
 
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FourCats

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There have never been arguments, just not understanding my need for this surgery. I honestly think he is worried that something may go wrong (as I am) or it may not be as successful as it could be (as I am). But I know he wants what is best for me.
 

BBCG

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Hi FourCats, I’m also a cat-person! It sounds like maybe this is a known family dynamic, perhaps? Discussing things I do with some family members can be a source for distress rather than solace at times. I’m glad you do have your sister’s support and she lets you have your own path... hang in there and continue to do what’s right for you. I think you’ll find lots of support here for calling your own shots!
 

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