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Depression/post-op blues

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karol723

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Glad I'm not the only one who goes off now & then. I guess we can be pretty scary sometimes . Managed to do some reading and got my mind off of my knee for awhile. Having a blizzard here on Long Island so I'm not the only one stuck indoors !!!
 

Miss Muffet

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WHY can't everyone read our minds????!!!! :tantrum2::censored:
Seriously though it is incredibly frustrating that they can't really work it out. Although I am accused of being a (stand by my overseas friends, a spot of colloquial coming up) nazzbag (which comes out as " why are you being so nazzy today?") it's because they don't pick up on what we perceive as The Obvious :yawn: ie we are fretting over what's to come; we are very tired as we don't sleep very well and are actually in pain pretty much most of the time (but don't bother to say, mostly because it would be, well, boring) AND we are actually quite frightened.

And they don't really understand priorities.....
For instance this evening we had people over for supper. It was organised yonks ago and I didn't want to cancel as we owed both sets of friends as they had hosted us more than once. I explained yesterday to hubby that I would need help as Prepping would mean lots of time on my feet and he readily said he'd Hoover, lay the table, peel the veg, etc etc. I got on with stuff and he appeared and clogged up the kitchen making bread. We didn't even need bread! :hairpulling:
In bed now. Very tired and aching - that's my Saturday night Sunday rant over with.
Sorry folks! Nitey nite (PS - I'm actually quite a nice, level headed type normally) :ice:
 
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Josephine

Josephine

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It's strange/annoying/distressing how these things seem to come out of nowhere sometimes.

I remember during my first knee recovery, at 6 weeks I was supposed to go to the physio for an assessment. Though I'd had my brother and his wife there for the first 5 days, after that I'd been on my own - totally - and unbeknownst to me, was getting quite uptight - about what, who knows. I just was. I booked a taxi to take me to the health centre and got dressed (going out dressed, not my usual 'shlumpies') but 5 minutes before the taxi arrived, I dissolved into an anxiety attack of monumental proportions. I managed to cancel the taxi and the appointment by which time I was sobbing like a baby so even the physio told me to phone my GP immediately. I did that and the receptionist also picked up on my uber distressed state and put me through to a lady doctor who jumped into her car and came straight over (the surgery is only 5 mins drive away). She sat with me for almost an hour listening, reassuring and advising. She was just what I needed right at the very moment I needed it. I was so very, very lucky and managed to get out of my low mood quite quickly as a result. Happily after that it was all pretty much upwards and onwards.
 

Naomi60

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@XKV8R - It's interesting because the way you are feeling is how I feel as well. I've been so bored, I feel like such an old woman, THAT thought makes me panic and I wonder if I will ever feel normal again. But I can tell you this, for me a fog lifted at 8 weeks where I at least felt like me again (sort of) and now at 13 weeks, I feel even better physically and intellectually. I imagine it has more to do with not being drugged up than any thing else. The night I posted on this thread was a real low point for me. However, since I was able to actually write it down and get some feedback from people who know EXACTLY what I'm talking about, I feel better. I have had 2 days with no crying. I have physical therapy tomorrow and I will be interested to find out if I have made any progress in my range of motion.

Anyway, hang in there, and thanks for posting.
 

Joyfull61

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I'd like to add that if you have a history of depression, please contact your mental health provider or general practitioner if this period of post-op blues goes on for too long or is severe. If you're already on medication for depression, your physician may be able to bump up your current dosage to help you through this period.
 

Sbow3111

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I can't even tell you how much it meant to me when I searched "post-op depression" and found all these comments/notes!! I had NO IDEA this was a real thing and that so many were suffering from the same thing I was! I have a history of depression and have been on meds almost all my life. But I have never felt anything like this; it hit me out of nowhere and I have never been in such a DEEP and DARK place. Shortly after coming off the pain meds (and getting through that horrible withdrawal), this depression and fear/anxiety settled in. I was terrified to get out of bed every morning, and terrified to stay in bed. I cried and cried, my poor husband just held me and told me these feelings would pass. I wanted to believe him, but was scared to death that they would not. I couldn't bear to be without him by my side 24/7 (thank goodness, we own a business and work together!). I had always been a person who loved my "alone time" ... and all of a sudden I was scared to death that I would have to spend even one minute by myself. Thankfully, my family doctor gave me a prescription of Ativan, which taken as needed, helped me through the hardest parts of each day. Little by little, I started having moments when I was seeing light at the end of the tunnel ... and started believing that maybe I WAS going to be ok after all. I am seven weeks post-op now, and about 90% back to "myself" mentally/emotionally. (Physically, I'm doing great!) I am also seeing a therapist for a period of time, which is nice, just having someone to talk to about things. I just wish there was more information given BEFORE surgery about things like this ... If I'd known to expect this, perhaps it wouldn't have hit me so hard and been so scary. I encourage people to reach out and talk to people about what they are feeling; talking about it takes away most of the fear.
 

Joyfull61

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@Sbow3111
That's exactly what I was talking about. I'm so glad you got help!

As someone who has suffered with depression for many years, it hit me like a ton of bricks. I knew to expect it from my experience with the partial knee replacement in August. It was mild and lasted a handful of days. This time it was much worse (second knee was done Nov 30). WAY worse. My doctor added in a medication I'd recently stopped taken. Within days, I was SO much better.

Most people will pop right out of it, but if you already have a history of depression and are being treated, there's a chance your post-op blues will end up being much worse. Don't hesitate to call your doctor.
 

Glamg1979

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I am glad to see that people are responding and sharing their experiences, it is very helpful for others.
I find my blues were also associated with exhaustion. I too have a history of depression and know that if I don't pull out of it then it is time for professional help. My help came from this forum and being able to share what I was going through and receiving lots of support.
When I was going through home PT my therapist told me he wished OS's would tell their patients how difficult and long the recovery is.
 

hopefulrevision

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I am so happy to find this thread too. I am at 4 weeks from a complicated revision. My pain is still quite bad, and I am so exhausted. I am normally not a depressive person, but I have to say that through this experience I have had to really redirect my thoughts from discouragement to hope. I think what discouraged me immediately was the unkind nurses at the hospital the day after my surgery. They were so apathetic and discounted my pain and everything. I was very kind to them and they could not care less. I found out later that they have a reputation for being unkind there. It's really not right that anyone has to deal with unkind medical staff after such a serious and painful surgery. The nurses who helped me on the day of my surgery were wonderful, but the after care was really bad. I also think many of the PT's and nurses have an unrealistic view on how quickly someone is supposed to heal from this type of surgery. Some of them also act as if there should not be hardly any pain, which made me feel like I was exaggerating when if anything I was not stating how bad the pain really was and is.
I think being stuck at home, inside for weeks has been a big test for me. I have a great support network with my kids and friends, but its really hard to not be able to drive the forest, or river and go on a walk in nature. It is still difficult to sit up for very long, so I don't think I am ready for a drive to the river I like.
This is the toughest surgery recovery I have had yet. I think the long stem rods in my leg are hurting still..... from below my knee up through my hip the pain radiates, and sometimes is so bad I don't want to stand. This saddens me too. I am so grateful for this board and all the support and kindness here.
 

TSmart

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I found this forum last night and after reading it I no longer feel alone.
I had Partial knee replacement on both knees 11/10/15. I did therapy with a pt and started on my own dec 31. I do my pt everyday. My right knee has always felt different than the other. It feels like something is trying to poke out of it when I walk or try to go up stairs. After a while of doing things & being up they both feel like they have tight rubber bands around them.
I have gone through the crying thing daily because I'm so frustrated. The fatigue is terrible. However I do also have fibro and have for 15 years so I'm used to the fatigue.
I'm very active and used to being on the go. But I'm still not able to. I can leave the house for a few hours before I'm hurting and ready to get back home. At my 6 weeks post op appt with my dr he did x rays and said everything looked great.
I just called the nurse and she said I really should not need pain meds anymore. At this point she said Aleve or ibuprofen should take care of the pain in the day but that I may want to take a pain pill before bed. She also said at this point I should be back to my normal schedule.
For those of you that had both done at the same time did you feel they both healed and felt different? Did it ever feel like something was going to poke out of your knee?
I know the only ones with answers to my question are the ones that's gone through it not a nurse that hasn't!
Thanks in advance for any advice you can give me.



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sbg224

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So nice to know we are not alone on this journey. I do wish everyone well, and a speedy recovery, but misery does love company.I am a little over 5 weeks since rtkr, and I cannot believe I am still on norco. I would have bet anyone that tops 2 weeks I would have been off of them. I cannot take any anti-inflammatories, so I think that is prolonging having to stay on norco. I am trying to cut back. I still cannot believe how painful this recovery is. I had 3 weeks of in home PT, and now going to outpatient, and I get to ride the stationary bike, and I enjoy it. I hate feeling this way, and cannot imagine the day when I am grateful for this new knee, it cannot come soon enough for me. I am supposed to have the left one done, but right now cannot imagine it, so will ait as long as I can. Good luck to everyone.
 

hopefulrevision

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Sbg, I totally relate. 4 weeks ago I had a complicated knee revision, and this recovery has been the most painful and exhausting surgery recovery I've endured. I'm trying to reduce pain medication but I am still in too much pain to reduce much at this point. Like you, I can't take NSAIDS for other health reasons. This has been so hard. Today I cried because I was getting chills, and hot, with the pain and exhaustion. I am supposed to start out patient physical therapy next week, but I'm going to have to advocate for gentle PT.
I hope you feel better too.
This board is wonderful. I've had my older children's support, and friends, but mostly on my own. This is a grueling time.
 

Sbow3111

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I come to this thread every day, just to read and re-read everyone's experiences with the depression and anxiety. I could never put into words how much it helps to know that others know what I'm going through, and I'm not alone. At eight weeks, I am still struggling, but SO much better than I was a few weeks ago. I had hoped this would go away as quickly as it came on, but now I know it's going to take a while.
The things that have helped me are: my husband and family's unconditional and PATIENT love; Ativan (!!) as needed; just making myself GET UP and keep moving forward every day (when all I want to do is stay in bed and cry); and last but not least, my faith in God ... and knowing that "He's got this"!
I wish I could reach out and hug each and every one of you out there, remind you that you are not alone, and thank you for sharing your experiences so that we all may heal. Hang in there, fellow warriors! You're going to be OK.
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LizzieBee

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Hi all. I'm so glad I found this website & thread. I'm a newbie, 9 days post-op and found myself crying uncontrollably last night. I had no idea post-op depression can happen. The dr's certainly don't prepare you for that part of it. Very comforting to read all your comments and know I'm not alone in it. I've been doing great, nurses deemed me a rockstar in the hospital. I started thinking, this recovery is going to be a breeze. First week of PT went great too. Yesterday, I was having a great day & walking and my knee gave out. I didn't fall but, felt like the bones shifted & heard a terrible sound followed by a lot of pain. PT said, this can sometimes happen as quad isn't strong enough to hold knee in place. Lots of ice, elevation & take it easy this weekend. It just got me so depressed, feels like 1 step forward & 2 steps back. It reminded me this recovery is a long, slow process and to not rush it. I've dealt with this bad knee (left) for years & was just ready to start living again. All good things will come, I just need to be patient with the process. I think, it's good to cry it out & connect with others. Encouraging each other will be the key to a great recovery. Good luck to everyone. Looking forward to reading more of your stories. Sorry for the novel.
 

Miss Muffet

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@Tammy7692 - so sorry .... surely you shouldn't be sick like that?. It must wear you out. Ask @Jaycey for advice. She always has wonderful words of wisdom. x
 

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@Tammy7692 I just posted on your recovery thread. Can you see your surgeon or family doctor to get your pain meds changed. If anti-nausea medication is not working for you, you should get your meds reviewed. Are you taking them on an empty stomach? Always take your meds with a bit of food.
 

kayak59

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Wow! Such a good thread! I haven't been on for a while and today I was really feeling blue. So glad I checked in and found this. It seems like 12 weeks seems to be a fairly common time period to start getting depressed. I am at 8 and 12 weeks out and I have to keep reminding myself of that. ONLY 8 and 12 weeks out. And doing pretty well with nothing to complain about.... but I'm still depressed. I remind myself of all the things I can do but I want to do more! I agree with so many things said above, especially "one step forward, two steps back". I think I'll make sure to check in at least every other day for now on. I'm taking care of the physical side of my recovery (probably too much) but this forum will take care of the emotional and psychological! I seem to run into a lot of people who are thinking of or planning on having knee replacements -- or who know someone -- and I tell them all to go to this site!
 
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