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TKR Done in Time for the Carolina Basketball Game!

Sara61

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Maybe wrap your knee in cling film so that your bandage doesn't get wet in the shower- I was put in the shower the morning after the operation by the nurses it felt so good I did have a waterproof plaster but once home to be on the safe side I wrapped cling film around it too. :)
 
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Helizabug

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@Sara61 My bandage is waterproof. I’ve just felt a little too unsteady for the shower, and there’s not a lot of room to situate my leg comfortably. But I think I’ve got enough flexion to relax if I sit (and hold my toes up, for some reason). So today, we’re changing the sheets and I’m taking a real shower with shampoo and conditioner and . . . I might not get out for days!

Also, my stomach may be a bit better. It’s tricky hitting that sweet spot called ‘regular.’ Thanks for asking.

And, the walk took more out of me than I had expected, but it was worth it. So it’s my ‘stretch goal’ for this week, to do that walk each day. But not more than once each day until I see the PA on Thursday. Maybe a second walk to the mailbox, maybe not.
 
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Helizabug

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Oh skunks! The weather might not cooperate much this week for walks. It actually might snow Friday! Long way off. Oh I love walking in snow. We only get it once or twice a year, and rarely much. I will miss that this year.
 
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Helizabug

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Well, I can safely said that I’ve done my new knee proud today, and I’ll do it even prouder by resting, icing elevating and pampering for the rest of the day, I think.

Good PT exercise, good exercise for my healthy leg and my upper body, a little adapted Qi Gong, a 22-minute walk, and a shower. My husband changed the sheets while I was in the shower, and now I am going to rest like well cooked spaghetti noodle, with mobility issues.

Glad our weather didn’t crash! All my best to you folks today!
 

jaybird

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Helizabug, I really liked your ideas about not waiting too long, and especially about having more hills to climb. I definitely waited too long - details in my recovery thread.
 
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Helizabug

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NOTE TO MODERATOR: I don’t know whether I should have carried on this discussion on the threads where they originated or added them to mine. I’ve created an extension of this thread on my thread because it seemed like a detour on the original posters thread. I hope that’s okay.

A couple of posters have written about their good outcomes achieved in ways not explicitly aligned with the BoneSmart narrative of healing. The varied outcomes are to be expected, of course; BoneSmart, our own experiences, and science teaches us that there just isn’t a single path to wholeness and there might not even be a single better choice.

What’s interesting is I think the BoneSmart narrative, at its heart, doesn’t say “Don’t push yourself to achieve numerical criteria.” I think it says, “swelling is an indication that you are pushing yourself backward.”

So, if you can walk across the room without crutches before your surgeon has hit the links or you can get value in letting the PT push your flexion, that’s terrific. But if you swell and ache later, maybe attend to whether or not you’ve pushed too far. In my active life, I always intended to judge the ‘pain’ by whether I wanted to get out and be active the next couple of days: work out so that you can keep working out — not that I actually listened to myself enough, thus, meet my new knee, I’ll call her Portia, I think.

And if you’re marking success by how many minutes you can walk with crutches, comfortably, or by whether or not you can manage heel pumps, or by whether or not you can step into the shower, that’s also heroic.

I think BoneSmart teaches us how to know when we’ve pushed our individual selves too far, and that helps me feel like I can drive my own recovery at a good and sane pace.

So thanks.
 
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Helizabug

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Thought I’d post this here instead of posting it on every new person’s thread as a way to show how one person’s recovery can go.

At a little short of two weeks into my recovery, I feel pretty good about it.

I marked my first days by noting my gait when I went to the bathroom or out into the hall, noting my ability to focus, and noting the different sensations in my knee. Very narrow world to start with. When I could pay attention to a whole episode of The Great British Bake Off, I was pretty glad. When I could just listen to music, that was nice, but I knew I was struggling. If I needed silence, I also needed help.

Now, I’m walking a little outside, still watching my gait, but also watching the world on my short block. I’m exercising my good leg, upper body, and core very gently, but it feels good to honor the strength they offer. Daring to let my foot dangle a little more, a little longer, but not much. Wider world, and getting wider all the time.

And I manage my pain by alternating Acetaminophen and ibuprofen because the Oxycodone was too hard on my bowels. Ibuprofen isn’t a good choice for everyone, but it seems to be easing some swelling and inflammation for me, which is key for my mobility, I think.

It’s all working pretty well with the pain usually under 5, often under 3. There are occasional new and funky pains; and there are low points daily, but they’re manageable.

What I’ve learned: Pay attention to things that don’t improve with rest and meds. Don’t let pain or swelling get out of hand. Ask for help and info.

For me, it’s about knowing this will get better even if it feels awful for a short time. Those short times can seem endless while they’re going on, but they do, usually, fade into very manageable challenges.

Good luck to all my BoneSmart Buddies!
 

Celle

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What’s interesting is I think the BoneSmart narrative, at its heart, doesn’t say “Don’t push yourself to achieve numerical criteria.” I think it says, “swelling is an indication that you are pushing yourself backward.”
I agree with most of what you said, above, @Helizabug, but I don't think you've got this quite right.

We frequently tell people things like "Don't get pulled into your PT's obsession with numbers" and this:
There's no need to rush to get ROM (Range of Motion) because it can continue to improve for a year, or even much longer, after a knee replacement. There isn't any deadline you have to meet:
Myth busting: the "window of opportunity" in TKR

I've lost count of the number of times I've told people to stop pushing themselves at PT, in an effort to improve their ROM numbers, or to please their therapist or surgeon.

As for swelling - we tell people that it is swelling that restricts their knee's ability to bend or straighten further. We also advise that if they experience increased pain, stiffness, or swelling after doing exercises, either at the time or later, that is an indication that they have been doing more than their knee is ready for at that stage of recovery.

Increased swelling isn't an indication that you are pushing yourself backward. It's an indication that you are trying to do too much, too soon.

If you stop the over-activity, the swelling should decrease and no harm has been done, but if you persist in over-activity, you could set up a chronic condition that will, indeed, slow down your recovery.

I hope I've made all that a bit clearer for you.
 
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Helizabug

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@Celle Good clarification. Thanks.

I’ve been thinking a lot about the two posters I’ve read whose recoveries seem like a kind of counterpoint to the BoneSmart approach. And I was trying to fit them in, rather than leave them as outliers. But maybe I was stretching the idea too far.

In any case, I am well served by the knowledge that I will recover ROM if I allow my knee to heal in its time.
 
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Helizabug

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Two weeks, today!

Walking with one crutch, even on my daily half hour jaunts outside. Trying to ease up on my poor wrist, which takes some concentration.

Good reports from PT. Doing most of the exercises with fairly good toleration. When I don’t tolerate them well, I stop. Sometimes I try again another day, sometimes I think, let this go for a while; there’s time.

Sleeping better than I thought I would be, though sleeping on my back takes real mind-over-matter work.

No Oxycodone in a week, which makes my bowels a little happier, though I still need extra fiber for that.

Still fighting pain and swelling, but nothing alarming. Sometimes, it’s a bit demoralizing, but mostly feels like my body working at recovery.

I think I get my stitches out tomorrow when I have my first post op doctor visit. It’s actually with the PA, but she’s supposed to be excellent.

I hope everyone else is faring well, from those of you just waking up from surgery to those of you who are long time out of it.
 
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Helizabug

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Last night, I took my Ibuprofen dose, twice in three hours, instead of six. Ugh. I keep careful track of my meds because there are a lot to keep up with.

Called poison control for advice. They said I might get an upset stomach and not to take any more that day. I was fine, but I will try to do some extra hydration today, I think, to take some stress off my kidneys. (Probably pseudo science that, but I can always improve my water intake, which isn’t great.)

This left me under-medicated in the wee hours, which was a drag, but I’ve gotten through. Yay!

Now, back on track, I hope.
 

Sara61

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I used to note it down on my phone notes every time I took a pill at what time ( ie: 11pm tramadol 5am paracetamol 1000g etc) that way I could be certain what I took at what time as it's so easy to forget unless you have a daily pill box.

Good luck with stitches removal today - you'll be fine, after a few days start gently rubbing different types of fabrics over it - jeans /pants what ever you usually wear to de-desensetize it - this will help in the future x

You are doing so well:banana-santa:
 

Jockette

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I’ve taken the wrong medication also on occasion, even though I do document it. I was always fine.
 
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Helizabug

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oh Heavens! Jeans! Sounds a little scary still, but maybe?
 

jaybird

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I finally bought a 7x4 compartment pill box (I use it sideways to accomodate the 6 different times each day I need to take pills) to keep track after I scared the hell out of myself thinking I’d somehow OD’d on Tylenol in my sleep.
 
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Helizabug

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Stitches out, much better than my experience with staples, though I imagine some people would disagree from their experience.

Good report from my first PA visit.

PT was pretty gentle with me because I told her I was wiped out from the long morning, but am still gained some passive extension degrees, :egypdance:.

New pain in my knee when I wake up, but that sounds normal from what I’ve been reading here, so it feels like progress. I did some heel pumps and the alphabet with my doot, which seemed to help before I stood up. That probably won’t be enough for long, but it helped this morning.

I’ve finally gotten under 160 pounds, but I’m afraid that’s as much about lost muscle mass as anything else. Still, I’m trying to eat well, with reasonable portions, so maybe I can maintain the weight loss as I heal.

As an aside, portion control is my arch enemy; if I like something, I want third helpings. While I’ve not been obese, my weight has been a factor in my knee’s deterioration, I think. I doubt I’ll ever run another marathon, but I’d really love to be able to run 5Ks, again, but not without a little less weight on my joints.

Good morning to all!
 
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Helizabug

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Okay, I just did something outrageous.

A few weeks ago, before my surgery, I remember reading @tlfiore vacuuming. I thought ‘what kind of lunacy is this!’

Today, it will rain all day. I’m not quite ready for mall walking yet, I think, so . . . Lunacy, I tell you, sheer lunacy . . . I vacuumed my little patch of bedroom carpet. And I didn’t use my crutch, either!

And, I feel really good about it. I think I’m spent now, but, I feel like a spent superhero.
 

sistersinhim

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I vacuumed my little patch of bedroom carpet.
I hope you don't end up paying for this. I bought a very light weight upright and sat down the best I could as I vacuumed. That didn't work, so I bought a Roomba. I loved it! It sure saved my knee. I still use it everyday and have to use the big vac only once every few weeks. Now, if it'd only dust and scrub floors and do windows! One day, maybe.
 
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Helizabug

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I hope you don't end up paying for this.
Me too. I didn’t do much, kept the strokes short. We’ll see if my knee complains later. If so, lesson learned, I guess.

Actually, I’m a notoriously bad housekeeper, so this vacuum adventure was very, very weird for me.
 

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