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[REVISION TKR] Elaine’s slow-as-a-snail revision recovery

Discussion in 'Knee Replacement Recovery Area' started by eelainea65, Aug 11, 2018.

  1. tabbykit

    tabbykit member

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    @eelainea65 just read your thread and wanted to say I am glad you're doing well now. Losing weight will be some help, I am also trying not to gain weight after my revision of June 17th. I am a bit later than you but glad to say so far doing better than after the original TKR. Hope you will continue to have a smooth recovery now the incision problem is over.
     
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  2. Irish471

    Irish471 senior

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    @eelainea65 , I am hoping that one of these days, you're going to wake up and find you've turned the corner! Are you taking anything to target the swelling? I was on meloxicam for quite some time and it helped. Religiously ice that stubborn knee of yours. At 16 weeks, I still ice multiple times/day. Hang in there, friend!
     
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  3. eaglemom

    eaglemom senior

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    Phew, what a roller coaster ride. Deep breath, elevate and ice. All those stairs, man oh man I can't even imagine. We're all here for you.
     
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  4. eelainea65

    eelainea65 junior member
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    I don’t know how to communicate this, but has anyone else ever felt paranoid (for lack of a better word) about their recovery?! More specifically, did you get the sense that something wasn’t right? Not necessarily stemming from knee replacement (albeit the brutal procedure that it is), but perhaps elsewhere in the body? Sometimes I feel like something else (fibromyalgia? A major circulation issue? Chronic fatigue syndrome? Cancer?!?! *facepalm*) is going on and relentlessly attacking my vulnerable knees. I just don’t think I’m supposed to be this swollen and uncomfortable at 10 weeks.

    I’ll admit it sounds crazy. Sometimes I have to remind myself that we don’t heal at the same rate. I read about the phenomenal recoveries of folks like @Atlas_aus or @Benay and wonder why my experience is drastically different.

    Sorry for the Debby Downer post today. If you don’t hear much about my small victories (e.g. I got into my tub/shower this week without bringing along my walker to steady myself as I stepped in/out), it’s because this forum has a tendency to be my source of comfort when the pain and discouragement overwhelms me.

    No way I’m going to be able to return to work at 12 weeks. Hoping for mid-August, but it’s just a shot in the dark. Very tired of my life revolving my darn knees. Then I go and see inspirational videos of paraplegics and amputees who could kick my butt! Forgive my rambling. ‍♀️

    Keep up the fight, my fellow BoneSmarties!
     
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  5. Benay

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    Remember the turtle and the hare. We all will get there. 52 week recovery, setbacks and improvements along that journey. None of us should compare or get despondent. Every day is a new one with new challenges or victories. All of us have to just keep on trying to enjoy the small improvements and work through the downers. I feel we're all in this together, one way or the other it's going to be a different version of each person's journey to recovery. For me it's been a blessing to be part of this group.

    Yay for the tub shower with no walker!
     
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  6. Benay

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    I just read your whole thread, it's been so tough for you and I'm really sorry. Hope this revision will fix that knee, at least that will be one taken care of. Glad you've got your kitty. Mine is on the bed with me right now, he's a huge comfort.

    Your knee has been through the mill. Be patient - I know it's hard - sending you my best wishes.
     
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  7. winemama

    winemama senior

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    We are all in the same boat some way or another. I believe the pain plays mind games with you, I’m like I can’t feel this crappy because of a knee?? Try not to worry, if your Dr says your on the right path, you have got to harness some of that negative energy and turn it to good energy for your knee. I’ve had 2 TKR’s this year, and my wife and I are so sick of our lives revolving around my knees, but we know it is going to end
    Breath.
     
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  8. Atlas_aus

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    @eelainea65 ,

    Oh my goodness what a run you are having. Had not heard from you in a while.

    It is drastically different because we are all different :)

    The one thing that is certainly different is I am fortunate to have my 'granny' flat on the ground floor, no stairs for me unless I feel the need to go upstairs. I have my wonderful Wife with me 24/7 and in the early stages she was more help than I could have hoped for. The surgery was no magic wand, I still could not put my own socks, shoes or pants on without help, it has taken time.

    So the first few weeks were nothing but icing, elevating and relaxing so that has to play a huge part in my recovery. It seems to me you had the 'dice' loaded against you before you started so don't be so hard on yourself !! :yes:

    As I read somewhere on here this is a '12 month' recovery, some will get there a little quicker, but by the end of 12 months or so we will all most likely be at the same level.

    By trying to do too much just because the PT, Dr or anyone else says so is going against everything I have read on here. And I believe I am a good example of it following the guidelines on this forum works. I have done darn all exercises or anything else that the PT and other experts say I should.

    I have listened closely to what my body has been telling me and pushing the limits little by little each day. I still ice after a long walk at the shops or being a bit more physical for the day. The soreness goes and I try a little more, slow and steady and it has been working well for me. But again we are all different.

    And I am also blessed in the fact that I don't have to hurry up and go back to work, if I did I am sure my story would be very different to the one I have now.

    Sending positive vibes to you and hopefully you get over that hill you are climbing at the moment. Take care :flwrysmile:
     
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  9. Benay

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    @Atlas_aus what a super post, I agree with everything you wrote. @eelainea65 I keep looking out for you :yay:
     
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  10. Atlas_aus

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    @Benay ,

    Thank you. Just trying to give back to this awesome forum. The wealth of information and user experiences is priceless.
     
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  11. eelainea65

    eelainea65 junior member
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    @sistersinhim Yeah, those darn stairs are definitely a nuisance! I have heard that about protein, as well. Wish it were homemade yeast rolls with butter instead! =‘D

    @Benay So much appreciation for all your words of encouragement. Sometimes it helps when others voice what you know to be true. It’s a reassuring reminder!

    @Atlas_aus Shaughan, please forgive my elusiveness. I love your first sentence: “It is drastically different because we are all different.“ So much truth in that simple observation. Thank you for your kind empathy and reassurance. Yes, going it alone combined with the (financial) pressure to return to work definitely are formidable challenges.

    @Irish471 I forgot to reply [Correction. I looked back and see that I did. My memory. *ugh* I blame age or those blasted narcotics!] to something you said to me a while back on your thread. *facepalm* Regarding Meloxicam, I swore off NSAIDS a few months ago. Pre-revision, I’d been popping 800 mg of ibuprofen (my former drug of choice) like candy, but it was no longer handling the pain. Since learning of a family history of kidney disease, I decided to steer clear altogether.

    12 weeks: Well, the infamous 12 week date was last Wednesday. While I choose to no longer take pain meds (I feel they’ve done irreparable harm to my mind and body), I am still very uncomfortable. I seem to have regressed in my recovery. My flexion went from 105° back to 97°! Walking any distance at all is super ouchy and my stairs are as exhausting as ever.

    It’s been particularly bad since I (not my therapist’s fault) showed off a bit at PT a couple weeks ago. I was giddy about being able to make a full rotation on the recumbent bicycle. I got so excited that I kept merrily cruising along long after she said I could stop. Boy, was that ever stupid! By evening I could hardly move. Pretty sure I still haven’t recovered from that foolishness.

    Then again, it’s been in the 90°s here. (Therapist said heat exacerbates inflammation. Imagine that! >_>) No AC in my 3rd floor apartment. O_o I shared my ice packs with my kitty yesterday. (See photo) =P

    Still looking for relief from my knee’s excessive swelling. I’m taking turmeric daily. Maybe I should look into ginger, too. Healthy though it may be, I can’t stand the fresh stuff, so it’d have to be a supplement. Massage is expensive. I’d give CBD oil (recommended by my family doctor’s PA) a whirl, if insurance covered it.

    Still counting my calories. But I’m a carb addict, so when pain starts to overwhelm a slice of buttered toast is my panacea. >_<
    Long story short, I’ve only lost a couple more pounds this month. (Therapist sweetly sympathized saying, “Well, three pounds of it is right here.” as she gently patted my puffy knee.)

    So the waiting game continues—and a watched pot never boils.

    Until next time,
    Elaine

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  12. Benay

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    Your cat is beautiful! You sound so much happier, I'm glad - you must be improving. We're surgery close and I'm not a fan of the recovery see-saw either but we're getting there! Keep posting.
     

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  13. Atlas_aus

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    Hello @eelainea65 ,

    Oh my goodness what are we to do with you ? :)

    Well I have just left my Winter home for a couple of weeks and landed back here in Thailand. Ahhh, so much better than the cold ! Not sure what I would do without Aircon though, melt perhaps ! :happydance:

    I am not sure about all this 'flexion' talk and the magical number we might want to get to... Unless I have forgotten more than I remember, a flexion of 90 deg will have you sitting with feet flat on the floor. Eg, At a dinner table. Unless you are eating Japanese style why worry if your flexion is 90 or 180 ? ( That I would like to see :heehee:).

    Perhaps we (and the health professionals) place too much emphasis on flexion, and what we can't do, rather than what we can.

    If you are still having some swelling then perhaps you need some more rest & icing. Your cat has the right idea :)
    Take care of yourself, no one can do it better than you!
     
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  14. kneeper

    kneeper FORUM ADVISOR Forum Advisor

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    You say you're not taking pain meds and nsaids. Does that include tylenol too? I ask because I was definitely taking tylenol throughout the day at 12 weeks. There's no way I'd have been back to work at 12 weeks without it. I may have been back and work but came home and crashed immediately--with an ice pack.
    Also, though the swelling was much better it wasn't gone by any means.
     
  15. DEL2019Aug-6

    DEL2019Aug-6 junior member

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    The pain meds have not done irreparable harm. They do mess with your head and taking them can become a negative cycle but you will come back from this. All of your emotions right now are normal. You're coming out of years of pain, and then a major surgery. You need to take care of your head as much as your body.
    Give your self a mantra.
    Last year my mantra was "Drive It Like You Stole It". This year its "You Get To Do This" it makes me smile every time I say it. It was just a few months ago that I was saying it while I slowly pushed my walker across the concrete next to the harbor. Now Im saying it while I hike down a gorgeous trail to a magical lake with my dogs running in front of me.
    Small goals and focusing on the positive stories in your head not the other ones.
    Nutrition plays a big role in how everything in your body works and feels. Everything you put in your body has an effect on it. The cool thing about something like being addicted to carbs is that when you stop eating things like sugar or bread you stop the cycle of the carb sugar rush crash and you stop craving it. Its a game changer for getting rid of inflammation.
    You haven't done any damage by riding an exercise bike. Working out is hard. Its ok to be tired afterwards. Its normal to be affected by exercise. Everyone feels that way. Just do a little less next time. Leave the bike wanting more. All of a sudden it will be easy for you to do a little more. Then you start to recover faster. Thats what happens when you exercise, you stress (in a good way) your muscles and they react and get stronger. Your knee (and all the bones in your body) will be so happy for the support.
    You should show off. You've been through a lot and you deserve to get excited about what you can do now.
     
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  16. eelainea65

    eelainea65 junior member
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    @Benay Thanks. I wouldn’t want to mess with your kitty. He looks kinda mountain lion-ish! =O

    @Atlas_aus Oh, Shaughan. Your timing was perfect. I needed that post. =‘) No, fortunately I’m not a fan of Japanese food. Now Thai, on the other hand... And, yes, my lazy kitty beckons me often to join him for cat naps. Not wanting to hurt his feelings, I generally acquiesce to his requests. =P

    @kneeper Alas, I’ve never gotten relief from acetaminophen. When I take it....nothing. *sigh*

    @Thatlldo Mess with one’s head they do! Thank you kindly for your encouragement. I see that you are three months ahead of me. Oregon offers a plethora of hiking trail possibilities. Just got some new trekking poles. Can’t wait to put them to good use. I‘ve little doubt the carbs are hindering my weight-loss efforts, but I’m dealing with too much in my life to let them go entirely. They are “My Precious.” =P A mantra, eh? I’ll have to think on that.
    P.S. Checked all the recent picture quotes saved on my phone. This (see photo) was the closest I could come up with. *facepalm*

    Fellow BoneSmarties,
    Have you a spare mantra? Secondhand is fine. Must be free. (I’m currently broke.) Must be short. (My memory isn’t what it used to be.) Bonus points for creativity or humor. TY in advance. Winner gets....my appreciation.

    Nothing new to report, except I’ve fallen off my diet wagon. =‘( Broke a 54 day streak. Been feeling sad and lonely. Tired of being hungry. The spaghetti in my food pantry called to me. And won. Hoping the clouds lift and my motivation soon returns.

    Elaine

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  17. Benay

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    Brown pasta a good cheat, and tastes fine. Yes my cat is a terror :no-fin: but love him.
     
  18. Irish471

    Irish471 senior

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    @Thatlldo , love the mantra! I have used that one, too. At the time, I was on a weight loss journey and wasn't really thrilled about exercising. I saw someone at the gym struggling with an injury but they were there doing it, pushing forward. That's when I said, you know what, rough with the excuses I make. It's a privilege to be able to do these things when so many others struggle with injuries or disabilities.
    @eelainea65 , I am really trying to get on the weight loss wagon again, too. I know it will make a big difference. My energy has been really lacking. We can do this!!! Let's go girl!
     
  19. kneeper

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    It didn't work for me before the tkr but did afterward.
     
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  20. eelainea65

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    @Benay Sorry, you lost me at whole wheat pasta. *bleh*
    @Irish471 Yep, yep, yep... =‘)
    P.S. No clue where I got the idea you worked in a family business. LOL Must’ve been your great boss’s flexibility and letting you work from home.
    @kneeper Have tried it (two tablets of extra strength Tyl) 3x since your recommendation. Has helped 10-30%. Guess that’s better than nothing.

    13 1/2 weeks: I’m embarrassed to sound like a broken record, but I hurt way more than I feel I should. Feeling very, very regretful about this revision. I can only escape the discomfort when sleeping and icing. Otherwise, I’m acutely aware of *both* knees feeling irritated, inflamed, buzzing, burning, tingling, tender, achy, ouchy... Walking any kind of distance is difficult. Stairs still a nuisance. Finally acquired a small tube of CBD cream (250 mg). No discernible relief, but I read it can take up to three weeks. That’ll require a couple more $29 tubes. >_>

    A mid-August return to work is looking more and more unlikely. I keep hearing my therapist’s words, “It takes longer to heal from a revision.” Unsure if that is really true or if she was trying to be sympathetic. She observed the degree of my swelling yesterday and took it easy on me. *whew*

    I bought a compression sleeve from Amazon. Was in disbelief when measurement 4” above knee was 26”. The XXL goes up to 25”! Exactly what my ego needed. >_< Ordered it anyways thinking I might benefit from the extra compression. That’d be a big “Nope.” It digs into my thigh and eventually curls behind knee. Goodbye, Money.

    I don’t feel like I’m healing. Very discouraged and don’t see the light at the end of the tunnel. If hope’s an essential part of recovery, I’m in trouble. Would like to think I’ll read this a year from now and be amused (not the best word) at my inability to see down the road. And this paragraph was pretty redundant (or “superfluous” as Captain Jack Sparrow would say).

    If you could mention me in your prayers, I’d sure appreciate it. =‘)

    Elaine

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    Last edited: Aug 3, 2019

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