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TKR Gingerbread's RTKR Recovery Marathon

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Gingerbread

Gingerbread

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Hi everyone.
I feel foolish for posting as much personal information as I have and I apologize.
So many of you have been so gracious, concerned, and caring. This is something I'm not used to, to be honest. I don't have a supportive network. Here I do. You all are amazing:thankyou:
I cannot drive yet as my right knee is definitely too painful still. My husband took me for a ride to pick up our cat food at the Vet yesterday. It's a 15 minute ride each way and it was just about too long. We've gone to the doctors as well which is a longer drive but I take ice along. I didn't do that yesterday and I regretted it. I also walked in my yard for 20 minutes with my dog...it felt so good to be in the late summer breeze (where did summer go?!?) and now I had to take an Oxycodone as I have been awake suffering. I have reserved them for these emergencies but what do I do when they are gone? Do I not walk in the yard? How do you know what's too much activity?
As far as staying with someone else, my daughters live fairly close but I can't impose on them, especially my one daughter who just had a baby. Yes, my husband is going back to work this week. That's part of the problem and also a good thing ... He used to love his job but all the restrictions on teaching have changed the way he teaches. So he isn't happy about that but it will be good that we are away from each other. PT is scheduled for the evening. It's tonight in fact. I just have to not think about her forcing my knee on the bike. I will lift myself up if she pushes too hard. I'll just nod and agree when she says I'll need the MUA. I just wish I could step outside of myself and be my advocate. When I was bedside nursing I was a fierce advocate for my residents...those with Alzheimer's/Dementia especially. I never let anyone or any entity including their families do anything to cause them harm.
Anyway, my knee is very stiff and painful and I took the Oxycodone an hour ago. I'm scared what PT will bring. Thank you all for being here. It means the world to me.
 

Jockette

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I am praying that you‘ll be assigned a different PT person tonight, one with a better, and more updated, approach. You could tell them that you overdid it yesterday and you’d prefer not to ride the bike tonight. Ask for some massage for the swelling instead.
 

MerlinWizard

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Chin up, we've all gone through and are going through challenges.

Personally, I call it "life" and how things go I believe is according to our own internal compass and the choices we made.

Everyone needs to vent. Just like a boiling teapot, if you don't allow it to vent, it explodes.
 

Jamie

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Please don't feel like you have to apologize for leaning on the people here on BoneSmart who care about you when you need support. That's what we're here for. Granted, we normally stick to helping our members with possible options for their new joints (pain management, therapy and activity levels, etc.), but your mental health and well being are critical components of a successful recovery as well.

It is not a good idea to have therapy in the evenings. You will be much more tired and likely to be in pain from being up all or most of the day. It would be much wiser to attend any therapy sessions in the mornings or early afternoons so you are at your best.

Since your daughters live close, would it be possible to have one of them drive you to your therapy sessions during the daytime while your husband is at work? Please don't look at this as imposing. You cared for and nurtured them for decades and now it's time they give back a little. They could maybe take turns helping you for a month or so. I'm betting if you talked with them about it, they would be happy to give back to the mother they love. Please consider at least trying to talk with them. This doesn't mean you're weak or dependent. You just need a temporary hand following a major surgical procedure. Since they grew up with your husband in the picture, I suspect they've seen how he behaves at times with you. Many times people don't know what to do and are just waiting for a signal to jump in and help. Possibly you could ask one or both of them to drop by for a chat once your husband heads off to school again. Once you are face to face, it might be easier to share some of your feelings with them and allow them to help you.

I agree that it would be good if you could ask for a different therapist -- one who understands that trying to push through pain in recovery is counterproductive. Don't be afraid to ask for this. You are paying and, as the customer, you have a right to a person that suits you. Those therapy sessions run in the hundreds of dollars. Even if all or most of it is paid for by insurance, it's wasted money if you're not benefiting from the time you spend there.

Remember that no one can force you into and MUA ever. Having any procedure is your choice, so try not to worry about that thread that's being thrown out there.

While you're at home, try to spend as much time as possible resting, icing all around your knee, and elevating your leg so your toes are above your nose. Use stacked pillows to achieve this, if needed. If you don't have prescription meds to take for pain, you can take a combination of an ibuprofen NSAID like Motrin (provided you can take NSAIDs) and Extra Strength Tylenol for pain. Just be sure to stay within the limits for each. That's no more than 4,000mg of Tylenol (count in any other products with acetaminophen like cold and sinus medication). Here is a suggested schedule for you that keeps you well under the maximum daily dosage for ibuprofen, which has the potential to damage your stomach (always take it with food).

1,000mg Tylenol (2 extra strength tablets)
6am - noon - 6pm - midnight

400mg ibuprofen (2 tablets)
9am - 3pm - 9pm - 3am

Be sure to coordinate this schedule with your surgeon or your GP to be sure it is safe for you. Then take the meds on this schedule whether you have pain at that moment or not. When trying to reduce your pain levels, you need to have a constant supply of medication in your system around the clock for it to be effective. If the pain levels improve, don't take that as an indication to do more exercise or activity. After a week or more of reduced pain levels, you can begin to increase the times in between these doses or just transition to straight Tylenol and no ibuprofen.
 
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Gingerbread

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Well I made some major accomplishments at PT this week. On my own terms!
Tuesday I rotated backwards 10 times on the bike by myself, without the PT there forcing it. That in itself was amazing to me! Then yesterday afternoon, I suddenly was able to peddle forward. Stunted at first, then smooth and rhythmic, like normal! My PT and husband were shocked and frankly so was I. God is so good!
Not sure where my flexion is but it's above 90 to be doing that now.
There's hope for everyone. If I can do it after all my pitfalls thus far, anyone can!
 
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Gingerbread

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Jamie said:
Here is a suggested schedule for you that keeps you well under the maximum daily dosage for ibuprofen, which has the potential to damage your stomach (always take it with food).

1,000mg Tylenol (2 extra strength tablets)
6am - noon - 6pm - midnight

400mg ibuprofen (2 tablets)
9am - 3pm - 9pm - 3am
Thank you @Jamie for this schedule. I am going to try to wean off Tramadol. I'm already down to 3 a day and I'm out of my prescription Aleve (Naproxen). Motrin always worked better for me anyway it seemed. Today I'm going to see if I can only do 2 Tramadol.
I am taking (it'll be a week tomorrow) some natural anti-inflammatory supplements prescribed by my Naturopath Nurse Practitioner as well. She is aware of all my medications. These are making a difference as well. She also gave me a "Cortisol" supplement to help with sleep...that is a fabulous one!
 
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Gingerbread,
What great news! Certainly good reason to be thankful! You are doing great, so keep up the good work. You are fortunate to have a Naturopath NP! You may still experience some bumps along the road, but overall, smooth sailing ahead :wave:.
 

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Wow, congratulations. If you can do a full rotation on a bike I think your ROM is above 100. I am around 110 - 115 and have to really work to get a full rotation on a recumbent bike with the seat way back.

Hopefully you hit a turning point. If you are able to take ibuprofen that is great because of all the over the counter NSAIDs that one seems to be the most powerful. Unfortunately, it kills my stomach. I was able to take it in my 30s and it would knock out a lot of aches and pains. Even made a toothache disappear.

Hopefully you turned that corner as they say.
 
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Gingerbread

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Gingerbread,
What great news! Certainly good reason to be thankful! You are doing great, so keep up the good work. You are fortunate to have a Naturopath NP! You may still experience some bumps along the road, but overall, smooth sailing ahead :wave:.
Thank you! Your and others prayers and well wishes have not gone unnoticed :)
God bless you ALL :)
 
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Gingerbread

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Wow, congratulations. If you can do a full rotation on a bike I think your ROM is above 100. I am around 110 - 115 and have to really work to get a full rotation on a recumbent bike with the seat way back.

Hopefully you hit a turning point. If you are able to take ibuprofen that is great because of all the over the counter NSAIDs that one seems to be the most powerful. Unfortunately, it kills my stomach. I was able to take it in my 30s and it would knock out a lot of aches and pains. Even made a toothache disappear.

Hopefully you turned that corner as they say.
Thank you! Yeah, Ibuprofen seems to make me a bit foggy though. It always has; but that's something I may counter with a little extra coffee, if ever needed :snork:
 

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Yay!! :yes!:So happy to have some good news for you!

That's the exact Ibuprofen/Tylenol schedule I'm on right now (with the addition of 2 oxy since I'm in the early days). I'm taking 3 Ibuprofen every 6 though, not 2.
 

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I'm taking 3 Ibuprofen every 6 though, not 2.
The 3 ibuprofen instead of 2 is still within the safe daily limits. I usually try to start people at a lower level because of the potential for stomach issues. But if this works for you and your doctor agrees it's fine, that's great! It's only a temporary thing while you are in the early weeks or months of recovery. Obviously it would not be wise to take even over-the-counter medications like this for extended periods of time without full doctor approval, but temporary use should be no problem for most people.
 
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Yay!! :yes!:So happy to have some good news for you!

That's the exact Ibuprofen/Tylenol schedule I'm on right now (with the addition of 2 oxy since I'm in the early days). I'm taking 3 Ibuprofen every 6 though, not 2.
Thank you @Susie-Q ! You are so early in recovery, hope all goes smoothly.
 

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Great report, Gingerbread! I knew you could do it!!!! Bet you were tempted to give hubby and the therapist a few well-deserved raspberries....

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Oh dear. Laying (lying? I never know the correct term lol!) here in bed the past hour and a half tossing and turning. I overdid it today. Walked my dog in the yard plus did all my PT exercises. It's just too tempting to be outside this time of year. Before you know it, it will be blustery and cold! I am 6 + weeks out and I am just sick of missing life. Speaking of that!
My husband went to my stepdaughter's volleyball game last night. He said one of the other players mom's came with her young son, was limping, sat down on the bleachers. He asked what happened. She told him she had RTKR TWO WEEKS AGO!! And here she was without a cane/walker, driving herself and her children, limping up bleachers. I told him I can't believe it but he said he was shocked too.
Does anyone think that's possible? Sure gives my husband fire to make me look like a wimp...
 

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The operative word was she limped up the bleachers. While some people can have an amazing recovery and do awesome things at 2 weeks, they are very few and far between, and she doesn’t appear to me to be one of them. I don’t think she is taking care of herself and she may be very sorry later.

You can’t look at other people and compare them to you. Just because she “could” (this particular day) doesn’t mean she should. And you don’t know how she felt by the end of the day, or overnight.

You had some nice improvements recently, but overdid it today. You have to find a balance. You already know what I think of “all the PT exercises” Your body is telling you it’s either them, or the walk with the dog. It appears you shouldn’t do both on the same day.
 

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Finding the balance is tricky....especially as you start feeling better and like you can do more. It rarely hurts during the activity. The pain comes later - up to a day or more later sometimes. When this happens, you just have to take a small step backwards and rest your knee for a day or two until it no longer hurts like crazy. Then start again. Recovery is NEVER a straight line. There are always good days and bad days. Over time, the good ones will outnumber the not-so-good ones, though.

While you're trying to get comfortable, be sure you're applying ice all around your knee and taking something for your pain.
 

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