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Help with time frame of recovery

Discussion in 'Knee Replacement Pre-Op Area' started by GIMPY GAL, Jun 9, 2019.

  1. GIMPY GAL

    GIMPY GAL member
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    Hi all,

    Bonesmart has been invaluable before and after my hip replacement surgery a few years back, and I will be forever grateful for the support and the advice I received during that time to make recovery fairly routine.

    Unfortunately, I now face requiring a knee replacement. Two surgeons have recently told me my knee was severe, with bone-on-bone. For nearly 2 months Meloxicam has been doing a great job of taking the edge off the pain, but the last 2 days I have been back to square one. A steroid injection didn't work this time as it has in the past (curiously, the injection was administered in a different location on the knee than my previous successful ones)

    But now I have a time frame problem. We have a family cruise scheduled for late November. If I can possibly schedule surgery for mid-July, would that give me enough healing time to be mobile and pain-free for the cruise? I have to decide in early August if I will go or not.

    I have been reading recovery threads here and I am so discouraged and afraid of the pain they expressed having post-op. Even post-op posters who started out optimistic were throw a curve ball. My surgeon honestly told me that recovery won't be as easy as the hip. I am pretty scared of the pain of recovery....even with pain meds.

    Thanks for letting me vent..... any advice would be appreciated.
     
  2. Josephine

    Josephine FORUM ADMIN, NURSE DIRECTOR Administrator

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    To be honest, I think that would be a really big ask because it only gives you 4-4½ months to be, as you put it, "mobile and pain-free". I think a period of 6 months might be nearer the mark.
    And he is right! It's very different and needs more compliance with pain medication and icing and elevating. But we'll all be here to cheer you on!
     
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  3. DEL2019Aug-6

    DEL2019Aug-6 junior member

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    Don't be discouraged! I think people tend to post negative things a lot in the early days when its all so overwhelming. It looks like to me the majority of people don't actually have real problems just questions. And I think people who are doing really well tend to not post anything. I do but no one reads it anyway lol. Im at the 4 1/2 month mark and incredibly mobile (hiking, jogging around a soccer field, beach walks,...) and totally pain free. The recovery takes a lot of work but the pain was not a big deal for me (the first week is a little ouchy). How fit you are before the procedure, how you heal and your mental state all play a huge role. I started my pt before I had the procedure and I work out every day. Everyone is different. Work hard rest hard is my motto. I think your biggest risk for scheduling a trip for 4 1/2 months after the procedure is that it is a tight timeline.
     
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  4. Celle

    Celle FORUM ADVISOR Forum Advisor

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    I've done quite a bit of cruising and I think you could probably manage it at 4 1/2 months post-op. Once on board, you will find that you do quite a lot of walking to get from A to B. Otherwise, you can decide how much you want to do. You could even schedule time for a rest every day and you'll be able to choose how much activity you want to do on shore excursions.

    If walking is still difficult, you can hire a wheelchair to use on board. It will be delivered to your cabin and should be waiting for you when you get on board.

    Have a look at the web site called Cruise Critic, particularly this forum
    https://boards.cruisecritic.com/forum/114-disabled-cruise-travel/
     
  5. luvcats

    luvcats graduate

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    I agree with @Celle. I went on a cruise last year even disabled as I am. Cruise terminals offer wheel chair assistance on and off, which is helpful to avoid standing in insanely long passport check lines. On board there are seats everywhere, so you can stop and take a break as needed. They have a special process for the emergency drills for disabled. All cruise tours have some kind of symbols to indicate how physically strenuous a trip is.

    Also, if you plan in advance there are certain rooms where you can have a rented scooter. The cruise lines give the acceptable dimensions. Then you'll have one for any excursions you want if they involve a lot of walking and to use on board.

    Plan for less than perfect recovery, and then maybe you'll be surprised, but even if you can barely walk at all, the ship section of a cruise is still very doable and fun.
     
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  6. GIMPY GAL

    GIMPY GAL member
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    Wow, thanks everybody!
    I am going to give the surgeon's office a call to see what he thinks and what dates would be available. But I am still worried about having some 'hiccups' during recovery that would cause me to cancel my cruise. I've found that cruise lines are more than accommodating with disabilities. (last year my mom was using a rollator walker on the ship and we went to the front of the line in many instances). These past few cruises I have gotten by with an injection in the knee beforehand and it's worked out fine. Maybe it still will this time as well. I wish I could see into the future. But sooner or later I'm gonna have to pay the piper.....
    Bottom line is, a cruise is no fun if you're in pain (or you can't walk off the calories).
    @Celle, I love Cruise Critic. I've always found it very informative.
    @Thatlldo, I'm reading your interesting recovery thread and I'm impressed with your progress so far. But I am not as active as you. I can barely hobble around my cul de sac. lol.
     
  7. AmeliaP

    AmeliaP junior member

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    Cruises can be quite good at accommodating mobility issues. Two years ago I was still experiencing some significant pain and swelling from an arthroscopic the year before and was worried about all the walking on ship and off. I called Scootaround and they delivered a motorized scooter to my cabin for my Alaska cruise. I was lucky enough that they were able to put me in a disability cabin because we needed the room for the scooter. If I hadn’t been given one, they said they could still find a way to store it and bring it to me. I just used it when I had overdone it on the shore excursions and my knee was done for the day. I thought it was worth every penny. It really allowed me to get around the ship easily and enjoy the trip. I’ve also gone on a Hawaii cruise with my mother and pushed her around in a wheelchair. It can be done. Good luck!
     
    • Informative Informative x 1
  8. DEL2019Aug-6

    DEL2019Aug-6 junior member

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    @GIMPY GAL Oh believe me I could barely walk before I got the right knee done. I was holding onto walls and sitting down to go down stairs. But I got a spin bike and rode that pretty regularly before my surgery and I think it made a big difference.
     
  9. lovetocookandsew

    lovetocookandsew FORUM ADVISOR Forum Advisor

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    @GIMPY GAL You got some valuable information from others; I also learned a lot about how you can get around on a ship even if you're mobility challenged.

    This recovery is a roller coaster with great ups and also some not-so-great downs. But in order to take our lives back we have to get on the ride and follow where it leads us. We can help our recoveries by not overdoing and by allowing our knees the time they need to recover in their own way and own time, which includes icing and elevating daily. At 4 1/2 months out you might be able to take that cruise, maybe using some help along the way as others talked about, but there are no set time frames as to recovery and where you'll be at any given point in your recovery journey. I agree with Josephine that 6 months out is a better estimate of when you would be better ready to take on the high seas.
     
  10. GIMPY GAL

    GIMPY GAL member
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    Thanks @lovetocookandsew, Thatlldo, @AmeliaP, luvcats, Celleand of course the wise and knowledgeable @Josephine.

    I just saw my GP and expressed my fear, dread and apprehension about having the knee replacement so soon. She could plainly see that I am not ready to take on the commitment at this time and suggested I wait. I'm surprised how relieved I feel with her giving me her blessing. I am hoping another steroid injection before the cruise (which has helped in the past) and continuing on the meloxicam can buy me some time until I am comfortable with having the knee surgery. I know it's just a temporary fix. :boohoo:
     
  11. luvcats

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    Well there you go. Your recovery will go much more smoothly when you aren't putting time pressure on yourself or missing out on an important family event. And all the ideas you got about the cruise will still hold true for a dodgy original instead of a fragile new installation!
     
  12. GIMPY GAL

    GIMPY GAL member
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