Jo, after thinking about all this, I just relaxed enormously. I have realized that my fear and nervousness has been based upon my previous experience with knee surgery. But that's not an accurate yardstick. I was in a full leg cast for a month. Had very little motion due to adhesion when it came off. The leg muscles were a mess. I had to wear a brace. And the surgeon didn't actually fix it, he just patched up one of the ligaments. The ACL was history. I was officially cripple. So I had all that going on.
I am not reading ANYthing like that experience here. People are standing up and flexing their knees days after surgery. No plaster cast. No external Frankenstein brace.
I think I have been entirely too worried. I am looking forward to having a stable knee for the first time since I climbed on that motorcycle thirty one years ago.
Way to go, Gringo! Putting things into perspective is always good.
And you might be interested to know that, at only 3 weeks, I am now doing all the following with no aids or assistance - walking getting up off my (low) settee getting off the loo
getting into and out of the bath for my shower some housework
and washing up
Just to take my mind off things, the wife and I took our boat out yesterday (Easter Sunday) to do a little fishing on the Caicos Bank. We were headed out to a spot we know, when we saw this big dark blob moving over an open sandy spot. So we tried to corral it with the boat, but it was difficult. This is what it looked like from the surface:
We could not get close enough to this critter to get an overhead shot. So I had the wife drive the boat while I climbed onto a small platform on the transom and managed to get my head and arms under long enough to grab this one before he scooted away:
What has this got to do with knee replacement? Well, I'll tell you. We love to boat. One of the reasons we moved to a little island. And I am convinced that the pounding of running the boat fast over waves has contributed to my knees going south on me over the space of the past few years. After a day on the boat it takes me a day at least to recover. Swollen knees, pain. etc. Y'all know all that.
I want to learn to kiteboard. Haven't been able to. I want to try wakeboarding. No way, yet. I can dive, if I am careful getting into the water. Climbing back on the boat quickly when one of these guys ( photo above) comes by is not an option.
And now, after talking to you good people, I am realizing that all of these things are back within my reach. I have gone from being very nervous, worried, and yes, delaying this TKR by years......to an absolute joyful anticipation. If I could have it done tomorrow I would do it! Thanks.
Brilliant photos. Is that a man-eater? I wouldn't like to be anywhere near that in the water. The nearest we normally get to anything dangerous off our local coast is stinging jellyfish in the summer.
There are three ladies here whom I know quite well, who have been my inspirations over the past year when I've had to think seriously about replacing my knees. One, about my age (66) is now very active, flies off to the Gambia fairly frequently to help in deprived areas. The other two are both well into their 80s, both had their TKRs in the past two years. They are just so amazing now, compared to what they were like pre-op. A couple of weeks ago I saw from a distance a person virtually running down the hill on which we live. I couldn't believe that it was one of the 80+ year olds! I haven't been able to run for probably 25 years! She is off to the Netherlands next week in a camper van to enjoy the spring flowers!
You are so going to enjoy your new lease of life, Gringo - as am I. Just remember it'll be a tad difficult to begin with.
The wife and I were talking about all this. One of the topics was wondering just how much living in constant pain might have had to do with the way my personality has developed. I ripped my ACL and the Medial Collateral ligaments to shreds when I was just 27. Told I was crippled for life, would be wearing the metal brace, etc forever.
What will I be like when that pain is no longer part of every conscious moment? Will I be less grumpy? A more cheerful person? Or am I set in my ways at the ripe old age of 58 and removing what has to be a large factor in my development will not make any differences in my demeanor and sarcastic outlook?
I would be curious as to whether anyone has written anything about this sort of thing. Do people have sunnier dispositions a year after TKRs than they had for the previous thirty years?
Well, it must have had some kind of cumulative effect. Maybe it wasn't a bad effect. Maybe having to function amongst normal people with what amounts to a handicap all these years made more tolerant, reasonable, fine,upstanding, brave, clean, and reverant.....
A number of folks on the forum say after surgery and the first few weeks of recovery (and pain) are past, their friends say they look YOUNGER. It likely comes from the lack of tension and stress caused by chronic pain. People's faces and body become less tense and more relaxed and they probably tend to smile and laugh more. Hooray!!!
La Gringa Suprema is already worried about keeping up with me after this. She's 9 years younger, but having lower back issues. I am working on getting her in to see some specialists while we are in the USA, too. Can't replace lower backs, though.
We picked up a new toy this week, the Land Rover on the left:
We already had the one on the right. And why am thinking about Land Rovers on a knee replacment forum? Because both of these have standard transmissions. I have been driving the one on the right for almost two years. I don't even know how to calculate how many times in a typical trip to 'town' I push the clutch in with my left foot to shift. A lot. dozens, certainly. Hundreds, probably. Lets say many thousands of times a month. And every time I push the clutch in, there is a shooting pain in my knee that feels like someone stabbed a large needle into the joint. And I have been basically just going about my business, ignoring this pain.
And now, from what I am reading here....there may come a day when this pain will stop?
This giddy feeling might just drive me to dancing lessons, you realize...
Gringo, I'd put money on a bet that you will soon be shifting away with no pain. You may start feelin' so good about it that you'll shift gears just for the sheer joy of it! In fact, you may become the "shiftiest" person on the forum!!!
How long before you guys head to Houston? Or are you there already???
Left TKR nearly 6 months on and I can work the clutch with my left leg much much better than before TKR. I was allowed to drive after six weeks and found the clutch movement very comfortable. The thing I did notice was the quad muscles were getting exercised as I was moving the clutch in and out - so you get physio for free while driving. How about that - doing something you love, and getting physio at the same time.
One week and 17 hours till I turn up at the hospital - but I've got only about 17 miles to go, not like your mammoth trip.
Will be thinking of you - but I'm sure you'll be absolutely fine and ready to dance in no time. Best of luck when you set off on your travels. Hope La Gringo has some success with the back too.
I just got the word from the local doc, and my blood etc. test results are back. That was last Tuesday, the EKG, chest x-rays, about sixty seven hundred gallons of blood drawn, pee in a cup, and they stuck a swab up my nostrils for some reason. Anyhow, everything is good to go. ALL my last hopes of having a valid excuse to put this off just evaporated.
Stives, did you look at those photos of our new pedal-power kayak on our blog site? THAT's the way to get some fun quad work in. It's totally controllable, too.
But now I am interested in this new pedal powered submarine this Russian company is building...
Four hours endurance, two people pedalling....and with a hundred plus foot visibility underwater common here....