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Home Alone After Surgery

KarriB

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@Ewok , I know our nurse, Josephine went home alone and lives in a 2 story house. Like you, I went to a rehab until I could do the 13 steps to my home. This time though you’ll have a good knee (TKR) to use on the steps. Why don’t you try just using your TKR leg to climb the stairs, bringing your ouchy non-TKR leg up to the step. If you can do that now I imagine you can after surgery.
 

NDSunshine

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I was alone for double arthroscopy in Nov, and I will be alone for RTKR next month (Im single). I already know what it will be like for me. My main issue is being careful not to trip over my dogs (3 littles), or them jumping on my knee. Im freezing mre's right now.
 

KarriB

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@NDSunshine Do you have someone who can watch your dogs for a bit until you don’t have to worry about them jumping? You won’t be able to walk them for a while either, so if they need walked you may need to set that up as well.
 

NDSunshine

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Got that all covered. For pottying, I have potty pads that they know how to use. I won't walk them for the first 2 weeks, and when I do, I have a wheelchair that was given to me that I've been using off and on. If I have any problems, I have tons of support from church friends.
 

NDSunshine

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I was semi-alone: I have a roommate and a semi-roommate(Different house, same property), but they both work and only really checked in on me once or twice a day. (I told the discharge nurse they'd be around all the time so she wouldn't worry) It was only a problem that first night home when I was worried about my pain medication (which seemed to be suppressing my urge to breathe! so I quit it and never looked back).

So what I would add is: arrange to have friends call you and/or stop by each day. Also know who you can call at any time of day or night to go to urgent care if you feel weird. Not that you will feel weird or that you will go to urgent care, but have that nailed down and you'll feel better.

I was having to pee buckets every forty-five minutes or so, which I think was good as it kept me moving, but you might want to think through your path to the toilet. Keeping moving helps a lot too- you hurt less and have less anxiety, I think, though you want to keep your movements gentle and not very challenging.

My laptop was (and is) my biggest friend.

The food I froze beforehand was not attractive when the time came, but you may have a different experience.
The frozen food, lol...My freezer is full of stuff I've made ahead, and it looks like a bunch of meh leftovers.
 

Niftyknee

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Is the CPM machine you refer to a machine that has ice in it and then attaches to a cuff that goes around your leg/knee ? Sounds like the game Ready machine I have in Perth WA. Some of you have said freeze water bottles and use them. That is a gem of an idea. Thank you.
 

KarriB

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A CPM is Continuous Passive Motion machine that moves/bends your knee for you. The machine you’re asking about sounds like an icing machine that pumps cold water into the cuff and around the knee, it’s different than the Game Ready which is super expensive. Frozen water bottles might be good for the back of the knee, but not the top. You need something that can wrap or form around the knee itself.
 

Niftyknee

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Thanks @karrieb
Ah now I see the difference. I had the com machine in hospital and got to 105 with it before leaving. I really liked that machine. Yes the game Ready is the ice machine and cuff.
 

KarriB

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Game Ready is a bit different than an ice machine, I believe it also offers compression therapy and is a very expensive unit. You can get a regular icing machine for a lot less. My insurance actually sent me home from the hospital with an ice machine/cuff. Lots of TKRs use an ice machine, but I’ve only seen 1-2 members here on BS use a Game Ready.
 

kneeper

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^Indeed. I think the GameReady is more for professional use and you might encounter it in a PT session like I did.
 

lennie

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I was alone. No problems. Just plan ahead


Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk
 

Palrn

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No one mentioned this, maybe you all assume it but I can have a pretty good pity party for myself when I am alone and in pain. So I have to work on the emotion side Hard. I have to be mindful about it. One simple but not always easy thing to do is to have some change of rooms. Get up. Get cleaned up. Get dressed... even if it is a different nightgown. Make your bed the best you can. Move to day room. Do something different. Save your crossword puzzle, set up a jigsaw puzzle, blog on here, do your exercises. Have lunch. Take your nap.. you need it. New things, mail maybe? Phone contact, dinner, news, exercises. Have a night routine. Then go back to bedroom. Make a plan and goal for next day.

If I don't I can hang in my bedroom 24/7 and depress myself real quick.
 

regulus

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I will not be alone all of the time but at the least 6-8 hours each day when hubby is working. I'm nervous about it but definitely thankful for this thread to hear tips and ideas others have been sharing about how to manage on your own!
 

gaiaGG

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I'll be helping my uncle who is going to be having a knee replacement surgery done soon. It's going to be rough but I'll be going through the thread for tips on how I can offer the best possible care at home. I just wanted to stop by and say thanks first.
 

Susan1234

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I read this thread and I'm amazed that so many people went home alone following knee replacement.

I definitely would prefer to be alone. I've put off knee replacement for years because I really, really, really do NOT want to go a nursing home. I live alone in a one bedroom apartment and I really don't want someone staying with me either, even if I knew someone who would, which I don't.

But when I was looking into knee replacement years ago, Kaiser made it clear that if you don't have someone to stay with you, you have to go a nursing home. (Needless to say, they don't pay for it or even help you find one, except in the rare event you have complications requiring it).

I don't see why I couldn't go home, there is an elevator in my building and to me it seems like all you really need to be able to do it make it to the bathroom and back. Maybe things have changed. If Kaiser still has this policy I might try to switch insurance to something else. Just wondering how you even find out. Kaiser makes its own rules, but otherwise, is it the doctor or the hospital who decides?

Of course Kaiser is going to want to send you home from the hospital as soon as possible to save money, so that makes it even more likely they won't let you go home alone. I'd rather pay for a few extra days in the hospital than go to a nursing home, but of course I know Medicare would never allow that.
 

Jockette

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@Susan1234, Hi and Welcome to Bonesmart!

If you post some of your questions on the knee pre op forum you will get more responses.

Best wishes as you consider all your options.
 

lennie

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I went hone alone with some people checking on me and coming 3 times a week to go to rehab. I was fine. Please ask questions. No question is too dumb to ask.


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
 

Kermt

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Hi...new here but wish I had seen this forum before I had my surgeries. Had right TKR June 21 2017 and left TKR July 11 2018. I live alone on second floor with no elevator. Was in hospital 3 days and rehab 3 weeks so by time I got home it was easier. But all I can say is that ice is my new best friend!
 

texasjeri

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thank you all for the tips! We already have the circulating ice water machine, bedside commode, crutches, 4-leg cane, walker, bath chair from previous knee surgeries (hubby) and shoulder surgery (me). the tip for zip-tying a basket to the walker is great! I'm planning to prep meals ahead because I eat low carb. If all else fails, I can eat rotisserie chicken, raw broccoli, cheese. A friend told me that she used the "smooth move" tea every day post-surgery because of the constipating effect of pain killers, so I'm doing that! We already knew about using frozen water bottles in the ice water circulator. I had the CPM when I had my knee scoped 14 years ago but I don't know if they do that now. We will see. I'm buying extra pillows to prop my leg. I've set up my bedside table and my table beside my recliner to have space for all my stuff. thanks again for giving me some excellent ideas regarding self-care at home.
 

Susan1234

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I found that being alone after surgery hasn't been nearly as difficult as I feared. The post on "activity progression after TKR" made me laugh. Not make a snack until 3 weeks after surgery? You're going to get awfully hungry. Not do laundry until week 4 or 5 and then only put it in the machine or take it out but not both? Great if you have a magic fairy to do the other half for you! I made my snacks from the day I got home and did laundry at day 5, no problem with either. The hardest thing I've experienced is getting my leg into the taxi to go to physical therapy, worse than the physical therapy itself. Everyone 's experience is different, I know, but for me hasn't been nearly as bad as I expected. I went home the day after surgery with a peripheral nerve catheter so I didn't have any pain the first few days. I did have someone from a home care agency stay with me for one night, been fine since then.
 

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