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In first 2 weeks post-op: where should I park myself?

Rather

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Posted this in my old thread and then realized that we could start a new thread in this forum - apologies if anyone sees it twice...

Greetings again. I've changed my signature because I've postponed my second TKR originally scheduled for July to probably in late fall. I have too many summer projects at work to be gone for all the time before students and faculty come back in August. Anyway, as my May 6 surgery date approaches, I have a question for this great brain trust.

I live in a tri-level house - a main floor w/living room, dining & kitchen; with 7 steps up to the bedrooms and 7 steps down to the family room. Bathrooms are upstairs or downstairs. My comfy bed is upstairs, but there isn't a chair in the room or much room to walk around up there. The downstairs family room area is large with ample room for me and my 2 greyhounds to walk around each other, has a bathroom and easy access to our 2nd fridge. It has a sofa and a reclining chair as options for seating or sleeping.

For the first week or 2, should I plan to move up and down stairs all day - sleep in a comfy bed, go to the main level for eating, go downstairs for sitting/reclining? Or should I plan to try and sleep downstairs on the sofa or recliner and pretty much stay on one level all the time - no stairs or only 1 or two times on the stairs each day?

As I type this I'm thinking that it sounds like such a trivial issue - where to park myself for the first couple of weeks - but the more decisions I make in advance, the calmer I am.
 

ulrich2000

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I had similar choices. I went for the recliner / living area for the first 3 weeks. A little table, a big insulated water cup, a computer stand and all the chargers close at hand. You need to make sure you can keep your knee in the right position and elevate properly in your recliner.
 

Bionic

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@Rather
It sounds as if I have a similar home to yours. Downstairs lounge has recliner añd TV. Bathroom and kitchen are 3 stairs up. It's 16 stairs to bedroom with TV and ensuite.
I have had 2 hip ops and I knee in the last 10 months. For each op I decided to stay in the bedroom initially for the first couple of days. That worked well for me. I did very little walking, just to the bathroom and back but after those first days I wanted to open my world up and ventured down to the kitchen and lounge.

The decision is yours but what I would say is don't be frightened of the stairs. You will be shown how to manage stairs before you leave hospital. From reading threads of others it seems that those who don't tackle the stairs immediately get frightened of the idea and the longer they wait the less they want to try using them.

I also found that the stairs are good physio.
 

Jockette

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I'm reading your comments about the raised toilet seats and I have to ask this. I have a comfort height toilet that is higher (3-4 inches) than regular toilets. Should I plan on getting a raised toilet seat on top of that? I'm thinking that I might need a step stool to ascend the throne.
I saw this question on another thread and I decided to answer it here in your thread.

Your comfort height toilet should be fine. It’s the standard lower ones that we need the extra riser for.
 

Celle

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The downstairs family room area is large with ample room for me and my 2 greyhounds to walk around each other, has a bathroom and easy access to our 2nd fridge. It has a sofa and a reclining chair as options for seating or sleeping.

For the first week or 2, should I plan to move up and down stairs all day - sleep in a comfy bed, go to the main level for eating, go downstairs for sitting/reclining? Or should I plan to try and sleep downstairs on the sofa or recliner and pretty much stay on one level all the time - no stairs or only 1 or two times on the stairs each day?
I think the family room sounds most suitable. Set up your little "nest" there, with everything you need close at hand. The recliner would probably be the best place to rest and sleep at first, unless you find it easy to get up off the couch.

My first consideration is being close to the bathroom at first, because you'll be making frequent trips there.

Most people can manage stairs when they come out of hospital, but it's probably best if you just negotiate them once a day at first.

As for eating, I didn't get to the dining table to about 3 weeks. It was uncomfortable sitting there at first. Ask for meals to be brought to you.

Comfy as it is, you probably won't be able to sleep in your bed initially.
 

tylermit

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I set up 2 rooms as I did not know which way I would go. I am at day 10 right now and have only left the master bedroom to go to the kitchen and back. If you have a master bedroom with private bathroom I would set up with that. Using the bathroom post-op has it's own set of challenges and you may not want to be in a common bathroom with the rest of the family. I set my office up as my optional nest.
 

Jamie

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You'll be able to do stairs, so if for some reason your downstairs nest isn't comfortable all the time, you can sneak up to the comfy bed, especially at night for sleeping. Most people sleep in multiple locations in their homes...sometimes for a couple of months. The important thing is to be comfortable and able to get the rest you need. But it does sound like downstairs will be best for most of your daytime.

You might want to register for BoneSmart's free Joint Replacement Awareness Day (JRAD) on Saturday, May 4th. It's an online conference with presentations by 10 surgeons plus questions will be taken from the audience. You'll learn many tips about preparing for surgery and how the recovery process will work. Click on the link and register now so you'll be ready to go on May 4th. When you go to the JRAD site, you'll see a link to the conference agenda.
 

Irish471

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I have a tri-level house, too, with each flight of stairs being 13 each. My mom was visiting from out of state to help take care of me for the first 2 weeks. I went all the way up to the bedroom and stayed there for the first two days. Then I started to venture, VERY carefully, downstairs to spend time with my mom and the rest of the family. It was good to change the scenery. I have thought about sleeping in my recliner, mostly because I feel bad keeping my husband awake on the nights I toss and turn. Be prepared for both scenarios and stay where you feel the most comfortable.Best wishes for a successful surgery!
 
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Rather

Rather

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Thanks for all of the helpful information! I especially like the references to a "nest". So hubby and I started moving things around downstairs to provide me with a place to perch for a couple of weeks. We have a fireplace in that room, but I didn't think that would be very useful in May. But as I type, it is snowing. The forecast is for 4 inches. That should be high enough to cover the tops of the tulips, jonquils and other flowers that have been blooming this past week. This year's weather continues to be crazy!
 

Jockette

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Oh my, it’s still snowing!

Some of us were often cold after this surgery, and icing our knee often increased that, you might use that fireplace after all!

My friends were shocked to see me wearing long sleeves and sweaters as I am rarely cold, but I was for a while after surgery.
 

ulrich2000

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I put post about my setup here:

My Setup

With the bilateral surgery the lift chair is an amazing help.

Best of luck!
 

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