Bilateral TKR Indigo_bunting’s BTKR recovery

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Indigo_Bunting

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Day 5. Woke up at home!

- injected myself in my own bathroom, a little tricky since the space is tiny and there are next to no surfaces. My husband had to hold the open bottle of rubbing alcohol.
- put on my own compression stockings and nonslip socks. Uthitta hasta padangusthasana is good practice for this.
- ate real food/drank real coffee and found appetite miraculously returning.
- met with awesome visiting nurse, who removed the ace bandage on the L knee (the one that drained so much that the saturated dressing had to be replaced). He said the bandage looked too tight and that it could stay off. Feels better now. Proof of puffiness in my scar photos.
- managed to not think about my knees for a whole blissful hour since a very kind friend sent over a beautiful colored pen set and coloring books
- found a semi-comfortable spot with the lounge doctor. Still working on that.

Question: if elevating is really not comfortable for me, how far will not elevating set me back?
 

Jockette

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Question: if elevating is really not comfortable for me, how far will not elevating set me back?
I don’t think it will set you back if you don’t elevate. Right now just try to get as comfortable as you can. I had trouble elevating, too, the first couple of weeks. It got easier as I healed.
 

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At first, I also found the Lounge Doctor uncomfortable. I am pretty short, so I had ordered the small. I had my head propped up by a fluffy pillow, and then made sure that the edge of the LD was up against my butt, with my ankles over the edge. My calves were perfectly aligned with the dip.
I am almost 5 months out and I am still using my LD. Ice and elevation were my salvation, so I hope you can find something that works.
 

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Day 3. Not going home today. They gave me a blood transfusion because my numbers kept dropping (slowly). This will reverse that and also help with the dizziness I feel when trying to walk more than a few steps. Drainage from L incision stopped overnight. Actually got to do PT today and now I’m sitting in a chair! My R knee is much less responsive but the pain goes away quickly. Once again I’m in a much better place than just 24 hours ago. Clean sheets coming my way!
You are doing amazingly well! Both knees you have my respect
 

hawk2go

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Uthitta hasta padangusthasana
:rotfl:

Compression hose are the worst! I found several YouTube videos on how to apply compression hose (it's so difficult many people try to tackle it). Check them out to find your favorites. It all depends on your reach and your pain levels.
 
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Indigo_Bunting

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@hawk2go :) no lie, while I have not much else to do, I am going to compile a list of yoga poses and other named/easily findable exercises that are *actually* helpful for TKR, with special attention to BTKR. All the general advice I read on this was not really functional. “Do abs,” for example. There are a million ab exercises and while I don’t regret doing them it would have been helpful to know for BTKR that the #1 use of abs (at least at this early stage) is getting from lying to sitting while holding both legs straight and not using them to help. (You can use arms but save your limited energy for getting around with a walker.) Something like medicine ball sit-ups with straight legs might have been effective, have to think more about this.
 

hawk2go

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@Indigo_Bunting, what a lovely gift to give to those coming behind you. For the longest time I had to abandon my favorite yoga practices because I seriously struggled to manage with my bad knees. I settled on a practice in bed that allowed me to get my stretches and meditation done without struggling through more traditional asanas and routines. Good luck. I'll be a tester for what you develop. :) :-) (:
 

Susie-Q

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put on my own compression stockings and nonslip socks.

MOST impressive!!! :wow: I had to have hubby help me with this early on and I never could do the left leg myself but eventually was able to do the right myself. I agree with everyone else, you bilateral folks have my utmost respect!
 
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Indigo_Bunting

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@hawk2go it’s great that you’ve figured out a way to continue with yoga. Pain and stiffness have made it really hard recently…but you don’t need me to tell you that! Looking forward to enjoying yoga again. Balancing on one leg, it will be mine!
 
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Indigo_Bunting

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Day 6
- had a rough night. Left leg so swollen that I was hell-bent on elevating. Lasted about 3 hours, not a lot of sleep, pain got away from me. Daytime better.

- PT came by today. He’s great! I’ve been so pleased with myself for using upper body strength to get to standing. He zeroed in on how I’m over-reliant on arms and not gaining confidence or skills with legs. Did some very gentle massage and stretching, gave me some instructions for spending time sitting (small apt, will use a barstool) and gradually reducing reliance on arms. I’m happy with his approach.

- PT showed me correct alignment to elevate (@Taoquest just like you said). He recommended elevating for 20 minutes at a time. It is comfortable enough to do for that long. Progress!

Hoping a nurse comes by tomorrow to remove my dressing and give the OK to showering!
 
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Indigo_Bunting

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Day 7
- more confident on my feet and moving around with the walker. Big difference in posture and attitude. Switched my own frozen water bottles a few times :)
- sat with feet on floor, knees a little bent, and was actually comfortable
- nurse visited, removed dressing and said it could stay off. She called surgeon’s office and asked them to call me back on whether I can shower. No call :/ edit: they called! Yes!
- OT visited to check out our shower situation. It’s a nonstandard tub shower in a tiny space. No way to sit down and swing legs. He figured out a way for me to get in: like a showgirl. Why is there no emoticon for this?
- good pain management today!

Question:can we get a shower emoticon? It’s such a rite of passage.
 
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hawk2go

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OT visited to check out our shower situation. It’s a nonstandard tub shower in a tiny space. No way to sit down and swing legs.
I'm glad you guys worked it out. Showering is one of my treats during this recovery. I also have a non-standard tub, a tall clawfoot tub with a crazy lip. My OT figured out a process with a tall handled step stool on the outside, a shower chair with the arm off inside and a very delicate 4 step process for taking a shower in the first week. Initially I was resigned to bird baths for a few weeks after surgery.
 

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