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TKR Jake’s Got a New Knee

Wow, was so busy with a project, I didn’t do an 8 week update! I am generally doing well. I have spent considerable time in my wood shop this week trying to design a reproducible plaque as a memorial for fallen law enforcement officers in America. I have a potential donor who would fund the project and I needed proof or concept. At the 11th hour, I am happy with the project and now hope my donor will be as well. Time will tell.

Physical therapy is a bit painful currently. Not out of this earth painful, yet a strong discomfort. I should clarify it’s not the knee which hurts, rather my hamstring along with muscles on both the medial and lateral aspect of my knee. My therapist says my hamstring “quivers” while I am stretching it. She used a roller on it in an attempt to get it to relax some. It is fairly uncomfortable, but will survive. Walking in my shop without a cane, although to and from I still use it. I will be investing in pads to go in front of my machines, as walking on concrete (even with new shoes) is uncomfortable, mostly on my “old” knee, but some on the new knee too. I am still not 100% happy with my gait, but it is still improving. The therapist okayed me to try the stationary recumbent bike my wife drug home from her dad’s house. I need to take the time to adjust it and give it a whirl. Her only concern was me overdoing it. I assured her, I am an achiever, but not really an overachiever anymore. :rotfl:

Been taking care of the ladies (chickens) every night, which I find immense joy in. Tonight, I walked to the coop! It was a nice day! @Layla, you were spot on, the summer WILL be amazing with my new knee!

That is all I know, sitting with my polar cube on as I write this. Have a great weekend and enjoy the holiday if you celebrate it.
 
I have spent considerable time in my wood shop this week trying to design a reproducible plaque as a memorial for fallen law enforcement officers in America.
This is so cool! So thoughtful of you. Such an honorable way to pay tribute to their sacrifice. I love it!

Sorry you're dealing with some discomfort in PT, I do hope it eases soon.Take good care, enjoy your visits to the chicken coop and have a Happy Easter!
 
Oh I am between projects/series in my painting studio now so feel a twinge of envy at you working on an excellent project!

Yes, we reach a point where we find it easier to discern knee pain from muscles tight, weak, or overworked. I want to point out though that at two months they too need a bit of TLC and it's easy to overtax them.

Muscle strengthening is a two part process: exercise breaks down muscle tissue and rest rebuilds it stronger. So after a work out in PT, give a couple of days rest from formal exercise - just do the usual around the house, coop, and studio activity.
 
used my cane for 3-4 months, and more, if I was going to walk on uneven ground. It took me a while to regain my balance. I will admit, I caved to peer pressure when a friend motioned to my cane and said, when are you going to get rid of that? If I ever do this again, I’m going to buy a pretty cane
I used a foldable walking stick for about 6-7 months outside ( I did buy a patterned/ coloured one I liked). I live in a busy London suburb with lots of uneven pavements, due to old tree roots, and slippery leaves. Also it is very, very busy with commuters near the station. I had also had a few falls before my surgery ( probably due to poor balance due to my misaligned valgus knee).
I found a stick incredibly helpful for confidence outside. It signalled my problems and people gave me more space. It also helped with getting on and off buses/ trains and meant I could more easily claim the priority seats! I could also lean on it when standing for long periods- say at an art gallery. Eventually I was just mainly carrying it. I don't use it at all now even for short airport flights. I would probably still take it, when hopefully we get back to more adventurous long haul travel- where there might be very uneven ground or very long airport delays and it would be good to have something to lean on. I do have other joint issues though as well.
 
Wow, was so busy with a project, I didn’t do an 8 week update! I am generally doing well. I have spent considerable time in my wood shop this week trying to design a reproducible plaque as a memorial for fallen law enforcement officers in America. I have a potential donor who would fund the project and I needed proof or concept. At the 11th hour, I am happy with the project and now hope my donor will be as well. Time will tell.

Physical therapy is a bit painful currently. Not out of this earth painful, yet a strong discomfort. I should clarify it’s not the knee which hurts, rather my hamstring along with muscles on both the medial and lateral aspect of my knee. My therapist says my hamstring “quivers” while I am stretching it. She used a roller on it in an attempt to get it to relax some. It is fairly uncomfortable, but will survive. Walking in my shop without a cane, although to and from I still use it. I will be investing in pads to go in front of my machines, as walking on concrete (even with new shoes) is uncomfortable, mostly on my “old” knee, but some on the new knee too. I am still not 100% happy with my gait, but it is still improving. The therapist okayed me to try the stationary recumbent bike my wife drug home from her dad’s house. I need to take the time to adjust it and give it a whirl. Her only concern was me overdoing it. I assured her, I am an achiever, but not really an overachiever anymore. :rotfl:

Been taking care of the ladies (chickens) every night, which I find immense joy in. Tonight, I walked to the coop! It was a nice day! @Layla, you were spot on, the summer WILL be amazing with my new knee!

That is all I know, sitting with my polar cube on as I write this. Have a great weekend and enjoy the holiday if you celebrate it.
Great project, hope we all get to see it, thank you. With the bike I have been riding for awhile now and what works for me is starting the seat high so I can make a full revolution, then after a couple of minutes of warm up lower the seat, a couple of times until the most time on the bike is at the lowest seat position I can tolerate without cheating or significant pain. Good luck it does help loosen things up a bit. Glad to see your progress, stay strong!
 
I have spent considerable time in my wood shop this week trying to design a reproducible plaque as a memorial for fallen law enforcement officers in America.
Please send us a photo when you are finished. What a wonderful project you have there!
 
Very cool project Jake! I agree with send pictures.

A few weeks back my leg hurt in places that weren't my knee - down the sides and so on. I bought a massage gun off of amazon and that really helped - surprisingly! That is still there to some extent but not as bad as it was. My knee itself doesn't hurt - sounds like you're sort of in the same boat. I'm just about 11 weeks out I think...and I still have the tight band feeling. Sometimes when walking it doesn't seem to want to "come along" so I really have to pay attention, and I'm probably way more dependent on the cane then you. I can go without sometimes in the house.

I also stopped going to PT because I'm back at work...but I do the exercises. Great to hear your update and I hope things continue to improve exponentially!
 
Thanks to everyone for their warm, thoughtful replies. I am so blessed to have documented my journey, both good and once in a while not so good here.

The computer generated image and two components cut out are the pictures attached. I am awaiting the appropriate tooling to arrive Monday so I can make these from a single piece of walnut. Please keep Officer Diller’s family in your thoughts and prayers as his funeral is today. He left behind a young wife and infant son. :prayer:

I think the project will be a go, as long as my donor agrees on the pricing structure. The project was something I dreamed up while icing and thinking what I could do to leave the world a little better than I found it. Honoring those who made the ultimate sacrifice seemed like a good route to take.
 

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So beautiful and so thoughtful. Too many of these dedicated servants are killed in the line of duty, leaving young children fatherless and wives and loved ones broken hearted. Heartwrenching!
You're a kindhearted man, jakemedic. Many blessings to you!
@jakemedic
 
Hello! It has been a while since I did an update. My new knee is 10 weeks old now. I feel like I am making significant improvements, almost daily. Nothing too huge, but being able to stand on the running board of my truck and getting in with my new knee, walking up some steps leg over leg (if that makes sense), being able to eat at the kitchen table and generally walking further. I ditched my cane officially on Tuesday of this week (exactly 10 weeks), and it feels like a new found freedom. I am quite hopeful and that means so much to me!

On the negative side, my hamstring is very sore. They keep pressing me to work them more and straighten my leg better. Additionally, I have a muscle on the medial side of my knee which still lets me know it is there. It is sore and swollen yet. I still use my Polar Cube daily for at least an hour or sometimes longer. The PT folks recommended a "Thera-cane" to rub and get those muscles to loosen up. I have not made that purchase yet, but think I may have to in the hope of getting those muscles to loosen up and settle down. I do have back pain from time to time, especially if I am squatting down to get something. I got put back on gabapentin for that. My existing knee does "bark" from time to time. Two more weeks and I can get a steroid shot in it. Even though the doc says it was worse than the one I had replaced, I think I am going to put it off till next winter if I am able to. I will end the "negative" part of my post with a positive. My new knee, including my hamstring hurts less than the old knee before surgery. I can't complain about that!

I have been out in my workshop preparing for making a few memorial plaques each week. I haven't met an agreement with my donor as of yet, but still hopeful. I may have to change my side hustle to a non-profit in order to secure funding from other sources. That remains to be seen. It would be a lot of work to get my not-for-profit, but if it gets me to the point of actual funding, it would be worth it. Additionally, I am playing with making custom boxes for anything from pens to pet urns. They could be customized and of course engraved. It has been nice outside so I have been working on projects in the yard. Getting the garden ready, burning the burn pile (tonight I did that) and of course tending to the ladies (chickens).

Also, we have a new addition to our "tribe". My father in law got a 3 yr old miniature poodle named Leo. Leo was a "stud" for a family member's breeding business. He ended up not having the time to take care of him (I could have told him that, but he didn't ask my opinion:heehee:). So my bride brought him home with her to train him with the plans of returning him to her dad once Leo settled down. Well within 2 minutes (literally) I knew we had a new addition, and her dad made a horrible mistake by not taking the time with him. Leo is a sweet, lovable boy, and our greyhound does well with him. Keep in mind, I dislike poodles and haven't had a male dog since childhood. He is quiet (unless he sees himself in the mirror, then he barks:snork:), loves being on anyone's lap and is great with the grand daughters. He doesn't do steps yet, but am confident he will eventually. Sorry, maybe I should have posted that paragraph in the pet section, but I was on a roll typing.

In closing, I have 2 more visits with PT, and I think I will "graduate" from there. I have been toying with digging out my recumbent trike and doing some VERY short rides. I purchased it over a year ago used and haven't put more than a mile on it. At least I want to sit in it (it is fairly low) and see how that goes. Thank you for allowing me to journal my progress here. I hope that my journey can be helpful for someone who is facing a similar path here. God Bless!
 

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Hi. Great milestones, thank you for sharing them! And OMG congrats on Leo!!!!!

Re theracane. Save your money. Buy a rubber Spalding or Pensey Pinkie and put it in the bottom of a crew sock. Use it to massage cross-fibers or to press into trigger points. The sock holder is handy if you ever want to put the ball between your back and the wall: the long ankle section lets you hold on to the ball so it doesn't fall.

I can't comfortably use my huge foam roller on the floor to work out my quads trigger points so grabbed a wooden rolling pin from the kitchen to just sit on the couch and roll them out instead!
 
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Nice update Jake, your recovery, while not perfect, seems to be moving along. Hope you’re able to secure funding for your worthwhile project soon. Good luck with the new addition, I’m sure he’ll bring some joy into your house. Hang in there my friend and stay strong!
 
Yay on kicking the cane to the curb! Glad you used it until you felt confident enough to let go of it.
It is liberating though, just as getting behind the wheel again is. It's wonderful you're able to work on your labor of love and spend time doing so outdoors. Congrats on the new addition to the family!

It sounds like you're slowly getting back to life and remain humble and grateful. You're a great inspiration and I enjoy following your journey. Many blessings to you, jakemedic!
@jakemedic
 
Nice to hear things keep betting better! Just thought I’d chime in to say that a theracane has been a game changer for me in dealing with tight knots over the years. The hook and curve could dig deeper than my golf ball, lacrosse ball, rollers, etc. useful for all body parts, hard to reach areas. I get bad trigger points everywhere and I find that what works well one day isn’t great the next…so I have a quiver of various tools. It’s not for everyone though, but has been an essential tool for me.
 
Yay on kicking the cane to the curb! Glad you used it until you felt confident enough to let go of it.
It is liberating though, just as getting behind the wheel again is. It's wonderful you're able to work on your labor of love and spend time doing so outdoors. Congrats on the new addition to the family!

It sounds like you're slowly getting back to life and remain humble and grateful. You're a great inspiration and I enjoy following your journey. Many blessings to you, jakemedic!
@jakemedic
Thank you @Layla! You, throughout this journey, have been an inspiration for me, and I am very appreciative of your advice and kind words. I know that everyone’s mileage may vary, but overall, this was a positive experience for me. My new knee seems to be better than the old one. That is what is important. The early days were rough, but everyday I see some improvement. Not enough to jump up and down, but little things that mean so much. Thank you for your advice and kindness throughout this journey. It is much appreciated!
 

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