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TKR Jaye’s recovery thread

Jockette

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When I first started reading Bonesmart, more than 3 years ago (really, has it been that long???) I was shocked at all the different opinions about this recovery! I have since come to the conclusion that we should just use common sense and choose for ourselves how to recover.
 
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jaybird

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Seems I’m up again for my regular 1:00 AM visit to bonesmart - hi everyone. I’m doing OK. The fatigue is unimaginable. Yesterday, got up around 8:00, Art brought me a smoothie, which I drank, sat around for a while - boom. Asleep (well, asleep-ish, that’s obviously part of the problem here) until 2:00. Stayed up until 7:00, then back down (with pill reminders) until midnight. Now up since then.

I have no appetite. I made a quiche - usually our go-to crisis food - before my surgery, but I have no appetite for it. I am also nauseous a lot of the time. I am hoping that’s the antibiotic (I’m on a weird one, due to a penicillin allergy). I know I need to eat more, but everything makes me nauseous.

My leg is grotesquely swollen - looks, if anything, worse than the “severe“ example in the picture. I am pretty skinny: normally around 125 lbs. On my left leg, I can wrap my hands - thumbs to middle fingers - around it just above my knee, and both thumbs and fingers overlap by a joint. My right leg? with my middle fingers barely touching, my thumbs are about 5” apart. Although I know it won’t, the thing looks like it’s about to burst.
 

Helizabug

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Superstition, maybe not, but the differences are curious.

I have stitches and a waterproof bandage, imbued with silver nitrate. I haven’t had external stitches in a surgery in decades, which seems like a step backward, though I’m relieved not to have staples. But the bandage seems like a wonderful innovation, and I’ve been wondering why everyone doesn’t have this bandage. Maybe my insurance covers it and the next person’s doesn’t? Maybe my doctor has the resources to attend a particular sort of conferences (not better, necessarily, but more gadget-oriented?) while another surgeon attends fewer conferences or conferences with a different angle. Maybe my surgeon is courted by a gaggle of one group of vendors while another surgeon isn’t?

It is puzzling, and a little concerning when you think about health disparities in the U.S.

Phew, I’m exhausted!
 
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jaybird

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It is odd that there are such variations. Even within the Kaiser system, the dressing, the implant, the closure, and even the type of surgery (Kaiser does not advertise everything as being minimally invasive, for example), vary by surgeon.

I am one who probably waited too long to get surgery. Was told in July 2018 that I needed to do it during my off season in summer if this year, based on xrays. Then when May rolled around, I wan’t really in “enough” pain, and cortisone shots were working pretty well, so I didn’t. At the end of July, my cortisone shot Just. Didn’t. Work. Unfortunately, by that time, I was already committed to reach a class through right before Thanksgiving. I was already using a cane on long outings, which progressed to any time I left the house, then by September became all of the time. By October, I could no longer make it through the supermarket, even leaning on a cane.

I really wish that I’d either done it in the spring or told my district manager I was not going to be able to teach this year after all, because I will now have only 9 weeks before going back to work (16 hrs/4d/wk) instead of months if I want to work anything resembling a full season (which I do).

Just my way of saying: putting this off too long can be really bad, and in my case, pretty stupid. I was a fairly athletic 55 year old: 3xweek yoga, 10,000 steps a day, row for an hour on either the boat or the waterrower 3x/week, probably bicycled ~30-40 miles/week just getting around town (we live on a very flat island and our bikes are our primary means of transportation normally unless we have to go off of it.) it’s going to be quite a while before I’m back to that level of activity again, I’m afraid.
 

sistersinhim

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it’s going to be quite a while before I’m back to that level of activity again, I’m afraid.
It might seem that way right now, but, the good thing is, that you will get back to them. Then you won't have to worry about your knee getting worse, because all that arthritis pain will be gone. The surgical pain will diminish week by week and then eventually be gone. Not so arthritis pain.
 
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jaybird

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it’s going to be quite a while before I’m back to that level of activity again, I’m afraid.
It might seem that way right now, but, the good thing is, that you will get back to them. Then you won't have to worry about your knee getting worse, because all that arthritis pain will be gone. The surgical pain will diminish week by week and then eventually be gone. Not so arthritis pain.
That’s what I keep trying to tell myself - both before surgery and now. The only possibility before was downhill. Now the most likely one is up.
 

Helizabug

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One of my goals later in recovery is to learn to row! It’s so cool that you row! I started rowing on a water rower at Orange Theory Fitness, and I loved it. So, I thought I might give myself a cool new skill to learn to give myself something fun to look forward to.
 
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jaybird

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Helizabug, rowing is the best full body exercise I know of, and totally non-impact, to boot. I can’t wait to get back to it. Either that or yoga will probably be the last for me to get back - for rowing I need to be able to get into the boat without tipping myself into the water, and for yoga, I need to be able to get up off the floor.

I am guessing from your thread title that you’re from the Triangle area or at least NC. Although I’m in CA, my parents lived in Chapel Hill for years and years, so I’ve spent a lot of time in the area. Beautiful country.
 

Helizabug

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Yup. Chapel Hill. We love it here.

Maybe I’ll be asking you for rowing tips in a handful of months.
 
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jaybird

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I called the advice nurse about the nausea. She set me up a phone appointment with a doctor, who doubles the dose. 2.5 hours after the first increased dose, still pukey. Violently pukey, in fact. I projectile vomited all over my (luckily leather) recliner and myself about an hour ago. I got myself cleaned up (2 showers in one day only three days after surgery, I’m such an overachiever), while Art took care of the chair and the blanket. I’ll call them again tonight if there’s no change after dose #2. This sucks. I need to eat. And our neighbor, who is a fabulous cook, is bringing over dinner, which I doubt I’ll be able to eat. Hopefully, it can go in the freezer.
 
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sistersinhim

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Try eating crackers when you take your medicine. Better yet, something with high protein. I was also pretty sick and found drinking really cold protein drinks helped my nausea. Also, you can get a prescription for Zofran which is a nausea reducer.

I pray you feel better really soon.
 
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jaybird

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Not gettin enough protein is definitely the main problem, sistersinhim. The only things I can reliably keep down are clear liquids, plain starch (naked bread, crackers), fruit smoothies (we’re going to try a different protein powder, as the pea protein I bought pre-surgery was disgusting, and I ran out of time to try others) and sometimes (ok, once) pureed vegetable soup. None of these is particularly protein-y.

None of the horrible things I imagined pre-surgery happened, but this horrible thing came totally out of left field. I feel simultaneously nauseous and hungry, which really sucks.

Zofran is the drug they doubled this afternoon. We’ll see.
 
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sistersinhim

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I pray that works for you and you can get some protein in you.
 

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You are still so early, the zofran should kick in for you soon! I struggled with nausea for the first 10 days or so, and the zofran eventually did help. Don't be surprised when you finally hop on the scale and your weight has dropped 10 lbs!! It will come back and you'll want your muscles to maintain their strength for all the activity you will want to be doing in the longrun. I agree with @sistersinhim...really get the protein in you, both for your muscles and your nausea...

Good luck this upcoming week!
 
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jaybird

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Random observations after night 4:

Still nauseous, but have discovered that I can tolerate chai with evaporated milk and a lot of sugar very well, so at least I’m getting some calories. Art’s been making it by the flask and just keeping a thermos of it by my bed.

There is seriously nothing nicer than slowly waking up from a deep (yay!) sleep to the sound of your husband trying to change the ice that you didn’t even realize was melted as quietly as possible.

Heel slides are stupid. I have just been moving my right leg so that its foot is in line with the left one any time I sit down. Seems to be working fine, as each time I sit, I can go a little farther, and I’m not doing anything that hurts.

Quad pushes work (for me, at least). I can do them easily, so I do them a lot, and as of this morning, I can get my knees almost lined up with one another when I’m standing, viewed from the side. I haven’t been able to do that in years!

This place is awesome. I really appreciate the support, advice, prayers and hairpats I’ve gotten in this thread. Thanks so much!
 
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sistersinhim

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Back when I was recovering we girls developed the bathroom potty slide. We'd bend to a certain line and the next time we sat down, we'd try and go past that line a little bit. We had many laughs about the 'bathroom slide'!
 
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jaybird

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Hahahahah! Great minds think alike. That is exactly what I’m doing in the head, sistersinhim. We have hardwood in the bathroom, so I’ve mentally divided each board into 1/4ths.
 

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