PKR JusticeRider’s rehab adventure

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JusticeRider

JusticeRider

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If you’ve read many of my posts, you’ve probably seen me mention massage and what a blessing it’s been during my recovery. But it can be difficult to find the right therapist who understands how to work on someone who is healing from a major surgery.

Just wanted to share this resource with anyone who might want or need massage. (It is limited to the states so my apologies to those who live outside the US…hopefully a similar resource exists abroad!)

This is a list of MEDICAL massage therapists by state and city. If you Google:

LMT success group MMP list

…you will see the list and can click on your state to see who is near you. It is not an exhaustive list of course, but it will give you some options, depending on your location.

Thinking of you @Mickimouse and maybe you too @Dancingqueen (you mentioned pain in your calf and foot bothering you).
 

panammaniac

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If you live in California, massage is very different. We are now the only state that does not have a massage license. It's regulated at the local level here instead of at the state level. There is a state certificate, which is different than a license. Most, but not all cities require the certificate in order to practice massage within their city limits. It's a bit convoluted in California as compared to almost everywhere else. I own a spa that is in California so I am well familiar with the industry. If you only search for "Medical LMT" in California like @JusticeRider suggested, you will miss out on a lot of very capable therapists. The best thing in California is to search for spas around you. Give them a call and explain that you just had TKR and are looking for somebody who is qualified to work with you on that. Chances are they'll have at least one. Out of my 15 massage therapists, five of them are qualified. In any event, when you're getting a massage you just have to be very specific about your situation and exactly what you need, and it can be very beneficial.
 
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JusticeRider

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Great advice @panammaniac! It’s so helpful to get your first hand, professional knowledge re massage, especially as it seems to vary so much state to state! That list could be a helpful starting point, but it is certainly not exhaustive and, as you say, there are probably many, many qualified practitioners who are not on it. But if you’re struggling to find someone it may be an additional resource in your search. I found my therapist just by searching for massage in my area and then clicking on the individual bio’s on each website. I saw that this person did medical and post surgical massage as well as lymphatic drainage. So there are lots of ways to search if you have the time. I will also say that I tried an LMP before my surgery that I didn’t feel worked for me, so it took me a couple tries. But well worth it!
 

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As someone who has lymphedema it is hard to find a therapist. The worst of my swelling was across my left shoulder and up my neck. Because of covid it was difficult to be seen at the hospital but, an OT picked me up and after 4-sessions was able to get the swelling down. So far, the swelling comes and goes but it hasn't been that bad. Lymphedema drainage usually takes more than one session. Like panammaniac said if you find someone who does post-surgical massage that is the way to go.
My daughter loves horses. One of her Xmas wishes is new riding boots! She usually works in the barn to be able to ride. Hay is really expensive this year!
 
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JusticeRider

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Hi Flashlight! We had our surgeries right around the same time! I’m so glad you were able to find someone to do lymphatic drainage for you. It’s amazing all the little nasty effects swelling can have, and how much better everything feels if you can ease it. I don’t know much about lymphedema…is that a chronic condition or brought on by injuries/surgeries/etc? Has it complicated your TKR recovery?

So cool that your daughter is a horse-y girl! So…is she gonna get those riding boots from Santa Claus? :wink:
 

Flashlight

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People probably say she is 70ish, and her children still have a Xmas list! True they do!! My younger daughter even wrote her college essay about how strong it made her to be involved with horses. She has a very stressful job and horses ground her. Unfortunately, I retired and got Breast cancer. the edema hangs out in my chest, shoulder area. I'm grateful it didn't go down my arm. The pill I have to take gives me slight swelling in my lower legs and ankles. It might affect my knee somewhat but I'm not sure. I really wasn't expecting this long of a recovery! Every day I know we are getting stronger!!
 
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JusticeRider

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@Flashlight, I’m an adult and my mom definitely still asks me what I want for Christmas! One year she got me boots for my horse and I couldn’t have been happier :)

I wasn’t expecting this long of a recovery either, that’s for sure. But as you say, each day we are getting stronger! It sounds like you have been through some challenges and I bet you are incredibly strong and determined. We got this!
 
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JusticeRider

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Hey y’all, I could use a little encouragement. Thanksgiving was great but it was a lot of activity and I cut way back on Tylenol and Ibuprofen so I could have some holiday cocktails without completely destroying my liver. I was totally wiped out yesterday and I took it really easy all day. I had a little swelling but it didn’t seem too bad so I figured I’d keep going with the reduced meds.

Anyway, today I woke up with what I call ‘pot roast knee’. It’s when my knee swells up like a big hot, meaty pot roast and you can’t even see the outline of the bones. It used to do this regularly but it’s been less often as time has gone by. It’s really uncomfortable and it had me limping more than I have in quite a while. And I KNOW I did a lot with cooking and activities Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday, and I KNOW I also cut back on Tylenol and Ibuprofen right at the same time. So it makes sense that my knee is going to be upset.

I took it pretty easy again today and took the full doses. But we did drive down the street to pick out a Christmas tree, and I was limping around and people were staring, which I hate. I just want to be done with that part at least. I’m really tired of always thinking about the knee and people looking at me and friends asking about the knee. It’s been months and I just want to look at Christmas trees, :censored:

Another reason I feel down is that we spent Thanksgiving with two of our closest friends. This couple also happens to be our hiking and backpacking buddies. So of course they were asking when we could start planning hikes and backpacking trips again. Spring? Summer? Late summer? Are you going to be able to do the big elevation gains and longer mileage? How soon? And the truth is, I DON’T KNOW. But telling people that seems to completely baffle them. Like I should have SOME idea of a basic timeline. But that is exactly what I am working so hard to let go of. Because I have NO idea. And I’m trying to be ok with that!

Going to go to bed now. Hopefully tomorrow am will seem brighter. Good night, BoneSmart friends.
 

Peter Mac

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My health insurance let's me rent a continuous passive motion machine for $21 a month. I love it. I use it a couple of hours every day. Any stiffness I've had is easily fixed with gentle CPM use.
 
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Jockette

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I understand your frustration with the after effects of overdoing at 4 months post op. We had the same surgery and I had a huge set back at 4 months, because I tried to keep up with friends for a weekend out of town and paid dearly for it. My friends didn’t pressure me about recovery but I felt the pressure anyway, assuming what they were thinking.

It’s also very frustrating, especially when it’s our first joint replacement, not knowing when the end will be in sight. :console2:
 
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shr

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I'm a frequent flyer in the Over Do It Club though I try to keep things fairly reasonable. This is my second TKR and I know that full recovery is about a year and while things get better over time it's not a linear progression and when I push things too far I just need to lick my wounds and rest a bit before moving on.
 
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JusticeRider

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@Peter Mac, I might look into that. Motion is lotion so if there’s an easy way to get more I’m interested. Did your surgeon have to prescribe it?

@Jockette, it is frustrating wanting to keep up with friends, especially when you know their expectations for your recovery are very different than your reality. And the questions… “Why is it taking so long? Is something wrong? Are you concerned?” They mean well but it wears on me.

@shr, “licking my wounds”…haha! That sounds about right! Deep down I know it takes a year and I’ll get there. I really will! But sometimes I just get sick of it all, you know? It’s always good to be reminded by someone who has made it through it that it WILL get better. So thanks.

Thanks to all for the encouragement. I really can’t imagine going through this journey without BoneSmart to lean on!
 

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My Mom's famous saying was "This too shall pass". Looking forward to that day as well. We will get there but it does seem endless especially when we can't do everything we want to. I rested yesterday and again today. People just don't know what to say! Try to let it go in one ear and out the other. Side note I bought the riding boots for my daughter.....it was a busy week!
 
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beachy

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@JusticeRider
For the last 2 days I've been reading every page....45...of them from my TKR recovery in 2018. About 4 1/2 months was a huge turning point for me, for the better. I was president of the ODIC (over did it club) many times. Sounds like you're the president now LOL.
Ice, elevate and rest your pot roast for awhile. Then take it easier for a few more days.
As far as good friends....you need to tune them out. They haven't had this rather brutal surgery and they miss you.
My bff visited me during second week of recovery and told me about one of her friends who had a bilateral tkr and attended a college basketball game 2 weeks post op. I felt like the biggest failure.
If you want a real no nonsense account of tkr recovery search Beachy in recovery.
Sounds like you're right on schedule!
 
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JusticeRider

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@Flashlight, thank you. I love “this too shall pass”. Something about the rhythm of the words is comforting. Happy for your daughter and her Christmas boots!

@beachy, I started reading your recovery thread. -Thanks for the link, @Jockette!- I love your sense of humor :) You are going to rock this second knee recovery. I commend you for your bravery to do it again. I would be very surprised if I don’t need another knee surgery at some point in my life, but I hope it’s a long way off far in the future.
 
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JusticeRider

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@beachy, when you are crying like a baby, please try to forget that I encouraged you to go ahead with the second one!! At least until later, when you are feeling much better!

Also, crying like a baby is something I have done occasionally…well past the first few days…!
 
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JusticeRider

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I am happy to report that things are going much better the last couple of days! My visit to the ODIC thankfully seems to have been a short one. It was really only Friday and part of Saturday before the swelling went down. Thanksgiving was a lot and I think I need to stay on the ibuprofen and Tylenol for a little while longer.

I took it easier for a couple days and took the drugs and have started gradually ramping back up my activity. Yesterday everything felt back on track, meaning ‘pot roast leg’ was gone, limp was almost gone, and pain levels were very low. I had a 4,000 step day which is what I was doing comfortably before the holiday and that felt absolutely fine.

There was a time when I would have thought 4,000 steps in a day was nothing, but considering how difficult this recovery has been, I am thrilled that 4,000 steps a day feels good. If things stay on track, I’ll aim for that level for the rest of this week and see about increasing that next week (all according to how Miss Knee responds). Incremental progress is what I have learned she prefers. Patience is everything!

Here are my two biggest wins right now:

1) Going up stairs feels great! I cannot believe I’m saying this! Going up a step was agony for the past two years. Right now I can go up a flight of stairs with zero pain!! It feels normal. Amazing!

2) As of yesterday, I can now pedal all the way around on the bike FORWARDS and backwards!! I work up to it and only do it for two minutes right now, as per Roy Gardiner’s guidelines. I have not measured my ROM at all but this and my comfort going upstairs, along with it being a lot easier getting dressed, socks, shoes, etc tells me that my ROM is slowly but surely IMPROVING! :yes!:
 
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Jockette

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I have not measured my ROM at all but this and my comfort going upstairs, along with it being a lot easier getting dressed, socks, shoes, etc tells me that my ROM is slowly but surely IMPROVING! :yes!:
This is the best way to “measure” our recovery. By what we can do, not a ROM number. You go, girl!
 

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