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listened to the advice here, now terrified about TKR surgery

Discussion in 'Knee Replacement Pre-Op Area' started by cathyn518, Jun 6, 2019.

  1. cathyn518

    cathyn518 junior member
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    I posted here weeks ago about a PKR vs TKR and how I was leaning toward the partial. I was given advice I didn't want to hear about the partial and about letting my surgeon decide. It was also suggested that I get a second opinion.

    I have since gotten 2 opinions, and have decided to change surgeons based on my primary care doctor's advice and 2 patients of the surgeons I consulted with. TKR, which I am having as arthritis is also behind knee, is scheduled for 2 weeks from today.

    I am so anxious I can't eat, have been up since 2am, etc. I know I need this, I am doing the prep work as far as freezing meals, getting loose clothes etc but 2 weeks of this anxiety feels impossible. I am trying to distract myself too, when I can with podcasts, books etc., but I find my mind does not let go of this.

    I am afraid of not waking up after the surgery, afraid it will go wrong and I will be more disabled and also afraid of the pain. It is very difficult to get any sort of pain meds now, and my surgeon gives 7 days and that's it. I know this post is not unique, but I am wondering if there is anything I am not thinking of to do to make it through these next two weeks. Thank you!
     
  2. Jockette

    Jockette FORUM ADVISOR Forum Advisor

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    I’m sorry you are so afraid, it’s very understandable though. Many of us have the same fears before this surgery.
    Lunch or dinner dates with friends to try to keep your mind off things.

    If you like stuffed animals (I do!) buy a cute one for a recovery buddy.

    Hugs to you, we’ll be here with you every step of the way.

    Hang out here with us.
    Bonesmart has a wealth of advice, information and support.
    We will offer helpful suggestions, :idea:

    Cheer your accomplishments :happydance:

    And send hugs when you are feeling down. :console2:

    Best wishes!
     
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  3. Bionic

    Bionic post-grad

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    All I would add to Jockette's post is to think positive.
    Yes, the surgery is going to be painful. Its not pleasant but you know, given a bit of time, it will go away.
    On the other hand the awful OA pain will not go away unless you get something done about it. That is like a little miracle because when you wake up that OA pain is gone.
     
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  4. mainegirl1

    mainegirl1 graduate

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    Or it might not be painful at all compared to the pain you have now.. Mine was not.. I forgot to take my Oxycodone after day 5.

    Remember this is not your surgeons first try.. It is yours.. Understandable to be afraid but trust in him or her.

    After surgery I felt so good I joined the ODIC ( overdid it club) by going out to lunch and dinner in the first two weeks.. Yes it was that good.. Yes the day after reminded me that that might not have been the best idea but the discomfort was quelled with Tylenol and a day of reading.
     
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  5. Jockette

    Jockette FORUM ADVISOR Forum Advisor

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    It can be very hard to change our thinking, from fear to thinking positive, at least it is for me. Sometimes I think we have to play a little mind game.

    Going back to my suggestion of a stuffed animal, or anything else of your choice, let that object (a scarf, a little quilt, a pillow) be your positive thinking object. When you are feeling down, hold or look at it and pretend it’s being positive for you and try to take comfort from it. :console2:
     
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  6. kneeper

    kneeper FORUM ADVISOR Forum Advisor

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    Yes, it is hard to get yourself out of a "loop" of anxiety.

    As far as the pain, they will have various methods at their disposal in the hospital to make it manageable. And many doctors are getting better and better at different methods of pain control these days beyond narcotics.
    Ice and elevation will be your friend as well.

    Besides, you've been dealing with pain every day with this knee for how long? Recovery pain will diminish and go away. I can tell you once I was through the healing phase I realized how much the pain etc. had dragged me down all those years. I felt "lighter" with the new knee. It was so worth it.

    It may sound a little silly, but I do believe that telling yourself "I can handle this" or some such positive message will really help.

    I was very nervous before my first tkr especially (I think everyone is) but also excited because there was something they could do for the knee. Also I found the hospital staff so professional and kind that it really eased the nervousness on the day.
     
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  7. DEL2019Aug-6

    DEL2019Aug-6 junior member

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    Ive had a partial and a total over the past year. Don't be terrified, these are really common and safe procedures. Most of how you do afterwards is about how you decide to feel about it. Its a medical procedure, theres going to be some pain while healing. I used pain meds for one week for each surgery (I still have 2 mostly full bottles in my medicine cabinet). I saw a lot of people in my pt group classes making their recoveries much harder because they stayed on pain meds way too long. They aren't good for your head. Its ok to share your fears with people on your medical team. They want you to feel safe. They want to do right by you. Ask them questions, tell the anesthesiologist you're afraid you wont wake up. It can be really helpful to actually discuss these things and have someone say out loud heres what we are going to do and heres how we will take care of you. You may even have a good laugh about it with them. You need to be in a good place mentally for this so if you read something negative stop looking at it immediately, and find something positive to read. You got this.
     
  8. Josephine

    Josephine FORUM ADMIN, NURSE DIRECTOR Administrator

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    Honey, I have worked in this business for around 55 years and can tell you that I have NEVER known a patient die on the table. Ever. Anaesthetics and generally all medicine is now done with such care and attention, should a patient ever have a problem whilst under anaesthetic, they are on to it in a flash and sorting it out!
    Let me tell you this - TKR is THE most performed and THE most successful surgical procedure in medical history. Think on that! And there are over a million knee replacements done globally each year!
     
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  9. rosieNZ

    rosieNZ member

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    Hi Cathy. You are getting great advice.
    Re not waking up from surgery
    Yip. Normal fear and totally understandable. I worried about that too. Then when I was offered a spinal I worried about that too.
    Re:fear of increased disability. Yip. Normal fear too. I researched scientific papers on outcomes. This indicated that the surgery is safe and poor outcomes are rare. Hope that helps.
    Re pain: Sounds terrifying to be lying there with intractable pain? Well it would be nut its not like that! The pain you have now is a daily occurance most likely. TKR is a challenge for about a week and then it gets better. In that week there are things you can do which help a lot.
    1. Rest.
    2. Relieve swelling by elevating your leg. Research on this site will guide you on this.
    3. Ice is your new best friend. I am in love with any form of ice!! I hired an ice machine which also compressed the site (no it didnt hurt) and it relieved pain instantly. It was blissful. When I came home from hospital I took meds and attached my ice machine. The pain really was quickly gone before I felt the effects of the meds. I knew everything would be fine then!!
    4. Prescribes meds. Antionflammayory medications are wonderful and not restricted on the same way opioid meds are. Common pain meds also help. I didnt need anything after a few days and probably took my prescribed meds longer than I needed because I feared that pain would return.

    Everyones journey is slightly different. I was back at work at 3 weeks post op. Im 68 yrs old and have demanding jobs. I couldnt have considered that if pain was an issue.

    Time for you to get excited about the future? I think so!! I am 12 weeks post op and have forgetten I had the surgery. It just feels normal. Im so grateful that the pain and disability I had pre op are gone. You will soon understand how liberating it will be. No wonder so many people have this surgery. Best wishes xxx
     
  10. Bob T

    Bob T junior member

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    I'm 26 days from having surgery and I'm mostly content but I find myself having dreams about it at night. Not good dreams either. But I'm not letting it get me down. I go through times of pain so bad I want to roll up into a ball on the bed! So I KNOW I'm doing the right thing, as are you!! I so look forward to being pain free and resuming a normal active lifestyle! My wife reiterates what's been said here.....no one dies on the table these days. That's why there are the pre-op visits to screen for possible problems ahead of time! She's been a nurse for ages and I trust her medical opinion. I hope your surgery and recovery go well and I will be right there with you!

    Bob
     
  11. cathyn518

    cathyn518 junior member
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    wow, you folks are amazing, thank you so much for your encouragement. I have to keep in focus why I am doing this, the pain now is constant and my gait is affected. I do believe my surgeon is good. Even though I know there will be pain when this is over, the fact that it is over will be such a relief in itself
     
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  12. Irish471

    Irish471 senior

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    @cathyn518 , I was very very anxious before surgery. Trusting the surgeon and surgical team is the key to relieving your anxiety. I was scheduled for a partial and had a long discussion with the surgeon about whether I should just elect to do a total. He was more than willing to do a full. I ultimately left the decision up to him, fully trusting that he knew beat what would give me the best outcome. I found out when I woke up that he did do the full and I felt such a wave of relief . I am very happy with the decision he made.

    One thing you might want to do is research and choose who you will see for rehab after. Meet with them if possible and get to know their approach.

    Expect the first two weeks to be the hardest. Sometimes, you just have to take it one hour at a time. You might have a melt down or two. We all do! I sobbed after the first couple of days and said to my husband and Mom that I thought I made the biggest mistake of my life. I didn’t! I am so glad I had the surgery. I see improvement every week. Your arthritis will never improve. Having this surgery will give you back your life :)
     
  13. cathyn518

    cathyn518 junior member
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    thank you all for your kindness, I am going to look towards the sun and remain as positive as possible. I am worried about post-op pain but the pain now is constant and limiting too. I am also feeling sad about needing to stay out of the range of my 65 pound enthusiastic dog Whenever I am gone for any period of time, she is bound to jump up and down excitedy. I know I will have to stay separated from her for a time and that she will be well cared for but I miss her already Maybe a stuffed animal is a good idea!
     
  14. Jockette

    Jockette FORUM ADVISOR Forum Advisor

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    @Jamie had to be away from her dog for a few weeks, when she had shoulder surgery.
     
  15. lovetocookandsew

    lovetocookandsew FORUM ADVISOR Forum Advisor

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    I understand your fears, I had them also. I had to just keep myself really busy to keep my mind from having time to think about it. I had kangaroos jumping wildly in my stomach for quite a while before my surgery, and everyone here was so supportive and helpful with suggestions. The other good thing about being super busy is I was super tired at night, which is good for sleeping. I don't recall if I had sleepless nights beforehand or not, but I'm sure many of us did. You will get through these days, and the surgery, and be on the recovery side before you know it. In the meantime, feel free to come here and ask questions, or ask for support; that's why we're here. Good luck and keep us posted!
     
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  16. Jamie

    Jamie ADMINISTRATOR Administrator

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    I had to board my sweet 11-year-old dog for three weeks when I had my shoulder done. I hated it, but like you I knew she was in an excellent facility that takes great care of the dogs. She goes outside at all times of the day and I just was not going to be able to put her on the leash and walk her in the front yard like normal. The first two weeks were really not a problem because I was so engrossed in my recovery, taking naps, and trying to take care of myself. When I thought about it, I could really see that I would not have been a good doggie caretaker during that time. At the end of 2 weeks, I opted for the third one just to be sure I was strong enough to take care of her properly. It turned out to be the right decision. She was fine, of course, and I was ready to be "Momma" again.
     
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