TKR Marge's recovery thread RTKR 7/15/22

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badkneesnyc

badkneesnyc

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I had another crying jag (had one yesterday too). I realized the surgery, pain, drugs, years of dealing with the arthritis might be influencing my mental/emotional state (you think?).
:console2::console2:
I read that ahead of time and it really does happen. I thought because I was so relieved and happy to get it done that I wouldn't experience it.

I did too much going down the stairs (using a cane and railing, one step at a time) and I had to sit and drink water and breathe. And yet I survived. We are in a heatwave and it's an outside stairway, so there was that too.
Too soon to be practicing on this many steps, especially an outside stairway, in this heat.

She asked me if I wanted to stop halfway or finish, a little annoyed at myself over that. The stairs are inside the building but outside air conditioned apartment.
 

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You are only days out of surgery. You don’t need to be doing stairs like that. It’s different if you need to use them to go somewhere, but not as practice. Right now you need rest, ice and elevation, some gentle bends and short walks inside your home.
 
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badkneesnyc

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I need to get down 2 flights of stairs to get out of the building. It's a walk up. But slow and steady. I'm reading more recovery threads, very helpful.
 

Susie-Q

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When I had my first TKR in my old house (a split level), I didn't go downstairs for a good 2 weeks. That was after being so bored with being on the same floor and I wanted to walk in my level back yard for some variety.

Funny, my old cat, Maggie, couldn't care less about the walker but my daughter's younger cat, Olive, was totally freaked out by it and would run and hide whenever she heard me squeaking down the hall. :catbutterfly:
 

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Funny how my brain makes me feel like I'm facing Mount Everest.
I looked at the single flight of stairs like it was a mountain in those early days. Thank goodness that changes over time.:ok:

I'm glad you were able to practice getting into and out of the shower. I have a high claw foot tub and just resigned myself to bird baths for the 1st few weeks until my occupational therapist figured it out for me. It was more of a mental challenge than a physical one.

Have your cry, realize you've been through the ringer, take your meds, rest a lot, ice a lot, move a bit, repeat. You are so early in the healing process, that takes on average a full year, please give your body and mind a chance to heal from the trauma.

If you're stooped over and shuffling, it may be too early to transition to the cane. Check in with your PT at the next visit to be sure you are not adding risk by getting off the walker to soon. My PT would not let me transition to the cane until I demonstrated upright walking and good balance on the walker. A young, less experienced PT may not understand the nuances of recovery from knee replacement and recovery from sports injury. Time and patience will be your friend.
 
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If you're stooped over and shuffling, it may be too early to transition to the cane. Check in with your PT at the next visit to be sure you are not adding risk by getting off the walker to soon. My PT would not let me transition to the cane until I demonstrated upright walking and good balance on the walker. A young, less experienced PT may not understand the nuances of recovery from knee replacement and recovery from sports injury. Time and patience will be your friend.

I get it the way you're describing the transition. She did still want me to work with the walker. I get why. I think since it was an hour and we covered a few things she didn't explain quite what the goal was. I have been out of PT for a while and need to start asking those questions again.

Yes, the emotional side hit me. It did feel good to cry. Thank you.

@Susie-Q I get you about going outside. The heatwave here is making me feel pretty ok about staying in.
 
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Today is one week post TKR. I took a shower yesterday for the first time, I did use a shower chair. I have been wearing a drainage gadget that has a tube going into the incision so I need to keep aware of it to not pull it out. Tomorrow the visiting nurse comes and I should be able to lose that along with the bandage. Lots of black and blue and the ankle is applish.

I feel stronger walking with the walker now. I got into the habit of walking on my toes so I need practice with the heel-toe. My calf muscles feel a little tight. I do the pumping a good amount. My Oxy finishes today, 5mg every 6 hours. I requested a continuation. It would be tough at this point to do just Tylenol, though I am sure some of that is fear.

The cat won't stay up here with me, too much new stuff. Since Covid I am part of a couple of zooms, and I am more used to being in the apartment because of it -- I was going through stages of limited mobility at the same time as all the shutdown action.

A friend gave me 3 months of Audible so I am listening to Where the Crawdads Sing. I'm going to try to knit some red socks today. At least I am good at keeping my brain busy
 

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My Oxy finishes today, 5mg every 6 hours. I requested a continuation
I was only prescribed one week worth after surgery. After that I asked my OS for a refill. At first his PA told me to use Tylenol and the other pain meds I was prescribed but I told them my pain level was still pretty high. The doctor approve another week worth. I stopped taking oxy a few days ago, just Tylenol now. But I still have few oxy pills for any high level pain episode in the future.
 
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Yes, I decided to renew the Oxy prescription. When the nurse comes tomorrow we can set a new strategy. I'm getting a little stir crazy and it has only been one week. I better dig into those meditative depths to keep myself going, ha. Hope you're doing well, @Newbai
 

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I love to read and I love to knit. I had books and yarny goodness projects lined up that I thought I'd finish during my 5 weeks off from work. I ended up watching lots of bad movies and TV. Neither mind nor body were up to the planned activities.

I'm glad you got more meds to manage the pain. Don't feel guilty if you just need to sleep. Sleep when you can, it helps the healing in the early weeks.
 
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I love to read and I love to knit.
I'm listening to a book, a friend gave me 3 months of Audible. Reading is harder right now. I started a garter stitch shawl using a yarn that's 3 shades of blue. After you start it the pattern is only 2 easy rows. That I can do, ha. I read how you walked on the beach again. Those thoughts keep me going. We live about 3 blocks from a huge park I haven't walked in for years.
 
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Beginning of second week. The visiting nurse took off the drainage gadget and dressing today. It bled a tiny bit in two places. They gave me tape and bandages to use. Last night I had a little zinging in my quad, so I took the Oxy a little early. Next Saturday I will get the stitches out. The bruising looks like a dramatic sunset all the way into my heel. I have a lot of bruising on my arms too, mostly from taking blood. My IV hand looks normal.

I'm trying to follow my body as far as the walking and exercises, how much to do. I think getting the dressing off and seeing it does make me more nervous. It really is so big mentally as well as physically, which sounds obvious but it didn't quite hit me before.

Rob is calmer now that we're in the second week. He didn't really believe me when I told him how soon I would be up and about, even if it's limited. I had my second shower today and that went smoothly.

I have another week of Oxy so I will start adding time between doses, that's what the nurse recommended. So far, so good with the pain management. I'm sure I still have a lot to learn and experience.
 

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Yes, it really is scary when the bandages are removed and you finally get a look at that incision! Don't worry, the bruising will subside and the incision will heal into a nice clean scar. It just takes time. I took photos of mine knee right after the bandages were removed and then again every few months. It helped my see how big the improvement was over time.

It really is so big mentally as well as physically, which sounds obvious but it didn't quite hit me before.
You are so right -- there is a big psychological element to this recovery. Most of us go through periods or depression that can happen anytime (even multiple times) during the first few months. It's important to be prepared for it.
 
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@benne68 the mychart asked for a picture of the incision site too. I hadn't really thought about doing that but you mentioning it makes me think that would be encouraging to see the progress, healing in pictures :)
 
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I tripped on my cane turning around. I didn't fall, but I bent my knee so it got my heart rate up a bit. It was just as I was scheduled for oxy/Tylenol dose, then I had a Zoom for an hour, then I laid down and iced. More swelling and bruising, especially in the back of the leg, these last couple of days. Sitting at the desk top doesn't help. I will keep that at a minimum for a while. My gums bled a little last night when I brushed my teeth, thank you, baby aspirin. PT is scheduled for tomorrow morning.

The walker is feeling significantly easier, and I trust putting weight on my leg more. I had already been using my cane for awhile, really outside, so I do have the urge to just use that. But it's better to work with it at higher energy times of the day, like the morning and early afternoon.

I had an hour long conversation with a friend of mine today who had both knees done some years ago. She has been helping me all through this, just a wonderful woman. She told me about how great it felt as her recovery progressed when she got to the point where she didn't even have to think about her knees when she would go walking. I can say I don't get tired of hearing that.

I spent some time before surgery working on my upper body strength, and I can feel how that has helped. I have been on WW for a while too and the hydration and nutrition habits I think are making a difference too, plus it got me in the mind frame of just being more conscious of my body and health.

Another friend called me and we were talking and she said, now you can help out someone that has to go through this. I thought that was the perfect thing to say because it gave the experience positive meaning and purpose, which is what this forum allows people to do too.
 

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I’m sorry you tripped on your cane and I’m so glad you didn’t fall! Take it extra easy for a day or so as you did probably upset the soft tissue that is trying to heal. :console2:

I‘m glad you have an encouraging friend who can give you some perspective. I didn’t have that.

Another friend called me and we were talking and she said, now you can help out someone that has to go through this.
This is exactly why we are here!
 

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