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[TKR] Martha's Journey One Day At A Time, Phase Two

KarriB

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Martha, I went to rehab/transition unit within my hospital because of the 13 steps to my living area. I am hoping when I end up getting my other knee done I'll be able to do the steps with my TKR.
 
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Ronsgirl

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Thanks @KarriB , I am doing ok. I hope you are doing well, also. It has been a pretty uneventful few days, with some days being better than others, or maybe I should say some nights better than others. It seems nights are still hardest depending on what I have done during the day. I am still working on finding that balance. I have done very little exercise this week, even simple stretching. I have been up and about more though and spending a little less time elevating and icing. I have also transitioned to taking only tramadol and tylenol. That is going pretty well, but some nights I still feel like I need the hydrocodone. I do have a few left and will take it if I have too. All in all, I am doing well, and feel I shouldn't complain. I have come a long ways. My incision is completely healed. My pain is much less than in the beginning. I still get exhausted easy, but I know that will get better with time. Sleep is still illusive, but some nights I get 4 or 5 hours straight. I do have my melt downs and hit some speed bumps, but I know I have a lot to be thankful for. God is good!
 

KarriB

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You're in a part of recovery where progress is a bit slower and not as noticeable. In a few weeks you should notice some improvements. I guess it's the most boring part of recovery. I agree, God is good! He saw me through my infection for which I am grateful everyday!
 

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Martha,
You continue in my prayers, and on my prayer circle list, five times a day . Thank you for sharing yourself and part of this incredibly hard part of this life's journey with me. You have been a beacon of light and hope for me.

I wish you all the best as you continue in recovery and hope you dance soon (even if you never danced before!), my BS friend, I hope you dance[emoji4].
 
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Ronsgirl

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@sheliac Shelia,
You continue to be in my thoughts and prayers as well. I was wondering about you earlier today and how you are doing since you haven't posted in a few days. I can't imagine what I have done or said that might have been a help to you, but if I have, then I am glad.
You will never know how much your prayers mean to me and how much they are needed right now as I am going through a difficult situation apart from my knee. I know all will work out. My husband reminded me that "joy comes in the morning". It is just particularly hard to cope with things on top of dealing with our knee journeys. But you, my friend, have lightened my load tonight, and I thank you.
 
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Ronsgirl

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I tried to sleep in my bed last night. I was able to turn onto my side, and it was pretty comfortable for a while, but I just couldn't get to sleep, so I got up and sat in the recliner for a while and then tried it again. I finally dozed off lying on my side and was able to sleep for a couple of hours. I woke up with my knee hurting, and tossed and turned for a while but could not get comfortable again. I am in the recliner again elevating with ice and my knee is aching. I will keep trying and hopefully soon it will happen and I can spend all night in my comfy bed. I just don't want to disturb my husband's sleep in the process.
 

KarriB

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Martha, have you tried Tylenol pm? I felt it helped me to get back into a sleep rhythm or sleep habit after so many weeks of not sleeping. Of course, be aware of how much you're using throughout the day.
 

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I second KarriB's idea. Tylenol PM ( it has diphenhydramine in it) helps me relax at night.
The sleep is coming along. It did take a little while for the Tylenol PM to have a good effect.
Of course last night I stayed up all night but can't blame that on achiness.
 
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Ronsgirl

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I will check in to the Tylenol PM and see if I can take it. Some things I can't take because of my blood pressure. I usually don't have trouble falling asleep. I just have trouble staying asleep. Last night was an exception. I wondered if maybe the change of routine, from the recliner to the bed caused me to lay there awake for so long.
 

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Hi Martha, I had to hunt down your thread when I happened to read your response in someone else's thread and I didn't want to high jack it. You mentioned that you have bone on bone in your thumbs. I did too. I would drop things all the time. Hands hurt all the time. Last year I went through two surgeries. Has anyone talked to you about Basal Thumb Arthroplasty? It is where they remove the trapezium bone and then take a tendon from your arm, still attached at one end and pull it through and curl it in the spot where the bone was. What a difference it has made. no more pain. I was in a cast for 6 weeks with each hand, but so worth it. You might want to check it out. I hope your knee is doing well. I had my right knee replacement a few weeks before you. Very stiff yet, but now going to a pool and doing exercises and that seems to be helping. Take care
 
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@Debbie_joints Hi Debbie, I have read a little about the surgery, but have not yet seen the OS who would do it. I have thought about having the surgery, maybe next fall when I am fully recovered from both knees. It is good to meet someone who has actually had the surgery and to know that it is really worth it. I wondered about the recovery period, and also how my grip would be afterward and what I could do and not do. In other words, how well your hands work afterward. My thumbs have hurt for a very long time, many years. In fact it was for my thumbs that I first started taking the Meloxicam, not my knees. Thank you for taking the time to hunt down my thread and tell me about your surgery. You give me hope. I hope the pool and exercises continue to help your knee.

Hi @KarriB Thanks for asking. I slept five hours straight last night for the first time in a long time. Tonight, I decided to give sleeping in the bed another try, and I slept on my side, kind of half way on my stomach which is my normal position for almost 3 hours, then woke up with my knee hurting and couldn't get comfortable again. So, here I am again in the recliner, with ice on, writing to you in the middle of the night. lol I can tell that I am making some progress with my knee, though. I can sit with it down for longer periods of time, and be up doing things for longer without suffering for it later. I can sit with it down all the way through church now, and even stand a little during the worship service. I did a little more work around the house yesterday than I have been doing, and my knee did fine, but my back and hip hurt so bad I could do only a little at a time and then have to sit for a while. I think that is because my new knee is now straight, and my left leg is still bent, so it throws me off kilter, if that makes any sense.
 

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Oh yes Martha, so worth going through it. My hands are so much better. Had carpel tunnel fixed at the same time on each hand. My grip is great. For really tough things to open, I still have to go to my husband. But the pain is gone and that is the big thing. For me, six weeks in a cast (some surgeons are different) and then a hard custom splint for a couple weeks, for me a little longer seeing I was allergic to the neoprene in those elastic wraps. I had OT for a few weeks. Biggest thing is having help with hooking your bra and taking if off. First time Dave tried to help me, he was struggling with it and mumbling about it, and I said, what's wrong, you had no problems doing that 40 years ago. haha. Not sure you can enlarge my picture. That was our 40th anniversary vow renewal and I had a cast on my right hand. It was black, and I wrapped it with a flesh colored wrap to try and hide it. We did pretty good keeping it out of most of the pictures we had taken. Again, so worth it.
 

KarriB

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I never used a pillow between my legs, I never thought of it. But I was able to sleep on my side by placing my left leg over my right leg near the thigh area. It didnt last a whole night, but it even worked when I was in an imbolizer. But I hope you're able to sleep in bed for longer periods of time.
 
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Ronsgirl

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@KarriB That sounds pretty much how I position my legs to sleep. I hope I will gradually be able to sleep in the bed for longer periods. It is kind of a hassle sleeping part of the night in one room and part in another. I have to move my CPAP as well as my water bottle, glasses, meds, and sometimes ice packs back and forth. It is easier to just sleep in the recliner, but I do miss my bed and it feels so good when I can sleep in it for a while.

@Debbie_joints It is good to know that your grip is good, because I read something that said your grip could be less after the surgery. The bra situation wouldn't be a problem. I sometimes now have to get my husband to help with that on days that my hands are really acting up and painful. I will definitely consider the surgery maybe this time next year. It would be so wonderful for my hands to not hurt. I couldn't see your cast in your picture, but your dress is gorgeous. You look so pretty! Congratulations on 40 years! We just celebrated our 50th anniversary 4 days before I had surgery.
 

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Thanks Martha, I splurged on this dress because my husband and I kind of ran away to Reno and got married back in 1975. No, I wasn't pregnant, just some religion problems with the parents. So we said the heck with everyone and took off. I had a $26 dress from the mall as my wedding dress. So this vow renewal was especially for our families and nobody was at our wedding and they all teased us we never got married.

Congratulations on your 50th.
 
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Ronsgirl

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I saw my OS yesterday for my checkup. I had X-rays and he said everything looks great. He had me straighten my leg to see how my extension is and his words were, "you are there." He didn't measure anything, but had me bend my leg and seemed pleased with my bend which I think is bast 110 now since I can bend it a little further than my left one which has been measured at 110. Speaking of my left knee, it is official now. I am scheduled for surgery on it on January 17. Part of me dreads it and part of me just wants to get it done and over with, especially since it has been hurting more than my operated right knee these last several days. I think the weather is doing a number on it. We had our first snowfall last night and today. They are predicting 8 or more inches. I know I am crazy, but I like to shovel snow, and will miss doing it this year. Hubby will probably miss me helping, too. He will probably get the snow blower out.

Now, I have a couple of questions, @Josephine or @Celle or anyone who could help. First, I am a little over 8 weeks and still have some bruising on my knee. I didn't think to ask the surgeon, but I am wondering how long it should take for it to go away. Also, I am having some pain in my lower back and hip when I am up and walking much at all. I am wondering if new shoes would help. My gait is good, but one leg is now straight and the other is not. Should I get new shoes now, or wait until after the other knee is done in January? I really would need both sneakers and boots and I don't want to buy them now and have to get them again in January as they are expensive. Would you suggest going ahead with getting them now, or wait?
 

KarriB

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I experienced back pain after my TKR and have read threads where others have the same experince. It might be from your gait and everything on the side being straightened out and your body is getting used to it. New shoes are a must after a TKR because your old ones will have your old walking habits imprinted. It can't hurt to get new sneakers now if you want, use them now and after the LTKR. I wouldn't get both unless you want to get boots now so you don't have to go out in February to buy them.

I didn't do any shoveling for a year after my RTKR. I was afraid of falling on the ice while shoveling.
 

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First, I am a little over 8 weeks and still have some bruising on my knee. I didn't think to ask the surgeon, but I am wondering how long it should take for it to go away.
I'm not sure that there is a set time, by which bruising should have gone away. Usually, it just fades gradually. As long as you're not niticing fresh bruising, just watch itg for a while and see what happens. Let your surgeon know if you have fresh bruising.

After my last TKR, I found that I had a residue of brown staining of the skin on some parts of my knee. My surgeon told me that it was iron staining, from the haemoglobin in the blood that had initially shown as bruising. It did fade eventually, but it took about 6 months to do so.
Also, I am having some pain in my lower back and hip when I am up and walking much at all. I am wondering if new shoes would help. My gait is good, but one leg is now straight and the other is not. Should I get new shoes now, or wait until after the other knee is done in January?
You will have had a change in your gait, since one leg is now straight. Getting used to that different gait does put a strain on your hips and your back as well as your knees, hence the pain you're feeling.

Ideally, you should get new shoes, because the pattern of wear in the old shoes will be different from the pattern you are making now - the angle at which your foot touches the floor now can be quite different. I can understand your reluctance to buy new shoe snow, knowing you'd probably need to do that again after January.

Have a look at the soles of the shoes you want to wear now and see how much of a tread pattern they have worn (it often shows more in the heel). If it's very noticeable, then you do need to buy at least one new pair. However, I'd try to make do with just that one, new pair, and wait until after your second knee is fixed before spending up large.
 

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