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Must I go to a facility or have a live-in keeper?

Discussion in 'Knee Replacement Pre-Op Area' started by Polarbear, Aug 22, 2019.

  1. Polarbear

    Polarbear new member
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    Nasty surgeon painted a post-op horror story. Hope it's not true, that I'd need a live in caretaker for 6 weeks, or go to a rehab facility. He claimed I'd need help because the pain would be so terrible I'd faint from it, fall and break my hip.

    I am a very private person and DO NOT WANT a live-in keeper! I cannot afford one nor can I afford a rehab facility. I have good upper body strength from working out on machines and a high pain threshold. I own a walker from an old hip replacement surgery. I'm willing to wear a medic alert necklace. Is this unpleasant fellow exaggerating how bad it will be? At the moment I feel doomed to being stuck with a cane/walker/wheelchair for the rest of my life. Please reassure me if possible.
     
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  2. Mojo333

    Mojo333 FORUM ADVISOR Forum Advisor

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    :wave: @Polarbear and :welome:
    When was your first hip replacement on which hip?
    Is this THR for the other hip?
    Sounds like he's sounding very apocalyptic...we have some folks who recover at home alone, and even though I think the first days could merit a caregiver. I'm not sure why he feels you would not manage.
    When is this surgery ?
     
  3. Polarbear

    Polarbear new member
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    This is a knee replacement not a hip replacement. He did my hips, and in all fairness he did a fine job, but his undermining attitude and horrible personality has made me realize that I don't want to use him. I have no clue what I might have done to offend him 10 years ago. He also expressed a distaste for cats (I mentioned that I had a few) and insulted my feet (I had gardened earlier and a washcloth didn't take all the garden soil from under my toenails. Had I known he'd be inspecting them i'd have scrubbed them with an old electric toothbrush and dipped them in bleach!

    I have no idea why he assumes I need a live-in caretaker. He seemed hostile. He started right up with all this horror and discounted all my contradictions. Be perfectly clear: I am neither senile nor frail. I have a consultation with another orthopedist at my HMO on 9/24. These bad knees are so utterly degrading my quality of life I want it done asap. From above the knees I feel like a 45 year old. From the knees on down, thanks to those rotten knees, I feel like a 95 year old!
     
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  4. Mojo333

    Mojo333 FORUM ADVISOR Forum Advisor

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    Oh, I see you are in knee preop.
    I'm sorry I didnt catch that.
    Still feel like he is fear mongering...
    Hope some knee folks can alleviate some of your fears.
    Have you thought of changing surgeons?
     
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  5. Jockette

    Jockette FORUM ADVISOR Forum Advisor

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  6. mainegirl1

    mainegirl1 graduate

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    Change surgeons is my gut. What is your tummy telling you?
    A friend is handy for the first month
    Rehab could be useful the first week IF you get one that does not use aggressive PT
    That said there are many who have had knees done and gone home. It takes a bit of planning of course
    You know whats scares me most? That he says the patient has horrid pain. Not at all if properly managed and it sounds he could care less about that
     
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    Last edited by a moderator: Aug 22, 2019
  7. InkedMarie

    InkedMarie graduate

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    I don’t think I could continue with this surgeon. You need positivity, not so much negativity.

    If you’re on your own now, you probably won’t need rehab. Do you have some friends or family who can give you some help?
     
  8. CricketHip

    CricketHip FORUM ADVISOR Forum Advisor

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    @Polarbear Gosh, I am sorry you had to endure this with this surgeon! So glad you've decided to interview with another surgeon (or two) I don't know anything about knee surgery, post op, but 6 weeks with live in help sounds so extreme. Good luck with moving forward with a kinder more empathetic Surgeon. :flwrysmile:
     
  9. Jamie

    Jamie ADMINISTRATOR Administrator

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    I'm so glad you're switching surgeons. You don't need someone who is being less than honest with you about recovery from a knee replacement. Granted, it's no walk in the park, but I've never known anyone to need a live-in caregiver at all, much less for 6 weeks! These days Medicare usually doesn't spring for skilled nursing care in a rehab facility after a TKR because most patients can go straight home very successfully with Home Health. You will benefit from having Home Health care, so ask about that. You sound like a very strong, independent lady and I believe you will do just fine after your surgery.
     
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  10. rosieNZ

    rosieNZ member

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    Well that doesnt sound like my experience.
    I had a TKR 5 months ago. The first 1-2 weeks are the most challenging. I was home alone all day and I had crutches to walk with for days 3 and 4 post op. Then I dropped to 1 crutch and then a stick by the end of week 1. My husband set up my game ready machine before he went to work and left me snacks and drinks.
    He made tea and replenished the ice in the game ready before we went to bed. Thats all I needed.
    I spent my time on a recliner snoozing and watching some TV. I sat on a shower chair to wash for 1- 2 weeks before I braved the shower. It wasnt hard. If u fell over that would be a problem but other that cooking tea I didn't need any help (and I didnr want help either). Do what suits you best and get some help with meals etc and some method of getting help if you get stuck. Personally I would eat my arm rather than go into a rehab place or be forced to employ a caregiver when it wasnt needed. Best wishes
     
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  11. Tykey

    Tykey Sr Bonesmartie

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    My story is exactly the same as Rosie's.
    I was at home with my wife, who was very frustrated with me doing everything for myself straight away.
    I think it would have been useful to have her around if I fell and damaged my knee, but it never happened in the house. (It did happen when I took my dogs out walking in the snow, but no damage done)
    Very little pain, and I cannot see any requirement for a rehab facility.
    But I would make sure I had my phone with me if I was walking about and climbing stairs (just in case)
     
  12. Celle

    Celle FORUM ADVISOR Forum Advisor

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    @Polarbear - You will be in charge of your recovery. Others may advise, but the decisions are yours to make.
    No one can force you to have a live-in caregiver and no one can force you to go to a rehab facility.
    And if you have pain, it is your surgeon's responsibility to see that it is taken care of and doesn't become unbearable.

    I'm glad you're changing to a different surgeon.
     
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  13. Bionic

    Bionic post-grad

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    I had a TKR on 1st of March of this year. My OS warned me that it wasn't an easy recovery, especially as I had 2 THR's in the previous 8 months.
    He was right, it wasn't easy and I have been very grateful for the help of my partner, particularly in the early days. Having said that, needs must, and if I had been on my own I could probably have coped ok.
    Certainly for the first week or maybe two it would be helpful to have someone you can rely on to help with meals etc. Whether that be a relative, neighbour or paid caregiver is up to you.
    In my opinion you need to do a lot prep beforehand. Meals that are easy to prepare, seat in the bathroom to help you with washing, tv remote control to hand :) books and crafts (if you like that sort of thing) placed where you can reach them easily. You get the idea.......
    Don't let them bully you into something you don't want but maybe have a plan B just in case.
    Best wishes for your op
     
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  14. Hopeless

    Hopeless junior member

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    I saw 3 Surgeons, before deciding. Please shop around.
     
  15. floridoris

    floridoris junior member

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    Of course you don't have to do anything you don't want to. I chose to go to a rehab facility, and it was the right decision for me. I'm not as physically strong or as self-sufficient as you are. Are their stairs in your home? Do you have a walk-in shower? If you have already had hip surgeries, you likely already have things like a high-commode for over the toilet, an ice machine, a shower chair, etc. I would just plan for how you will get groceries, medications, meals, etc. These days so much can be delivered, but I would have been so flustered and overwhelmed by pain I likely wouldn't have known what to do. And having help showering was essential for me for the first two weeks. Everybody is different, though. I would definitely find another surgeon, regardless.
     
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  16. kneeper

    kneeper FORUM ADVISOR Forum Advisor

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    It sounds like you're an active, fit person and would be fine for day to day self care. I don't know what world that OS is living in. I wish you better luck with your next one.

    I recovered at home by myself. Though I was lucky to have my sister stay with me for the first couple of days (not because I couldn't get around, but because it was nice to have someone fetch and carry and be there to make sure I was getting around ok.) She and some friends also helped with errands and laundry for a couple of weeks which was great. That way I could slowly increase my activity but focus mostly on recovery.

    Check out that link Jockette posted for some strategies.
     
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  17. newlybionic

    newlybionic FORUM ADVISOR Forum Advisor

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    I had one of my daughters home with me for the first few days. After that I recovered on my own. I didn’t need rehab and probably could have recovered on my own if I didn’t have my dogs to take care of.
     
  18. Polarbear

    Polarbear new member
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    you are all so kind! FYI, I have a one-story house, a step-in stall shower with grab-bars (put in before my first hip replacement 10 years ago, but for other non medical reasons. Grab-bars an afterthought since my hips were beginning to bother me and I was looking ahead). Grab-bar near the main bathroom toilet and one of those free standing grab-bar sets for the half bath toilet. No raised seats because I haven't needed them and frankly I think they are icky.

    I think the one thing I might need to pay is to hire this very nice professional pet-sitter I know to come in once a day or every other day to clean the cat boxes (I have 7, and although the litter-sifter I bought on Amazon was a great purchase, there is still some bending and lifting. She could also feed all the cats (both my indoor brats and the ferals I feed outdoors) one of their daily meals while here) I can probably use my assorted grabbers (also purch'd 10 years ago) to lift the plates to a handy table, dump the cans of cat food onto them then place them back on the floor. I should practice. Not worried about tripping over cats. I've developed an extra sense or something to avoid that!

    When I had my hip replacements, I was up and doing things pretty soon after such as Swiffer wet-jetting my kitchen floor. Leaned against countertops/stoves with walker in front just in case, the wet jet in hand. Do as much as I could reach then moved to another spot. Took awhile but I got the kitchen floor cleaned. Things like that. No yard work, though, until I healed. Maybe I'll have to hire someone to come and cut the grass.

    Honestly concerning those long ago hip replacements - the worst thing sort of is that once I healed and could walk normally even in 2 and 3-inch heels, I went hog-wild buying shoes! Cute shoes. 40 pairs in that first year because I was so ecstatic that I could walk again. I hope I have the same results with these rotten knees!
     
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  19. InkedMarie

    InkedMarie graduate

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    @Polarbear you are going to be surprised how much different....worse....knee replacement is compared to hip replacement. Your job for weeks will be to rest, relax, ice & elevate. It will be quite sometime before you will be able to mow the lawn possibly & unless you have a riding mower. Swiffering your floor is something you most likely won’t be doing for quite some times. You may be surprised at how exhausted you may be.
     
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  20. luvcats

    luvcats graduate

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    I don't have 7, but I did hire a service to come in once a day and clean out the cat boxes for 2 weeks. That was the first task I took back after surgery. It's my partner's least favorite task in the whole house! lol
     

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