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Revision TKR Never give up, keep trying, don't settle - that's me, Bonnie

Jamie

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@RunA42K .... I just had to share your post and beautiful photo with our BoneSmart CEO, Richard Warner. He loved it, Bonnie! He's a runner too and knows that feeling of wanting to be out there doing what you love. He said it made his day. I'm so glad you posted. I've had "holdover smiles" going all day today thinking about you.
 
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RunA42K

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@RunA42K .... I just had to share your post and beautiful photo with our BoneSmart CEO, Richard Warner. He loved it, Bonnie! He's a runner too and knows that feeling of wanting to be out there doing what you love. He said it made his day. I'm so glad you posted. I've had "holdover smiles" going all day today thinking about you.
I'm very pleased Jamie that you and Richard Warner are excited about my progress and completing my 1/2 marathon. I remember Richard as he wrote to me personally when my husband was so sick in 2012. A caring person indeed!

I have to tell you about a conversation with my wise 34 year old son today...in talking about the success of my 1/2 marathon and my picture on Facebook and Instragram, shared onto my employers FB page and my rehab doctors FB and Instragram who also posted it, I told my son that I signed onto BoneSmart for the first time in about 4 months and told them (all of you) of my 1/2 marathon and posted my finish picture. I told my son about your jumping up and down response Jamie and that you asked me to come back and share information about my aquatic Therapy. I told him that I'd try to this weekend and he replies to me...

"You really should Mom...remember when you were in so much pain and sad and depressed, and just wanted to be normal again? Remember how you'd be on Bonesmart for hours looking for help, asking questions and searching for answers? I remember how much BoneSmart helped you, you could help someone else just like you needed help."

Smart guy huh? He is right...I'd search and search looking for something to give me some hope. So with that being said, I'll be back! Work a part day tomorrow and off Saturday, I'll be back.
 

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Your son is right. Always live a life larger than yourself. Sort of the the sum of the Gospels.

Again, I loved that pic of the 1/2 finish. All my best.
 

Jamie

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We may have to sign that lovely son of yours up as an official BoneSmart promoter!!! I'm glad he convinced you to come back for a bit to share your story and wisdom.
 

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"You really should Mom...remember when you were in so much pain and sad and depressed, and just wanted to be normal again? Remember how you'd be on Bonesmart for hours looking for help, asking questions and searching for answers? I remember how much BoneSmart helped you, you could help someone else just like you needed help."

Smart guy huh? He is right...I'd search and search looking for something to give me some hope. So with that being said, I'll be back! Work a part day tomorrow and off Saturday, I'll be back.
This, a thousand times over! This is such a tricky journey at times and posts like yours help to enlarge the sense of living again when sometimes life seems so small. Thank you!
 
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My Aquatic therapy...

I started aquatic therapy at the suggestion of my surgeon. For a very short background on me, I've had 6 knee surgeries. Three arthoscopic surgeries and three total knee replacements, all on my one right knee. Two scopes came after two knee replacements because I would grow so much scar tissue that my ROM would go from 133 down to 40 degrees. After the 2nd TKR and another scope to take out scar tissue, I started losing ROM once again. I found another new doctor, (6 surgeries and 5 doctors) my newest and smartest doctor who did the blood testing to find that I was allergic to nickel which is what my first two knees were make of. So he did a second revision on me and put in my 3rd knee that I was not allergic to. We had hoped that this would be the end of the scar tissue problem with a knee that I was not allergic too. When asked what he truly thought I could get with ROM on my 3rd TKR my doctor replied that he would be happy if I got 110 degrees because I've had so many surgeries and so much scaring. I proved him wrong and worked hard and got to 126!! But...I started losing ROM again, not as bad as with an allergic knee but bad enough that I could not do stairs any longer and it was getting harder to pedal a bike. I went to see my surgeon at 10 months post op about losing ROM. Since I can't keep having surgery to remove scar tissue...like a dog chasing it's tail, he suggested I do aquatic therapy...

Aquatic therapy I thought...geeze it's not going to work, it's not going to help!! But...I'll do it so that no one can ever say, "well, you didn't try the aquatic therapy when we asked you to!" I started in mid September, and 80 mile round trip from my house twice a week. Much to my surprise, I loved it, I loved the aquatic therapist and I loved how I felt in the pool. I started having good results and was able to cut my time down to once a week, so each and every Wednesday morning I drive into the city and do aquatic therapy - I love going!

What is Aquatic Therapy? Maybe not what you think! When I tell other people that I go to aquatic therapy, they imagine me in a pool with a group of people doing aquatic exercises. That description in NOT ANYWHERE close to what I do. It is one on one, me and the therapist in the pool. I have flotation devices on me to where I am laying on my back and floats on my legs and I basically am laying on the water on my back in 92 degree water and this therapist starts soft tissue work with her hands from my neck and shoulders down to my hip flexors, hamstrings, IT Band, calf, and foot all on the TKR side of my body. Being in the water the body is totally relaxed so there is no tensing of the muscles and she works out tightness, knots, stretches and lengthens muscles. She takes the skin on my quad, knee, shin, and with her thumb and index finger grabs and pulls up my skin. She and I can both feel and sometimes hear the adhesions popping and breaking away thus loosening up my skin and allowing me to bend my knee. I've gone from reaching back and not even being close to be able to touch my foot to being able to reach back and grab my leg by my ankle. I am not saying that this is all relaxing because it can and does hurt when she is DIGGING into soft tissue and putting intense pressure but it does not hurt like dry land where you are trying to bend your knee. Its more like just more like a really good sports massage but 10 times better. I've been able to increase my ROM 15 degrees so far. That is 15 degrees on dry land but more like 25 degrees in the pool. The warm water is therapeutic and the water and flotation keeping your body from fighting back. I will wear ankle cuffs and let the floatation bend my knee and I kick my leg back down for strengthening with water resistance. If any of you have ever used a step box in PT, well I use a step box in the water. One legged, (TKR leg) on the box and step left leg and touch front, step and touch side, step and touch back, all on the TKR leg like a mini one legged squat making me stronger. I cannot do that on dry land. Therapist will hold me at my waist with my cuffs on my ankles, and flotation dumbbells in my hands and make me do the equivalent of jumping jacks in the water, making the inner leg strong, or holding me at the waist and making me do a jack knife while she shouts PUSH PUSH PUSH, then PULL PULL PULL. For my reward when I finish my one hour session each week I get to water jog in the deep water for as long as I want to and then go sit in the 104 degree Jacuzzi too.

When I am in the pool nothing hurts me, I feel so good in the water, it takes away all aches and pains and I feel liberated and so mobile once I get out. I can do stairs 10 x's better than I could before I started Aquatic Therapy, and I walk completely normal out of the pool now. It is making me feel so normal again that I've been able to increase my walking mileage and pace and continue to get stronger.

I started walking seriously for exercise back in May at 6 months post op and on the 4th of July that I walked 8 miles for the first time at 8 months post op. I was on a mission to get good and fast because I am already committed myself to coach a walking group of newbies for the 1/2 Marathon in Houston (the 1/2 marathon that I just did a week ago). I was once a marathon runner and running was my life, active life, social life, an entire community of friends and then I lost it because of this right knee. When I was approached about taking on a walking group I said yes, wanting with great desire to get a bit of my old life back. So I set out to build miles and speed then hit this road bump of losing ROM and began aquatic therapy. I was worried at first that I would not be able to continue with the my walkers, but Aquatic Therapy saved me. So today, I walked 6 miles, 6 days after i finished my 1/2 marathon. I have another 1/2 on February 11, then March 4, then April. I am thinking that I will walk the Portland Marathon in October 2017. We are part of a running club in my community and we are called the "Bonnie Walkers"

Never give up hope, it took me 5 years to cross the finish line again and there were times that I thought that I would never get better, and although better...I am not there yet as I am just 14 months 2 weeks post op. Just imagine how good I'll be doing at two years post op. I am excited now because I can see the light at the end of the tunnel. At least at this bend in the road aquatic therapy helped me to keep going so please don't rule anything out without trying it out.

At top is my finish picture again and the picture of my Bonnie Walkers after the race, we are all biting our finisher medals! As a side note, no one in my group has ever had a joint replacement of any kind, just me. Out of the group, only 3 beat me (that is because two of them ran!) @Cratchit @Jamie @mollygram @NightQuilter @trailspud
 
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Jamie

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Bonnie, you did a spectacular job of describing what you've been through and the aquatic therapy that seems to be your saving grace. Thank you!!! I must admit the therapy isn't anything at all what I expected. Is there any way you can get some videos of the sessions that show the various things you're doing?
 

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Your aquatic therapy sounds wonderful. I've been in 90 degree water and every muscle just seems to relax. Where I am they don't offer services where the PT goes into the water with you.

BTW Congratulations on finishing your race.
 
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@Jamie I do not have a video however there may be one to come. My long time Physical Therapist Dr Luu who I've been with since 2010 for traditional Physical Therapy is going to be adding Aquatic Therapy to his facility (yes he has a pool). One of his PT assistants came to Texas Orthopedic Hospital to observe my session and now my aquatic therapist is coming out to Dr. Luu's facility to teach him what she does in the water with me. I am the guinea pig!! I'm sure that one of Dr. Luu's staff will video this as a teaching tool. My aquatic therapist, her name is Kelly has been doing this for 30 years. She is the best of the best. She told me that most anyone else who has had 3 knee replacements would be using a walker, not aspiring to walk marathons. She likes challenges and she saw me as a challenge and is vested in helping me reach my goals. She lectures at different colleges in their Physical Therapy programs to students and has told me that she now includes me in her lectures, teaching to work towards your patients goals and not what the perceived goal for a TKR patient is.

So what I say is...whatever your goals are, let that be known and work towards it and always believe in yourself that you can achieve it. If you believe it, then others will too. There is a finish line picture of me hanging in the Physical Therapy department at the hospital. Never give up!!
 

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Oh flippin` `eck, what`s up with my eyes - they keep leaking! Bonnie your story is SO inspirational, like a laser beam shining onto the long road of recovery with clarity and restorative hope. Thank you so much for explaining Aquatic Therapy for us. Ground breaking stuff it seems and a claxon call to the long held mores of traditional physiotherapy. Not sure we have it here but shall have a search around,

to work towards your patients goals and not what the perceived goal for a TKR patient is.
I can actually see a little pony in the paddock outside and I haven`t seen that for a long time. And those hills outside my window - nailed!

Never give up!!
Thank you so much Bonnie! I`m so pleased that your resolute determination and steadfast drive towards your goal will continue to inspire so many more than those of on this forum through your work with your PT and Surgeon. Way to go, girl!

:yes!: :happydance: :egypdance:
 

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Bonnie,
Thank you for posting about your aquatic therapy. Does Kelly have a name for the type of aquatic therapy she has developed?
Congratulations on your half marathon, and your success in getting your life back, no matter the obstacle.
 

Jamie

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Bonnie, that is great news that you're working with the therapists to develop and expand this therapy program! I'm excited for you and for the other people I know it would help. As you go along with these folks, please explain about BoneSmart and that we are very interested in the program. If they can take some videos and put them up on YouTube, that would be perfect. Assuming they are good enough quality to show the therapy process, we may be able to include them in our Library of information. It does sound like a promising program. And we know for sure that it's working for you!
 

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It made my day to catch up with your thread. This is great to hear of your improvement.

Warm water is so therapeutic.

Keep on trucking:swim:
 

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Love the story about the aquatic therapy. I had several months of that before I finally had to have my hips replaced. It is so relaxing. I have always loved swimming anyway - I did a lot of it as my pre-surgery prep before the hips. It was a little more difficult to manage before the knees. The warm water and resistance is just a great combo - delighted you have had such terrific success with it, Coach!!
 

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Bonnie I'm so happy for you and what a great description of your aquatic program. I love water aerobics and do them regularly but had no idea of a program like yours. I'm having loads of problems with my knees that's had fors surgeries and will talk to my doctor about if a program like yours may help me. Thank you so much for sharing this.
 

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Bonnie, I'm so happy that the water therapy is working welll for you.
You've been so persistent with your multiple recoveries and you deserve a reward for supreme patience and perseverance.
I'm glad you're doing so well now.
 
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I wrote a little story to my running club about my experience in doing the 1/2 marathon on January 15. Thought I'd share it with you all. Joy and happiness!!

"I didn't really write about this before but I have relived it in my head over and over as this was as true as true happiness as I have felt within myself in a very long time.

I felt so wonderful doing my 1/2 marathon. It was five years in the making. As a veteran of 24 full marathons and a 100+ races less than 26.2 miIes I finally got the opportunity to participate again after multiple knee surgeries and knee replacements.

I was smiling all Expo weekend, smiling laying out my clothes the night before. Smiling when I woke up at 4:30 am to get ready and smiling from the start line to finish line and for days afterwards. Yes there are still endorphins with walking really fast!

Having the opportunity to coach a group of walkers was a Godsend for me. It gave me part of my life back. I am so grateful to Cypress Running Club for giving me the opportunity. The people that I met that are part of my group have become wonderful friends that I care about dearly. A few have run some in the past, some have always walked and that's all they want to do...save their joints! Most were newbies and I got them ready and trained for our goal race which was the Aramco Houston 1/2 Marathon. They are no longer newbies now, they are seasoned 1/2 marathoners and I am so proud of them!!

So running used to be my life and that was taken from me like a rug pulled out from underneath me and I've missed it so much. For 5 years I'd register for the 1/2 or full Houston only to have another disappointment of yet another knee surgery. After the 6th knee surgery I remember telling Ashley Bass, Patrick and Brandi Gomez when they'd be in Fleet Feet...I know it's going to be ok this time...I know I can do this, and I did!

I've taught myself to walk really fast, I was never a fast walker when I was a runner, but my competitiveness and heart felt desire and longing to be part of the running community still, I've worked on it until I can easily do a 13:30 pace walking. It's like I've taught myself to run with both feet on the ground. My overall pace for the 1/2 was 14:54 mm and I still beat a couple thousand people. I figure I can keep getting better, stronger and faster as my newest knee is only 15 months old today. For the most part I walked the entire way, I did jog through some intersections or to get around slow people or two women who were dressed up as ❄ snowflakes, they were really bugging me by being in front of me with big snowflake wings, so I passed them and never had to see them again. I ran/jogged the last 1/4 mile into and across the finish line because I refuse to walk across the finish line. I was just fine afterwards, truly I felt more like I had run a marathon afterwards because it was my longest distance in 5 years.

I took the next week off then the following Saturday I did 8 miles and 3 days ago I did 10 miles training at a 15:00 mm pace. I have a 1/2 marathon relay on Saturday February 11, a 1/2 marathon on March 4, a 10K on March 18 then another 1/2 marathon relay on April 9. I'll continue to walk all summer long because I am thinking that I'd like to walk the Portland Marathon November 2017 and make it Marathon #25...anyone wanna join me???

I love my group the BonnieWalkers and they know how much I hate getting up early Saturday mornings but I love my time with them, it's so much fun...so my alarm wakes me up and I get ready and go! Here's to many more miles to come! ‍♀"
 

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