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MUA One Step at a Time

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sectac

sectac

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@Jockette Thanks so much
@TortiTabby Thanks for sharing your ROM up to 26 weeks. I was astonished that your OS said you would have to work throw the pain to get past 85 ROM. What a jerk!! I wish I had found Bonesmart way before I had suffered through pain and misery but I'm so very thankful that I found this forum. It's amazing. Your post was very encouraging!!
 
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sectac

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I have a question in regards to the upcoming holidays. I've always been the one in my entire family that cooks for thanksgiving and I really hope I can do it this year as well. Are there any tips to keep my knees happy and to still have a fun holiday? I'll be 16 weeks post OP MUA by thanksgiving. Thanks for any info anyone can provide.
 

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I have no idea what my numbers are now at 2.5 years post op, but my ROM is way better now than it was at my one year check up.

I also never stressed out about my extension. To be honest, at the time of my early recovery I didn’t even understand why the doctor checked it. (yes, I was that clueless!) My concern was that I couldn’t bend my knee well and there was a huge focus and a lot of pressure about that number. My extension came along just fine.

I would suggest ask for help to cook Thanksgiving and let the others do all the clean up. I had my worst set back at 4 months so you’re still not necessarily out of the woods then, especially if you’ve had issues along the way.

Standing in the kitchen cooking can and will take a toll. Sit whenever you can, and after dinner go put your feet up and let the others do their share. That’s what I would do.
 

Carole4815

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sectac, I have a tall barstool in my kitchen and have cooked for an hour or longer while sitting on it, quite comfortably. Maybe that would work for you. I try to get everything I will need while cooking in one place so that I don't have to keep getting up over and over. I agree that you should also ask for help as needed!
 
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sectac

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@Jockette
When you say 'your concern was that you couldn't bend you knee well' what does that mean? Because my right knee (I believe) is doing really well but my left knee gets really stiff and it doesn't bend as well as my right knee. When did you see improvements in your knee?

And yes I've already started recruiting family members to help in the kitchen and I'm planning on making it as convenient as possible this year anyways. The other day I was voicing my concerns to my husband about how much I love to bake and I was hoping to do that this year. He said my son and him had already decided that they would sit me at the kitchen island and they would run and get all the items I needed to make things. I thought that was so funny.

That's also good advice to know that you had a setback at 4 months so it'll be something I will definitely pay close attention. What was the reason for the setback and how did you deal with it?
 

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You could also just cook the main course and let the others bring something to help out. And like Jockette said, all the cleanup goes to the others!
 

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When you say 'your concern was that you couldn't bend you knee well' what does that mean
How much time do you have, this could be a long post! :rotfl:

Well, as I said, I was pretty clueless going into this surgery, in spite of the reading I did before it, it was such a shock that I couldn’t bend my knee afterwards. I guess I should have expected that, but I didn’t. So right off, that was my biggest concern.

But then despite the really good numbers in my records, because they always pushed my knee painfully to measure, my actual functional ROM wasn’t great. Even after finding Bonesmart I just didn’t have the nerve to tell them (PTs and my surgeon) not to force it to measure.

So I was as really stressed about keeping them happy with my bending.
What was the reason for the setback and how did you deal with it?
When I was 4 months post op we went to visit friends for the weekend. The day we were supposed to go I remembered their standard low toilet and I knew I’d have trouble with it. I considered cancelling, but we went. Dealing with that toilet was worse than I thought it would be. There was nothing nearby to help me get up or down. How many times does one use the bathroom in a weekend. My knee hurt a lot by the second day and by the time I got home on the third day I could hardly bend it.

I rested it a lot, iced and elevated it, just doing daily activities, and it took me a month to feel like it was bending better.

Then at that point, 5 months post op, my son got married 90 minutes away. It was a 3 day weekend of overactivity, driving back and forth, and too much standing, and not much elevating even when I did sit. My ROM was really low again for another month.

It was slow to come back. My leg just felt so tight. Thankfully my next check up was not until my 7 month anniversary, then after that the one year mark.

My whole first year was sooooo stressful. I felt like such a failure. “Nobody” else I knew recovered as slow as I did.

But now I know better. I have recovered but in my own timeframe. We each recover in our own timeframe. I wish the professionals would stop pressuring us to meet their timeframes.

I have not had a good outcome, it’s a partial, and to be honest, nothing has been the same since that 4 month weekend away. I think I triggered something that may have been inevitable anyway. Patellofemoral partials don’t always come out well.

So, I do have lingering issues, but ROM is not one of them. My whole leg relaxed in my second year which enabled my knee to bend more. And, now I’m 2.5 years post op and my ROM is even better.
 

Celle

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Use the assistive device to make sure you use both legs equally. Walk slowly at first, making sure you take each step correctly.
 
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@Jockette
Thanks for sharing that story. I can't even imagine not having anything to grab onto when using the bathroom or not even able to put up your legs and rest them. I bet your legs were screaming. I always feel the way you said you felt about having a slow recovery. But it's so nice to hear that even after 2.5 years your ROM is so much better than at your first year checkup. Which brings me to my next statement... my OS told me that at one year this is the best you will ever get. That really irritates me because (as you mentioned) that's not true or else I wouldn't be reading all these success stories about how the ROM keeps getting better and better even after one year.

I've actually pushed back my appointment with my OS because I was afraid I would get lectured by her about how my ROM at 3 months isn't like it (statistically) should be and I would once again feel like a failure and that I brought all this on myself by not accepting the fact that I have to go through pain in order to reach my numbers.

I've already noticed small victories and for me that's enough. I just have to keep positive and keep reading Bonesmart. Again thanks for sharing your story it really meant a lot to me!!
 
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@Celle
I actually tried your technique today at the grocery store. We only had to pick a few items up and I used the cart for balance and support. I did notice that when I took too big of a step my leg muscles would feel like they were giving out or contracting in a weird way. So I just backed off the length of the stride and it seemed to help. Plus, I can go slow in stores because people think I'm looking at items when in fact I was exercising. :heehee:

I think one of my biggest issues is that when I have to walk around with my cane when I don't have a cart to hang on to and I get a ton of looks from people. It really annoys me and I want to hang a sign on my shirt saying "I had bilateral knee replacements so take a picture it last longer" :rotfl:

My husband always says who cares if they stare or what they think. He said I dare someone to say something. He's so funny!
 
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@marieltha
Yes, they are very funny when it comes to my baking. Every year I make homemade sugar cookies from a recipe passed down from my late mother-in-law and I've finally mastered it to where they taste just like my mother-in-laws which is a huge compliment because she was a wonderful baker. I usually try to bake a lot of different goodies and pass them around to my extended family, neighbors and co-workers but this year that is going to be pretty much non-existent. So I told my husband I will probably only be able to make them from my family and my dad. But I'll see, I may feel great after receiving all this great advice from people on Bonesmart. Thanks again for the nice words, it was very kind of you!!
 

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I think one of my biggest issues is that when I have to walk around with my cane when I don't have a cart to hang on to and I get a ton of looks from people. It really annoys me and I want to hang a sign on my shirt saying "I had bilateral knee replacements so take a picture it last longer" :rotfl:
I felt the same way! I think some of us are just more sensitive than others. And they are strangers, so really, who cares what they think. But it’s hard not to care.

I felt it more when a car would stop and let me cross in front of them so I could get to the store. Honestly, I wish they would just keep going, and I often motion for them to do that. Without my cane I walked really slow, but otherwise looked normal, and I didn’t want them to think I was just moseying along while they waited. (which I have thought, in the past, before I was in this position, I’m sorry to say.)

I still get the best walks in a store! I think it might be because I do mosey along in a store, and I stop to look at something, then move on, etc. It’s very different than walking around the block in my community. (and the climate control in a store is definitely nice!)
 

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And I always wanted to cancel an appointment with my surgeon but I never had the nerve. However, I knew going into my one year check up that I would not be making another appointment with him.
 

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I don’t need the cane to walk anymore, but often take it if there will be lots of people. So many people are either on the phone and/or just not looking where they are going, that I’m afraid they will knock me over. I have a folding, purple one, so it isn’t ugly, and is easy to carry.

So I agree with your husband. I don’t think you should worry about using your cane or care what others think.
 
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Celle

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I think one of my biggest issues is that when I have to walk around with my cane when I don't have a cart to hang on to and I get a ton of looks from people. It really annoys me and I want to hang a sign on my shirt saying "I had bilateral knee replacements so take a picture it last longer" :rotfl:
Try not to feel embarrassed when you're using a cane. It's only a tool that you won't need for ever. That's all. It's not a sign of weakness, or of getting old. It's just something you need for a little while, until you don't need it any more.

If you feel people look at you for too long, tell them something like "Look! I had both my knees replaced at once. I'm only needing a cane now, but last month I still needed a walker. I'm doing fine."

I used to take a cane with me when I went into town, several weeks after I didn't need it any more. It was useful for making people keep their distance in crowds, and it was also pretty good at warding off rushing children and dogs. :dogwalk: I still keep a cane in my car, for use when the ground is wet or slippery underfoot.

By the way, your scars are badges of honour. Be proud of them, because you earned them.


.
 
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@Jockette
Yes, I totally agree about the climate control in store verses outside. I know the other day we had very high winds and if it wasn't for my cane I know I would have fallen. It was crazy and scary!

As for the OS appointment, I really don't want to go back to her but I need my pain meds and until I can go without them I am chained to that doctor. I don't hate her, I just don't appreciate her lack of knowledge when it comes thinking outside the box. I would like to think that they realize not every patient is the same and they heal differently but I guess they didn't teach that in Med School. :flabber:
 
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@marieltha
Yes I agree with you about oblivious people and their phones or rowdy children. About two weeks ago I was in the grocery store (that's like the only place I seem to ever go, lol) and a little girl around 5 was dancing around. I waited patiently until the mother noticed and moved her aside so the little girl wouldn't bang into me and do you know the mother said "honey you need to stand aside so I don't keep getting dirty looks from everyone." :what: I was amazed to say the least.
 

Carole4815

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I've actually pushed back my appointment with my OS because I was afraid I would get lectured by her about how my ROM at 3 months isn't like it (statistically) should be and I would once again feel like a failure and that I brought all this on myself by not accepting the fact that I have to go through pain in order to reach my numbers.
Don't be afraid! It may not turn out too badly. At least, it didn't for me. When I saw my OS for my seven week checkup, I had just quit PT in anger a week before. Details on my thread. It was his PT facility, too, and my ROM was awful, 85/17 so my extension was/is abysmal. I was pretty scared that he would be upset about all this.

But you know what? I emphasized that I was so happy with the surgery and was able to do everything in life that I wanted to do (both of which were true). He asked me if I wanted to try another PT facility or not, and I looked him in the eye and said slowly and distinctly, "I AM DONE WITH PT". He suggested one gentle exercise that I could do at home, and gave me no hassles about my ROM or quitting PT. Then we talked for a while about my other knee and he is more than happy to do a TKR on it, too, when I am ready.
 
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sectac

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Very excited to say I had my OS appt last week and she was happy with my progress. She asked if I was still going to therapy and told her I haven't went to therapy for several months which I think totally surprised her. I also finally got in to see my new Rhuematologist and he wants me to start taking Otezla. Now the wait begins for my insurance to authorize it.

The holidays went well. Had lots of help from my family and I was even able to make some thanksgiving sugar cookies.

My ROM has gotten a little better but just happy that I haven't gone backwards. I just wanted to give an update on how everything has been going and to once again thank everyone here at Bonesmart for the constant encouragement and great advice and to wish everyone a very Happy Holiday season.
 

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