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TKR Post Op Blues at 5 weeks from surgery

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new member
Jun 3, 2014
Durham, NC
United States United States
I have been in and out of saddness, anxiety, loneliness etc. Been taking hydroccodone 5-325 and think combined with the surgery trauma, and anesthestia issues, this is a combination effect. I tend to downplay stuff so it has snuck up on me. To much time alone, I am grateful to have found this site as I felt tonight, that it was worse than usual. Last night, I had to get out of the house and went for a drive, got a pedicure and manicure, only a few blocks from home. I live alone and was desperate.
I had great support in the beginning but now it is waning, and I return to the surgeon this coming Wed for 6 wk post op. I have done amazingly well, but have anxiety about whether I can return to work next week or the 8th week.
Surgery was June 30, 2014, ahead of time, got a cancellation. It happened rather fast but had to have total knee replacement on right knee. I don't know if I'm posting this correctly, this site has been slow and not sure it is really working. August 10, 2014
Hi fineart, I'm also 5 weeks out from my right knee replacement. I feel very anxious too and just don't feel well. I think my knee is doing good but my body is just whacked out. I'm sad anxious and so fatigued. I think it has to do with the trauma and also the pain meds. I'm trying to wean myself off the Vicodin. Hang in there because it will get better. It's just a long recovery and we are still in the early stages.
thank you for your encouragement. I tried to wean the vicodin, but read, that can contribute to the blues. I took the pill tonight as last night was a disaster for not doing it. Now that I know post op blues is real, I feel I can handle it better. I go post of visit this wednesday and we'll talk about that. I just has some misconceptions about the process, so am better understanding. I really thought I was prepared but had heard nothing about post op blues until I went looking for depression and healing and this forum came up. I feel better because now I know it's real and I'm not lazy. thank you.
RTKR June 30, 2014
@FineArt50 ,
Welcome to Bonesmart! We are glad you found us. :welome:
Post op blues are normal for most of us.
Here are some post op articles for you to read, they are not long and will not take a lot of time.
Follow the Bonesmart Mantra: Rest, Ice, Elevate, and Medicate on schedule.
You are still early in recovery, and may be trying to come off your pain medications too soon.
If you could put your surgery date in your signature it would be appreciated, at t1he top right of this page where your avatar name is, click on it and select signature, you can add it there. This is an internation forum so something like July 4, 2014 works well, Thanks.

First are the BoneSmart mantras ....
- rest, elevate, ice and take your pain meds by the clock
- if it hurts, don't do it and don't allow anyone - especially a physiotherapist - to do it to you
- if your leg swells more or gets stiffer in the 24 hours after doing it, don't do it again
- if you won't die if it's not done, don't do it
- never stand when you can sit, never sit when you can lie down, never stay awake when you can go to sleep!

And here are some very crucial articles
The importance of managing pain after a TKR and the pain chart
Myth busting: no pain, no gain
Swollen and stiff knee: what causes it?
Activity progression for TKRs

Healing: how long does it take?
Chart representation of TKR recovery
Energy drain for TKRs
Elevation is the key
Ice to control pain and swelling

Home physio (PT) and activity progress: suggestions
Myth busting: the "window of opportunity" in TKR
Myth busting: on getting addicted to pain meds
Post op blues is a reality - be prepared for it

And wise words from members who have shared their experiences ...
Where are you in recovery?? (TKR)
Five “P’s” of knee recovery
TKR: work “smarter” and not “harder”
Recovering a knee - from one who knows!
It's never too late to get more ROM!
It's worth the wait for ROM

All the best with your recovery, there is always some one here, keep us posted on your progress.
Welcome @FineArt50- so sorry you have been feeling down but this is to be expected during this time. I would say there are a lot of us on Bonesmart that weren't prepared for anything that the TKR brought us. I am 5 mos post op & have only felt like I'm getting back to myself within the last month or so. This is an extremely long road & the one thing that I am STILL learning is to be patient as your knee will heal on its own time. Don't compare yourself to others as we are all different. This is a great place to read others experiences & you'll find that others feel exactly the same way you do.

Take Care!
Hello @FineArt50 ... I sympathise with you entirely about the " being alone" thing. I am having my second TKR in 10 days and will be on my own for recovery of this one, with support from outside (kids and friends), but I can understand how it could get to you in the lonely hours, especially at night time. This is a hard and long recovery. Or it can be, I should say. There are some on here who have had great recoveries and while the good part of me is very happy for them, the bad part of me is quite jealous. Hopefully, as you said, now that you know that what you are feeling is natural and normal, you can stop being so hard on yourself and get on with recovery. If it persists, or gets worse, I do suggest you talk to your usual doctor and see if a course of anti-depressants might help for the short-term.

However, you are not alone any more. There is usually someone on line at any time of day or night so you can pour out whatever is bothering you or getting you down, or just simply chat about your day/life. We all care about every aspect of the members' lives, not just to do with TKR, so hop on here and let your fingers do the talking.

Please keep us informed of how you are feeling and how your recovery is going.

Take Care and hope the shadow starts to lift soon. Hugs ... Ellen
:hi: @FineArt50
Post-op can be a lonely, tiring and at times frustrating place to be. A few good hours seem to be forgotten when the pain & fatigue set in again. And the broken hours of sleep don't help.
I am learning to accept that this too is part of the recovery process.
Know that those of us on the BoneSmart site know what you are going through and are here to listen & support.
I think I have signed the signature line, will see. This site is new to me, so am learning
June 30, 2014

your kind words of encouragement helped so much. I read stuff and then went and emailed friends to come visit this week, so I will have more flow thru the house. I feel better just knowing it's not me. I have always been motivated to do. I am good today and hope you are as well. I have had great recovery thus far. Go back to surgeon this wed for 6 wk. post op appt.

this morning had coffee with a friend and some art chat. Now, think I am going to nap. I think I have fixed my signature, if not, will try again.

thank you for being here.
june 30, 2014
@FineArt50 , lovely update - well done on your recovery. Your signature looks just great as well!
@FineArt50, You may notice that I have merged your two threads. We like to keep our members' recovery posts all in a single thread. That way it's easy for us to go back and read your history before responding to a question or concern. In addition, the thread becomes a journal of your recovery for those who come along later and want to read about you. So, please post in this thread from now on when you want to give an update or ask a question. If you want to be sure you get an immediate response, tag an admin, mod, or other member, or all three, to bring it to their attention.

If you decide you'd like a different thread title at any point, you can change it using the Thread Tools button at the top right of the page or just post what you want here and we'll get it changed for you. THANKS!

If you are having a problem locating your thread, here is a link with how to do it: How can I find my threads and posts?
So glad you found us. It's good to hear you had some time with your friend. Phone calls or visits really help so much when we're feeling a bit isolated. Focusing on someone else's news for a while instead of "all knee, all the time" helped me.
:hi: @FineArt50
Just checking in to say "hello" -that's all and for you to know you can always find support on this site.
:flwrysmile: Cathie
Some days are better than others and this is a long recovery which sometimes feels like it stalls out. It helps to focus on any of the little milestones and celebrate them. If you sleep half an hour longer, celebrate. If you go half an hour longer without pain meds & don't hurt, celebrate. If your ROM stays stuck for a few weeks, celebrate that you didn't lose any. Celebrating even the smallest victory helps to keep the blues in check, but it can still catch up sometimes. So we are here for your victories and to cheer you on and we are here for you blues and to cheer you up.

Thinking of you!:flwrysmile:
I think many of us have experienced waning support as time goes on. Those who haven't had TKR don't understand. With many other types of surgery, you are pretty much recovered after a few weeks. Not so with TKR. You're also at the stage where you thought you'd be "all better" by now, and are discouraged that this isn't so. You also are wondering whether or not you'll be able to really go back to work when you thought. All of these feelings are perfectly normal! Please know that when you are in need of support, we are here for you!
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I have a friend whose (now ex) husband had a tkr and he went back to work really early. It was a bit of an education from me to tell her that this was not typical.
@kneeper @Lovestoread @H2OPoloMom @bottomshollow @FineArt50 @Jaycey @NetballKnees @zlady @Pumpkln

Good days - not so good days - top of the world days - down in the dumps days - slow days - frustrating days- days when you feel that you've made a small progression & then followed by days where you feel that you've gone backwards!

Some TKRs are back to normal in 6-8 weeks and some TKRs it takes many months !

Realising that although we are all on similar journeys our paths and progress are unique to each of us.
It is a step by step process and we are all on our own journey.
But, we have support and give support to each other thru BoneSmart. :loveshwr:
I just read an old thread about 7 week mood swings. I posted a few weeks ago about being blind sided by it. I was so grateful. I went to my email list and emailed friends to come visit me, I had people come in daily to visit. They brought food, coffee, laughter and while it was great, the moods still came and went but they didn't stay. I am now back to work, half days, as tolerated this week. I come home, tired, nap, and then don't do much. I just read somewhere that it takes 6 to 12 months to recover and here I'm thinking, in 12 weeks it will be done. LOL, everyday is better than the one before. I am surprised that my attention span is nil for the things I usually like to do. I am glad to have this list. My moods are mostly good now, it's the lack of doing that bugs me but I feel it is the healing part of the body. Nothing is wrong, I have great friends, no real complaints. I am thinking I will set some 15 min time limits to find some things to do, just do something. Thanks for listening. How have others dealt with this? Am I the only impatient one?
I just posted and Pumpkin reminded me of the original information she had pointed in my direction a few weeks ago. Well, I never went thru all of the articles, so a couple of things have popped into my personal viewpoint. First, I am doing very well for 7 weeks post of, and have become aware of the energy drain. It is my second day back at half days, and I see now, it is the knee in charge and that the energy drain can continue for a while.

The thing that I am aware of at the moment is how good my leg looks, how much positive energy I now have that was lost pre op. I was in such pain for the past year, and had a deformed leg. Now I stand tall, can walk, use the cane only when I'm tired. The PT gave me a rule. He said I can carry the cane as long as I am walking correctly, good gait, standing up straight, but if I start to lean or lose the gait, I need to use it and that instruction has helped me build stamina. I had none to say a few weeks ago. I have to focus on pulling my navel into my back to support my core strength. It has been several years since being aware of how people really walk. I wanted to share this as I had forgotten.

So, now I will have to also deal with people seeing me as more whole than I really am, not to negate anything. I think what I read about how we all are goal setters is so true. If I set a goal, then I have to work hard to make it come true, however TKR is it's own master. I am good with that now. I can walk a bit, get in the pool a short while, do a few minutes on the recumbent bike but I don't push myself. It I do 5 of the 15 bike minutes, I'm good. I see progress for myself and I cannot let perfection get in my personal path. Thanks for being here.
Post Op Blues at 5 weeks from surgery
@FineArt50, You may notice that I have merged your three threads. This is the second time I have had to merge threads for you.

We like to keep our members' recovery posts all in a single thread. That way it's easy for us to go back and read your history before responding to a question or concern. In addition, the thread becomes a journal of your recovery for those who come along later and want to read about you. So, please post in this thread from now on when you want to give an update or ask a question. If you feel you need an immediate answer, tag an admin, a mod, or other members or all three.

If you decide you'd like a different thread title at any point, you can change it using the Thread Tools button at the top right of the page or just post what you want here and we'll get it changed for you. THANKS!

If you are having a problem locating your thread, here is a link with how to do it: How can I find my threads and posts?
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