Lounge Doctor

TKR Rain Dancer's LTKR Recovery Thread

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Rain Dancer

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@Jo Wo @BBCG Thanks for the great advice. The sleep felt wonderful and I napped this afternoon too. I am getting my best sleep when I don’t elevate. It is amazing how much better I feel without the Tramadol. I have pain, but it is manageable, and I don’t feel sluggish or nauseated. In fact, my energy is pretty amazing. I even washed my hair tonight by balancing at the kitchen sink without the walker. I feel very blessed.
 

Sisterpat

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You will know when it’s time for you to advance to the cane. You’re blessed in being able to sleep so soon after surgery! It took me literally months.
 
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Rain Dancer

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Day 5– I have been practicing heel to toe gait with the walker. Unfortunately, my flexion won’t allow me to push off my big toe. Hope that resolves soon. Otherwise, same old same old. What a slog this is going to be. At least I have the Olympics to distract me.
 

BBCG

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Hi Rain Dancer,

I also had the trouble toeing off, but I did finally get it: I slowed waaaay down, to an abnormally slow pace...drove me nuts, but only for a few minutes at a time. I tried to figure which of my not-used muscles in the "before" times was not kicking in, that I needed to remind them to work now. Try slowing way down, to a really too slow pace and feel through every single little teensy bone in your feet... My PT suggested I do that, and to start out like that way with each walk I do... I did for about a week and am doing way better now. I had to determine if my butt muscles were being activated or not, and for me, I think that was it. I had stopped using a bunch of my intended-to-be-useful muscles!

That may or may not help you, but after my PT explained why to me, it did work....
 

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That's fantastic Rain Dancer that you did leg raise straight away mines like a big slab of beef just dead when I try and I'm 9 days post op.
Insomnia sucks but at least it keeps leg moving by getting up and down.
Keep going it sounds like you are on track
 
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Rain Dancer

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Day 6–Just gave myself a sponge bath, which felt so good. I was able to reach my toes to try and get some of the blue antiseptic wash off of the left leg and toes. When I woke up in recovery I thought that I had a circulation issue, but they told me it was the smurf wash. My technique for washing the bottom of my feet was to step on a wet washcloth and wipe back and forth. My feet needed it because I have been barefoot since I came home. Sleeping went well last night. I set my alarm multiple times to wake up for Tylenol or Advil and icing but fell deeply asleep in between. PT at 11 today.
 

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You are blessed in getting good sleep this early in the game! Take it slow at PT!
 

Jo Wo

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I do the same thing to wash the bottom of my postop foot ... there is no way to bend and angle it up where I can scrub it yet. Just be very careful to rinse the foot before putting weight on it. I shower in a bathtub withput a shower chair at this point, so I stopper the tub so that there is an inch of water in the front end of the tub I can rinse in. in a shower stall I would bring a dishpan in so there is standing water for a good rinse.
 
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Thanks @Jo Wo. I don’t know when I will be brave enough to shower. I am not supposed to get my island dressing wet, but I bought a protective sleeve to keep it dry.
Had a great PT session. I graduated to my cane!!! I promised to use the walker as necessary. (He said I would need to stay with the walker if my knee was buckling or hyperextending, but I have never experienced that.) I showed him how stable I was by walking across the kitchen with no walker or cane. We did gentle exercises. He was fine with me not allowing him to push on the knee. Extension is zero! Flexion is starting to come back up and is 65. He said my strength is 2 weeks ahead of schedule. This really boosted my spirits. Of course, I am now icing and elevating.
 
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Rain Dancer

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Thanks @BBCG. My toeing is a little better today. I actually feel pain in the toe pushing off and constriction, so I think and hope that it is just a swelling issue.
 
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Rain Dancer

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Day 7--Today's big excitement was being able to take care of my cat's litter box! That was the only thing that I needed help with, so now I am independent again!!! On the not so positive side, my cat thinks that my elevated knee that is covered by a quilt is a tunnel snake and has jumped on it a couple of times today :). He didn't do any harm and seems to have repented. I am enjoying using the cane because it means DoorDash deliveries again can be scooped up off the front porch! I am still doing an anti-inflammatory diet--no gluten, sugar, or dairy--but DD makes it a lot easier. I wish the pain when walking would simmer down. It's probably a 7-8. Just have to grit my teeth and bear it because there is nothing more I can take for pain relief. I am constantly elevating and icing.
 

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Ah yes, Raindancer: we’ll take our victories where we can, eh!? I also am the cat box genie, too, and when I could handle that by myself, t’was a victory here, too!

I, too, am on an anti-inflammatory plan too, which I think helped keep my pain level lower… when you’re elevating your leg, how much elevation? Are toes above your nose? Your pain levels sound difficult to get through, so just wondering if we can help come up with some ideas somehow?
 
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Rain Dancer

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Thanks @BBCG! I have the Lounge Doctor for elevation. I discovered today that I can walk a good bit of the pain away if I lengthen my walks and time to do chores to at least 10-15 minutes at a time. Short walks just don’t help. The house is looking great :).
 
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Rain Dancer

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One week after surgery—I am thrilled with my progress. I started using a cane Monday, which was very freeing. I have finally discovered the secret to lessening the pain. As mentioned above, I have to take longer walks and stay on my feet for 10-15 minutes at a time. That was the missing piece because everything else has fallen into place. I am totally independent—wheeled the trash to the curb today after loading it first, taking care of my cat, doing dishes, making light meals, and self care. I am one of the lucky ones so far and am grateful. I hope that everyone else’s recovery goes smoothly. There have been some bad times—Tramadol causing nausea and sleep deprivation and not really helping and pain with every step—but I was able to power through. Thanks everyone for your continued support.
 

sistersinhim

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Day 7--Today's big excitement was being able to take care of my cat's litter box!
I found the long-handled scooper worked well for me for about 6 weeks until I could bend without a lot of pain. I found mine on Amazon. I also bought a long-handled dust pan, making it easier to clean up the tracked litter.
 
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Rain Dancer

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@sistersinhim Great ideas! I have a lightweight cordless vacuum that I use to sweep up the tracked litter. Next week’s test is to completely change out all of the litter and wash the pan. I use a silica gel micro crystal litter that is much lighter and more manageable than clay.
 

sistersinhim

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Does that litter clump? I use an all-natural litter that I can flush. I seldom have to change it out.

At the time I had my tkr, I had 13 cats to take care of. I'm a rescuer and that was my biggest bunch. I sure didn't need PT. I got plenty of it at home taking care of my babies and myself and home!. I was blessed to have a neighbor cut the grass for me the first month. That was a huge thing, I have an acre cleared to cut!

It is amazing how much pets help with our recoveries. Having helpless critters depending on and loving us really incites us to get better so we can take care of them.
 

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