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TKR Recovering in Canada

Zommom

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:yahoo:Yes ! work those quads! Great news on your walking soon you’ll be throwing that cane aside!
 
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SnowHare

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@Smokey253 : I used to do a minimum of 75 body squats and 25 one legged body squats per side at tai chi, then went to doing none. I've lost sooooo much muscle tone. Physiotherapist said it will be 2 or 3 months before I can return to tai chi.

This is why the Yay for squats.

I mostly use my cane when I first begin walking around the house - until I can walk the stiffness out. When I go out into the world, I definitely take the cane. The streets and sidewalks are still packed with snow and ice, and it is treacherous to walk safely for even an able bodied person.

We have been promised a sudden spring. Think umpteen weeks of frigid weather, then suddenly above freezing. Sudden spring is supposed to arrive by next week. Another Yay.
 

Zommom

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We have a lot in common as I have also enjoyed Tai Chi and had to quit it when I tore my meniscus last year. My knees are starting to act better over the last couple of days. Bending is still difficult but it will come in time (my time not the PTs who think I should now be at 115 flexation I am getting 100 - 105.

Weather wise we are in for more snow and cold another storm I guess and miserable conditions for the next 10 days :sad: I’m happy that it looks like spring is on its way to you. Getting outside is great medicine in its self.
 
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SnowHare

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My therapist (mind) once told me that frustration is merely another expression of anger.

I know it's normal to feel frustrated at times. I'm just trying to get over my frustration. My DH says I'm an all or nothing kind of girl, which is quite true, so how I deal with frustration is all or nothing. I either do nothing, or I overdo things. I know intellectually that this is counterproductive.

My doing nothing the past few days has involved sitting up, like a normal person. It means avoiding doing my exercises. I'm fed up with trying to straighten my leg. It's at the same point it was at pre-surgery. My leg screeches at me if I just sit with it extended and trying to relax it. All the muscles are resisting relaxing into pain, and they always fight back. I have to consciously stop them. I'm sick and tired of lying on my back with my feet elevated. Whenever I lie on my back like this, my legs start hurting and twitching, then they start having muscle spasms from the hip to the toes.

I'm frustrated, because I still can't drive. I have to rely on someone else, and I've never, ever in my life had to rely on anyone, as in my DH, to take me places. Even when I had a previous surgery on my knee, I still managed to get myself around. I'm frustrated, because I can't sleep very well, and my ability to nap has disappeared.

On the plus side, my stubbornness has resulted in me being able to walk a little without my cane and doing my chair squats means I can get down and up from the toilet more easily.

Up until now, I've felt mostly positive, but I think I have just hit a wall.

I think I'm going to have me a good cry, put some laundry in the dryer, do some harp practice, which requires sitting up, a shower, and then I might feel better.

Thank you for reading my vent. I can't say anything to anyone else at all, because they don't understand, and I know that people don't like hearing about bad things. I feel guilty for complaining, as so many other people here have so many more problems to overcome with their recoveries.
 

sistersinhim

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Never, ever feel guilty about complaining on the site. That's what we are here for. Everyone of us has been through what you are going through and want to help you. Venting to people that care is a big relief, so vent on as often as you need to!
 

Lindylee

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As Sistersinhim says, that's what we're all here for. We'll cheer you for your victories, laugh at your funny anecdotes, hold your hand when you're scared, listen without judgement to your venting and support you when you need it. That's the beauty of the forum. You can say things you don't feel able to say to your nearest and dearest. No-one understands like those who are wearing the same t-shirt.

This recovery is a real rollercoaster both physically and emotionally. We're up, down, looping the loop, no wonder we feel rung out at times.

A favourite saying of mine that I came across at a particularly difficult time healthwise was ' life isn't about waiting for the storm to pass, it's about learning to dance in the rain'. I've tried to make it my mantra. It doesn't always work, but I come back to it and it does help me. Have your cry, forget the laundry, play your beautiful harp and be kind to yourself. Tomorrow is another day. :console2:
 
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SnowHare

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Thank you sistersinhim, and Lindylee for your kind words.

I was raised to be stoic, never complain, and it's hard for me to change my ways, but I am trying.

I tossed the wets in the dryer, had a shower, then we went over to friends for a delightful dinner, which is probably what I needed. I did the unforgivable and sat with my legs crossed. Oh well. It's icing and elevation today after chair squats, because it's improv soap opera tonight, and my DH wants to sit in our season seats, instead in the reduced mobility front seats. We will see.

Spring is creeping its way northward, although there is another cold front coming. It will take a long time to melt, but I am so looking forward to walking outside without fear of imminent slips and falls. Maybe by mid-April.
 

Lindylee

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There's a lot to be said for social interaction. It can help distract us. Dinner with friends sounds just the ticket. Roll on that warmer weather!
 

Zommom

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Oh snowhare ! I am also struggling on this recovery journey. Yesterday I had every emotion imaginable within a few hours. I was tired, swollen and hurting again. I became angry, frustrated, disappointed in myself for not healing quick enough. I yelled at hubby and my sweet dog for what I don’t know. I then laid down and cried fell asleep for a couple hours. First thing I did was open the Bonesmart forum and read about how normal this is. Today is a good day. Thanks to all including you snowhare for posting
 
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SnowHare

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I don't believe it. I have stretch marks at the side of my knee.

@Smokey253 : My recovery has gone fairly smoothly, aside from being unable to straighten my leg any more that it started with. Because it's so cold and snowy, I don't go out much. Fortunately, I'm used to spending a lot of time with myself, and I believe part of my downward spiral was the result of having company. Part of the improvement in my mood is the weather has improved dramatically. I can see the snow starting to melt.

I'm trying not to beat myself up about being so overweight. I know that it affects my knees. Maybe when I can start being more active, this will start resolving itself.

On the plus side, my DH had a month of taking care of me, so now I have proposed he cook supper half the time. I can only make quick to prepare suppers, as standing is miserable for both my knees.

I am actually thrilled that my new knee itself doesn't hurt - just the muscles and bits supporting it, and my tibia, but then my tibia hurt before. My physiotherapist told me that the tibia pain was consistent with the ankle pain he started treating me for pre-surgery.

The home aids (walker, crutches, commode, toilet seat, bath handle, bath seat) just have to be sanitized, and we can return them. Yay! The cane is mine.
 

Zommom

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Good lord stretch marks! :heehee: Well they say our knees are like babies! Don’t be so hard on yourself about your weight. It’s a catch 22 that our activity levels go down with our arthritic knees and then while recovering activity goes down again. Once these knees shape up you will be moving a lot more. Even the weather makes a difference finally it’s warming and the sun is shining. Best of all snow is melting. I walked down the driveway (it’s a long one) and got the mail. The fresh are and little walk can really lift our spirits.
 

Lindylee

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Good to hear your mood has improved along with the weather. I agree with Smokey about the weight issue. Concentrate on one thing at a time and knee's take priority at present.
Could you sit on a high stool to help prepare meals and take some pressure off the knees rather than stand for too long? It's great you feel ready to send the aids back. Hang on in there, it will get easier and spring and summer aren't too far off.
 
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SnowHare

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I have to laugh at the absurdities of life. So, I'm trying to go upstairs. I'm always leading with my new knee, as my other knee screeches that it's not going to lead. I'm forcing that darn to do some more work, because I want to be able to walk up and down stairs like an adult, not like a toddler.

I'm getting bored with elevating my legs. I'm bored with uncomfortable sleep positions. At least I can finally sit up for more than 20 minutes at a time, without my legs starting to spasm.

The city has approved our application for reduced admission to sports centres. Swimming pool, flutter board, hot tub, here I come!
 
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SnowHare

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So, we went to the swimming pool yesterday to flutter kick, as per surgeon's instructions. Flutter kicking with a flutter board means I move backwards, so I ditched the board. I did about 15 minutes of pool, then some stretches in the hot tub.

Considering I've been inactive since last summer, I'm amazed I lasted that long.

Oh man, I was wrecked afterwards. Came home and iced and elevated and then had a crummy night's sleep. As tomorrow is physio, it's back to the pool on Friday.

At least both my knees are acting stiff and miserable in concert.
 

Lindylee

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15 minutes is great for the first time. It's amazing how quickly fatigue sets in at this stage still, isn't it? I hope you had a better night and physio is gentle today.
 
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SnowHare

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Went to physio the other day. Wonder of wonders. My physiotherapist massaged part of my calf. He said he was barely pushing on it, but it was sooooo painful, but in a good way. Evidently, the muscle is really knotted. The massage made it possible for me to work more on the flexion exercises. I bought tennis balls at Dollerama to massage my leg. My flexion has not improved since I had the surgery.

My exercise routine now looks something like this:

ball slides
chair squats
standing band pull back
lying knee presses (which is totally hilarious and painful)
step ups - 2 inches
weird partial clamshell on my side, which works wonderfully
flutter kicks 3 x week
peddlar 10 minutes per day

I'm not really doing the ball slides anymore.

Any outside activity, aside from the pool, leaves me totally drained. I sort of thought I'd have more energy. I have discovered how little strength I have in my glutes on one side versus the other. I still use my operated knee as the lead knee on the stairs, as my other (good one) hurts like merry hell.

Coming off the hydromorphone. I'm thinking maybe one more week, then just the Tylenol. I'm going to take one stretch of several hours of no meds and have a wee drink of scotch.

My sleep is terrible, and I can't seem to nap. I'm tired of sitting/lying. It hurts to stand or walk for any length of time.

All is well.
 
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SnowHare

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Sometimes it's little and kind comments from people that let you know you are improving.

Tonight, the lady next to me at the theatre commented that I seem to be moving better and better every week. I'm not feeling the improvement, but it's nice to hear from a stranger that she notices it.
 
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SnowHare

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Today, I had my first walk around the block. Oh, I've walked at Costco, down the halls at the clinic, and so forth, but this was a real walk, without using a shopping cart as a walker. I've waited until most of the snow has melted, as it has been very icy up until yesterday. Now, I just have to be careful where people put pea gravel on their walks and where the sidewalk is uneven.

I've been cutting back my hydromorphone to 1 mg at bedtime. In a few days, it will be half a mg, then nothing. I usually just hurt after activity. After swimming, I hobble painfully to the car, then go home, raise the legs, ice, nap, then I feel better.

I had my last covered physio last week. We have added in exercises for my ankle, those exercises that do double duty for the knee, now that I'm stronger. My ankle has not recovered from the tendonosis.

I'm using Activator poles, that I've had for a couple of years.
 

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Lindylee

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That's great news. Hopefully you'll see small improvements every week now you can get out and about a little more.
 

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