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TKR Rockgirl4's Recovery---already full of surprises.

Atlas_aus

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Hello,

Just catching up on your thread. Some tough times but seems you are on your way.

Tomorrow is 4 wks!! The last week has brought a lot of change....
7) Walking/standing----I still don't see how Bonesmart and other people recommend walking as a way to improve/recover. It swells me up more and makes the pain worse, leading to more medication. Maybe I'm just an anomaly. Those of you walking 10-15 minutes at 3-4 wks post-op blow my mind.
I have been walking for a couple of weeks but that does come at a cost, swelling and pain. I have to rest, elevate and ice every time, but it helps and I find I am going further and longer each time. Some pain, some gain. :)

So I think this is a good time to remember those around us needing support or encouragement. Hubs knows he's in the dog house, and I plan to keep him there a bit. :no-fin:
:loll:Poor Hubby.

Your improving everyday it seems, some minor setbacks but it's happening for you. Keep up the effort :)
 
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Rockgirl4

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@Irish471 I think that's what set me off on my husband last night. :whistle:I HAD overdone it the day before, and he kept blaming my bad memory and not adhering to the surgeon's new advice....when I knew it was all of the new things I had done, the extra standing, the 5 loads of laundry and remaking the beds.

After cleaning up from my homemade dinner last night, I made it clear to him the next 2 days would be lazy and simple, as I could barely bend the knee----all because I was DOING TOO MUCH!! We talked it out and got past it. We always do. :)

I also slept horribly and had lots of weird knee aches.....all proof I needed a couple of days with less activity.
 

Celle

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7) Walking/standing----I still don't see how Bonesmart and other people recommend walking as a way to improve/recover. It swells me up more and makes the pain worse, leading to more medication. Maybe I'm just an anomaly. Those of you walking 10-15 minutes at 3-4 wks post-op blow my mind.
You said this a while ago and Atlas_Aus brought it up again.

I'd like to clarify that, while BoneSmart does recommend walking as the best form of exercise, it is important to adjust the amount of walking to what your knee is ready to do - just as you should with any other form of exercise.

If the amount of walking you're doing increases your swelling and pain, you're doing too much, so cut it back.
Also, walking as well as PT exercises could be too much for your knee in the early stages of recovery.

Like any other exercise, start gently and build up slowly. Start by just walking to and from the bathroom. All OK? Then next day add in walking to the kitchen, to get yourself a drink. Increase walking around the house gradually. If your knee swells or hurts more, go back to the amount of walking you were doing without ill effects.

When you've built up to walking outside, continue to increase slowly. Walk up the garden path and back for a day or two, then try walking past one house and back.

The idea is to have a slow and steady progression of your walking activity. Once you start timing your walks, it's a good idea to take a timer with you. Set it to ring when half your time is completed. At that stage, turn around and walk home.
 
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Rockgirl4

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COUNTING MY BLESSINGS!! ((Advice: Reread #1 after reading #2 and #3. You'll understand later......)

1) Today was HUGE for me, mentally and physically. Drum roll, please......I FINALLY made it around backwards on the bike this morning at PT. :dancy::wowspring::flwrysmile: This was a HUGE, mental thing for me. I need more bend to drive safely, and I'm tired of being trapped at home and relying on other people for transportation. It didn't take any force, my hip was barely hiked (ha! wink-wink! ), and it happened within one minute of starting---so I didn't even really need to warm up other than the heat pack we always start PT with. I was sooooo happy. She thinks the Arthrotec (anti-inflammatory) has had massive impact in just 5 days of use, as my range of motion AND stiffness is like night and day suddenly. Regardless of "why"---I'll take it!!!:egypdance:

I'm also having a friend pick me up soon to take me to a hair appointment so I can get my hair cut/colored for the first time in 7 wks. Considering my hair needs cut every 4 wks and is completely uncontrollable right now, I'm excited.

THEN THE BAD!
2) Before PT this morning, I realized I've misplaced/lost my anniversary ring.:scare:I came home and searched again, even going so far as tearing the vacuum bag apart, digging through cat hair and other icky stuff, knowing my husband vacuumed Sunday afternoon (I haven't wore it since Sunday). No luck. I'm sick over it. This was my 20th wedding anniversary diamond ring that I adore.I :cry:

3) The builder called and needs to meet with me and my husband ASAP. That means Friday at 2:00. There is a definite problem with the excavation of our new home, and excavation is at a stand still until we meet. This is after a 3-month delay due to massive rains in Missouri this spring. :bored: He couldn't get in to much detail, but it's looking like a completely different floor plan is necessary, or else we go with a "3 level ranch" design he will explain in person (meaning 2 levels and a basement)---which sounds to ME like a 2-story. :what: Considering I just had a knee replacement at 46 and will eventually need the other one done, we DO NOT WANT stairs other than going down to a basement.

4) Instead of calling this a bad day, I keep going back to #1. :beer:
 
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Rockgirl4

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What a wonderful place to be! My knee can't believe the last 10 days and all it's improvements. Plus, add in a lot of life stuff, and I can finally say I'm in a great place....

1) My brother came for a weekend visit and left this morning. I did some cooking, a bit of cleaning/house stuff beforehand, cleaned up the kitchen, and let him drive me around for 2 short errands. We even had my niece and her boyfriend come for dinner last night, so she could see my brother again. I had a lot of swelling by the end of the day, but it wasn't bad enough to impede my range of motion---just needed ice, elevation, and a good night's sleep.

2) Speaking of range of motion, I hit a major milestone-----FORWARD REVOLUTIONS ON MY BIKE!!!:wow: It happened Friday afternoon with little effort and only a tiny bit of hip-hiking involved. The combination of time and the anti-inflammatory is doing wonders for my sudden improvement (Friday was Day 8 on the Arthrotec). I got on the bike this morning, not knowing what to expect due to the swelling. Sure enough--I could still do it. :) My relief was palpable!!! :thumb:

3) No more severe pain or aching. The dull aching and need for stretching/moving the knee is constant, but I am able to sit more with my legs down for a couple of hours at a time. I do feel a need to elevate 3-4 times a day and ice the knee 3-4 times a day. However, my gait is better, along with my balance. I was able to walk down the side of the house where we have a sloped sidewalk and small garden. The slope didn't bother me, though my balance was a bit iffy. I know it will come in time.

4) Life Stuff----A) I found my anniversary ring at the end of last week, and B) our house/excavation meeting went better than expected. We're still building, but the builder/excavator needs to do some major work to improve the final outcome of the yard/elevation/tree line. Nothing a few thousand dollars can't fix. It's better and cheaper to address the slope problem before construction rather than afterwards.

Things are going almost TOO well----I keep waiting for something to break.:rofsign:
 
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Indygo

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Hooray! So glad about the walking, the biking, and mostly about finding the lost ring! Good for you!
 

Celle

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Congratulations on now being able to pedal both back wards and forwards on the bike. That's great!

I'm so glad you found your anniversary ring again.
 

klinkmcbear

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Such great news all around!! Do you think the anti-inflammatory was a big part of your progress? I ran out of mine, and my stomach was in such distress, so I stopped taking it for almost a week. This past week I feel like progress with my knee has stalled and maybe even gone backwards, and I have felt like the inflammation has been worse. I've done less rather than more, so I can't attribute it to that.

I went to my Primary Care Physician on Friday because the gastro-intestinal stuff was affecting me so much. She put me on an H2 blocker, and said this should help protect against the affects of the anti-inflammatory and to go back on it. I've been back on it for 2 days, and am hopeful that will make a difference and get me back on track.
 
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Rockgirl4

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@klinkmcbear I am 100% sure the anti-inflammatory is making the biggest difference. Within 2 doses (I take it twice a day), my knee and entire leg was nowhere near as stiff and sore. I was able to drop my Percoset-5 from 2 pills every 6 hrs to 1 pill every 5-6 hrs---all within a day or so. :yahoo:I could also see much more definition around my knee within 4-5 days, and by the 1-week mark, those that saw me walk, sit, and stand cold not believe I was the same person as just 7 days before. I would almost call it miraculous, as I was still very stiff and sore up to that point. Granted, my PT had become too intense the 3-4 days before I started taking the medication, but I find it hard to believe I had a miraculous improvement the DAY after the last PT session----it HAD to be the anti-inflammatory helping.

I also wanted to stick it out because my surgeon is insistant on MUA at 8 wks if your knee is stiff. Even though I wouldn't have done it, I didn't want to go back to my 8 wk checkup and have to discuss it. Now, as long as there are no setbacks, it should be a non-issue.

I won't lie though----I ate saltines around the clock the first 3 days and had diarrhea, thinking I was going to throw up. I called the pharmacist that Sunday afternoon, as there was no way I could do this for 25 more days. He said this usually goes away by the end of the first 5-7 days, if I can stick it out. Considering the improvement I was experiencing, I was desperate to try....but I was only on Day 3.:sick: Luckily, I woke up the next day and felt much better. I still get queasy if I eat anything greasy/fatty, but I'm 10 days in out of the 28, so I think the worst is over.
So yeah--- I totally get the stomach distress!! :eeeuw: What's hilarious to me is this Arthrotec medication has a stomach protectant as part of the medication (it's Diclofenac with Misoprostol). A pharmacist friend told me it's the Misoprostol that upsets your digestive system. Talk about irony!!!

I'm glad your PCP was able to help you out with the H2 blocker though, and hopefully being back on the anti-inflammatory will give you quick, noticeable improvement again.
 
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klinkmcbear

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Thanks @Rockgirl4 - this is promising. My anti-inflamatory is Celebrex. Here's hoping the inflammation will chill out in the next several days like it did for you!!
 

Rather

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Congrats on going all the way around on your bike! I’m a couple of weeks ahead of you and I got there last week. it is a real thrill, isn’t it? Now I’m lowering the seat every other day and working my way back to a full revolution each time. When I do it, I give myself a cookie as a reward.
 
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Rockgirl4

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News Flash-----I was that strange girl behind the wheel of a car this afternoon. :driver: It felt wonderful to drive again after 6 & 1/2 weeks. My first and only stop was the Captain D's drive thru for some hush puppies. That's how THIS girl celebrated!!!! :martini:
 

sistersinhim

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Yay, the freedom of driving! I remember how wonderful that felt. If I remember right, I celebrated with a frappe.
 

winemama

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I was happy to drive, just be careful getting in and out of the car to many times. Your knee will not be happy
 

Rather

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I started driving a couple of weeks ago and it was great until the day it started raining. I had to pick something up at the grocery store and needed to exit the driver's side of the car while holding an umbrella to keep from getting wet. It took me 4 times of various approaches before I finally made it. Then I got a look at the car parked next to me - two kids in the backseat laughing themselves silly. I just smiled and waved.
 
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Rockgirl4

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@Rather My son and I made the trip to Walmart this morning for an online order. It only took 20 minutes of sitting in the parking lot!!! I told my almost-13 yr old crankypants that he needed to stop complaining or else next time he'd be sent in on his own to buy a few things. :) He's super responsible but doesn't like having to hand over money or be around lots of strange people without one of us. I was just thankful my only concern was how many stoplights I'd hit wrong on the way home. The knee is more tired/cranky today, but I know it's from walking more yesterday. This trial and error of "too much or too little (??)" is a complete pain in the :censored:.

I've been opioid-free during the day for 4 days now---meaning I often take one around 8PM to help with sleep and dealing with the 12-15 hrs of deep ache that builds throughout the day. I'm wishing progress was faster, but I know it's a marathon.
 

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