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TKR RubyWhitesocks TKR recovery

Sisterpat

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Well, RubyWhite, you don’t have to “be strong” for anyone here on the forum, so vent away! We’ve all been through this very challenging recovery which no one really understands unless they’ve been through it, including the surgeon and therapist. Just relax, keep babying that knee, icing and elevating, gentle stretches. You are going to do fine, just as I am doing after 2 recent surgeries.
 

Freestyle

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Rubywhite, thank you for your posts. You bring up an important issue that I haven't seen much discussion of on this forum--how many of us push ourselves so that we can be strong for our partners or less dependent. I know that's a big part of my thinking--being eager to do things so that I don't have to ask for my husband's help. Yes, as Sisterpat says, this forum is where we don't have to be strong for someone else.
 

Atkinson8

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I hope your PT went well, take care of yourself, be patient with yourself, and let other help you and take care of you. There's no rush on this---- as you'll read in the threads, and as I have to constantly remind myself, patience is what we all need to recover well. I often feel I need to be the strong force in my home - more of my own doing then anything else. What this process reminds me is, vulnerability it not weakness. Afterall, we've all replaced a knee to remove that physical weakness - that makes us strong. Stay well!
 
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RubyWhitesocks

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I was "graduated" by my PT from using a walker to just a cane assist. I had a somewhat frustrating day in that my good PT session didn't end as I hoped it would in the cryo-sleeve ice machine because someone else was using it, and then my machine that I ordered for home use didn't have a knee attachment or leg sleeve, but just came with a shoulder and ankle one.

I would have love to have used/tested out the ankle attachment, but my wife and I, (together or separately) couldn't figure how to wrap the darn thing on properly, and both got frustrated at each other and spoke harsh words and yelled due to how tired/stressed we have been.

I told her that it wasn't worth fighting about, neither of us could begin to figure it out, so just leave it until tomorrow. She wanted me to try running the machine when the ankle was clearly not correctly wrapped, and I know that I definitely DON'T want to accidentally add a cryo burn to my poor swollen achy surgery leg.

She is the sort that will get a new gadget out of the box and start putting stuff together without reading the manual/instructions and I like to ponder and maybe even watch a couple youtube videos to try and have a handle on the basics before tearing into something and breaking it or using it improperly.

So all I could do was try and use our argument as a teaching moment for illustrating that we need to be better communicators in general and not just assume the other knows or thinks the same thing as we do.
 

Jockette

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I would think a PT office would have more of those ice machines to go around.

I’m sorry you had such a frustrating experience and your ice machine did not come with the appropriate pieces. I found I got upset/frustrated/angry much more easily in the early months (yes, months!) of recovery. I didn‘t have an ice machine, so I didn’t have that particular frustration, but I had others!
 

Arrangrl

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Hey
I really enjoyed reading your story and how selfless you have been in caring for others ..you have had such happy times and sad times . I’m delighted that you have had your surgery and life can only continue improving for you and your dear wife
Thank you so much for sharing your journey
 

Arrangrl

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Well, RubyWhite, you don’t have to “be strong” for anyone here on the forum, so vent away! We’ve all been through this very challenging recovery which no one really understands unless they’ve been through it, including the surgeon and therapist. Just relax, keep babying that knee, icing and elevating, gentle stretches. You are going to do fine, just as I am doing after 2 recent surgeries.
Yes I totally agree SisterPat- I certainly had no clue as to how debilitated I would feel
Jan x
 
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RubyWhitesocks

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I am happy to be a week and a couple days into my left knee TKR. The challenges I have faced include having to find ways to deal with all of the issues that presented themselves after surgery:

bladder exuberance
bowel reluctance
swelling of leg and ankle
inability to get good sleep
getting onto a good routine with the meds
working my way through the house with a walker
getting to and through PT
putting the home PT exercises into my day

I became aware quite early in the process the emotional side was way more around every corner for me (as explained in my earlier post re: being caregiver for a wife with twelve years of Breast Cancer battle that she lost six years ago) in my memories coming to the forefront. My current wife is doing everything she can, but she is not a patient woman and I do have stress because she is stressed out at the amount of work she inherited during this healing process for me ( basically all of the pet care for our dog and two cats, the trash, the laundry and huge chunks of the daily housework that I have done gladly for most of our marriage) She is going above and beyond, but she is showing some real signs of stress to do all of this plus help me in my new state of being. I'm just starting to think that she is really going to be worn down by the time my second surgery rolls around.

Just wanted to know if anyone on here has some good ideas of stress relief techniques for couples going through this stuff? Maybe I should arrange for someone to pet sit
 
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Jockette

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Maybe I should arrange for someone to pet sit
That might be a good thing to do, and anything else you might be willing to hire out. I know this can get expensive, but it would be temporary, and in my opinion, some things that can relieve stress can be priceless.

Sometimes in recovery we have to let things go, temporarily, like some household chores.

Maybe order groceries online.

Maybe order take out dinners a couple of times a week, or be willing to eat easy things. Before my surgery I stocked up on sandwich items, and even cereal, just to get us through some tough days. My husband was good with making breakfasts, which always works for dinner in our house, but he could only reheat dinner items.

You won't feel this physically dependent your whole recovery. As you heal, your strength will gradually improve, and doing some of the easier things you used to do will be good for you, it will be a form of what I like to call “natural PT.”
 

FourCats

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Being single, I’m not able to offer stress relief for couples but I encourage you and your wife to accept dust bunnies and simple meals, to live in the moment and remember that life (and relationships) are journeys with unforeseen twists and turns. It is not the destination that we need to strive toward but not missing the blessings of each and every breath we take. I don’t know if you are spiritual people but I would encourage you to pray together, to pray for each other, and to say thank you!
 
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RubyWhitesocks

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Being single, I’m not able to offer stress relief for couples but I encourage you and your wife to accept dust bunnies and simple meals, to live in the moment and remember that life (and relationships) are journeys with unforeseen twists and turns. It is not the destination that we need to strive toward but not missing the blessings of each and every breath we take. I don’t know if you are spiritual people but I would encourage you to pray together, to pray for each other, and to say thank you!
I definitely have accepted that I will see far more piled up dishes in the sink and dust bunnies, etc. and I am trying to say thank you at every opportunity. Currently my stress just feels like it is amplified by stressing about her stress, which I don't generally do because she is way more negative thinking than I am in daily life.
 
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RubyWhitesocks

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An example of my wife's stress affecting me. I'm having the predictable unreliable sleep as my leg is trying to heal itself, so I go upstairs to get ready to go to bed and I might start out with my leg elevated on the wedge on the bed, but wake up in an hour or two and have to adjust that back to a pillow stack or get up to ice my leg.

Sometimes I know that I'll not be able to get back to sleep so I'll move over to the computer desk chair and get on but I use headphones if I listen to/watch anything.

Sometimes I rehook myself up to the CPAP machine, sometimes not.

I get too hot easily and the bedroom is the hottest room in the house (runs ten degrees warmer than our living room).

So she has always been a night owl and will watch television until the 4 am/5am time and then come to bed. I almost always have been in and out of bed (post surgery at least 3-4 times before she has even come to bed to sleep). So even though she is trying to be quiet and not wake me, quite often when she comes to bed it is natural for me to get woken by that.

This morning when she got in bed, I tried staying hooked up to the CPAP and in one position long enough for her to get to sleep, but my leg started to spasm and I needed to move around and deal with it.

So after I got out of bed and went to the restroom I sat down at the computer to decide if just doing ankle pumps and rubbing my leg would work or if I might need to get a couple ice packs. I'm quietly scrolling through an article and hear her. "Are you coming to bed, I need to get some sleep?" I tell her I will as soon as I have my leg under control.

A couple minutes go by and I lay back down after switching the pillow pile to the wedge. I opt not to hook back up to the CPAP in case I decide I have to get the ice packs. Evidently my breathing without the CPAP, even though I don't think I'm even close to falling asleep, is such that she can't get to sleep, so she gets out of bed and goes to the guest bedroom.

The thing is, she got up from bed last night to sleep there and got good sleep (but not until after making me feel guilty for her having to go over there). If the shoes were on the other foot, I'd just opt for sleeping in the guest bedroom so she could recuperate if she'd had surgery. My CPAP, the bathroom, the mini fridge with the ice packs, everything I need is easily accessible to me from the Master Bedroom. It makes no sense for me to move my CPAP and go to the guest bedroom. But she makes me feel like I am putting her out when if she would only go to the guest bedroom to begin with, we would both get whatever sleep we were going to get without bothering the other.
 

Newkneemelodee

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My husband understood that it was best for me to sleep in a separate bed for quite a bit of my recovery. We are both retired so the person recovering from surgery and in pain requires the most consideration concerning sleep. I couldn't get into our bed because it is so tall so I slept in the guest room taking all my necessary equipment with me. In the beginning "Alexa " woke me to take my pain meds. I also took gravol so I could sleep. Gravol also helps calm muscles so it really helped me.
I think your partner needs to be far more considerate of you. If it is easier for you to be in your bedroom she should sleep in the guest room. You can tell her that sleep problems are common with this surgery so she might be better off to sleep in the guest room with the door shut so that your wakeful times don't disturb her. This is such a long process. Once I could get in my own bed I was so worried that my husband would touch my leg, and that my tossing and restlessness would disturb him, that he opted to sleep in the guest room. You need to advocate for yourself. Sleep is important for recovery.
 
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RubyWhitesocks

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My husband understood that it was best for me to sleep in a separate bed for quite a bit of my recovery. We are both retired so the person recovering from surgery and in pain requires the most consideration concerning sleep. I couldn't get into our bed because it is so tall so I slept in the guest room taking all my necessary equipment with me. In the beginning "Alexa " woke me to take my pain meds. I also took gravol so I could sleep. Gravol also helps calm muscles so it really helped me.
I think your partner needs to be far more considerate of you. If it is easier for you to be in your bedroom she should sleep in the guest room. You can tell her that sleep problems are common with this surgery so she might be better off to sleep in the guest room with the door shut so that your wakeful times don't disturb her. This is such a long process. Once I could get in my own bed I was so worried that my husband would touch my leg, and that my tossing and restlessness would disturb him, that he opted to sleep in the guest room. You need to advocate for yourself. Sleep is important for recovery.
As it so happens, the guest bed is taller than the master bedroom bed, so I can use that point when I try to advocate for myself on this issue. I'm just a bit amazed and gobsmacked that my wife can't just intuitively know that such a separate sleeping arrangement would benefit us both. I guess because she wanted me to sleep on the couch on the first night after surgery and I argued that I'd sleep better in bed and have done so since night one of recovery, I kind of thought I had established that it was better for me to be in the bedroom. Then, having experienced how many times I have to get up and down during the night, I would have thought she could have figured the rest of it out. But it takes her getting mad at me and making showy verbalizations as to her needs to move over to the guest bedroom to sleep 2 nights ago, and when I was going to bed last night I said to her "please don't be upset if you need to go over there to get good sleep". If she had said that to me, I would have taken that as a clear signal to just go to bed in the guest room because it just makes more sense. Instead, she lays down in bed, I try to go back to sleep and can't and the scene unfolds as described above. I know that there are definite communication issues between me and my wife, but this is ridiculous.
 

Newkneemelodee

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You need to just tell her. You need to advocate for yourself. Tell her you need to sleep in order to heal, and you can not sleep if you worry about disturbing her.
You can do it!
 

Arrangrl

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I am happy to be a week and a couple days into my left knee TKR. The challenges I have faced include having to find ways to deal with all of the issues that presented themselves after surgery:

bladder exuberance
bowel reluctance
swelling of leg and ankle
inability to get good sleep
getting onto a good routine with the meds
working my way through the house with a walker
getting to and through PT
putting the home PT exercises into my day

I became aware quite early in the process the emotional side was way more around every corner for me (as explained in my earlier post re: being caregiver for a wife with twelve years of Breast Cancer battle that she lost six years ago) in my memories coming to the forefront. My current wife is doing everything she can, but she is not a patient woman and I do have stress because she is stressed out at the amount of work she inherited during this healing process for me ( basically all of the pet care for our dog and two cats, the trash, the laundry and huge chunks of the daily housework that I have done gladly for most of our marriage) She is going above and beyond, but she is showing some real signs of stress to do all of this plus help me in my new state of being. I'm just starting to think that she is really going to be worn down by the time my second surgery rolls around.

Just wanted to know if anyone on here has some good ideas of stress relief techniques for couples going through this stuff? Maybe I should arrange for someone to pet sit
I agree - the demise of our independence is quite the shock to our system, both physically and emotionally . I have hired a cleaner to come in once a week to take care of the bulk of household jobs and that leaves less stuff for family to cope with. I’m also going to order my shopping ( groceries) online and have them delivered . My lovely neighbour is looking after my bin ( I’m in Scotland U.K.. ) what you call garbage situation ..
A pet Walker/ sitter might also ease some pressure too. I keep telling myself this too shall pass and I won’t be dependant on family for ever .
Keep you chin up :) Hope this helps
Jan x
 

Arrangrl

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@Ruby white socks, I put a cold wrap around my swollen foot, and elevated it while on my Lounge Doctor. This was during the first week, when I was black and blue.
.
8243262B-E30F-4990-B7FA-E862E2A02370.jpeg
I had only 1 bruise on my ankle .. you are doing the right thing
 

Celle

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You need to just tell her. You need to advocate for yourself. Tell her you need to sleep in order to heal, and you can not sleep if you worry about disturbing her.
You can do it!
I agree with the above.

Your job right now is to rest, ice, elevate, medicate on time, and do everything to help your knee to heal. You've had major surgery and it's time for your wife to step up and help you with that. Stop worrying about imposing extra work on her. There's no reason why she can't do those jobs. Many women do them all the time anyway.

I'm sure you'd do the same for her if the situation was reversed.
Try reading this article - it might help you:
Nurturing mother: how to let go and accept help
 
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RubyWhitesocks

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You need to just tell her. You need to advocate for yourself. Tell her you need to sleep in order to heal, and you can not sleep if you worry about disturbing her.
You can do it!
We had the discussion and it was satisfactory to both of us that at least until such point as my surgery leg allows me a few consecutive decent nights of sleep it is for the best that she take the guest bedroom and I will let her know when I can handle otherwise. Even at that point, she should be aware and able to move over there if my need to be up or adjust positions keeps her awake. I do think that just putting my situation into words here and getting encouragement from people here helped me to advocate for myself.
 

Sara61

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A good night's sleep for our partners is essential for our recovery, during the process of healing we don't need the stress of partners being grumpy etc , due to having their sleep disturbed. Fortunately prior to my surgery we established that himself would sleep in the guest bedroom, as I needed the wider space ( room to navigate my crutches etc., it worked perfectly for both of us, so much so now ( 2 years on ) he often retreats to the guest bedroom as he says I snore :heehee: but I'm sure he hears himself ha ha.
I would gently occasionally tell your wife that someday she may be in the position of needing your help.
 

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