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TKR Sondrals’ recovery

marieltha

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I still find it easy to end up sleep deprived, and the same is true for my wonderful husband who has been my caretaker through 4 surgeries in 2 years. Recovery is exhausting for the person and his/her caretaker.
You are doing well, in my opinion.
 
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sondrals

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Does anyone have Ehlers–Danlos syndrome? My physical therapist asked if I’d ever been diagnosed with it today. Apparently I am hyper mobile in all my joints and she thought it’s something I should bring up with my regular doctor.
 

Celle

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I think that , if you had Ehlers-Danlos syndrome, your regular doctor would have been aware of it before now. Your PT has mentioned only one symptom and she/he isn't qualified to diagnose illnesses.

Since your apparent hyper-mobility hasn't caused any problems until now, don't worry about it.
 
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sondrals

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I guess if I’d ever been to a regular doctor on any type of regular basis I’d be more confident I don’t have it. But in all honesty I haven’t had a regular doctor most of my life because I’ve not had insurance most of my life. So it’s been just urgent care clinics when need be and annual exams. Regardless there is no treatment for it even if I do have it so not much point in really looking into it much further.

I am really struggling lately because my left knee feels like it’s shifting when I try to put all my weight on it. So I don’t trust it. I don’t know if it’s in my head that I can’t trust it or if something is maybe wrong? My post op appointment for my right is next week so they’ll take X-rays and I’ll ask more about it. I’m just praying nothing is wrong with my left. My right, while still sore and stiff at times, feels remarkably stable and strong. I think the last they measured was 117 bend, it still feels tight but I’m also aware that I can bend it more. If my left felt like my right I’d be happy, but alas it doesn’t which is disappointing especially since it should be further along.

With going back to work part time I haven’t really pushed things too much. I’m pretty exhausted at the end of the day and my knee does swell while at work but so far it’s been manageable. I’m still not sleeping great, but I think I’m sleeping a little better the last few nights. 8 pm rolls around and I’m ready for bed but when I get in bed I’m wide awake again. Then my bf snores and the dog snores and I want to strangle them both because I’d kill to fall asleep that easily. :heehee:

Overall, I guess I’m doing ok, just wish I had more reassurance that my left will eventually not feel this way and feel more stable.
 

Sara61

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Hopefully after your visit to the surgeon next week you will feel better about your left knee x
After 3 blissfull months apart my DH decided it was finally time resume his place in our bedroom :oyvey:unfortunately not only do I have to contend with not fidgeting during the night :gaah: but I now have an orchestra (snoring) from both my DH and the dog to add to my sleeplessness :tiredwheel: lol so I totally sympathise with you xx
 

kneeper

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Glad you are sleeping a bit better. Once I accepted I would sleep in installments I stopped worrying about lack of sleep. I would sleep a couple of hours, get up for a while, go back to bed and be up early. then nap--sometime in mid morning. But it gradually works itself out.
I found it helpful to lie down even if I didn't think I'd sleep.
 

Macknit

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Yes... installment sleep! Just like everyone has talked about our baby knee being like a newborn...so do human newborns require installment sleep...once I realized that this was normal I did much better.

I too am envious of DH, who hits the bed and within 1 minute the deep breathing starts! Luckily the CPAP machine prevents the snoring :zzz:
 

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@sondrals i wonder if the stress of your newer knee makes your old knee feel unstable? Maybe it will improve as you continue to integrate the two new knees?

I am lucky to have lots of movement specialists, of many flavors, in my area. Sometimes I address an issue from a PT standpoint, but sometimes these other modalities help, like Feldenkrais, which seems to focus on whole body alignment, or sensory-motor therapy which is about integration for balance (I think). Is anything like that available and affordable? Sometimes it seems a little too much like magical thinking, but it often is helpful to me.
 
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sondrals

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I have my 6 weeks post-op appointment with my surgeon today. I'm really nervous. My physical therapist sent him a note saying I felt like there was still some instability in my left leg. I'm hoping to get some answers as to why. I imagine they will do x-rays. I thought I was sleeping better but I'm back to falling asleep in the recliner for maybe an hour then my hip starts hurting. Then I go to bed and I'm wide awake and can't get comfortable. Then I'm awake off and on all night, every time I move. My right leg is still... hurty? I take tylenol regularly, but it doesn't seem to be helping too much. It doesn't hurt hurt but it's enough to be uncomfortable.

I'm praying everything goes ok, or at least maybe I can get some answers. I actually have to start considering selling my house in the summer if I am not going to get any better because I can't take care of the lawn and maintenance. Then I'm kind of back to where I was before surgery, I'm only alive to go to work, and that doesn't seem like much of a life.
 

sistersinhim

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My physical therapist sent him a note saying I felt like there was still some instability in my left leg. I'm hoping to get some answers as to why.
You have some instability in your leg because it's not even halfway through its healing. On top of that it had to take on all the responsibilities when you had the right knee replaced. Remember that we have said that this surgery takes time. You have two of them to heal from. Please be patient with yourself.
 
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sondrals

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Well my appointment went better than I expected. Though I’m a bit perplexed about my kneecap on my right knee. On the x-ray it appears to be floating off to the side of my knee groove, almost outside it. My surgeon says it’s normal as my muscles aren’t strong enough to hold it in yet and it could have been the position they had me in, laying on my stomach on the hard X-ray table with my knees bent up. Has anyone seen anything like that before?? I think they should stop showing me x-rays because they freak me out. He said I have good motion in there it’s just weak. Im not able to bend it as readily or far as my left but is coming along.

He moved my left knee all over and proclaimed it normal, he got it to do what I think is the slipping sensation I’m feeling and said that’s normal movement of my knee. Though he repeatedly had to tell me to relax my leg. So maybe I’ve just never had a normal knee?? He said some of it might be ptsd type thing with me. I react to any movement that feels weird as a potential to dislocate and panic. So something I’ll need to work on though I’m not sure how. He’d like me to walk more but with it being winter he’s totally supportive of my using my walker outside.

Of course last night we got 3 inches of snow and it just started snowing again. Roads were slick and this is by far the furthest I’ve driven since surgery so a little nerve wracking. Went back to work after my appointment and worked a few more hours. I’ve been working 5-6 hours a day this week and despite falling asleep on the couch at 7pm for about an hour I was up most the night unable to get comfortable. My surgeon gave me some muscle relaxers to possibly help me sleep but we shall see.

I just want to be better, I’m not so good at being patient I guess.
 

bikinglynn

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Of course you want to be better. It sounds like your doctor gave you some good news. Unfortunately, your improvement is going to take time and persistence. I don't know if patience can be taught, but I hope you can learn to accept your healing timetable.

Look how far you've come.
 

Jockette

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if I am not going to get any better
You most definitely will get better.

Recovery takes an average of a year. Your August knee is still not quite halfway healed. Your December knee has barely begun, at less than two months post op.

You really need to stop thinking you won’t get any better, this line of thinking is not helping your day to day well being. You are having a very normal, average recovery, just like most of us had. We got through it and you will, too. :flwrysmile:
 

Helizabug

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It all sounds like things will get better. You just need time.
 

Starsfan22

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@sondrals sounds like you're in a "poor me" depressive state. Do you remember this state with your first knee? That feeling that we'll never get better, then low and below in a couple of weeks we feel more positive. A week later we might be right back in the doldrums again. It's a roller coaster for sure. I had a painful day today and I'm in my sixth month! Some days I just know my current state is my final state and I still have the second knee to do. Try like crazy to be patient and I promise to do the same, deal?
 
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sondrals

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@Jockette i really thought I’d have a miraculous recovery once I got both done. I guess patience isn’t my strong suit.

In all honesty I feel sort of lied to. And a little jealous of people who are out running around with seemingly no problems. In reality there was a lot wrong with my knees and I’ve compensated for years so I am taking more time than I’d hoped.
 
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sondrals

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@Starsfan22 im very much in that kind of state. My fear and anxiety are also getting the best of me. Going back to work having to still use a walker was a huge blow to my ego I think. I’m not sure I ever got to this point in my other knee because I was already scheduled for my other knee to be replaced. In a way I think I let myself believe once it was done everything would progress quickly and that hasn’t been the case, this knee has been more painful and slower. I promise I will try to be more patient.
 

Helizabug

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And, @sondrals, see yourself months along, walking comfortably somewhere you love to walk, helping someone nearby with some project they can’t manage alone. See yourself in November, prepping for the holidays. See the results of working toward health and wholeness. And remember to see the judicious rest that you include in that work.

I can’t remember if you’ve shared the active things you like to do. What will you enjoy doing as your recovery progresses?
 

Celle

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In reality there was a lot wrong with my knees and I’ve compensated for years so I am taking more time than I’d hoped.
In a way I think I let myself believe once it was done everything would progress quickly and that hasn’t been the case, this knee has been more painful and slower. I promise I will try to be more patient.
I do understand how you feel. You've been in recovery for a long time.

But, recovery after any knee replacement is always going to take a full year, no matter how young or fit you were before surgery. And, being realistic, why on earth would a second knee replacement heal any faster than the first one?

Instead of worrying about slow progress now - which is normal - try to imagine yourself in 2121, with two fully recovered knees, getting around freely and enjoying doing all the things you couldn't do when your knees had arthritis.

Orthopaedics is a branch of surgery where nothing ever happens quickly. You always have to take the long-term view.
 

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