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TKR Strange New World

kmak81230

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I think the inability to sleep is one of the worst side effects of this surgery (after the initial pain gets better) that no one tells you about. With my first knee I did the rotisserie chicken in bed each night until about week 8. This time I started to begin to get 5-6 hours at a time most nights after about 6 weeks (just last week). Hang in there. I am no longer doing heel slides, just using the stationary bike to get my stretching in. I do it 2-3 times a day for about 5 minutes.
 
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Denny39

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@kmak81230
I agree. I was totally blindsided by not being able to sleep. First two weeks I averaged 2 1/2 to 5 hours of very restless sleep in very short increments. 4 - 6 trips to bathroom even though I was not drinking much water. For the last few days, I have gotten 6 to 7 1/2 hours, but it has been a very restless, tossing and turning “sleep”.
@sistersinhim said that no one can prepare you for the recovery from this surgery. Amen to that! When I titled my post, “strange new world”. I had no idea at that time just how strange it really would turn out to be.
 
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Denny39

Denny39

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Bit of a setback the last two days in pain and stiffness. I’m not sure if possibly I have overdone it a bit, the weather is a problem, or perhaps a bit of both? It doesn’t feel like anything has been damaged or stressed. Just part of the general process I guess.
 

sistersinhim

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This recovery is a rollercoaster ride for months, though the dips don't drop down as far or for as long as time goes on.
 

Jockette

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I love your new avatar!
 
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Denny39

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Very strange and unfamiliar feeling this evening. My wife has for a long time been an active part of a community support group. She has missed several meetings taking care of me, and tonight we decided it would be fine for her to go. We have a daughter who lives few minutes away and a neighbor across the street who said call if I need anything, so I’m fine. But, it sank in after she left that this in the first time in my life I have been alone without the confidence that I could handle any situation that might arise. And it feels wierd.

I said in my initial post that this is turning into a learning experience, and I named my post “Strange New World”. I had no idea how true both of those would prove to be.

I’m not depressed,anxious, or concerned. But it is a reality I have never felt before. I had no idea how much nor in how many ways, this would become a life changing experience.
 

donnag1108

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I agree! I am so fiercly independent and it has become the norm these days for me to rely on my fiance. Lord knows where I would be without him. I truly have no one else. All of my family and friends live across the country. It's a daunting thought. I'm sure somehow I would get through but this experience has been humbling to say the least. Soon I know the days will have passed and I will be going about the business of life again but I am surely grateful, for the most part, for an uneventful recovery and the help of someone who truly cares.
 

sistersinhim

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it sank in after she left that this in the first time in my life I have been alone without the confidence that I could handle any situation that might arise.
You would be fine. Many of us were alone after this surgery and made out OK. It just took a lot of planning ahead of time.
 

Jockette

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@Jockette
What’s your high game?
In general I am not a good bowler. I’ve been bowling about 3 years and my highest game was a 182, with 5 strikes in a row!!! :happydance: It was during my first year-beginner’s luck! :rotfl: My second highest, this past fall, was a 159.

Before surgery my average was 121. It is now 110.

As I said, I use a very light ball, I am constantly told I’d score higher if I had a heavier ball. But I have back and neck issues and my little 8 pound ball suits me just fine. (I’ve also been told a wider ball would be helpful!:rotfl:)

I live in a 55+ community and we have a bowling league. At almost 63, I am one of the youngest ones living here. I’m amazed at the really good abilities my friends have in their 70s and 80s and many bowl 175 and above, and almost every week someone bowls over 200.

We are mostly there to have fun, and we do!
 
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Denny39

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My first job, after mowing lawns and raking leaves, was a pin setter at a bowling alley owned by a guy with six 300 games under his belt. (“Pin setter” - Yes, that was a long, LONG time ago). After the leagues when the alley was closed he let any of the pin setters who wanted to, set for each other, and he gave us bowling lessons. On one memorable day, I couldn’t seem to do anything wrong, and rolled 272. That was a ONE-TIME event. My average then was probably 175 or so. Now, I get euphoric if I hit 100. I rarely bowl any more, but it is fun (although sometimes a bit frustrating). I kind of enjoyed “Duck Pins” as a variation now and then.
 

Jockette

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Wow, 272!!!! That’s awesome!

Yes, each game my goal is to score at least 100 and hit at least ONE pin with the first throw!

I get some good games, but then I get something in the 80-90 range, which keeps my average where it is. It’s up a little bit from the 105 average I had last year.

My main problem is that my partial replacement has not gone well and I can’t put weight on that knee if it’s in a bend, so I can’t do my pre surgery approach to the throw line. I have to just walk to the line, carrying the ball, and throw it from there, mostly bending at the waist, which has drastically reduced the speed of my ball which has in turn has reduced my scores. It has taken me many months to accept this and keep the “we’re here to have fun” theme.

I don’t know if the bowling I do falls into the exercise category, but at least it’s movememt and it's nice to be out with my friends.
 

Jockette

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I’ve heard of Duck Pins but I’ve never played it.
 
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Denny39

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As I said, that 272 was a total aberration, a one time event. I’m not actually sure I ever broke 200 again.
 
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Denny39

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Yesterday, first day of outpatient PT. I really like my therapist. She is not into “Pain mode recovery” at all. The home exercise routine she gave me takes about 15 minutes, and she was very emphatic about not pushing anything to the point of pain. I will see her twice the first week, then once a week for six weeks, or until my goals are met. The flexion goal of 120 degrees, I have already met. From the beginning, I did a lot of heel slides, and using my walker, I would raise my foot from the floor and gently swing it back and forth 10 times or so. My first set of heel slides probably took me to about 70 degrees or so. I always went to a moderate level of discomfort, but did not force anything. Of course, there were those inevitable, momentary shooting pains, but those are manageable.

As I am reading different posts, I see many people take the initiative to explore and determine what works best for them, and stick to that. I find it infuriating that some PT’s will use threats of dire consequences to get people to do what they want them to do, instead of finding out what is best for them as an individual. There is a lot at stake here. There is a lot to be learned from our own personal experience, as well as that of others. Besides reading personal experiences and recommendations of others, I have read most of the articles referenced in bonesmart. Without that, I would still be “shooting in the dark”, because I knew absolutely nothing about what to expect, or how to deal with it. That lack of knowledge would leave me totally at the mercy of whatever “experts” happened to get involved. (Definition of Expert: EX = a has-been. Spurt = a drip under pressure).

Fortunately, all of the personell I have been involved with are top notch, and I believe that the majority of professionals in the field are as well. But still, you know better than anyone else how a given activity is affecting your body, and should feel free to ask questions and expect to receive honest and clear answers.

I am at 25 days now, and experiencing ALL of the normal after-effects, pain, sleeplessness, no appetite, exhaustion and fuzzy thinking sometimes, as well as the nagging “should I really have done this?”. But my therapist also assured me that all of her TKR patients eventually decided, “Yes. It was a good decision. I’m glad I did it”.

Five years ago, my wife was in treatment for cancer: Chemo and radiation. At one point, during a check-up by her Oncologist, she was at her worst, barely even alive it seemed. He said to her, “You’re about where you should be right now. In 4 months we’ll look back at this, and it almost won’t seem real”. I didn’t like that comment. Four months seemed at that time like forever into the future. But he was right. Four months later, she was well on the way to recovery, and is now 5 years out and doing fine.

NOW, in recovering from TKR, time has slowed down, and almost any distance into the future seems far away. But while I cannot speak from experience, not having been all the way through this yet, we can take hope from many others who have. Since my surgery, I have learned that some people I have known for some time had one or even bilateral TKR and I had no idea.

So, there is great hope for a NOW in the near future when this will be a fading memory, and we will “have our life back”, as a friend of mine (bilateral TKR) recently said. Keep going.
 

donnag1108

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I think keeping positive attitude is so important at least as much as we can. We have all endured serious hardship in life and we survived to get a brand new knee. We can do this too!!
 

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