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Bilateral TKR SusieShoes' New Knees

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SusieShoes

SusieShoes

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@Jennszoo, that's what the nurses here offered, ye olde rolled towel under the ankle. I declined. Not comfy! I'll work on extension in my own good time.


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SusieShoes

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Day 2: Less Pain

I slept a few hours (lovely) and at around 3 am I got up for the bathroom and... the new knees hurt a lot less than before! Easy, though not painless, bathroom trip. Took a nice long walk down the hall with the nurse. Heel to toe. The knees work very well. Took my pain meds after and got more sleep.

Had that BM everyone has been hoping for. Was taking Senokot, Miralax and Milk of Magnesia prophylactically. Never any distress. Just happy to see a poop.

My OS wants me to go to rehab. I would like to go also. Insurance doesn't pay for rehab, unless with Medical Exception. OS is working on that. If I can't go to rehab, he'll keep me in the hospital another day or so. I'm doing great, he says, and he wants that to continue.

I'm seeing lots of improvement and am excited to keep going. Slow and steady. Gentle and whole.


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You'll do fine at home. Rehab can be a tricky thing unless you've researched and found a facility that specializes in surgical patients. But it is wise to be sure your pain is under control before leaving the hospital.

Yay for a BM! One less thing to worry about! You're right, slow and steady wins the recovery race!
 
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SusieShoes

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The rehab hospital is dedicated to orthopedics, which would be good, I think. Mr. Shoes cousin had an infection in her TKR that led to having it removed and a spacer bar for six months, and she rehabbed there. I should hear later this morning where I'm headed.

Yeah, everyone is so happy about the BM. I feel so accomplished.
 

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I was in a rehab that specialized in surgical patients and it was a good experience. I loved the nurses and my pain was managed very well. Let us know where you're headed.
 
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It's off to rehab for me! Apparently my insurance does cover rehab. The nurse who called me from the insurer was mistaken. As soon as Mr. Shoes arrives, I shall head out.

Light PT today, just some gentle exercises. The quad that wouldn't work yesterday was a champ today. And the quad that was a champ yesterday... refused to work. Guess I can expect some back and forth.
 

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Make sure you have a fresh dose of meds before heading out. The drive and arrival at rehab will take a while and be hard on your knees. I was lucky that I just got wheeled down the hallway to rehab, but still I had to wait a while for my meds.
 
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Day 3: Rehab Woes

Rehab is proving less -- what is the word -- supportive than my hospital experience. They seem to be looking for problems aside from my having, oh, two sliced and diced knees. They zero in on insulin, for instance, taking my blood sugar relentlessly in hope of getting to administer it. So far no luck, but they're on top of that.

And I have yet to receive pain meds per schedule. I have to call for them and then justify getting them by claiming my pain is 8 or 9. Anything less and they give me Tylenol. I'm in more pain now than before and that was just making it through the night.

And then there's the idiot house doctor who pulled up the "never to be touched" surgical dressing, just in case of infection (no sign whatsoever). Maybe there will be now.

Oh, and my heart rate is 100, so I'm not allowed to walk to the bathroom or anywhere. I must go by wheelchair. If I'm not allowed to walk on my new knees today, I'm calling my OS.

I'm wondering what today will bring. The staff is mostly nice enough, but they frustrate me.


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I'm really sorry the rehab place isn't what you had hoped it would be. Unfortunately, that is a common experience.

Yes, do phone your surgeon and let him know what is going on.

Don't forget that you can always discharge yourself, too, if you feel you could manage at home. You will need a prescription for pain medications, though.
 

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Not walk! That's crazy! This is the problem with rehabs, you just never know what you're going to get. I hope they settle down and let you get on with healing.
 
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Day 3: Getting on Track With Rehab

Rehab has rules of its own, it seems. Until I am *assessed* by physical or occupational therapy I cannot be allowed to walk, or bathe, or do anything physical. That explains the wheelchair thing.

It explains also why I am now happy with rehab. A therapist showed up at the crack of dawn this morning, along with Mr. Shoes. She walked us both through how to shower and dress for the day. Victory! I am clean and presentable.

The day nursing team is an improvement also. Meds on a schedule again. Sensible, non-frantic blood tests. Lots of ice whenever I want it. Mr. Shoes is settled down (last night he was ready to help me make an escape). We like this team much better.

Physical therapy next up. Assessment (of course) and gentle exercises. I'm looking forward to this.




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Pleased with physical therapy here on Day 3. Climbed stairs. Walked up a ramp. Did a few exercises. Yes, some winces but as soon as I said I felt pain we stopped. The stairs were a surprise. I expected horrible pain but... hardly pain at all. My former "good" knee is now my stronger post-surgical knee. Works well. My "worse" knee has some catching up to do.
 

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At my rehab/transition unit they had a progress program. They had three colored dots, red, yellow, green. When first admitted you had a red dot on the bracelet, which means you needed a nurse or aide to get out of bed at anytime or to walk with you etc. After progress and eval at PT you could move up to yellow which means walking or getting up with a visitor (husband, friend). Finally, green you could get out of bed, bathroom, walk the halls (with walker) anytime. At night though, you always has to call the nurse to get out of bed.

I'm glad it's looking better for you!
 
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My last PT session today yielded a flexion of 91 in my right knee and 90 in the left. The PT is happy, I'm surprised. Wary, too.

Would be just like my vindictive knees to be setting me up...
 

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I'm glad you're getting on better in rehab. They sound excessively cautious to me, but I guess that's better than not taking proper care.

Don't worry about the ROM numbers. You're in rehab to help you be mostly independent when you go home. As your knees heal and their swelling goes down, your knees will gradually be able to bend more.
 
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I'm glad you're getting on better in rehab. They sound excessively cautious to me...
It sure sounds like an excess of caution, doesn't it? The dietician here is nuts. They give me a diabetes menu, which is pretty restrictive to begin with, I proceed to order the day's meals. Now you would think I'd get what I ordered right?

Wrong!

When my tray arrives, it has different items. She wants me to eat more protein, or better ones, so there's soup and a different entree and skim milk instead of the refreshing diet iced tea I was looking forward to, why did I bother ordering things I wanted?

Mr. Shoes is smuggling in a sugar free ice tea today.

But I will say this: the nurses may be hung up on numbers they can track, like blood sugar level or heart rate (mine is currently 102) but they are super helpful when it comes to ice on request and pacing my pain meds. :ice:
 
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Day 4: Thoughts on Mobility and PT

I am approaching my recovery using the BS way as much as possible... which is quite a lot, it turns out. Elevation might as well be a mystical religion as far as my caregivers are concerned, but they are gung-ho about ice and rest.

As a result, I'm surprisingly mobile. My pain is well-managed and I can walk heel to toe using a walker. Feel completely stable. Still best off with a higher toilet.

Enjoying a middle of the night bout of wakefulness right now. I would ask to go for a little walk, but my PT has a pre-emptive order that i not be allowed walks. Just bathroom or to get into a chair.

She's right, too, because I could easily overdo it.

Slow and steady. I can see that I will get to that shiny finish line one day.

In my absence from our house, Mr. Shoes has been reading the "packet" of BS posts I printed up. He too has noted how my OS is very much on-track with BS. This reassures him.
 

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