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TKR September 9. Freaking out a little!

Discussion in 'Knee Replacement Pre-Op Area' started by Carmilita1, Aug 6, 2019.

  1. Carmilita1

    Carmilita1 new member
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    So it getting closer and I'm having all kinds of second thoughts like maybe its all just in my head....although my doctor has recommended this for years, and my ability to do things I love (hike, dance, go up and down stairs) has become seriously limited. On the plus side I'm healthy, dont smoke and am in pretty good shape (swimming, weight training). BUT I live alone (family nearby) and I'm self-employed--which means no sick leave. I have saved about 1 month of salary, but after that I will need to go back to work. Advice please!
     
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  2. Carmilita1

    Carmilita1 new member
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    Help! My TKR rapidly approaching and I'm so worried. I live alone, and not sure how even to set up friends, family to help me. Will I need someone here overnight? What about in-home professional help? But mainly I'm worried about how long before I can go back to work (self-employed, small business owner). I can afford about a month off, at most. Yup, I'm officially on the freak-out train...
     
  3. rosieNZ

    rosieNZ member

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    Dear Freaking out xxx
    A degree of freaking is normal. Most of us do it.
    Firstly get everything you need together
    This site will help in terms of discussing equipment etc.
    Given that we are all different I think its helpful to have someone at home with you especially in the evenings. I sent my husband off to work after I came home from hospital (day3). I was fine. He set up the ice machine and I had snacks and water for the day. I could get to the toilet independently on crutches so just rested and watched Netflix that first week at home. I was off crutches by 2 weeks and back at work at 3 weeks (just desk work until 4 weeks post op). But you can't know how good you will be post op. We are all different and my experience may not be the same as yours. Its something you will know in time. Best to prepare foe needing total care and someone to cook your meals for the first 3 weeks. You can always cancel your plans if they arent needed. Best wishes. Rosie
     
  4. Tykey

    Tykey Sr Bonesmartie

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    Hi. Don't assume the worst. I have a saying which is "don't worry about what may go wrong, because it rarely does"
    Rosie is telling you good advice, and her story is very similar to mine. A couple of weeks after my first TKR, I was out walking my dogs, not route marches just a wander down to the woods about 200 yards away.
    I had retired, so didn't need to go back to work, but I'd have been ok easily before 4 weeks. Getting there would have been an issue, because we aren't allowed to drive for 6 weeks. What job do you have?
    Don't panic, just prepare, take the pain pills and overcome each obstacle as you reach them.
     
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  5. Pumpkln

    Pumpkln FORUM ADVISOR Forum Advisor

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    @Carmilita1
    I merged you two recent threads, they were both asking similar questions. Merging the threads will keep the answers in one place, making them easier for you to locate.
     
  6. Pumpkln

    Pumpkln FORUM ADVISOR Forum Advisor

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    You are not alone as a business owner, having to go back to work asap. Because everyones recovery is different, it is impossible to anticipate how your knee will respond.
    Suggest you plan on how to make it very easy at home with household activities, meal prep, cleaning etc for at least 3 months. You may need to get help, and either pre cook and freeze meals or order from one of the meal services available to cut down on the work you will have to do at home.
    At work, since you are the owner, be sure you have ice available, and a place to elevate your leg. A sling camp stool without a back will do nicely.
    Because you are going back to work so soon, you will not need PT, the activity you do at work will be plenty.

    Here is a copy of the recovery guidelines for you to read, to help you prepare to meet the needs of your knee, and an your business.
    The articles are short and will not take long to read.

    Knee Recovery: The Guidelines
    1. Don’t worry: Your body will heal all by itself. Relax, let it, don't try and hurry it, don’t worry about any symptoms now, they are almost certainly temporary
    2. Control discomfort:
    rest
    elevate
    ice
    take your pain meds by prescription schedule (not when pain starts!)
    don't overwork.
    3. Do what you want to do BUT
    a. If it hurts, don't do it and don't allow anyone - especially a physical therapist - to do it to you
    b. If your leg swells more or gets stiffer in the 24 hours after doing it, don't do it again.​
    4. PT or exercise can be useful BUT take note of these
    5. At week 4 and after you should follow this
    6. Access these pages on the website

    The Recovery articles:
    The importance of managing pain after a TKR and the pain chart
    Swollen and stiff knee: what causes it?

    Energy drain for TKRs

    Elevation is the key

    Ice to control pain and swelling

    Heel slides and how to do them properly

    Chart representation of TKR recovery

    Healing: how long does it take?

    Post op blues is a reality - be prepared for it
    Sleep deprivation is pretty much inevitable - but what causes it?

    There are also some cautionary articles here
    Myth busting: no pain, no gain
    Myth busting: the "window of opportunity" in TKR
    Myth busting: on getting addicted to pain meds


    We try to keep the forum a positive and safe place for our members to talk about their questions or concerns and to report successes with their joint replacement surgery.

    While members may create as many threads as they like in a majority of BoneSmart's forums, we ask that each member have only one recovery thread. This policy makes it easier to go back and review history before providing advice.
     
    Last edited: Aug 7, 2019
  7. kneeper

    kneeper FORUM ADVISOR Forum Advisor

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    Glad you found us!
    We have lots of people who have recovered at home by themselves with varying degrees of support.
    I found it helpful to have someone with me for the first couple of days--just to haul ice, pills and be there in case I needed help. But I could shower, get simple meals etc pretty quickly. I'd have to rest in between but I could do stuff.
    In my experience, if you can have friends or family help with the household chores (cleaning, shopping) you should be pretty self sufficient on a day to day basis. I had some meals made and put in the freezer . Ideally things that can go directly to the microwave at first. I made things in small batches (by my 2nd tkr I had learned that appetite was an issue and I didn't eat much for each meal the first weeks.)

    I also had my sister help with laundry for the first couple of weeks. She was my :angel: I had a few friends who volunteered to take me to PT, so I'd put out a call for helpers and people told me what day they could help. No one person had to do much.

    If you decide to do PT, often for the first visits when you're not able to drive you can get home visits. If you get a good PT he/she can be helpful but you won't know until you see what approach they take. I found home PT somewhat helpful especially for my first tkr b/c she worked with me on best ways to do the stairs in my house (built my confidence) and a few other things. But everyone is different.

    Since you'll need to be working by 4 weeks, I think lining up people who can help with household things over the course of a couple of months would be great. Then you can focus on resting in between working.

    There is also a thread on recovering home alone that offers many tips from members you might look at. https://bonesmart.org/forum/threads/home-alone-after-surgery.31170/
     
  8. sondrals

    sondrals junior member

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    I don't have any brilliant advice, but I am in the same boat. Scheduled for Aug. 22nd. Freaking out a bit, so much to do and I keep trying to convince myself "I don't really need it"
     
  9. LindaO

    LindaO senior

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    As others have said, get your “nest” area ready, prep your meals ahead of time, have your pillows, ice, meds, etc. where you can reach them easily. Read all of the good advice listed on this site. There are many people available to listen when you need us! It is great to have a surgery buddy but remember not to compare yourself with anyone else as we all heal differently!
    Your surgery is on my birthday so I will be thinking of you!
     
  10. luvcats

    luvcats senior

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    @ElanorG lives alone and had friends come and stay the first two weeks. Maybe she'll come add some insight.

    I am self employed. Do you also work from home? The first two weeks, I couldn't have done anything at all. The third week, I didn't feel very smart, but I started answering emails a little at a time. By the fourth week, I was able to do clear cut tasks, but creative thinking was just beginning to come back. Your experiences will be different, but I think you'll be able to manage everything. Any work you can do from home will be a benefit as you'll be able to ice and elevate and work in spurts.
     
  11. ElanorG

    ElanorG post-grad

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    I had someone come and stay with me for both of my knees, different friends. I can't imagine having gone through it without that. The first friend who stayed for my first knee really was not a very good caregiver whereas the first person who stayed with me the first week after the second surgery was a wonderful caregiver. My spirits and attitude were like night and day difference with those two people. The first one I felt sort of like a chore, not at all with the second person. I feel my recovery has been much smoother this second time, almost no depression like there was the last time, and I think it had alot to do with having a better support system in the early days.

    If I had not had someone at home with me for the first week, my doctor would have made me go to a rehab facility and I really didn't want to do that. Of course, everyone is different, but for me I would have been totally miserable and it would not have been safe for me the first few days if I had been home alone.

    I don't want to say that recovery this time has been a breeze, but it has been enormously different than the first one and I credit my lovely friend who stayed with me that first week. I am so grateful to her.
     
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  12. Carmilita1

    Carmilita1 new member
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    Hello-these responses are VERY reassuring! Tomorrow I have a full day of prep-a joint replacement class, bloodwork, meeting with anesthesia and surgical coordinator. Did you folks do a class? My freaking out comes and goes, I try to be positive and re-reading the above posts really help.
    It seems this forum has a different view on pushing into PT right away, from what I'm hearing from the docs.
    Also-can somebody tell me how to reply to individual posts from others on my thread??
    Thanks!!!
     
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  13. Tykey

    Tykey Sr Bonesmartie

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    Hi again. Here in the UK, we have a pretty relaxed approach to joint replacement, which is similar to all surgical interventions.
    Once it's agreed it has to be done, we chat to the consultant, then pop down the hall to meet the nursing staff to do the bloods, MRSA testing, weight, blood pressure etc and to identify any issue with anaesthesia, plus a plan for any existing medication.
    Then nothing until we turn up to the hospital on the day.
    The surgeon and anaesthetist pops in to say hello while we wait.
    The op is completed just like any surgery, then it's off home to let it heal. Gentle exercises only, definitely no physiotherapy (not needed)

    I mention this because it doesn't need to be something to be freaking about, don't overthink things, keep it simple in your mind. It just happens many many many times without a hitch.

    This is a wonderful forum, but in common with all forums, we have a concentration of people with issues, the vast majority just turn up, have the op, just get better and get on with life pain free and happy. We never see them again.

    Be confident, be optimistic, and no doubt in 3 months you'll be back telling everybody the same thing.
     
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  14. luvcats

    luvcats senior

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    If you highlight a line of the message you want to reply to, a box will come up with a button to 'quote this message'.
    If you just want to tag someone by name, type @ their user name, but no spaces, and they will get an alert that you mentioned them.
     

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