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TKR Toni Lee Recovery Thread

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tlfiore

tlfiore

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I feel like I'm losing my mind, I do. This whole recovery process is a LOT to absorb and manage, isn't it? Thank you friends for the replies and concerns!

@caredFL can you believe the lunacy involved in getting the written prescription in one's hands here in Michigan? It's craziness. For the life of me, I know my head will ache if try comprehending the useless thinking and rationalization behind it all. And I forgot to mention...if someone other than the patient picks up the narcotic, that person must show 1) their ID and, 2) the ID (driver's license) of the person/patient. Makes sense to show the connection between patient and person receiving the script, I suppose.

I can comprehend how the series of steps pertaining to written scripts makes it more difficult for folks to steal DEA numbers from prescribers and "phone-in" narcotic orders. I get it. However, look at the logistical nightmare this one protocol creates for your basic, run-of-the-mill person like me. Seems to me where there is a WILL, there is a WAY. In my experience professionally, most people who want to illegally obtain narcotics have a plethora of means by which to do so!!!

Anyhow...here it is 3:50 am. And in an effort to squirrel away my few remaining oxycodone 'til Tuesday, I had a rather scary "uh-oh" moment earlier.

I maintain a journal of everything I'm doing & ingesting, so I do not lose track of what I'm taking for pain (and constipation-lololol). I also like to make note of what works for me (or not), what measures help my discomfort & pain, which activities seem to make it worse...trying to figure it all out.

The "uh-oh" moment occurred when reviewing notes earlier and I realized I may have miscalculated when I took my last oxycodone dose on Thursday evening/Friday morning, thus the horrible effects after taking the hydrocodone (Norco). :scaredycat:

Husband was home last night, so around 9:00 pm Saturday, I felt tired and weak, of course the usual mild-moderate knee pain. In an attempt to stretch-out my oxycodone tablets 'til Tuesday (when my neighbor can obtain the written script for me), I decided to take 1/2 Norco 10 mg tab (10 mg/tab with 325 acetaminophen), compensate my acetaminophen dosage at 12 midnight. So, I take 1/2 Norco @ 9:00 pm, 11:00 pm rolls around and nothing...still some pain but ALSO, no vomiting, no dizziness, no disorientation, no headache, no sedation...nothing.

At 11:00 pm, I took the 2nd half of the Norco 10 mg and Tylenol 625 mg x 1. It took me about an hour to settle but with icing, elevation, positioning, etc I did manage to fall off to sleep 'til 3:00 am. Now I am really thinking that on early Friday morning, I may have lost track of what I took, how much and when, thus precipitating that horrible reaction to Norco...not good.

For me, the narcotic drama has been the worst. Seems like this over-policing and hyper-vigilance by the powers that be create some potentially dangerous, or hazardous scenarios for us, the patients.

I'm going to read a bit, take another Norco and try to get more sleep. I'm icing and elevating, which help so very much! Uggggghhhhhhhh! I can't even...

I do feel ever-so-slowly things are improving and getting better. And I'm just a little over two weeks post-op. :loveshwr: Hope you had restful sleep and you are off to a better day!
 
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sistersinhim

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I am divorced and I remember the days when I could get my pain meds, a 90 tablets prescription, before my surgery. Not so now. It is really difficult for those of us who are alone and unable to drive.

Ice and elevate as much as you can. I found ice to be a really good pain reliever plus it reduces swelling. That swelling is a pain in itself.
 
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tlfiore

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Hi everyone, well another day, another challenge, right? I feel I am turning another corner and I'm not sure I'm liking this one so much. Like so many have stated, one day is good, one day not so good. I feel it's two steps forward and three steps back.

I'm having more uncomfortable nights than good ones, which I totally expected. Felt very tired last night, so I medicated and went off to bed around 11:00 pm. I'm attempting to manage with hydrocodone & Tylenol currently because my dear neighbor is going to secure my new written script for oxycodone 10 mg during her travels tomorrow, Tuesday. So, I'm taking hydrocodone and some acetaminophen at night, taking acetaminophen during the day. It's challenging to keep track of all the acetaminophen and adjust the doses as I take hydrocodone, which has 325 mg acetaminophen in it per 10 mg tab. I certainly don't want to compromise my liver.

Could not get comfortable and sleep at all last night. Finally got up and made it to my chair around 1:30 am. Was up 'til nearly 3:30 am. More hydrocodone and I guess I eventually fell off to sleep. Up around 6:30 am and I AM EXHAUSTED.

I AM EXHAUSTED! Not sure why but I feel more tired this week than I did during post-op weeks 1 and 2. I feel so fatigued, I can hardly move.

I DID manage to walk Ernie outside 2/3 of the way around my block and back. The weather here is cold but sunny today. I'm very careful not to trip, or stumble over my walker. Ernie is a sweetheart. I just tell him,, "Ernie-NO...please-HEEL...Ernie GOOD BOY" when he gets ahead of me. That does the trick.

So, I'm going to tag Josephine about this next concern and I welcome everyone to chime in:
Josephine it feels like the sensitivity over/around/near my surgical incision is changing. I'm having lots of trouble tolerating my ice packs now, something that was never problematic. I am placing a little microfiber cloth between the packs and my skin, so that helps. Is this normal? I imagine as some of the edema and swelling diminish, the nerve endings around the incision begin to wake up and sense stuff that wasn't evident previously. Also the scar tissue forming at the skin level is sensitive & new.

2- Scheduled my PT Evaluation for this Friday morning, the 22nd at 11:00 am. I really didn't want to wait so long for my outpatient treatment; it will be one week on the 22nd since I was discharged from home PT and I'm 3-weeks post op come this Thursday. All-in-all, I'm quite anxious about starting. The 22nd is the first date/time the program could fit me in.

Thank you for reading this and caring. All comments and thoughts are much appreciated.
 
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flacie1

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@tlfiore I hear you on the sleep issues. I’m so tired. I just want to sleep. I was up every 2 hours last night. Good job getting out and walking Ernie. There is no way I would be able to walk Blue, he’d drag me down the block. Lol, relieved for the fenced yard. I do need to go out a pick up the yard again though. It’s so cold and dreary here, I just want to stay in bed. I had a different therapist today. She said I should only ice like 20 mins an hour and wait 40 mins before I ice again. I’m like why can’t I just ice until I’ve had enough? But I get where you’re coming from with the ice starting to bother you. I keep several dish towels nearby and use as many as necessary to make icing comfortable.
 

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Josephine is away from the forum right now, when you tag someone 1x is all you need in a post, that way they only receive one tag vs multiple tags for the same post, thanks for understanding.
AM EXHAUSTED! Not sure why but I feel more tired this week than I did during post-op weeks #1 and #2. I feel so fatigued, I can hardly move.
It is normal to feel fatigued during the first 3 - 4 months, it may have something to do with not receiving a good nights sleep. Poor sleep and fatigue are part of this recovery, have patience it will get better.

I'm having lots of trouble tolerating my ice packs now, something that was never problematic
Our body gets used to ice packs and can respond by not tolerating the ice, try putting your packs in the refrigerator, you may tolerate them at a less cold temperature, or use additional towels between you and the ice packs for a more comfortable temperature. If those changes do not work, stop using your cold packs.
it feels like the sensitivity over/around/near my surgical incision is changing.
Your nerves are probably healing, you will have different sensations until they are healed.

While you are waiting for PT, it is time to let your knee heal, Rest, Ice?, Elevation, and Medication on schedule as prescribed.
Here are two gentle activities you can do in the mean time.
Heel slides and how to do them and Extension: how to estimate it and ways to improve it .
 

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I imagine as some of the edema and swelling diminish, the nerve endings around the incision begin to wake up and sense stuff that wasn't evident previously.
I'm also feeling sensitivity and spoke with my PT about it today and she said very normal and as we start massaging the scar it will get less sensitive. It needs to be touched at this point 3 weeks for me. She spent a lot of time today gently massaging it and I will do the same. Up until today I had the adhesive still attached but my OS advised I can peel if off if it's not gone by 3 weeks so today me and the therapist did just that and if feels and looks so much better.

Scheduled my PT Evaluation for this Friday morning, the 22nd at 11:00 am. I really didn't want to wait so long for my outpatient treatment; it will be one week on the 22nd since I was discharged from home PT and I'm 3-weeks post op come this Thursday.
I had the same break between home PT and out patient and for me it was a good thing. Gave me time to rest and stretch as I wanted and was much more ready for the outpatient. For me, outpatient has been much better than I anticipated. I am seeing progress so all good. Hopefully, you will have the same experience.
 

Jamie

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The sensitivity you're feeling when you ice is one of the reasons we tell people to always put a kitchen towel between your ice source and your skin. When you ice for the length of time needed after a knee replacement, it's just too intense otherwise. You can really damage your skin if you allow it to get too cold from direct icing.
 

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@tlfiore you are definitely where I was with the 3rd-5th weeks; lots of sleep issues and scar sensitivity. I learned a trick when I had my thumb arthroplasty...a dry wash cloth first, just gently rubbing the scar. Then my hand therapist had me switch to different fabrics of varying textures and softness.

I did this on my knee scar too and after a few weeks, it became far less sensitive. I thought it was quite strange when the hand therapist told me about it, but it really worked. Just be gentle and like @caredFL mentioned, we need to start touching the scar so that it becomes desensitized....

Good job walking Ernie!! You are doing so great...these baby steps each day are hard to measure, but the exhaustion really comes and goes...here I am at 11 weeks and I'm extra exhausted today too!? I'm not sure why...I slept well last night!

We are all going to make this:wave::loveshwr:
 
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tlfiore

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Thanks everyone for checking in with me. Thank you for the helpful and encouraging words.

I have to admit, I cried a lot yesterday and for the first time since all this began, I felt extremely discouraged. Because of all the helpful advice I've received here on BoneSmart, I know much of what I'm going through is normal. But I feel very down & depressed.

Same ol' stuff last night...the usual medicate, elevate, massage a bit, ice, doze, wake, repeat.

I'm feeling stuck. I did have a bit of a set-back last night. I was distracted while getting into my chair and while hoisting my knew knee over the ottoman, I mad a weird twist/turn and immediately experienced excruciating pain all along/around my knee & tendons. I shrieked in pain for nearly one minute. I don't think I did any damage to my new joint. Felt/feels to me like it was a tendon/muscle yank, strain, or pull.

Noticing a minuscule amount of increased swelling today but definitely more pain than usual. My plan is to take it really slow today. I'm icing, elevating, resting, etc. Not gonna attempt to walk Ernie.

Just took Tylenol 625 mg x 2 @ 8:00 am with all my other morning meds. Took hydrocodone 10 mg for the pain at 10:00 pm last night (Monday night) and again at 3:00 am this morning. Rest, ice, positive thoughts will help.

It will be good to see Outpatient PT on Friday and get their evaluation, assessment and plan for me and my knee. I think I will feel progress again.

Thank you everyone.
 

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I have to admit, I cried a lot yesterday and for the first time since all this began, I felt extremely discouraged.
While not super helpful, but I think this is REALLY common. I still have days, weeks, where I'm utterly discouraged and cry a lot. Yesterday for some reason everything made me get all teary. Its all kind of overwhelming and we're tired, in pain, it all kind of adds up and bubbles over. Sometimes it's good to have a cry and get all that built up pressure out.

I mad a weird twist/turn and immediately experienced excruciating pain all along/around my knee & tendons. I shrieked in pain for nearly one minute.
Gosh I hope it's feeling better. Early on turning over in bed would sometimes send jolts of pain up my knee but nothing like that. I really hope you're able to take it easy today and your knee isn't too painful today.
 

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@tlfiore omg the roller coaster recovery is crazy. I’m so sorry you had a hard day, but I was there a few days ago too. A good cry did me good and made me more determined to do the best I can with this recovery. I’m still discouraged that my quad still isn’t awake, disappointed that OS put me in a brace. What a hinderance that thing is. Im
Hoping the quad wakes up soon. My fear is that it won’t and then where will I be?
 
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tlfiore

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@flacie1 Thank you for taking the time to read and respond to my entry! Yes, I saw your post about your flexion and the brace. I'm hoping things will be alright...I think they will be.

Today has been a weird day. I was up most of the night and today I slept, slept & slept. Could barely keep my eyes opened. Felt like I had terrible, awful jet lag...something like that. I never felt fully rested and awake today.

I've never been through anything quite like this. Anything else I've battled and recovered from may have had advances than plateaus but nothing like this with these broad backwards steps.

I'm going to try reading and then head off to bead...again. As an aside, I'm sure not getting into proper REM sleep for nearly three weeks hasn't helped things much.

Thank you!
 

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I'm sorry last night was so rough for you, I cried a lot after my spine surgery in July...I'm sure it is the effects of anesthesia and pain meds and pain. However, I was twice as emotional as that in September....it took me several weeks to emotionally stabilize. Just hold on tight and keep reading and writing here....it is so cathartic!

Also, recognize that you are only at 3 weeks tomorrow (Nov 20th right?) And I just might have to bore you with my math skills again!? That makes you at 3/52nds of the way thru this ordeal...and I'm only 11/52nds. We ALL are going to make it!! It is just a long, slow road we are on for recovery!

I hope you have a better night tonight!!

I am happy to hear you are excited for PT, they can be wonderful. I feel part of the success is just being honest about your pain levels and what your knee won't tolerate. I'm sure you can do this because this BS website really has given us some excellent communication and education tools to stop any painful exercises or hands on treatment!
 
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flacie1

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@tlfiore hope things are going well. Haven’t seen you post in a few days.
 
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tlfiore

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Hi everyone! @flacie1 thank you for thinking about me and for checking in on me. I appreciate it a whole lot.

Well, the last few days are unchanged. Unfortunately, I put in a very poor night's sleep/rest and woke this morning (Thursday) feeling horrible. I woke around 8:00 am feeling terribly weak and nauseous, so I got up and hobbled to the kitchen sink, immediately vomited into the kitchen sink. I imagine the oxycodone I took at 10:30 pm (on Wednesday) and 1:30 am (Thursday) didn't sit quite right with me. It was awful. I've not been eating a lot and my weight is around 138 lbs. My stomach felt very empty. I felt awful.

Then, for whatever reasons, PT had to reschedule me, which is fine. Honestly, morning appointments, even those at 11:00 am do not work well for me 'cause I'm up most of the night. I'll call the PT Rehab facility tomorrow and reschedule my Intake for early afternoon next week (hopefully).

On a positive note, I did a bit of vacuuming yesterday :rotfl: and my walker and I scrubbed the upstairs toilet and bathroom vanity. My home-based PT "showed me" how to use a vacuum (???) at this point in my recovery...she said, "Got to walk along with it, forward and back, like it's a shopping cart...no swiveling at the knee, etc." I've been cleaning the downstairs bathroom (toilet, sink, etc...not the shower) every day, so that BR is in pretty good shape. Ugggghhhh.

I also made a little baked fish for my husband's dinner tonight. Frankly, I love baked fish in lemon, butter, capers but the smell of the fish made me feel nauseous tonight.

It will be okay... Feel I'm falling behind with PT. Must get that out of my mind.

Continue feeling well, friends.
 
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flacie1

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@tlfiore I’m so sorry you are struggling right now. I’ve been a lump all day. I don’t like early therapy.
I was thinking of trying to vacuum, maybe I’ll give that a try this weekend. I cleaned our bathroom the other day. I don’t remember cleaning being so tiring. But then again everything wears me out these days. I hear you on the cooking. Food just turns my stomach lately. Though I did have hubby stop for pizza tonite and it was pretty good. I guess as long as I don’t have to cook I can eat. I want to try to make a pumpkin pie for thanksgiving. Also planning on making turkey and all the trimmings for turkey day too. Not sure how that will work out

Hope you can get over this hump, sending all the healing vibes your way.
 

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