12 weeks - Your perspective on back to work

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12 weeks this week. Nerve and muscle damage. Still on narcotics every 4-6 hours. Barely walking. The muscle still too weak to make knee weight bearing.

Surgeon put back to work date as May 6th. Felt intimidated by work and had surgeon revise note to return March 30.

Just spent another almost week on bed rest. I know there is no way I will be able to go back then. Unless there is a miracle in the next two weeks.

Have consulted with legal firm and I am protected by the ADA. Can't be fired even if I take a decent amount of extra time off.

I am thinking to let work know now with fair warning that I will be out after all until the original return date. I feel a lot of pressure from some family and colleagues to return to work. I feel intimidated.

BTW, I am normally a tough cookie. I suffer from chronic migraines and never miss work. If it was just pain I could "tough" it out, but I cannot sit, walk. Still on walker with severe pain when walking. Can only manage very limited walking.

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  • Posted

    Milla you shouldn't take any notice when people think you should return to work . They should try it. No one has any idea what it is like unless they have been through it, that includes surgeons, they know by the book & what has been done but it's a whole different ball game when you're living with the agony day and night for weeks.i hope you don't feel pressurised or humiliated , you know how you feel , I hate to say it but I see some take months , I'm sure there is light at the end of the tunnel & I see you're resting , icing & doing exercise, you can't do much more. Do take care & keep strong.

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    • Posted

      Thanks Eileen! Funny how people have a lot of opions about something they know nothing about. As long as I am doing what I am supposed to do my nose is clean. I should not give people so much power over my emotions! I think my standard answer will be: "Go have a TKR and then you can talk!" At least in my mind anyway if I don't say it out loud. Just gotta keep on trucking! And I decided that I am only going back in May.

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    • Posted

      Well said Milla , I like that .." .go have a TKR then she you can talk ". Yes keep your chin up , see how it goes , you can only do what you can do. It's no good pushing yourself & going back before you are able & confident enough to do the work. Take care

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  • Posted

    Hi feel for you this is so so hard been a rough ride I'm 14 weeks post op pain and going back to surgery to get knee bended back and rid of scar tissue very scared it's so hard but just want to walk normal still on crutch of work and now be off even longer hope you get on ok x Julie

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    • Posted

      Oh no! I have all the empathy in the world for you! I am struggling as it is but cannot even imagine dealing with what you have on your plate! Stay strong and keep a strong support network around you. You know we are fellow travelers and we relate so you can pour your heart out on here! I hope everything goes well and you can continue with your recovery. Take care of yourself! This takes a lot out of a person both physically and mentally
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  • Posted

    Sorry to hear how bad things are for you.  Only way to build up the muscle enough to support the weight, though, is exercise, and any time in bed without exercise will mean less muscle. . . it's a vicious circle isn't it. Pain stops exercise, no exercise means loss of muscle . . but whatever, try not to let work and family intimidate you . . easier said than done I know!  whatever exercise you can do . .leg lifts, moving the leg side to side. . whatever . . is worth doing to try to keep the muscle you have, and gradually increase it.  good luck!

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    • Posted

      Agreed. I do my home excercises no matter how much pain I am having x2 a day. The major impact is on my walking. Aggressive pt is counter productive. That is the frustrating part of this. I do what I am suppose to. But I try to keep in mind that the surgeon told me that the nerve and muscle damage takes a long time to heal. Just gotta keep at it.
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    • Posted

      All TKRs involve nerve and muscle damage, as they have to cut through all that to do the surgery. Everyone needs to do what is best for them and guidelines are just that - something to start with. I went back to work at 14 weeks (nursing) but worked my way back up to my 12 hour shifts over the course of several weeks.  I do agree with Martin above, though - you should be doing weight bearing exercises such as walking, in order to build up your strength. Even if it is for 5 minutes at a time, increasing a little every day this will keep moving you forward.  Keep plugging away and you will get there!!! 
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  • Posted

    Oh Milla, my heart goes out to you.

    You are right, no one knows what a TKR is like unless you've experienced it. I too have had people think I should be completely back to normal (I'm 6 weeks post opp today) but what they don't realise is is that this opp is not only physical but a mental challenge too. I've cried numerous times wishing someone had told me before I had it done exactly what I'd have to go through ... Not sure I'd have had it done though to be frank.

    Get well wishes, we are all on here so vent away xx

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    • Posted

      Like you ,had I known what I know now ,I doubt I would have had it done... The pain I had before the tkr was not as bad as this last 8 weeks have been!
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    • Posted

      So true, I am 7 weeks post op and my only problem I had was bending my knee. I did limp occasionally but feel so much worse after the TKR. If I knew what this pain was like before hand I would not of done it! So painful and so mentally challenging. I feel like the progress is so slow and I am doing everything I possibly can to get better. I hope some day I will say to myself I did the right thing by having this done. Hope you have a speedy recovery!
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    • Posted

      I am struggling everyday ,I only hope the pain ends soon.. I would love to get a good night's sleep and put my jeans back on! Can not stand much to touch scar..... goood luck to you too...  

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    • Posted

      Ali don't feel bad. Cried more in the last 3 months than in years. For me the lack of sleep and feeling "drugged" with the narcotics made me feel super vulnerable. We must keep our eyes on the prize!

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    • Posted

      I felt like that and I turned a corner by 11 weeks. Although when I overdo it I pay dearly for it! You are not alone. Just take one day at a time. I feel almost traumatized by this experience. It is a bear of a surgery and recovery but you WILL feel better. Hugs!
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    • Posted

      I finally turned the corner where I am trying to be positive about the prize at the end. In the beginning I would sit and cry and wish I was just having a mega nightmare. I still do have an "interesting" response to people asking me when am I getting the other knee done. Are you ........ Crazy?😳

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    • Posted

      I'm now 1 year plus 1 week post-op.  When you eventually get to this point, you too will look back and reflect on how it all went down.  For me, I have no problem doing knee #2 simply because I now know what to expect.  I went in blind for #1 and paid the price.  I've always shrugged off ops and killed rehab (ex: six weeks total for a full hip).  I thought "no problem" and was so very wrong.

      I've learned and I'm ready (not TODAY...but ready...in a while...or so...); you will make your own evaluation when you've achieved a different perspective.  Time has a way of doing that.  For #2, I'll prepare better...be stronger physically and mentally simply because I don't want to spend the rest of my life in pain.  I'll trade another 3-6 months of sheer agony for that any day.  But then again, I can say that from where I am now...I felt the same as you back in the middle of it.

      Just like you have to give the knee time to heal, you have to give your mind and spirit a chance to do the same.  One day you'll make the call on #2 from a position of strength, not from one of lack of knowledge or weakness or memory.  What you've gone through...what we've ALL gone through...has made us so much stronger than we were before...and you know that to be a fact.

      So when it comes time for you to decide on #2, I know you will take all of this into account and make the decision that is right for you...because if you've done THIS, you can do anything.

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    • Posted

      Very insightful and true words.

      I will get there. I feel that my right knee might decide for me as it is getting worse.

      Thinking about it from your perspective- I am glad that I can actually prepare for the second knee, both physically and emotionally. I will definitely prepare my quads adequately. And just in general how to set up my recovery space; probably invest in professional icing etc.

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