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Those of us post-op (4 wks TKR) are now experiencing the ups and downs. There is a mass of good advice on this forum but for those of you facing surgery I thought I would share some thoughts for when you get home. I tried to think of every scenario that might affect me (Army training) but failed !
1.Tiredness. I am tough and fit but I was totally unprepared for the level of exhaustion I felt. Poor sleep in Hospital didn`t help, but at home every little thing became a major epic leaving me wiped out. My mood was up and down for a few days too. I even had a bout of unexplained tears, which passed but was very unsettling.
2.Toilet. You will not make it in time! Get sorted before going home, especially crucial is nightime - you don`t want to be struggling to get out of bed a few times in the night. You should be drinking a lot - there is a load of stuff to flush through and if you have a lot swelling, like me - well, it has to go somewhere! Arrange your receptacles now.
3.Sleep. Forget it! Nights will be broken and disturbed . Have your own bed and room if possible so you can read, fidget and thrash about on your own. ( see 2 !). Otherwise a partner will go through the whole thing with you.
4.Furniture. It will all be wrong! Too low, too soft, wrong shape, wrong size, no firm handholds etc. For a while you will need to elevate your leg so you want a sofa you can lie on( and get off). Heavy swelling needs your leg to be above your heart for a good while. Arrange tables around you with absolutely everything you might need (see2 !)
5 Worry. Don`t get fixated on any of those ROM numbers - needless worry. Measure your bending by eye or invent a piece of cardboard. The key is progress. Keep a note every day, that way you can look back and see how well you are doing. Same with swelling - you may think it isn`t changing but if you measure and record , voila! - you will see the difference.
Everyone out there will have their own tales to tell and ,it`s true , there will be times you want to saw your leg off . But stick with it - the horror stories are few and after a while you`ll start to feel good again.
Good luck one and all ( don`t forget 2 !)
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