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i was so happy to find this discussion group! I am 3 weeks post op after a total knee replacement on my right knee. The depression has finally hit me. Never feeling pain free, not sleeping well at night, being dependent on someone else to get me to PT or grocery shop has really gotten me down. I'm not one to cry, but today the tears came pretty easy. I too have the burning that everyone here talks about. My physical therapist said that's the nerves that are healing. After doing my exercises I find it easier to walk with less of a limp, however it doesn't take long and my knee stiffens right up again. The hospital sent me home with this great ice machine so I'm not having to use ice packs like others have talked about. I just put 4 bottles of frozen water in this machine and then fill it with water up to the water line. Put the top back on and plug it in. It has tubing that runs from the machine to the pad that you strap to your leg with attached Velcro. The pad is shaped to form to your thigh right above the knee and the start of the calf right below the knee. This machine has been a blessing! Once the bottles thaw out, I exchange them with 4 frozen bottles from the freezer so I'm never without ice. The machine circulates that cold water constantly so you have and even amount going to your whole surgical area. Icing is great but sometimes I feel stiffer than if I don't use it at all. I'm taking Percocet for the pain and it helps to some degree but doesn't take all the pain away. I can't take codine, Vicodin or morphine because they make me so sick. But I'm wondering how all of you are dealing with the depression that comes along with all the pain? I'm a very independent person and not having any family that live close by makes me rely on one other person to run errands or take me to PT. I'm so tired of always sitting with my legs up or sleeping with a pillow between my knees so I can lay on my side at night. The lack of sleeping for more than an hour at night before the pain wakes me up and I get myself in another position to sleep is wearing on me. Can someone more than 3 weeks out of post op show me that there is light at the end of the tunnel?? So many people that I've talked to that had this done years ago say it's the best thing they've ever done. I'm certainly not feeling that way right now. If you asked me today if I'd do this again my answer would be absolutely not!!! But I'm sure weeks from now I'll feel totally different. Someone please tell me that I won't always regret doing this. I knew it was going to be a tough recovery, but I didn't realize that 3 weeks after surgery I'd still be feeling like this. I know I'm improving because I see the changes when I'm doing my exercises at home. Something that was so difficult a week and a half ago is much easier to do now. I guess I just want someone who's surgery is maybe 6 weeks out to say "it does get better, this is how it is fir me now". Something, anything positive. I'm happy I found this site and I pray I get a response to my posting. Good luck to all of you! I know we'll all make it through this tough process.
Sue (from Wisconsin)
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