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For the brave of heart and mind, I offer this "conjecture" from a former, old world statistician...
If we look at recovery times as a normal bell curve distribution (not saying it is but humor me), then 95% of us fall within two standard deviations from the mean. For argument's sake, let's say that those two standard deviations run from a 6-month recovery to a 12-month recovery with the mean at 9 months. (Again...conjecture...these numbers could be more or less but probably not by much.) That leaves the other 5% at 3 or more standard deviations from the mean (2.5% lower than 6 months / 2.5% higher than 12 months). These are the "outliers". Every distribution has some.
On the left side, are the 13-week mountain climbers while the 18-month recoveries are at the far right side. All understandable...all part of a normal statistical bell curve distribution. Think...smoking will eventually kill you. Proven fact...but not for everyone. I had a 103-year old great-uncle who smoked his little black cigars every day and never got lung cancer. Outlier.
The thing to remember is that this 5% are the exceptions and NOT THE RULE! The rest of us mortals are stuck in the 95% umbrella and have to deal with real life. I have pity for those at the far right end of the curve...they need to be brave souls...
At the beginning, I mentioned "conjecture". In reality, I don't know of any study done on TKR recovery times and what the mean or standard deviation might be. I'm just throwing this out there because so many people compare themselves to those rare individuals who beat this in a matter of weeks. DON'T DO THAT!!! They are the outliers, the weird individuals who have the built-in DNA to overcome this brutal recovery in seemingly no time at all.
You have seen sooo many of us counsel people not to compare your recovery to that of anyone else. Take that to heart...and know one huge truth...
You will not know where you fell within the bell curve UNTIL YOUR RECOVERY IS OVER!!! You can't see it while you're going through it...only from the outside (post-recovery) looking back in.
Be Zen: "It will be over when it's over." Just like asking your dad on a car ride when you were a kid: "When will we get there?" Remember his answer? "WHEN WE GET THERE!"
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