Thoughts at 28 weeks post op and 13 weeks post op TKRs

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Hi All!

I am now 28 weeks and 13 weeks post op from my two TKRs. Looking back at the last five years or so I have to reflect on all that's taken place and must say that if I knew THEN what I know NOW I definitely would have gone in sooner to see about having my surgeries.

Of course recovery from ANY surgery is grueling, and TKRs bring their own special issues (swelling, having to walk on knees that have just had tremendous trauma, pain, dealing with medication FOR pain that may bring its own trouble and side effects, taking blood thinners and giving yourself SHOTS in your abdomen, having to be helped to the bathroom...The list goes on and on!)

Even with all of the recovery issues and dealing with physical therapy and STAIRS (my personal nemesis!), I STILL have to say that I am MUCH BETTER off than I was before my surgeries. Before having surgery I would begin experiencing pain even walking into the grocery store! By aisle two I was standing on one foot, standing on the other foot, leaning on the cart and wondering how I was going to get all my shopping done. If I grabbed a few items and left, I was angry at myself that I didn't get all I needed. If I stuck it out and DID all the shopping I needed to do, I really paid for it when I finally got home, needed to put away everything and put my legs up KNOWING I would be experiencing great amounts of PAIN for days to come because I went GROCERY SHOPPING!

That was absolutely ridiculous on my part, but I put up with it, and I bet many of you put up with it, too!

I now can shop for HOURS, garden, shovel snow, play with our granddaughter, climb into our son's new truck, stand in the yard talking to my neighbor, bake cookies, and NOT have to stand on one foot, stand on the other foot and look for chairs to sit down on everywhere I go. I wish I had soldiered on and gotten my surgeries sooner.

I was fortunate to have no complications with my surgeries. I thank God every day for that. I am retired, so I have no schedule I must keep and can rest as needed. My husband has health issues of his own but TRIES to help. I am grateful for that. I am a positive person and pray a lot, and I KNOW FOR SURE that has been a HUGE part of my recovery.

I often look down at my HUGE scars on my knees and reflect on the last 28 weeks of my life. I have to say that even WITH all the pain, the recovery issues, the relearning how to walk again, using the walker and cane and working on developing proper bend and successful straightening, I STILL would do ALL of it again because I now have my life back. At 64 I can walk again. I can do the things I USED to love to do, and I have a chance to enjoy my family again by looking forward to our youngest son's wedding in September and playing with our oldest son's baby girl without CONSTANTLY being in pain and thinking about my knees.

I am SO GRATEFUL that I took the leap of faith and had my surgeries!

It is my hope that we all reach a point of less pain, be able to do things we haven't been able to do, get our life back and enjoy ourselves and our favorite things to do.

I am so thankful to everyone here on this site. I have learned so much here and have especially appreciated that I have people available who really understand my issues. Thanks to all who have helped me throughout these many weeks of recovery and will continue to be there as I keep recovering!

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  • Posted

    Dear Cheryl

    It is good to read you are now in a good place, isn’t hindsight a wonderful thing!!!!!  It is also wonderful to look forward to and do things that a few months ago would have been impossible.  Long may your happiness last and that your husband’s health improves.  Think of your scars as tattoos; rather radical at our age, don’t you think lol

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    • Posted

      Hi Sue!

      I WILL think of my scars as tattoos! Great idea! Certainly each one of my scars has a story to go with it just like tattoos usually have!

      Yes! Hindsight is really something! I am looking forward to being able to get out walking again in the Spring. That will be something I thought I might never be able to do again.

      Thank you for the kind words for my husband. He suffers from diabetes and peripheral neuropathy issues that stem from his diabetes. Both have caused him many daily challenges and considerable pain. Diabetes is as nasty as Osteoarthritis!

      Have a great 2016!

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    • Posted

      Keep on rocking!!!!

      Has your husband tried acupuncture, sometimes those little needles can calm down the janglng nerve ends.  Hope he/you find relief of some sort as it cannot be easy on you either. xxx

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    • Posted

      I am the adventurous one in the relationship. Yeah...two major surgeries in four months! He, on the other hand, is pretty scaredy-cat when it comes to ANY medical procedure. I have thought that acupuncture would be a great option for him! Maybe when I show him your message he will see that others are thinking along the same lines as I have been!

      Yes, it is hard dealing with supporting him AND my own recovery, but we are doing it. Sometimes I think when you have to think of the needs of others, YOUR issues seem less big.

      Thanks for thinking of us!

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    • Posted

      At the risk of raising the ire of our male readers, the female of the species is stronger than........it is very easy to forget that the carer needs support as much as the sufferer.  As much as you love your husband, do not neglect yourself xxx
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    • Posted

      Thanks for the reminder! I will need your advice and take care of myself, too!

      I agree about the female strength relating to pain tolerance. A paper cut is like major surgery to my husband. A cold sends him to bed for several days.

      We just are different.

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    • Posted

      Man Flu. Outdoing one another. Competition. Flu competition. Yes, I can see that as being a GREAT bonding experience for the guys!

      Men often have trouble with emotions. It isn't cool to put themselves out there like we women do ALL THE TIME. This man flu competition lets them complain and sympathize in an acceptable MAN WAY.

      Maybe it will become a new SPORT in 2016!

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    • Posted

      Sweetie, I would pay good money to see that happen, provided masks and ear defenders were provided.  Can you just imagine; all those germs flying all over the place.  Goodness!!!
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    • Posted

      I can see it! Stadiums resemble hospital operating rooms. There are teams in various colors. The uniforms are hospital gowns with numbers on the front and back. The fans all wear hospital gowns, too, and masks.

      Players have microphones so that the crowd can hear their speeches to their opponents, proving that THEY are much sicker than their opponent.

      Referees provide tissues, take temperatures, wipe foreheads with washcloths and penalize any team member who doesn't stop periodically to hydrate.

      Points are scored when a team member COLLAPSES and must be carried off the field.

      The game is over when there are no more team members left on one team. THAT TEAM WINS!

      I think it could become a big hit!

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    • Posted

      You are so naughty, instead of working I am giggling at the very thought, hospital gowns that do up at the back!!! Oh lord what a sight.  Think wellington boots might have to be part of the uniform. Then I look at the guys I am working with sneezing and coughing all over the place.... Oh the hilarity of it all xx
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    • Posted

      I am , I am. Just wondering what the local laws are regarding the noise pollution of all that sniffing and sneezing.   Have you seen the movie "Somethings gotta give", with Jack Nicholson, when he is in hospital (he wasn't sniffing and sneezing tho). 

      Weather has dipped, knees have turned to ice, can't seem to thaw them out :-(

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    • Posted

      Yes, we definitely would have to check local sound ordinances...

      Funny movie! Also Tony Randall in The Odd Couple when he first wakes up. Makes me laugh EVERY TIME!

      Try a polar fleece throw over your knees. Helps a lot! Also, I would recommend take-out pizza. Last night on the way home from seeing my husband's mother at the nursing home we stopped to pick up pizza at Little Caesar's. I had the pizza box over my knees on the drive home. VERY TOASTY in our 12°F evening!

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    • Posted

      Yes, Mr Randall is funny, well more like an old lady really, (no offence intended to real old ladies) which takes us back to ……. There is a box in the office “kitchen” which I keep stocked full of cold remedies, you name it, it is there.  Do they use any of it?  Unless I make it for them or hand them the pills, nope.  Thankfully I get on well with their wives, so between us the epidemic is kept to a minimum.  It is a shame we cant wrap them up in their own little bubbles.  Now there’s an idea, picture them in bubble wrap and then think of sumo wrestlers!!  Pushing and shoving each other, all the while coughing and spluttering, moaning and groaning.

      I have fleeces and wraps everywhere + neoprene knee supports, which are too thick to wear under non baggy trousers/pants, super thick tights and tubigrips. In public I do get funny looks as, if I am sitting, I have to keep rubbing my knees to keep the circulation going.  At work we have underfloor heating which helps big style.  As it is part and parcel of my everyday life it isn’t a big deal.  I haven’t had a take out for a long while, but I know what you mean.

      Mmm not getting much work done today, just as well “I’m my own boss”

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    • Posted

      Margaret, welcom to the club. You just never know, though I doubt the "poor lambs" would say they are suffering from man flu. Would be more like I am coughing, have a runny nose, everyone says I have a cold, but I know it is far, far worse and nobody is feeling sorry for me. 

      Apologies to the male readers on this site, it really is just harmless female humour and no offence is intended towards you, just our respective partners and work colleagues.

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    • Posted

      I'm picturing the bubble wrap thing and thinking what a fine HALFTIME SHOW it would make. Spectators are high up in the operating room game space, so a Bubble Wrapped show would look great and be PERFECT!

      If your colleagues actually took medicines on their own that would show WEAKNESS. It would also show NEED. That would never do...especially in front of other TEAM MEMBERS! By you getting it ready and giving it TO THEM, you are like the referees, and that is ACCEPTABLE.

      This new "Sport" is beginning to have a real life of its own in my imagination! Fun! Thanks for playing along, and WELCOME MARGARET, too! Jump into our fantasy Man Flu Extravaganza!

      Usually I am plenty warm, but since my two surgeries I find that cold bothers me more. Do you think the TITANIUM in our knees makes that much difference? I don't know. Could be that we finally have seasonal weather here ( NE Ohio, USA). We have had EXTREMELY unseasonal 50-70 degree temperatures until a few days ago when we dropped into the teens.

      Nice that you are your own boss. Makes things so much better when you can call the shots!

      Keep warm!

      I'm headed to make a nice cup of tea. I'm retired after years and years of teaching first and second graders. Nice to relax and ease into my day! Ahhhhh!

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    • Posted

      Do you think all us spectators will fit in there?  If I don't dose my lot, I'll get all the sniffing and snorting coming my way.  I have to make them realise they have to take their germs home.  

      Once I had a screw in my leg, I could tell you when it was going to rain, snow, if the weather was going to be bad.  Had to have it taken out in the end. I guess the same theory can work on our replacements.  Have for the rain down to 15-20 mins. But it is the cold that's the killer, even in the summer. Those pieces of metal conduct the cold so much,it's like ice cubes under the skin and the cold just seeps through my veins.  It is not a pleasant feeling. But titanium is very strong and hard wearing.  Bring back bloomers and multi petticoats !

      Hope you enjoyed your tea, do you miss not working? You could be the cold /man flu games co-ordinator.  Am about to call it a night as have to get up at 6.  see you tomorrow x

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    • Posted

      Hmmmmm! Logistics say we WILL probably need a different venue... Let's work on that.

      Oooooooooo! A screw in your leg! Sounds scary! My daughter-in-law had screws in her leg when she had a severe break at age four. She still has the marks where the screws were! She runs Ultramarathons now, so she MENDED fine...probably thanks to the screws!

      I taught for nearly 35 years and also trained tutors for a reading program and supervised both tutors and kids year 'round for seven years. I'm now enjoying doing all the things I never had TIME to do when I was working. I LOVE THAT!!!

      My tea was delicious! Sure, I could be the games coordinator for our FLU-MEN! I have 35 years recess duty experience! ( I am also AWESOME at breaking up fights!)

      Hope you have a good rest. I just recently am sleeping four, six, and once even got EIGHT HOURS sleep at one time! I can't remember EVER sleeping that much. My body automatically wakes after four hours. I guess it gave up on ever getting more than that...until now! I enjoy sleeping more like a normal person. Strange though.

      Night-night!

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    • Posted

      I guess logistically it could turn into a potential nightmare, even if best of the best (or should that be the worst of the worst or the best of the worst) were to compete, there would always be those newbies coming along and saying they should be picked as they are worse off.  Then you’d get “favouritism” bandied about.  Then they would all start coughing and spluttering just to show how bad they are feeling!!!!!!!!!!!! Yikes…. Double ear muffs and masks (and goggles) methinks. And as you say, the venue.  Have you heard of the expression NIMBY!!!!!!!!!!

      Ultramarathons, just watching the normal marathons make me feel pathetic, (I prefer cycling).  Are the marathons your daughter i/l run the ones that go on for days, or are there other disciplines involved; swimming/cycling (like triathlons!).  I take my hat off to her.

      You must have really loved your vocation to have done it for so many years, with the feel good factor out-weighing the bad, you must be a very patient person

      I take help to make me sleep as my brain won’t shut down. I have a night cap (to wash the pills down), but on the days I am feeling healthy I will drink herbal night tea instead.  There are a couple of brands on the market, all taste different from each other.  I still wake at night, but at least I can drop off until the alarm goes off.  I have learnt to stay very still when the pain starts and just let it wash over me, before turning to a more comfortable position.

      My day job is sitting all day, so I keep a box under my desk so that I can stretch my legs.  My chair has wheels on and I use that to help with exercising, and liquid morphine in my drawer.  To date none of the guys I work with are any the wiser when I do “my work out”. They just think I am being lazy and can’t be bothered to get up and walk!

      A picture has just popped into my head of you standing in the midst of a group of sneezers; arms outstretched, yelling “that’s enough, now will you stop it”.

      On that note, it’s back to work.  Enjoy your day x

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    • Posted

      You bring up many very excellent points! I can see that you have put much thought into the actual workability, or futility of the sport! Nice job!

      No, hadn't heard of the term NIMBY, but I checked and found it stands for "Not in MY back yard." Great word! I love hearing new words and then being able to put them to use!

      Yes, Crystal has run MANY Ultras! Technically an "Ultra" is any foot race where participants run MORE than 26.2 miles (regular marathon distance) All of the Ultras Crystal has run have been 100 miles with one exception...Badwater, which was 135 miles in Death Valley. She took six crew members and two vans. One van was all gallons of water for everyone! She came in fourth for the women with a time of 48 hours, 56 minutes. Yeah...I know...

      I DID enjoy teaching! My last 11 years was as Reading Specialist for grades 1-8. My favorite part HANDS DOWN was turning on a child to loving reading by finding exactly what was holding them back and helping them vault that issue(s). No better feeling than returning a child to his/her regular classroom because he/she GETS IT and no longer needs my help. Ahhhhhhh! Love that feeling of empowering people!

      Yeah, I have been told many times that I am a patient person. I look at it as me being more of a persistent person. I am always looking for ways to solve issues and deal with solutions to problems. I am always surprised at how many people give up so soon. I stick it out because I see possibility for success. I'm usually right. I also have a strong faith in God and talk to Him a lot. He keeps me going!

      I know what you mean about pain especially at night. Prior to my surgeries I never slept more than about 20 minutes before pain would awaken me. I am also a light sleeper which doesn't help matters! Since about a month ago I am sleeping four, six and a couple nights ago EIGHT HOURS. This seems very, very strange to me but very, very NICE, too!

      I stretch my legs all the time, too. Good that you have devised a great way to do it throughout the day as you are working!

      You are funny! Yes, I am pretty good at settling disputes. My signature move is separating one student from another on benches that are at opposite ends of the playground. I would appoint a watcher for each who would report to me if there were any additional issues. After things would settle down I would talk to each party involved in the dispute to hear THEIR story. I have even literally drawn a chalkline on the cement which neither party may cross. Usually this settles things. I usually had no further problems with the students because they KNEW it was play fairly or spend time on the bench with a watcher watching your every move. Oh, and the watchers were "paid" for their work by diving into my classroom TREASURE CHEST!

      No yelling, no muss, no fuss...just pressure to treat others fairly. Priceless!

      Hope your workday is going good! I have spent the day so far doing laundry, bandaging my husband's foot (keeps bleeding), talking to Hospice in my mother-in-law's behalf, arranging sale of our Jeep with our neighbor, and putting Valentine decorations up in the house. Yes, never a boring day in MY retirement!

      Knees feel good. Am heading into the crawlspace on my little red auto scooter next. I am the only one short enough to fit easily in there!

      Talk to you again soon!

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    • Posted

      I wrote a really long reply to you, which has disappeared.  One has to get up in the morning, so am sighning off.  I hope Crawling through your crawl space wasn't too onerous on those knees of yours.  ....I will find the blighter xx
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    • Posted

      I have this little scooter thing with four wheels. Mechanics use them. It works perfectly to sit on it and SCOOT around on the cement. I'm the shortest one in the family, so I am the designated one!
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    • Posted

      You know what they say about small packages......been so busy to read emails + sh1tty weather playing havoc with knees.. Hope you have survived your crawl space and you are not suffering too much from the COLD weather your side.  The good thing about really cold weather is that it kills germs.  Oh goodness, don't get me started.  Stay well and warm xx

       

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    • Posted

      Hi Sue!

      Yep! Got everything in and out of our crawlspace and did not hit my head even once!

      Cold weather is ANOTHER story! Very many aches happening! Of course my two KNEES feel pretty good...stiff but not painful. The REST of me... aches! Arthritis is a lousy disease!

      We had SUN today! Temperatures hit 38°F, and our neighbor across the street was shoveling the top of his driveway wearing SHORTS! We wore just sweaters and jeans. Funny how 38°F actually FEELS WARM when you've been enduring 12° with windchills that make it FEEL like -10°F !!! Gotta love winter!

      Yeah...cold kills germs, but then we humans go inside to KEEP warm and SNEEZE and COUGH and spread all of our trapped germs to everybody else. Must say that since I am no longer teaching, I get a lot fewer colds. I do not miss that!

      Take care!

      Nice hearing g from you!

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    • Posted

      Well done you, sounds bigger than a "CRAWL"space ;-)

      Have you tried any of the creams that seem to be flooding the market these days (bring back wintergreen ointment).  According to the tv commercials, the lady cannot move off the sofa, until she rubs in the cream, lo and behold, she is vacuuming the house, playing soccer with the grandkids and dancing at night.

      Dont you just love the sun, it brings out the best side of people, am not quite sure whether I would resort to shorts though (bet he doesn't have a cold), but as soon as the sun either sets or dips behind a cloud, then you are reminded, that yes, it is still winter.  Have you been badly affected by the recent storms.

      Did you find, when you were teaching, that the first couple of weeks back as school were always the worst, when it came to picking up germs from the little darlings!!!

      Stay safe, no slipping and sliding about, unless your backside is well and truly paddedbiggrin

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    • Posted

      Yes, it IS a pretty big area of space in there! It is the area under our living room, dining room, hallway and kitchen. (Our house is a split level design.) The PROBLEM is that it is only about three feet HIGH. You either CRAWL, hence the name "crawlspace", CROUCH and give your legs a CRAZY workout, LEAN WAY OVER, and assure yourself that you won't stand straight for a day or two afterwards, OR you use the mechanic's scooter we found years ago and SCOOT around a lot like a nine-month-old on his/her Mickey Mouse scooter! (You can imagine me on a Mickey Mouse scooter in my crawlspace when you want a laugh!)

      I HAVE used the Icy Hot roll-on. It worked GREAT for my lower back and for my sciatic issues and right hip. I had a flare up around the time of my right knee surgery in October and was putting it on about every hour. I must have overdone things on the area of my sciatic nerve, though. Had THE WORST PAIN EVER one night and thought that MAYBE I had aggravated my problems more by using the counter-irritant product. I stopped using it altogether, and my pain went away. I have been cautious ever since.

      I DO think trying it on my brand new shoulder pain might be worth a try, though. The Icy Hot roll-on is nice in that you don't have to TOUCH the substance. I am always VERY cautious about touching irritants because I wear contacts, and a little irritant, even soap or dish detergent that I don't completely get rinced off my hands REALLY burns my eyes! Also must put in my lenses BEFORE I ever peel onions! (Learned THAT lesson a number of years ago!)

      I got a lot of success out of the Icy Hot when I was using it, though! It allowed me to get out and garden, rake leaves, and shop for longer periods than before. Great product! Dancing...well, I haven't done much lately, but you never know!

      We always get a lot of snow here in the NE Ohio "snow belt", so our provisions FOR dealing with all the snow are ready by the time the leaves are raked in the fall. Our township has a fleet of snowplows which assures us decent roads to drive on. Four to six inches is considered " a light dusting", and we have plenty of places to dump snow that comes in deeper amounts. I feel bad for so many on the eastern seaboard, though who aren't used to large amounts of snow. Planes were grounded in so many areas which made it very tough on travelers. Never a fun time!

      August and September were always pretty good as far as germs went at school. October, when we were all inside more, usually began the GERM WARFARE TIME! November brought many colds, absences, and trying to get things done for Christmas. I have to say, though, that since my husband and I were both teachers and our sons were at two ADDITIONAL schools, the FOUR SCHOOL combo of germs seemed to fight one another. My sons and my husband and I developed a weird kind of immunity to it all and were rarely sick. You know, bombard the area with germs, and they fight one another!

      I am VERY CAREFUL when I am out and about! I prefer walking in snow to walking on ice, so I ALWAYS choose the not-yet-shoveled pathways. It is always better to fall RAG DOLL into a snowdrift than onto hard concrete. Yes, it is!

      Are you in an area that gets lots of snow?

      How have YOU been feeling?

      Yes, I am always so excited when I wake up to SUN! Makes even cold days a lot happier!

      Have a great day! Always great to talk with you!

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