TKR and Post-Operative Depression

Edited , 11 users are following.

Lots of people have posted about depression and anxiety after surgery.  I have a section in my old "...Another Kidney Stone" discussion about Post-Operative Depression but it's good for it to have its own...

POD is absolutely NORMAL!!!  It's something the doctors NEVER tell you about.  The condition is most common in people who have had an original body part removed and/or replaced (knee, hip, shoulder, heart, maybe brain someday...I have some candidates for that people who have had amputations).  In psychological terms, it's a "grieving" for something that's been part of you forever and now it's gone.  This is not a conscious don't sit there thinking about your old hip bone or knee joint.  It's all occurring on a subconscious level.

I first encountered POD after my hip replacement in 2009.  Four days in the hospital, six in rehab and then home.  After the meds wore off, I started crying...uncontrollably...about EVERYTHING!!!  Lasted three horrible days and then I called my cousin Greg who's been a doctor since the 60's. "They never told you to expect post-op depression?"  "WHAT???"  "Oh yeah, very common.  Just a Jedi Mind's not real.  Just your sub conscious grieving over the loss of an original piece of equipment."

It was literally a "lightbulb" moment.  Once I knew the cause of the depression I could deal with it.  Took literally 10 seconds to body slam it to the floor, stomp all over it and toss it out the window.  It was that least for me.  Been in IT for 46 years so I can think very analytically a lot of the time.  This was a piece of cake.  There was something in my head that didn't belong there...a fake emotion that was getting in the way of my recovery.  Time for it to go.

For others, the release from the effects of POD may take a bit longer but the result is the same.  All the crying and emotion AREN'T REAL!!!  It's just your mind's subconscious reaction to a very traumatic life event, whether you like it or not...whether you deal well with it on a conscious level or not.  There are still those underlying feelings that come to the surface when we least expect it.  I remember a specific Dove commercial with a mother and daughter that just had me bawling buckets.  There's no explanation of how any one person's mind makes connections that go far, far back and you find yourself grabbing for three boxes of Kleenex.

In the end, you get past it...but why not sooner rather than later?  You don't have to go through really don't.  Now you know what it is...and how fake it is...just toss it.  Apply your mind to the problem and get rid of it.  No anti-depressants, no sleeping pills, nothing.  In fact, the best cure is exercise.  Get those endorphins pumping and POD will be gone in a heartbeat.

If you feel this way, know that you're not alone.  It tried to hit me again when I had my TKR...but I recognized it and booted it out the door before it had the chance to take hold of my tear ducts.  You can do the same.  Recognize POD for what it is...that Jedi Mind Trick.  Control the situation with exercise, healthy eating and activities that don't allow POD to eat at your mind.  In the end, you'll not only be better off, but stronger for the victory.

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