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Walking Sticks & A TKR

Recently, I have heard quite a bit about how helpful walking sticks were for exercise purposes. So, I have used them on some of my daily walks. They were OK, but not something I would want to use regularly. They did come in handy on another event, though…

It was during a hike. The expedition was originally presented to me as a 5-mile round-trip beach walk. No problem, I thought. Hah!! It turned into a 8-9 mile round-trip walk in the woods, going through old growth forests. (I think the technical term is backwoods.)

One of my hiking companions had a couple of walking sticks. She was praising the benefits of the sticks and swore she wouldn’t go hiking without them. Her ankles were giving her problems. Plus, she mentioned how the sticks helped her balance. When I asked her how they worked, she gave a demonstration. She put the stick down into the ground and it went all the way down to the handle. See…parts of this trail were big time mud traps. It was a hilarious sight, and I burst out laughing. Luckily…she was not hurt and did not fall.

A while later, another portion of the hike involved going down a muddy trail. When she offered one of her sticks, I took her up on it. I am glad I did. There was no way I could have made it down that decline without the aid of the stick. The stick kept me from falling and definitely game me support.

Once I got used to the walking stick, it really was an asset to have around. It helped me on numerous occasions and made the hike much easier for me and my tkr.

So, for anyone interested in using a walking stick after a tkr..I highly recommend it. I’m not getting paid to say this or writing any reviews. This handy device just makes walking and hiking so much easier, especially on questionable terrains.

Hope this helps others going through the same thing.

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Joe Thornton Injury

During yesterday’s San Jose Sharks V Vancouver Canucks game, Joe Thornton was assisted off the ice. He flew into the boards and had a hard time getting up and was obviously in pain. No updates were available during the postgame show.

Thornton has not missed a game during his entire stint with the Sharks. He has played 379 consecutive games. He game-playing streak goes back to his days with the Boston Bruins.

Seeing him being assisted off the ice is a big deal. It was awful to witness. I am curious….

Weight Management is Important for a TKR person

The less weight your joints need to deal with, the better. We all know that. Sometimes, though, it may seem easier said than done. It’s not easy to change bad eating habits, if you have them. It takes determination, perseverance and discipline. After undergoing a tkr, though, I believe anyone going through this surgery can accomplish anything they set their mind to.
We all know what hard work is simply by going through our tkr recuperation process. I wanted to share some information on how it is possible to eat a healthy diet while losing weight. I know because I have done it. Hopefully, you will to. So….here goes. (I have also posted this to my natural foods blog, but wanted to share it here as well)….

Instead of turning to the doctor for a prescription or going to the store for appetite suppressants, try some natural remedies. You can feel full by consuming fewer calories. These techniques will fill you up the quick and easy way. Plus, they are easy on your budget.

Drink a glass of water 30 minutes prior to eating your meal. The water fills you up, and is a natural appetite suppressant. You won’t want to eat as much. Also, choose water instead of carbonated beverages to save on calories while also improving your health. Drink water throughout the day to keep your body properly flushed.

Eat broth-based or water-based soup. You can either eat your soup 20-30 minutes prior to your regular meal, or choose the soup as your main dish. Choosing broth or water-based soup instead of cream-based soups will give you less calories and fat. Making (or enjoying) a bowl of vegetable soup will provide you with nutrients and fiber. So, in addition to getting healthy, you will be filling yourself up from the fiber. Personally, I enjoy making a pot of minestrone soup and eating a cup of it as a main dish. Having some whole grain crackers (made without shortening or partially hydrogenated oils) with my soup rounds out my meal before dessert. Dessert is usually a bowl of nonfat frozen yogurt or fresh banana. Water is my chosen beverage. Great stuff!

Snack on nutrient-rich, fiberful foods. Instead of snacking on dense, fatty foods such as potato chips or convenience foods, choose alternatives. Fresh fruits and vegetables will give you nutrients and fiber at the same time. This will quench your appetite and need to eat more. Apple slices with peanut butter or lowfat cheese, hummus on whole wheat crackers, or munching on baby carrots and broccoli cuts are good ideas.

Get more whole grains into your diet. Substituting whole grains foods for foods made with refined flours will not only supply you with valuable fiber, you will be getting more nutrients. Read the food labels. The ingredients need to state “whole grain” not “enriched” or some other word for refined. For instance, I have noticed that whole grain Cheerios have “whole oats” as the number one ingredient. Knock-offs claiming to be the equivalent, have “oat flour” (which is the refined version of the whole oat) as the main ingredient. They are not the same. Choose whole grain products including cereals, breads, crackers, snack items and pastas – just to name a few.

Eat more apples. Apples are rich sources of fiber, pectin and nutrients. Fiber takes longer to digest, leaving you feeling fuller for longer periods of time. In addition to snacking on apples, try eating one 30 minutes prior to a meal. You may be surprised with how full you feel. 🙂

Use your imagination. It is not as difficult as you may think to cut your appetite the healthy way. After doing it for a while, it will become a natural part of your life.

There are two websites I found that I wanted to pass along. I hope the links show up properly.
You can get more information on eating less calories to lose weight by visiting the Mayo Clinic’s site at http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/weight-loss/NU00195. Another one I found is located at: http://www.everydayhealth.com/weight/foods-that-make-you-full.aspx?xid=nl_EverydayHealthHeartHealth_20090815


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Knee Definition & A TKR

It finally happened. It’s been 25 months since my tkr and I’ve been looking at a swollen, flat knee area. Well, the other day, I took a close look at my knee. While laying down, I lifted my knee straight up to check it out. (Remember how difficult that is when first recuperating from a tkr? I sure do..) For the first time, there is a definite indentation along the inside of my tkr knee area. The area on the opposite side has a slight indentation also. The upper portion of my tkr still looks a little swollen. My surgeon said it would probably always be like that. No biggie to me.

I was curious to see how my leg looked while I standing up. The entire area surrounding my knee appears wrinkled. Big time wrinkles, like someone in the Florida sun for 30 years. There was still definition, but it appears slightly less. The swelling appears more intense when standing up. Actually, the swelling looks more like fat. Oh well. It could be worse.

Hope this helps others going through the same thing. What does your tkr knee look like?

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Updated CPM Post

It seems my last blog post was about a pneumatic cuff and not a Constant Passive Motion machine at all. Thanks to Linda and Rob for clarifying this issue and nicely pointing it out.

In fact, I’ve never seen a CPM in “real life”. Sorry for any confusion.

Using a Constant Passive Motion (CPM) Device & TKR

One of my readers recently commented that she was surprised there was no mention about using a device known as a CPM (Constant Passive Motion) during recovery. I have written about this previously, but I’ll do a new version….

I did have this device put on me during my hospital recuperation. The purpose of this device is to increase blood circulation throughout the leg and decrease the chances of developing blood clots. I hated this thing. Let me describe the device. It consists of a “cuff” that is wrapped around the calf of the tkr leg. The machine is set to inflate this cuff every few minutes. The process is exactly like what is done when you have a blood pressure reading done in the doctor’s office. Instead of having the blood pressure cuff wrapped around your upper arm, however, it is wrapped around your calf area.

When the inflation began, it was very painful and discomforting for me. I totally understand the logic of why it was being done. My blood circulation was definitely increasing, so much so, that my ankle was swelling.

In addition to having this cuff on, I was doing ankle circles and ankle pumps to keep my blood circulating. Those I liked. They were painful, but nowhere near as much as that machine.

I believe my continuous use of this CPM machine and my exercises are the reason I, luckily, have never had any issues with blood clots developing after my total knee replacement surgery. For the bots, that’s a tkr. 🙂

Hope this helps others going through the same thing. Find interesting? Kindly share…

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How TKR Affects Other Surgeries

We all know how trying having a tkr is, from the surgery itself to the recuperation. Personally, I needed to donate two pints of my own blood and was in pre-op mode for one month. To say it was frustrating and tiring is an understatement. It builds character, though. (I like to focus on the positive).

Recently, I was preparing to undergo strabismus surgery to correct an eye imbalance. It is muscle surgery that is performed on an out-patient basis. First, I find out that the surgery would take about 15 minutes…big deal. After undergoing a tkr, what’s 15 minutes? Upon finding out I’d be wearing an eye patch, I imagined the type that pirates wear. (Honestly, I did.) When I found out that my blood loss would be about a “q-tip full”, I figured…big deal. I was sure all would go well. I was definitely cocky about the whole thing. When I was told I needed to have someone with me when my surgery was completed, I got angry. Why do I need someone there when I knew I could walk from the surgery site to my ferry ride? I could handle anything, in my mind. It was only a few blocks and I had done the walk numerous times before. Anyways…I wouldn’t be discharged from the center without having someone with me. (I do understand the safety measurements put into place. I was just being stubborn.) I found someone. And…I’m glad I did.

The surgery prep involved me wearing my jeans and shoes. WHAT??!! My other surgeries have been considered major and had me naked under the attractive hospital gown. (We all know what that’s like). I recall being “put under”. The last thing I heard was my surgeon saying “quit talking, Marie”. (I kept saying I wasn’t getting enough oxygen. I was nervous.) I don’t recall waking up, going into the recovery room or getting dressed. Apparently, when I was offered some juice, I barked out…”I’ll take apple”. When I was offered some graham crackers, I barked out …”why don’t you have any saltines?”. Sometimes I can be such a diva.

Anyways, there is no way I could have walked from the surgery center to the ferry as I originally planned on. My eye patch covered almost half of my face. My visual field was definitely impaired. It was the strangest feeling. It was almost like I lacked depth perception. The anesthesia caused me to be very drowsy. I needed to hold onto someone or something to keep my footing. I could talk coherently (at least it sounded like it to me), but talking sapped my energy. This from a 15-minute outpatient surgery. Wow.

I’m writing this in hopes of helping others going through the same thing. Who would have ever thought a “minor” outpatient surgery would have such an effect?

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