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Detroit Red Wings advance to Semi-Finals…WOOHOOO!!

My beloved Detroit Red Wings kicked some butt last night by beating the Phoenix Coyotes in Game 7 of the series. The final score…6-1. Finally, after all this time, it was the Wings I have been accustomed to watching. It was like watching the waking of a giant. WHAT A GRRREAT GAME!! How nice….:) The only drawback….the game took it out of me. I was pooped when it ended. 🙂

The Phoenix Coyotes were phenomenal throughout this 2009-2010. Considering they didn’t know what was going to happen with the team when the season started….it truly is a “Cinderella story”. I was rooting for the Coyotes each time they played (unless they played the Wings). They were so much fun to watch. Dave Tibbett did a fantastic job of coaching the team. In fact, he’s a candidate for the Jack Adams Award which is given to the NHL Coach of the Year. Just a great all around hockey story. It was touching to see the team collect at center ice to salute their fans. Total class. And, the handshake line was priceless to watch..It was sad to see the Coyotes lose, but great to see the Wings win. 🙂

Anyways, it’s the Red Wings V San Jose Sharks in the semi-finals. Can’t wait. The Sharks have been a fun team to watch this entire year. I’m sure the series will be a GREAT ONE!!

GO WINGS!!

Benefits of Early Morning Walking & TKR

Part of recuperating from a tkr involves learning how to walk again. We start out slow to gradually retrain our muscles and build up our strength. Sometimes, it is downright tiring. However..it is worth it. Here are some of the benefits of going for an early morning walk. At least they work for me, so I’m hoping they work for you as well…

Hear the chirping birds communicating with each other.
See the deer out for their early morning stroll.
Watch the deer graze on the neighbor’s rose bushes. (That’s especially entertaining..:) )

Finally see the elusive neighborhood pheasant. All last year I heard him, but never caught a glimpse.
First, he calls out. Then, as I follow the call, I finally spot him. He’s gorgeous. Just gorgeous. He’s
pecking on my neighbors grass. He likes to hang out on my neighbor’s backyard cliff and just take
in the scenery. It’s fun to watch him.

No cars are on the road. Nice. Words cannot describe how nice that is.
The sun is rising. There is a beautiful landscape to behold.
The wind is rustling through the trees.
Breathe in the fresh air.
Watch the flowers open up.
Watch the birds engage in squabbles and territorial right maneuvers. Entertaining. 🙂
Work up a sweat to start the day in a healthy manner.

Just a few reasons to start the day walking.
THE END

Gotta go get my exercise in before settling in to watch Game 7 between Red Wings & Coyotes. Yikes…

Happy Earth Day!

Earth Day is 40 years old today. Wow..Wishing everyone a Happy Earth Day today. Appreciate the earth and all it offers. Respect its resources. Do something kind for it today. Enjoy!

Guest Post – How Yoga Helped a TKR Patient

The last couple of Guests Posts were written by Karen, a visiting nurse. As mentioned in her bio, her mother had undergone a tkr. Part of the recuperation involved yoga.

Here is a post written by the yoga instructor, Melanie Willsher. It relates to how Karen’s mom could kneel after her tkr, with the assistance of yoga. Enjoy!

In June 2009, I worked with an 85-year old woman who had knee replacement surgery in one knee, in April 2009. Her attitude was of openness and trust, and she was accompanied by her daughter, a nurse, who was full of love and encouragement…..

Our session lasted one hour. The leg was swollen, discolored and painful. She was very aware of her limits, and afraid of falling if she tried to kneel.

Before we began, I asked her: What suggestions her surgeon had made? Were there movements she’d been advised not to do? My intentions were to find ways to maintain motion of the knee replacement, to ensure she could walk safely, to discover together what degree of flexibility she could safely practice, and how to get down to and up from the floor.

My props were a sturdy chair, yoga mat and wall. First she sat slowly down onto the chair. She gently raised forward the painful knee to foot, and back down again, several times. With the offer of arm support on either side of her if she wanted it, she went from standing by placing one foot slightly behind the other. She was using the chair seat for support. She slowly went down on the good knee. She leaned forward and was sitting on the good knee-side. She was then able to sit on her buttocks, against the wall, and straighten her legs. This was no mean feat……

While bending the strong knee, she raised then lowered and bent her painful knee. She then straightened the painful knee. Her hip joints were flexible which helped to stabilize the knees. All her leg movements were small, simple and comfortable. All her leg movements were repeated several times. She rested, and when ready, began again. She slowly lowered herself down onto her back. We repeated these moves, of bending and straightening, lifting and lowering. We compared flexibility between both legs and she was encouraged by just how much mobility she had in her tkr leg. To stand, she reversed the process of kneeling, with support offered if she wanted and requested it. She then went back to sitting on the chair. She rested while reflecting on the effects she had just made and accomplished. Finally, she started walking slowly out of the studio.

She was a great teacher, with the wisdom of one who knows that the body recovers at its own pace, and needs infinite time……

Author Bio:
Melanie Willsher is am a hatha yoga teacher, in Sardinia and UK. Her practice has been influenced by her training as a music therapist, and her ongoing studies with Diane Long, a student of Vanda Scaravelli.

Visit her website at: http://www.yoga-breaks-italy.co.uk

Guest Post…Wound Healing Part II

Here is Part II of Karen’s article on Wound Healing. Enjoy!

PHASES OF HEALING

The four phases of wound healing are:

* Haemostasis,
* Inflammation,
* Proliferation or Granulation
* Remodeling or Maturation

Haemostasis

During this phase, which is initiated immediately, damaged blood vessels must be sealed off rapidly to prevent critical blood loss. The immediate response is for the blood vessels to constrict long enough for the platelets to intervene. These blood cells organize themselves to form a stable mesh, commonly known as a clot, at the site of the damaged blood vessels. In this way the site is plugged and the loss of blood abated. Platelets also secrete other substances which contribute to the process and initiate subsequent steps.

Inflammation

Inflammation is commonly recognized by its characteristic signs of redness, swelling, heat and pain. This phase usually lasts up to four days after injury and its purpose is to protect the body against bacterial onslaught and to clean up the wound site. The presence in such large numbers of various different blood cells, all with their own roles to play, is what typically causes the previously mentioned characteristic signs. Some cells protect against infection, others clear up the debris left after bacteria have been eliminated. Some cells also direct the next stage.

Proliferation

Granulation commences about four days after wound formation and lasts until about the 21st day, depending on the size of the wound. It is characterized by the presence in the wound of pebbled red tissue. During this phase, the wound contracts significantly as new tissue is produced. The cells involved secrete collagen constructing a framework on which deeper skin tissue is first regenerated and then finally the outer protective layer of skin.

Regeneration

The final stage can last up to two years. It is in this phase that tensile strength is acquired as the tissue and skin are remodeled. It is important to be aware that the healing process continues throughout this phase, even though it is no longer apparent to the naked eye. This means that whatever you do once you are no longer receiving medical attention is significant as it will determine how well you heal.

CONCLUSION

In healthy individuals with no underlying factors to interfere with healing, an acute wound such as an operative incision should heal within three weeks with remodeling occurring over the next year or so. Remember that what is visibly taking place at the surface is also occurring in the deep tissues, including the bone, muscle and other supporting tissues, all of which will have been “injured” in the process of replacing your knee. All of these tissues will also be healing at the same rate and according to the same principles as the site of the wound that has been stitched. The stitches are there merely to hold the tissues in place whilst they get on with the job of healing themselves.

If you only retain one thing from this article, it should be that healing is a natural process. All that any of us can do to influence it, is to act to remove obstructions and hindrances which might delay it, and ensure that the best possible conditions are in place to promote and enhance it.


AUTHOR BIO:

Karen Newby is a district nurse (also known as visiting or home nurse) with a practice in Paris, France. She specializes in the care of patients in the post-operative period, and in particular, the care of their wounds. However, she also speaks as someone who has experienced the satisfaction of putting her 30-years professional experience to use in a personal context by assisting your mother through a tkr.

Guest Post on TKR Healing- Part I

Hello everyone! As this blog progresses, I will be adding Guest Posts written by individuals who can share expertise about tkr issues.

Today, I am honored to share with you a guest post written by one of my readers, a nurse. Here is Karen’s post..Enjoy!

A SERIES OF ARTICLES ON HEALING

This article is the first in a series dealing with Healing after Knee Replacement (KR). In this article, I will describe the process of normal wound healing in general terms, and moreover how the body heals itself. Whilst acknowledging all types of healing, this article deals specifically with the physiological healing of wound tissue. Once you have grasped the basics of normal wound healing, you will be in a better position to recognize any deviation from the norm and take steps to avoid or correct its development.

Future articles will deal with:

healing as it relates to knee replacement surgery,
delayed healing and what causes it,
what you can do to promote optimum healing,
a first-hand account of the post-operative period.

Whether you are preparing for a knee replacement, or are already in possession of a new knee, after reading this series of articles you will have gained some idea of what to expect in the post-operative period and how you can influence the outcome. The aim of this series of articles is to equip you with the information needed to fulfill your role in your body’s healing, confidently and without fear.

INJURY

Injury can occur in any part of the body. It can occur internally, as in the case of a ruptured appendix, fractured tibia, or burst aneurysm, and externally, as a result of sunburn, a penetrating wound or a venous ulcer. Injuries do not arise spontaneously, they are the consequence of a causative agent, whether it be externally applied, internally generated or the outcome of a combination of degenerative factors. So if we refer back to the previous examples, a ruptured appendix will often result from an infection, a fractured tibia from a blow to the lower leg, and a burst aneurysm from a progressive weakening of part of the wall of an artery.

Operative procedures inherently injure the body, and are tolerated on the understanding that they are ultimately performed with the altruistic aim of removing or altering conditions which are harmful to the body. However, whilst operative procedures and post-operative practices may differ from country to country, healing the world over (and throughout the animal and plant world) conforms to one universal property: it is programmed into the cells and tissues of the body of every living entity. The body has foreseen the need to protect itself against the vagaries of existing in a hostile environment fraught with many potentially hazardous encounters. Healing is one in a vast array of physiological self-protective mechanisms and whether you’re a bird, a bee or a sycamore tree, one of the things you share with humans is the capacity to heal after injury.

Naturally, it goes without saying that there are limits to the body’s capacity to heal. In the same way as no one would expect a pile of wood shavings to restore itself to a tree, likewise no one would imagine the body capable of reassembling its scattered constitutive parts after an explosion and subsequently establishing a process of healing. But as in the case of our ruptured aneurysm, in the presence of skilfully applied medical intervention, it is certainly conceivable for the body to recover from injuries, which left to its own devices, it would be incapable of overcoming.

HOW DO WOUNDS HEAL

Healing is a physiological process which contains a number of stages. The process, each of the four phases and every aspect of the process are programmed. Each phase is programmed to take a certain amount of time and healing can be delayed in any of the stages. Thus a wound can appear to be healing well and then suddenly appear to stagnate for some time. At each stage, different physiological factors intervene, each with their own essential functions to perform, and combined, they result in the injury being healed. Each stage succeeds and naturally occurs as a result of the previous one, so that each has to be completed successfully before the next stage can be engaged. However, in order for the process of healing to run a normal course a number of predetermined factors have to be present. If some hindrance exists, or if the components of the process are lacking, healing will be delayed. Interference to healing will be dealt with as a separate topic in a subsequent article, but an obvious cause might be the interruption of the blood supply to the area needing to be healed. Less obvious, but more commonly encountered, might be the absence of essential nutritional elements.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Karen Newby is a district nurse (also known as visiting or home nurse) with a practice in Paris, France. In her words…I specialize in the care of patients in the post-operative period, and in particular, the care of their wounds. However, I also speak as someone who has experienced the satisfaction of putting her 30 years professional experience to use in a personal context. Last year, I had the pleasure of accompanying my mother, a very active and highly motivated 85 year-old, from her first consultation with the orthopaedic surgeon, throughout her post-operative period to her six-week check up. Her recovery was rounded off with a well-deserved holiday in the sun, during which, under the guidance of an experienced yoga teacher, she overcame an understandable fear of kneeling. Later on that day, absent-mindedly standing up after waking from a snooze on the beach, she knelt on her prosthetic knee for the first time………. without complaint and without any after effects, other than surprise.

(Another guest post by Melanie, mom’s yoga instructor, will follow.)

Why Playoff Hockey ROCKS!!

I’ve also posted this on my hockey blog…but wanted to post it here, also. Enjoy!

A hockey stick gets caught between a head visor and helmet…

A hockey stick gets caught in the skate of a goaltender…

A hockey stick gets caught in the skate of a defenseman…

Six players strong rush towards the net, in a race which determines the puck’s destiny…

A player, with a broken nose, wears a full face mask instead of sitting out…

A player receives a full body check and starts a full-team retaliatory assault…

The action is so fast-paced, the play-by-play announcer praises God for a break in the action. You hear a deep exhale as he breathlessly states this…

These are just a few reasons why hockey fans love playoff hockey and look forward to this time of the year so much.

Playoff hockey is here and ROCKS!!!!!!!!!!

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