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New Address

Hi my favorite readers! I wanted everyone to know that I have transferred this site over to a new address. The new address will provide a more user-friendly format that, hopefully, everyone can enjoy.
Any feedback on the site is appreciated.

Click on the blue text:

Thank You…

I wanted to take a short moment and, once again, thank everyone for making this site such a success. It it because of you, your input, support and insight that others do not feel alone in their tkr journey.

Thank you from the bottom of my heart and soul. 🙂

Marie (aka Booktoots)

Don’t Use Your TKR As An Excuse…

We all know how difficult the tkr recuperation process is. And, that’s an understatement. However, please do not use your new knee as an excuse to become unhealthy.

During the first couple of weeks after a tkr, varying degrees of depression is common. If you didn’t feel that way, I’d say something’s wrong. However, you need to exercise and take care of yourself. Period. If you don’t, why did you have the tkr in the first place? Didn’t you want to improve the quality of your life? Of course, you did.

Some say that they gain weight and experience other health ailments because they “can’t exercise”. Bull. Grab your crutches (or walker) and walk around the interior of your house. It’s not only exercise, it’s therapy. Use your muscles and be grateful you have them. Get your tkr working. When you’re sitting down, do isometrics. Tighten your muscles for a few seconds and release the tension. This is very easy exercise. You will burn calories. Yes, in the beginning stages it’s painful. That’s why it’s called rehabilitation. You’re only helping yourself. There are a variety of tkr exercises on this blog that you can do. Look around.

Once you have progressed beyond the initial few weeks, get outside and walk. You don’t have to walk a mile a minute, start out at your own pace. If you walk at a snail’s pace (which I did), so be it. Walk at a comfortable pace. Make certain you have good walking shoes. Just walk. You will burn calories irregardless how fast you walk, simply because you’re moving your body. You don’t need any fancy gym equipment to partake in walking.

All the calorie-burning exercise in the world won’t matter if you’re not eating properly. Eating a healthy diet can be fun and tasty. For instance, snack on fresh fruits and vegetables instead of calorie-laden processed foods. Visit my natural foods blog at http://www.myuniquecookery.blogspot.com for more help.

Good luck! Control your thought processes and your tkr rehab.

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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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Another Benefit of Exercising after TKR

We all know the importance of exercising during tkr recuperation. However, once recuperation stops, exercising needs to continue. There are a variety of benefits, many of them I have written about previously. A new one happened yesterday, two years after my tkr.

I was sitting at a desk for most of the day. Throughout the day, I would stand up and move around. Stretching was good. When the day ended, though, my tkr knee area was painful. All areas, not just the front were causing discomfort. My nerve alongside the outer portion was touchy, the back of my knee was both stiff and painful, and my ankle was telling me something needed to be done (it was stiff and uncomfortable). And, my lower back was causing discomfort. Woah…

When I got home, I was very tired. Instead of going inside, making dinner and just relaxing…I went for a walk. My body needed to move. It was a 30-minute walk. Great weather, kind of chilly, but still nice.

What a difference! It took about three minutes to get everything moving fluidly. The more fluid my tkr leg moved, the less pain and discomfort there was. Nice…:)

The day ended with my being a happy camper, enjoying a great meal and relishing in watching some good ole hockey. 🙂

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It’s Two Years Since My TKR

I just re-read my 20-month post tkr post. Nothing much has changed, actually. There is one change, however. Now that I have reached the two year point, I do not have to take antibiotics whenever I go to the dentist. That’s great, in my opinion.

I attribute my success to the fact that I have diligently exercised every day. Starting out it was the rehab-type exercises. We all know the tremendous amount of work involved in doing that. I enjoyed it, however. I’ve always enjoyed exercising. I feel frustrated and “fat” when I don’t do some sort of exercise for at least 30 minutes daily. I also eat a healthy diet.

I have been very fortunate that I have not had any infections or other ill health along the way. My scar has healed wonderfully. In fact, it’s a trophy of sorts. 🙂

My prosthesis is obviously the correct size. After reading comments from other tkr patients, I feel very fortunate with this.

My knee clicked for only a couple of weeks. I wrote a blog post about that. I haven’t had any problem with that since.

Stairs are still a big bite. Going downstairs is more painful. Going upstairs is more of a strain on my “good” knee. I’m not overweight, either.

If I sit in a traditional office-style chair, it is not fun getting out of it. After sitting in the chair for about 15 minutes, it usually takes a few minutes for my tkr leg to adjust and “straighten out” upon standing up. It can be very painful. I believe this is related to my extensive nerve damage. (I’ve written another post about that. It was caused by bone spurs).

When using a public restroom, the height of the toilet seat is a concern. Most times I need to use the hand rails. If there are not any, I look around for something else to hold onto. If there is nothing to hold onto, I wish I was a male… (they can stand and take care of their #1 business…my attempt at a joke).

If I bend my tkr beyond a certain point, it is extremely painful. I just don’t bend it beyond that point. (Remember that joke..”Hey, doc..it hurts when I do this,” says the patient. “Don’t do it” replies the doctor.)

It is painful when I first start to ride my stationary bike. My tkr does start to “warm up” after about two minutes.

My tkr swells up a bit after exercising more than about 30 minutes. The swelling is no where near what it was during the recuperation exercise process. Sometimes put ice on it, other times I don’t. It’s not that big of a deal.

I can walk without pain. I can function on a daily basis without pain. The thrill of that cannot be described in words.

My tkr has about 115 flexibility. That’s better than it was prior to my tkr. I’m not worried about it.

I can kneel, but it is very slow and deliberate. And, it’s uncomfortable. I only do it when necessary. And, it’s done on a cushioned surface.

I don’t participate in any impact sports or perform any sudden movements of my tkr. There’s a snow tubing expedition coming up that I wouldn’t feel comfortable with. Snow shoeing is doable, though. 🙂

My “good” knee makes crunching sounds regularly. This occurs when I go up stairs or just walk. That’s not what I want to hear.

My “good” knee also swells up and is a bit tender after exercising or doing stairs. That’s not what I want to see.

I can lay flat and my tkr leg will settle into position without much pain. Somedays it takes longer than other days. No big deal.

I can sleep through the entire night. That’s right. It does happen, just takes a LONG time.
I can even sleep on my tkr side without pain. Usually, though, it is painful to stand up after laying on that side.

Well, that’s all I can think of now. Overall…all the PAIN, sleepless nights and frustration of having a tkr is worth it to me. Not once during the original recuperation did I regret having the surgery. Not once since have I regretted it.

Hope this helps others going through the same thing.

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Why My TKR Recuperation May Be Different than Yours

My readers are great. Thank you!! I just received an email from one of my favorite long-time contributors. We’ve been communicating for so long, I consider her one of my online friends. 🙂 She reminded me that I need to mention my individual situation as it relates to my tkr recuperation. Maybe by doing that, others can relate better. So…

Shoe lift. I wear an inch, external shoe lift. After my car accident, my femurs (thighbones) are different lengths. This has caused scoliosis, which is another article. Wearing a shoe lift has also caused my knee to not have average flexibility. (This means I have to work harder than the average bear to improve my tkr bend). I’ve been wearing an inch lift for the past 35 years. Due to that, my gait was “not normal” for all those years. When I had my tkr, I needed to learn how to walk like an average person. Even though I still wear a shoe lift, my gait is not what the average person has.

Scar tissue. I have different sites where there is excessive scar tissue surrounding my femur. There is a spot around my knee area. Another area is on the upper portion of my femur. And, still, another area is in the center of my femur. These individual areas of all due to multiple surgeries and fractures which occurred about 34 years ago. It was never mentioned that massaging scar tissue areas could help me back then. So…the excess tissue has been around for some time.

Bundled nerves. Due to my previous fractures, I have a noticeable nerve bundle on the inner portion of my thigh. It’s located closer to my knee than groin. I remember having a regular massage years ago. When the masseuse started working on my inner thigh, I almost went through the roof. The massage was cut short due to the pain level. (It was supposed to be relaxing). She mentioned how it was probably related to the accident, but it didn’t make any sense to me. Upon going through tkr rehab, my pt lady started doing a deep tissue massage. Once again, it was very painful. I learned that I needed to perform this massage on a regular basis in order to improve my tkr flexibility. The more massage done, the more the bundles are lessened. That is interesting to me.

Hopefully my individual background can help others going through a tkr recuperation. I’m simply trying to show how everyone recuperating from a tkr has a history that affects the entire process.

Good luck!

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