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Babying My Non-TKR Knee

It’s happening. Yikes. I wrote previously about how my “good” knee is showing signs of wear and tear. I’ve had other readers mention the same thing. Now…I find myself doing things like I used to do with my former “bad” knee….Before I start, let me say that I am grateful for everything I have. I know it could be much worse. I am not feeling sorry for myself. I am very blessed to have two legs, etc….

I walk up and down stairs one at a time on many days. That used to be the technique for my “bad” knee. Sometimes stairs are too much to handle. I don’t go outside.

As much as I may believe that it’s mind over matter, I wonder how this applies to arthritis. My “good” knee is exhibiting symptoms of developing arthritis. I don’t know how thoughts can control that. Do you?

I do not go up and down steep hills like I used to do for exercise purposes. My “good” knee becomes inflamed and painful far too easily afterwards.

The crunching is getting louder and louder. That’s just downright creepy.

Depending upon the day, etc…my knee can slightly swell after exertion along the perimeters of my kneecap.

My knee joint can become painful just by applying weight on it. It doesn’t happen all the time, but it does happen.

My knee is beginning to not look or feel like a “normal” (I don’t like using the word normal, but I don’t know what else applies here) knee from the outside. That’s creepy.

(As I’m writing this, I’m hearing an 18-year old singing to “Dancing in the Streets” by David Bowie. How cool is it to see and hear music transcending age groups? Too cool…)

Back to my story…

It’s been 2 years and 5 months since my tkr and I do not want to go through another one. I don’t and I won’t.

Hope this helps others going through the same thing…

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Stationary Bike V Walking After TKR

I have written previous posts about the benefits of both walking and using a stationary bike after having a tkr. However, within the past month something has occurred that is quite interesting to me. So…I thought I’d share.

Walking is fun. You can talk to other people, pet the walking dogs and enjoy the scenery.
Kudos for walking. Plus, it both increases our tkr flexibility and muscle strength.

Stationary bikes, on the other hand, are not much fun. I don’t care how much I read about how you can watch tv, enjoy music, etc. while riding a bike. They’re not fun. That being said, the workout results are tremendously above those of walking. Let me explain…

After not riding my bike for about a month (I did walk daily, however), I got on my bike. Yikes. My tkr knee was much stiffer than I thought. It was much harder to start riding my bike. I couldn’t even pedal at the previous tension. I needed to reduce the tension and start over again.

I noticed that after riding my bike again, stairs were easier to climb and descend. It was easier to sit down and rise from my seat. My tkr could bend much easier after riding my bike.

So…that’s my insight into riding a stationary bike V walking after having a tkr. Not fun..but very beneficial.

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TKR Sleeping Update

Hi everyone. Just thought I’d share some news. I’m doing research about total knee replacement, tkr, and came across something that just cracks me up. One site I visited lists a variety of benefits to having the surgery. One of the benefits listed is…I’m not kidding…”undisturbed sleep”. HAH!! We all know that takes MONTHS to achieve. That’s not mentioned in the article. (Wonder why?)

After I stopped laughing so hard and snorting (did I say that?), I just had to get on here and share this finding with you. Hopefully, you’ll be as entertained as I was. That’s my hope, anyways.

Enjoy! Hope everyone is doing the best they can!

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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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Oversleeping After A TKR

You read the title correctly. There will come a time when sleeping through the night is possible after a tkr. Seems impossible at times, but there is a light at the end of the tunnel. After so many LONG months without getting sound sleep, I thought it was important to share some updating news. There are previous posts about sleeping difficulties following my tkr. Take a look….

It took me about 8 months after my tkr before I could sleep more than 2-4 hours at a time. I couldn’t sleep comfortably. No position was good for me. All caused pain….

Now…27 months after my tkr, I can sleep without pain. It is exhilarating. In fact, it’s so thrilling, that I oversleep. I will wake up, stretch, HAVE NO PAIN and smile. With a smile of contentment upon my face, I fall back asleep.

Sometimes my nerve damage will remind me that it is there. I don’t care. The intensity level is nothing like it used to be.

So…if you are going through the post-tkr phase of sleeplessness (and, if you haven’t been there yet….I assure you…you will be), try to remember that it is short term. Short term may last almost a year, but it does end. Then, the pleasure and capability of sleep, good ole sleep, will return.

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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.

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