8 Weeks Post-op now

Hey, folks.  It has been a bit, but I wanted to check in.  Things are going better, but I definitely started traveling too soon.  Even after a week to recoup, I am quickly realizing that I should have waited longer again.  Working 80 hour weeks is too much for the knee.  Trying to keep it elevated has been a challenge as I have to get up and check on the users to make sure they are doing okay.  At least this place is a a bit smaller so I don’t have as far to walk.

I went to sleep about 0930 this morning (I’m working mids this week again).  I was actually sleeping pretty good until around 1400 when I woke up in excrutiating pain.  I’m not sure what happened.  Maybe I twisted in my sleep or something, but I woke up in tears and it took me a couple of hours to settle back down to go to sleep.

I worked with a trainer last week to start working on strengthening my knee as the therapist is working with me to calm down the baker’s cyst I have.  The workout was really good, especially considering we didn’t use a lot of weights.  We used the 22.5 pound dumbbells for my arms and just body weight for the legs.  We used the fit ball to do baby squats against the wall and for roll outs for a great core workout.  I was a bit doubtful that I would get any benefit from such a workout.  However, the next day I DEFINITELY felt it…especially in my buttocks and stomach area.  I wil be working with the trainer again on Sunday (I think).  He is going to write out a routine that I can use on a regular basis and continue to improve my strength and flexibility.

I am at 120 degree in my bend and full extension plus about 5 degree hyper extension.  Stretching is very important.  I will admit…I hate stretching.  It is boring and it reminds me that I am not flexible and not stretching enough.  So, I make myself do it…I grumble the whole time, but I do it.  🙂 

I just ordered a different cuff to go with my cryo-unit.  I found a thigh cuff.  I thought this might help since I have the baker’s cyst behind my knee.  I have been using the knee cuff for the swelling on the front and then taking that off and using an ice pack on the back of my knee.  I ordered the thigh cuff off of Amazon.com and hope that this will allow me to reduce the swelling on both the front and back of my knee at the same time.  I will let you know how it goes.

The pain is definitely decreased since prior to the surgery. I have gone down from 300 mg of Nucynta to 10 mg of Norco.  I can walk most of the day without the cane now. It is just the end of the day when I’m tired and my knee gets sore that I have to use it…and that is mainly for stability.  I have no regrets of doing this surgery.  Well, maybe just one…I wish I could have had it done sooner.  That being said, I am glad it is over and I’m in the healing process. 

Ok, time to get back to work.  Have a great rest of the week and I will check in once I get home.

Pre-op…

I had my pre-op appointment this morning.  They did a blood draw and an EKG.  I know this is going to come as a shock to those of you that know me, but I do actually have a heart.  Who knew??  🙂  I had to sign a bunch of paperwork to make sure I knew I was having a total knee replacement on my right knee as well as to make sure I knew I had to pay for it and that I might need a blood transfusion.  Let’s just go ahead and come out with all the scary stuff now.  Yeesh.  Overall, that part went really well.  As I said before, this will be my 13th surgery so most of the stuff we went over first was typical.

Then I had to go meet with the surgical nurse.  We went over meds, supplements, dietary restrictions, and the process of getting ready for surgery.  They originally told me that I had to stop taking my vitamins/supplements.  I am a gastric bypass patient and because I don’t eat like normal people, I don’t get all my vitamins in.  The nurse went and conferred and then came back and said it would be fine.

The mother of one of my friends had knee replacement and she has been sharing all sorts of hints/tips/info with me.  She said her mother had to do blood thinner injections every day for a few weeks.  I hate needles so I was a bit nervous about this entire process.  I asked the nurse and she said that she could give me a prescription for the needles if I preferred (does anyone REALLY prefer to poke themselves with a needle??) or I could just take it in pill format.  Guess which I picked?

The nurse went on to say that I would have a catheter inserted during surgery and would most likely have it remain in for two days post-op.  I’ve never had to worry about a catheter after surgery so this should be interesting.  The other thing that I have never had at any of my surgeries is a spinal block.  I haven’t done much research on it yet, but I did find an interesting forum that has what appears to be some really good information:  http://bonesmart.org/forum/threads/having-spinal-nerve-block-for-tkr.422/ .  This website has quite a bit of information on TKR and the “starting” page for them is:  http://bonesmart.org/joint-replacement-surgery/knee/ .

Another thing I learned today is that I am going to have staples in my knee.  This just seems a bit bizarre.  How is he going to be that stapler between the inside and outside of my knee?  🙂  Ok, I’m sure there is a trick to it, but staples?  Really?  I have to admit I am still a bit bummed about having such a long scar.  Well, if it takes care of the pain and allows me to do some of the things I’ve been wanting to do, then it will be totally worth it.

4 more days to go.