I am glad you chose to visit! My blog is a compilation of the many hats I find myself wearing. On any given day I may be an encourager, an instructor, or just a lady who is venting. You, dear reader, will probably identify with my triumphs and my tribulations! These snapshots fit into my Life Scrapbook I have named A. McInnis Artworks. I hope you will find something worth your while.

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

You, My Friend, "Kneed" Help!

It starts with a pop and a crack. Then a creak and then a pain here and there. Before you know it, you are struggling to get into a standing position from sitting or kneeling. Things spiral downward from there and then you hear the words, "knee surgery". It might be a torn meniscus repair, a partial replacement or a total knee replacement, but whatever the diagnosis, it means you are going to have to face some tough decisions.

I wanted to give you some tips if you are facing (or will face) knee surgery in the near future. I know that all surgeries are different but I am certain that something I will say will help you. Others helped me through this process and I want to do the same for someone. Your knees are very important to your vitality and general well being. When they go, you are in one fine mess.

The first tip is to get to a doctor asap. If there is a question as to what's going on, they can help you through the maze. If they suggest physical therapy before surgery or specific exercises beforehand, DO THEM! The exercises will strengthen your legs and make post operative rehab easier. Don't try to push the pain out of your mind and hope it will go away. If it's something that needs repairing, it will NOT go away. The longer you wait, the more time you lose.

Surgery isn't so bad, it's the post surgery that's hard. Expect it. Go to rehab as soon as possible. It will make your down time shorter. Have a cane and a walker ready. The first few days after surgery, you will need the walker. I used one without wheels, but whatever you have can be used. I also found that walking in houseslippers was not a good idea. I had a good fitting pair of shoes and some slide on sandals with good support that worked better than slippers. Doesn't look so fashionable, but oh, well.

You will need an elevated toilet seat..NOT a toilet chair! It's a seat that elevates your toilet seat by 6 or 7 inches. It just perches on the toilet. It makes getting on and off the "throne" so much easier. (Everybody else in the house can use the other bathroom for a few weeks.)We found mine at Home Depot. It ran about $40...was a GREAT investment.

In a related matter, all the medicine they give you for pain makes your toilet habits, well, let me see how to say this, sort of out of whack. One Senokot S should do the trick. After that, two or three prunes a day are the remedy. (Can't believe I'm posting this.) Drink lots of water (I drank Lipton Diet Green Tea.)

 Resting your leg helps as does propping your legs on pillows. Icing is a must for the swelling. I used a large size bag of frozen mixed vegetables. I put the bag in a gallon size ziploc bag and kept it in the freezer. Ice for 10 minutes several times a day. I put a small cloth between the bag and my leg.

Don't over-do. I did. You pay the price. Move your legs in bed by bending your feet up and down several times a day. I did leg lifts several times a day and tried to bend my knee and bring my leg toward my middle...ouch...easy does it!

Re-hab ... oh, re-hab...what can I say? The first time I waited too long (almost 3 weeks) before going. Big mistake...go as soon as your doctor releases you. I was nauseous the first day I went because I had heard all the horror stories. Of course, my PT was wonderful and I was his faithful follower from the first session on. They are NOT Physical Terrorists! (I was actually sorry to have to quit.)

I am NO professional, but I've had two torn meniscus repairs since June, so I feel this qualifies me to give you some hot tips that might make your journey a little easier. On a more personal level (really? more personal than I've already been?!) Try to look reasonably decent. I almost scared myself to death the third day. (No, I hadn't looked in the mirror.) I looked like something from Hitchcock's Psycho. At least brush your teeth, curl your eyelashes and tame the mop. No wonder the Coach would hand me my dinner plate and run...it was the worst.

I asked other "knee" patients for their tips and they were basically the same as mine. Here are a few more: Don't and I repeat DON'T have both knees done at the same time; Do NOT wait...go get whatever you need done asap; have magazines and some handwork by your side at all times (you never know when the desire to crochet a pin cushion or a granny square afghan may strike) and get ready to see more television than you'd ever want to see...please, don't watch Honey Boo Boo. Maybe if enough of us don't watch it they will take it off the TLC channel.

Life is too short not to be able to walk,

1 comment:

Joy Burkhart said...

Thanks so much for the advice! Hope you are up and around really soon!