Friends have asked me to share my experiences with this recent TKR. I thought about it a lot. Probably the best summary can be found in a book I read before the surgery on Total Knee Replacement (listed below in my ‘Good Reads’ block.) Pain, mostly it’s the pain. Much worse than hip replacement surgery which seems like a stroll in the park comparatively.
While I was hospitalized, several people mentioned the most important thing in recovery was to stay ahead of the pain. They told me it would be about 10 days before the pain subsided (I am at Day 10 today). I went through several drugs before I found one that fitted me…Hydrocodone every four hours. Hydrocodone is 95% acitimetaphin and 5% percent opiate.
The first time Noel, the hospital physical therapist, had me out of bed (day after surgery), I yelled in pain when I tried to stand. But I worked at walking, first to the bedside commode, then the porcelain toilet bowl in the bathroom. Progress. I am not a bed pan person.
Next day, Noel hardly recognized me. She told me later she thought I would not be able to go home on time when she first saw me. Moral..push through the pain.
I came home Saturday, two days after surgery. That evening, I fell while trying to stand up from the toilet. Called 911 and asked my big burly rescuer to pick me up off the floor. Apologized for being so fat I could not get off the floor. Happy I had lost the 40 pounds.
Okay, not hurt. Installed a toilet frame the next day (Joy did it, it had been in David’s workshop for a year). Moral of the story get your toilet frame installed early, remove scatter rugs, lose weight.
Dehydrated…the hospital recommends 5-6 glasses of water per day before surgery..not coffee, not tea, not cola. Doc said I was dehydrated. Spent the next few days trying to hydrate. Constipation bad, but not as bad as last time. Remembered to eat right in the weeks before surgery.
UTI from the catheter again… another antibiotic. Lots of Pedialyte. Feel better.
VJ, my visiting physical therapist, says I am his best patient. I tell him its my “magic jeans.” Losing weight and back in my favorite blue jeans, I feel young. Got the “can do” spirit back.