Knee Replacements

DATE : April 20, 2022 By :

Just 7 weeks ago, I had bilateral knee replacements. Yep – count ‘em – both knees at the same time (on the recommendation of my highly respected surgeon)! Now, everyone says how brave I must be (but thinking, “crazy”), and I was at the time! But upon waking up in recovery and being told that they could not give me anything for the level 10 pain I was in at the time until I got to my room (where there was no nurse to greet me), I realized this recovery would be much more challenging than I ever imagined!

With the new pain management protocols of some hospitals these days, it is less about making patients comfortable and more about a hesitancy to over medicate with opiates. Long story short, I did get some pain relief, but had to ask more than once for every bit of it, and then wait until understaffed and overworked nurses could get to me. In essence, I think this messed up my system, and I have struggled with very unexpected depression since the day of surgery, although it took me awhile to identify it as such. I am typically a very upbeat, independent, and self-reliant person, so this recovery process and all the emotional ups and downs that have come with it has taken me completely off-guard!

So – now that I am getting around better and feeling like there is light at the end of the tunnel (thanks, Zoloft) I wanted to tell you about some things and products that have helped me, in the hopes that it may help one of you too!

First off, we already have a split king adjustable bed – which was invaluable for elevating my legs and getting comfortable in general. If you don’t have that, for bilateral knees, I would recommend one wider wedge, rather than the single leg wedges you may see. Also, what I did not know existed (why don’t the home visit physical therapists know about this product, I don’t know) and would have been so helpful during those first few weeks, is a wrap-around ice pack designed for knees, which also has a blow-up function to add a bit of compression and to make sure there is good contact with the cold all around the knee. C:\Users\renee\OneDrive\Documents\SuccessPros\Blog. I am glad I know about it now, though – it helps with the swelling especially after doing the exercises – a true game changer!

There are two other activities that truly have saved me – music and crocheting!

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I had wonderful help the first 5 weeks after surgery – my cousin and her husband drove their motor home halfway across the country to stay with me! I will be forever grateful for their gifts of time and full-time care. Probably the thing I enjoyed most was sitting and crocheting with my cousin – and the long talks, or simply no talks that went with it. We both made things for our granddaughters – while she made TONS of Barbie clothes, I made a clip-on hipster purse, a granny square tank top for my 12-year-old granddaughter, and two amigurumi bunnies for my 2-year-old granddaughter.

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I teach flute privately, but also enjoy playing the piano. In the beginning (and still) the challenge of getting the bend back in the knees is, well, the most challenging thing I’ve ever encountered! I realized that to improve, I was going to have to push through the pain a bit more than was “comfortable” – so I sat at the piano and played for as long as I could before I hit my “wall”. In the beginning, that was if it took to play the Adagio from Moonlight Sonata – now it’s much longer than that! It truly nourished my soul and helped me physically at the same time!

As I am getting stronger, I am getting back to thinking about creating again – more to share soon!

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