Banner - Hide this banner





Author Topic: Kathy's Pre-op Diary  (Read 31424 times)

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.

Offline tanyap

  • SuperKNEEgeek
  • *****
  • *
  • *
  • Posts: 2902
  • Liked: 0
Re: Kathy's Pre-op Diary
« Reply #45 on: May 21, 2008, 09:30:01 AM »
My PT said that even if I don't build up muscle, I am helping keep the neural pathways open and I increase my chances of a quicker recovery.

Kathy - just wanted to highlight what you said there - that is EXTREMELY important!!! My pathways closed down from slow atrophy over the years and it took a LOT to open them up. At least if they are open you have a better chance at building muscle.
xx
1986 - recurrent dislocations of right patella began
1988 - Modified Hauser Procedure
1991 - dislocations started again
2005 to 2007 - 150 dislocations in 2 years - OUCH!!!
June 2007 - new OS, new physio
Oct 2007 - VMO woke up
Mar 2008 - big quads, still dislocating
Apr 2008 - next OS app

Offline kathat

  • SuperKNEEgeek
  • *****
  • *
  • Posts: 1520
  • Liked: 1
  • Aussie, Aussie, Aussie
Re: Kathy's Pre-op Diary
« Reply #46 on: May 22, 2008, 12:21:26 PM »
Hi Guys,

I think I've overdone the exercise a bit!! My knees are aching and my legs have been insanely crawly for the last few nights (too much exercise does that  :P). I had to take a Temazepam and a Tramadol just to get to sleep last night, and I haven't been up to doing much today. I have too much to do, and sitting around doing nothing because of my knees has really irritated me.

I am trying to work out what I need to be doing to prepare for this surgery. Will I have to sit down to shower? How long should I plan to have easy/pre-cooked meals for? What is the best way to carry food and drink when on crutches? What other things do I need to consider for when I am in a brace and for when I am on crutches? What am I going to find difficult? Is there anything I can do now to make things easier? I am setting up my bed in my sewing room, so I don't disturb hubby when I can't sleep. I think I'll start storing up on some microwave meals and easy to cook things, as well as other food and items that keep, so I don't have to worry about the grocery shopping for a bit - hubby can just pop down the local shop for milk, bread and other perishables. I'll have to get another couple of ice packs too. Any more ideas?

I am starting to be aware that I don't have heaps of time to prepare, as I have a busy schedule with work, Scout training, and costume sewing. At least the costume sewing will bring in a bit of extra cash to buy shelving for my sewing room to keep it tidier  ::) and will help pay the out-of-pocket expenses for the surgery.

I hope everyone is having a better knee day than me  ;)

Cheers,

Kathy

Offline Beda

  • SuperKNEEgeek
  • *****
  • Posts: 824
  • Liked: 1
    • Bedas Atelier
Re: Kathy's Pre-op Diary
« Reply #47 on: May 22, 2008, 06:56:31 PM »
Hi kathy. have read your thoughts - when my surgery comes I too will be thinking in those lines, but I live with my mom now, so I will have someone to take care of suff like food prep. etc. guess I'm lucky like that, but I have a very long recovery process in front of me. I wont be in a brace or cast unless the OS feels my leg needs the extra stability under surgery. He told me he'd rather put a cast too many on than not enough, so I dont know what to expect.
Have moved house now, nearly took the life ot of me, and my modem failed so I havnt been able to keep in contact, but now things are fixed so I'm back on line. I'll try to write some more later, but right now m legs bitching and I'm VERY tired, soooo
good night
love bedaxx
'79 trauma v.knee
'81surgery patella lux.
'84 osteochondritis dissecans
'86 osteotomy
until now 16 knee surgerys ink. 6 failed tkr. pretty much exhausted all areas and types of surgical proceedures for knees
all TKR's loosened & failed
2008 wait for Final arthrodesis
constant pain

Offline Peg Leg

  • Forum Faithful
  • ****
  • Posts: 495
  • Liked: 0
Re: Kathy's Pre-op Diary
« Reply #48 on: May 22, 2008, 09:26:46 PM »
Kathy,

   Hi!  You're wise to start preparing now, instead of the week before surgery!  I cooked double meals and froze one, to stock up my freezer.  I also bought non-perishable items such as Toilet Paper, etc.. kids snacks for their lunches, drinks that I enjoy, my  fiber ( don't overlook this important item!! and Dulcolax,too! :o :o) and extra chicken soup, applesauce and fruit since I eat mainly this for a week after surgery, because the drugs do a number on my tummy.  I use a shower seat, but some have recommended a plastic yard chair, I also borrowed a raised potty chair and used a small stool to support my foot.  A friend loaned me a walker with a seat and this comes in handy for moving things around the kitchen.  I set stuff on the seat and hop!! Also, a large water bottle is easy to carry while on crutches or you can toss it in the backpack.
I also use a lightweight  mesh backpack bag to carry things when I move from room to room, or from the porch to inside.  It works well since your hands are occupied by the crutches.  I also have set up a room downstairs and it has worked out really well.  I read at night when I can't sleep and the stairs are just too dangerous when we are high on the meds!
   Our friends and Church brought us meals about 3x's a week for the first 4 weeks and that helped so much!  I also bought some convenience frozen foods that were easy for the kids to prepare. I have also had to arrange rides to PT and the Doc. since my husband travels quite a bit.  Thats all I can think of right now, but I hope some of this is helpful!  If I come up with anything else, I''ll pass it on.  I hope that knee settles down for you!  Mine is hurting today, but I am doing more and more each day, so it's to be expected I guess.

Take Care!  Peg Leg
10/06  Miicrofracture Rt knee on mfc
defect was 1.3x2, small defect under patella
04/07 Arthroscopy/Cell harvest for Carticel
06/28/07 Carticel surgery ,Rt. Knee
12/27/07  Scope to debride Patella lesion,Rt. Knee
4/17/08  Fulkerson AMZ, Rt. Knee
6/25/09 ConforMis BiCompartmental Knee Replacement

Offline kathat

  • SuperKNEEgeek
  • *****
  • *
  • Posts: 1520
  • Liked: 1
  • Aussie, Aussie, Aussie
Re: Kathy's Pre-op Diary
« Reply #49 on: May 22, 2008, 11:52:14 PM »
Thanks Peg,

Lots of useful info there. I hear you on the fibre!!! Those pain meds certainly have some annoying side effects  :P Hubby has come to the conclusion that meat dishes that have been frozen somehow taste different and upset his tummy  ::) so I can't pre-prepare and freeze any meals for him. I'll do some for the kids and leave him to his own devises if necessary (he might appreciate pre-prepared meals after that). I will get him some bought frozen dinners (which he WILL eat - dunno why mine are any different!). I am like you in that I won't be eating much in the first week. I'll just graze on crackers, soup and toast. I'll have to arrange rides to PT and the OS too, as hubby works during PT hours. I don't know how I'll manage this during school holidays when we all have our kids at home - it's a bit hard to fit two adults and all our shared kids in one car! I guess I'll have to find a babysitter too, or use my friends with 7-8 seater vehicles.

We have a yard chair I can use in the shower, but I don't know how I'll be able to stretch my leg out straight without leaving the shower door open. I might look out for a high stool I can perch on instead, so my leg is at a different angle (more straight down) and I can fit in the shower cubicle. I think a raised toilet seat with handles is probably a must, as I can't imagine sitting on the loo as it is with one leg out of commission and the other knee not 100%. I think that's the first thing I'll get, along with a stool to prop my leg on. I can work around the rest if need be. A walker with a seat would be handy. After my LRs, I used a laundry trolley, but I can't really lean on it to walk. I guess I can crutch it and just shove it along in front as I go. I'll think of something.

I have offered to help my friend paint her house today. I am doing the feature walls, as I have a steady hand to do straight edges, and any wobbly painting will show up easily with the darker paint she is using. I HATE looking at wobbly paint jobs!! I don't think my knees are going to like me after this! At least she is only next door, so I can duck home in between coats (I'll do the cutting in at the edges and she can do the roller bits with her other helpers).

Anyway, it's off to school to drop off the kids now. Thanks again Robin.

Kathy
« Last Edit: May 23, 2008, 03:34:31 AM by kathat »

Offline KW

  • SuperKNEEgeek
  • *****
  • *
  • Posts: 1408
  • Liked: 1
  • My new PFJR...Love It!!!!
Re: Kathy's Pre-op Diary
« Reply #50 on: May 23, 2008, 12:03:56 AM »
Kathy~ With my last TTT Revision I did not get a actual medical shower seat.  I used a plastic step stool for a home improvment store (Lowes for those in the states)....



I sat on the top step.  It is a perfect fit for a tub/shower combo.  It was a heck of a lot cheaper then the shower stool I got for my 2nd TTT...and the expensive shower stool was made of really cheap material that did not last very long (thus needing to get another).  Now i use the step stool to sit on when I work in the garden.

Karen
Right Knee
2000 - 2002 - Scope,LR,TTT,Unscrewed
01-10-12 - PFJR

Left Knee
04/07 TTT/LR
08/07 Bone Grth Stim
10/07 Loose/Bent Screw
1/08 Unscrewed/MRI~NON-UNION
02/19/08 Lt  TTT Revision W/Graft
12/09/08 Scope
05/15/09 Scope
09/04/09 PFJR/Unscrewed

Offline kathat

  • SuperKNEEgeek
  • *****
  • *
  • Posts: 1520
  • Liked: 1
  • Aussie, Aussie, Aussie
Re: Kathy's Pre-op Diary
« Reply #51 on: May 23, 2008, 03:28:07 AM »
Thanks for the idea Karen. I hadn't planned on buying a proper shower chair, as I could probably make do with something from home. I like the idea of the step stool though. I am still trying to work out what to do with my leg in the shower though. I guess I'd fit diagonally across the shower with my leg stuck out in front of me, and a stool like yours would enable me to do that. I am not really tall, but I do have longish legs and a smallish shower, so if I have to keep my leg straight then things are going to be awkward.

Beda - I live with my hubby and two kids, but none of them are very good in the kitchen. I am good at finding quick and easy meals, so I think I'll be doing that while I am on crutches. The kids will get cooking lessons too, as they'll have to help a bit!! Hubby can contribute in the first week or so when I will be too sore to do much.

Kathy

Offline KW

  • SuperKNEEgeek
  • *****
  • *
  • Posts: 1408
  • Liked: 1
  • My new PFJR...Love It!!!!
Re: Kathy's Pre-op Diary
« Reply #52 on: May 23, 2008, 03:40:47 AM »
Kathy~ Unless you are told otherwise you will be able to bend your knee some after surgery.  It's not like it is going to be stuck straight.  I was able to bend my knee enough to get it in the tub with me.  When i was not allowed to get the stitches wet I would cover them in plastic wrap and prop my leg up on the side of the tub. 

A hand held shower head is a good thing too.  Made things really easy. 

For the first week or so I washed my hair in the kirchen sink and washed the rest of me with baby wipes and wash cloths.

Karen
Right Knee
2000 - 2002 - Scope,LR,TTT,Unscrewed
01-10-12 - PFJR

Left Knee
04/07 TTT/LR
08/07 Bone Grth Stim
10/07 Loose/Bent Screw
1/08 Unscrewed/MRI~NON-UNION
02/19/08 Lt  TTT Revision W/Graft
12/09/08 Scope
05/15/09 Scope
09/04/09 PFJR/Unscrewed

Offline kathat

  • SuperKNEEgeek
  • *****
  • *
  • Posts: 1520
  • Liked: 1
  • Aussie, Aussie, Aussie
Re: Kathy's Pre-op Diary
« Reply #53 on: May 23, 2008, 03:58:21 AM »
Oh good!! I know after TTTs some have had to keep their leg straight, even when showering, but with the aggressive protocol my OS has, I am hoping I can bend it to sit etc, and just wear the brace for walking. It's promising to hear from someone who has been allowed to bend a bit.

I did the "top and tail" washing for a while too, last time, but I didn't do the hair. I just covered my wounds well and showered once my hair was screaming for a wash! We don't have a hand held shower head. I am thinking it might be a good idea!!

Kathy

Offline KW

  • SuperKNEEgeek
  • *****
  • *
  • Posts: 1408
  • Liked: 1
  • My new PFJR...Love It!!!!
Re: Kathy's Pre-op Diary
« Reply #54 on: May 23, 2008, 04:05:47 AM »
With my 1st 2 TTT's I was give enough flexion to sit in a car or chair (50* or so then increasing each week with Full ROM by around 3/4 weeks) right out of the hospital. If you have a agressive protocol, as my OS does, then i don't think you will have any issues.  Actually I was up FWB right out of the hospital.  My last TTT (the one I am recovering from now) was a revision because of a non-union so it was very different.

The hair in the sink is great at first.  Takes alot less time then taking a shower.  And the hand held shower is a great thing esp if you are going to be sitting to shower.

Karen
Right Knee
2000 - 2002 - Scope,LR,TTT,Unscrewed
01-10-12 - PFJR

Left Knee
04/07 TTT/LR
08/07 Bone Grth Stim
10/07 Loose/Bent Screw
1/08 Unscrewed/MRI~NON-UNION
02/19/08 Lt  TTT Revision W/Graft
12/09/08 Scope
05/15/09 Scope
09/04/09 PFJR/Unscrewed

Offline Beda

  • SuperKNEEgeek
  • *****
  • Posts: 824
  • Liked: 1
    • Bedas Atelier
Re: Kathy's Pre-op Diary
« Reply #55 on: May 23, 2008, 06:16:33 AM »
Kathy - dont the hospital have a dept. for items you can borrow for your recovery time? They do over here in DK. You would get sent home from hospital with all the requsites you need and borrow them for the duration of your recovery. This includes stuff like bath benches, toilet seats (high ones), and some wonderful long plastic bags with elastic at the top that you just pull over your leg and hey presto! Your ready to shower! A hand shower is a must in the beginning, but maybe your shower has a removable tube on it where the head can be changed out for a hand one temporarily whilst your recovering. Most showers are standard measurements, and a new shower head only costs a very few Kroner ($) or whatever your currency is??!! Another thing I have is an office chair on wheels in the kitchen. This you can lower up and down according to the hight of your units/sink and you can sit down and do the kitchen chores, and with your good leg you can push yourself around. I use mine all the time, its invauluble. I couldnt do without it. That was another thing I got from the hospital last time I was operated on, and I've just never given it back because I use it all the time. You can keep the help- requsites for as long as you need to use them. But I dont know how your system is down under, maybe you dont have the same service. My crutches also came from the store for help-requsites.
Hope you get sorted out, I'm sure you will. I dont understand why hubby cant eat your frozen foods!!! I did a major research paper on freezing foods for my finals in cook school. Theres aboslutely NOTHING in frozen food that would upset his tummy if the food is frozen quickly and made freshly, he must have had a one off bad experience, speciall if he can eat commercial frozen foods, because commercial frozen foods is the poorest of foods there is on the market - but maybe he just LIKES TV dinners, theres some people that live on them!! How many kids do you have??? I know that the post-op period can be very difficult and very painful. I hop for ou that with yur OS's aggresive program you will be able to be FWB from the start, and that you will be able to bend your leg some. The GOOD thing kathy is, youve seen a lot of people who have had this done before working on a Orthopædic dept so you know what to expect. I know its a small comfort and it doesnt make YOUR pains less, but it does give you the hope that you know youll get through it,, and if your getting good results with taping, theres every chance for that you will have succesful surgery, so lets hope your recovery will be qiuck and not-too-painfull. I dont need to tell you to keep on top of your pain meds and dont let yourself get into a lot of pain by letting yourself not be covered. I found that once I got into a state of strong pains post op, it was difficult to beak it again. the pain doc at Rgshospital told me that you get 30-40% better pain relief if you take paracetamol 4 x a day on TOP of the stronger pain meds like morphine derivatives. The morphine actually works better if you take panodil every 4 hours. I do that, plus an NSAID then morphine on top. That advice is from the pros, so there must be some truth in it, even though when I take the panodil I think that this cant possibly hae any effect on my very difficult pain probs.
 catch ya later
Love Beda xx
'79 trauma v.knee
'81surgery patella lux.
'84 osteochondritis dissecans
'86 osteotomy
until now 16 knee surgerys ink. 6 failed tkr. pretty much exhausted all areas and types of surgical proceedures for knees
all TKR's loosened & failed
2008 wait for Final arthrodesis
constant pain

Offline kathat

  • SuperKNEEgeek
  • *****
  • *
  • Posts: 1520
  • Liked: 1
  • Aussie, Aussie, Aussie
Re: Kathy's Pre-op Diary
« Reply #56 on: May 23, 2008, 08:41:29 AM »
Hi Beda,

I don't think the hospital lends any stuff like that to patients. I think it's because it is a private hospital, rather than public. A public hospital would organise through a home care agency to supply that sort of stuff for a small cost. I plan to buy a high toilet seat, as I will need it longer term anyway, as my knees will deteriorate eventually, even if this surgery works. It's just one more thing I can do that reduces strain on my knees long term. A shower seat will be a seat we have, or a cheap stool like Karen suggested (I have seen them around, so I know they're available). I will look at fitting a hose for the shower, maybe. It'll certainly make washing the dog easier too!! I have stuff I can put over my stitches when I shower. We have used the bags at work in the past, but only as a trial, so I can't "borrow" some. I like the idea of an office chair! I had a friend offer me an old wheelchair, which I can borrow if I want, so that might do the trick.

I don't know what hubby's problem is with the frozen food. I think it's all in his mind. Maybe he didn't heat it up hot enough and it tasted funny due to that, and his stomach rebelled because his mind told it to.

I have two kids - a boy, Alex, who turns 11 just before my surgery, and a girl, Jordan, who will be 10 in August. They can be a big help when I really need them to be. Last time I had surgery, thay made their school lunches and helped with the washing and all sorts. The house turned into a bit of a scrap heap, but I couldn't complain too much, as the most important things got looked after.

I take regular Paracetamol. I use a slow release formula which is taken three times a day. I don't know if it does anything, but I take it anyway, as I have heard the same thing you have, about it helping give better pain relief when taken in combination with your stronger pain killers.

Thanks for all the input! Have a good weekend.

Kathy

Offline tanyap

  • SuperKNEEgeek
  • *****
  • *
  • *
  • Posts: 2902
  • Liked: 0
Re: Kathy's Pre-op Diary
« Reply #57 on: May 23, 2008, 10:08:00 AM »
Hi Kathy,
youve gotten some great advice there about how to prepare - I can only add to get a camping style thermos that comes in a bag on a strap so that you can make tea and put it in the thermos and then sling it over your shoulder to move it to where you want to sit down.
Back pack rocks on crutches too.

I was in a POP cast for 6 weeks on my TTT and used a basin of water and a wash cloth to wash, and hung my head back for hair washing over a sink with a jug of water, Not perfect but it worked.

Definitely get the high toilet seat and put a low stool in the toilet too in case its easier for you to stick your leg up on it while using the loo.

Not long to go now for you - Im sure it will all go fine, I think its great your OS has an aggressive protocol - you will curse him for a few days but youll thank him later!!
xxx
1986 - recurrent dislocations of right patella began
1988 - Modified Hauser Procedure
1991 - dislocations started again
2005 to 2007 - 150 dislocations in 2 years - OUCH!!!
June 2007 - new OS, new physio
Oct 2007 - VMO woke up
Mar 2008 - big quads, still dislocating
Apr 2008 - next OS app

Offline kathat

  • SuperKNEEgeek
  • *****
  • *
  • Posts: 1520
  • Liked: 1
  • Aussie, Aussie, Aussie
Re: Kathy's Pre-op Diary
« Reply #58 on: May 26, 2008, 05:16:06 AM »
Hi All,

I just wanted to know - what sort of post-op braces have you all been in and what were the good and bad points? I have been told I am supposed to be in a zimmer splint, which is a rigid full leg type splint. I am wondering if it is worth getting myself a hinged post-op brace, so I can release it to sit, and also open it up slowly as soon as I start to regain quad control. Maybe this will help me ditch the brace quicker, as I don't have to go straight from brace to no brace. I can sort of wean off it slowly and so can start sooner. I am wanting to know what others have found with their braces. The hospital supplies me with their standard (as we have to pay for and keep it, they just go with the cheapest, I assume) but they do say that if we wish a different brace then it is at our expense. I will ring my PT and ask him, but I just want to know what others have found to be a good brace.

I feel like I am getting nowhere fast. I have too much to do and surgery day is fast approaching!! We had mice in our kitchen cupboards recently, so we pulled out all the stuff and cleaned up, and hubby has just ditched all my plastics back into the cupboard willy-nilly!! I can't find anything now  :( It's just one more job on my long list of things to do!! To make it worse, I have spent today trying to sleep after working a night shift, and I have been wide awake all day. I may as well have stayed up and got some jobs off my list!! Now I am feeling fuzzy-headed and headachy because I am tired, and annoyed at myself for not getting up and doing something useful once I realised I wasn't going to sleep.

Well, my daughter and I are off to see the Australian Ballet tomorrow night with my brother, Mum and Nana, so I get a night to chill out and relax. I am looking forward to it. Then it's back to business!!

On Wednesday it'll be three more weeks to go  :o I'm starting to get nervous! I think I need to concentrate on kittens and puppies  ;)

Cheers,

Kathy

Offline arkitect06

  • SuperKNEEgeek
  • *****
  • Posts: 2822
  • Liked: 0
  • Medtronic = Life!
Re: Kathy's Pre-op Diary
« Reply #59 on: May 26, 2008, 06:03:42 AM »
Hello Kathy,

I had an immobilizer for the first 2 weeks after surgery.  After going to my first OS apt, he asked if I still felt I needed some support and I replied yes, so he gave me a PO ROM brace completely unlocked to use for up to 4 weeks until my next OS apt.  I loved that compared to the immobilizer b/c I could walk with it and move my leg normally while still having support.  If you will have to wear a brace for 6-8 weeks or however long, I would definitely advise getting a PO ROM brace.  Mine seemed to be a generic brand b/c there wasn't a label anywhere on it.  So I don't know what company made it. 

You will do well with your surgery.  The pain is manageable with pain meds.  The first 2-3 weeks were normal recovery for me.  It was around week 4 that I started noticing all these problems that started in PT that I have now.  So the first 2-3 days were the most difficult.  The other days were easier with pain meds.  I took percocet for almost 2 weeks, but everyone is different.  If it wasn't for what started at week 4, I'd say this surgery was a breeze.  If it turned out the way it is suppose to then PT wouldn't have been as painful and I'd be walking by now.  :(  Anyway, good luck preparing!

Farrah
11/16/10 Fulkerson TTT, chondroplasty, LR (Left Knee)
11/17/09 SCS re-implant
7/29/09 I&D
5/7/09 SCS removal b/c of MRSA
12/15/08 & 2/6/09 SCS Revision
10/30/08 Spinal Cord Stimulator Implantation
6/27/08 diagnosed with RSD
1/8/08 Fulkerson TTT, chondroplasty, LR (Right Knee)















support