Having Surgery? Had Surgery?

My quick update: My recovery process is going pretty good right now. I missed almost a week and half of physical therapy because my therapist was out with a suck family member. So between that and all the rain and dropping temperature have me a slight setback and made me very stiff. I’m getting back in the groove of things.

With that being said, this post isn’t really all about me. It’s about you. Maybe you are thinking about total/partial or some other knee surgery, or any surgery really. Maybe, your surgery is scheduled and you need more information or advice. Maybe you’ve had your TKR and don’t know what to do now. This is for you all.

When a doctor tells you need to have surgery it can be a scary and nervous moment. Even more so if you’ve never heard of it before. It’s completely normal and to be expected. I know when I was first told a total knee replacement was needed I felt all kinds of butterflies in my stomach. After all, you always hear the horror stories, rarely the positive. Today, I’m going to weave in bits of both from my journeys. Most of my journey will be centered around my last surgeries, which were total knee replacements. I’ve had others over the years that not limited to the knees.

When you find out you need to have surgery, what do you do? The key is ALWAYS research. Don’t just go off one website either. When I found out I had to have a TKR, I was pulling up information daily. Yes my doctor was awesome both times with the expectations I should have. I felt like I needed more. Granted, 80% of what I found was the exact same thing he said. Some he hadn’t mentioned, but it wasn’t a deal breaker. It just made me more informed. When doing your research remember that most people post their horror stories, not the good stories. While you’re doing research, you find you have questions or concerns, don’t be afraid to ask your doctor. I kept my doctor and nurse on speed dial. I even had a nurse from my insurance company assigned to me.

So now you decided to do the surgery, right? You’ve done your research. What do you do leading up to the surgery? The most obvious, yet, most ignored answer, FOLLOW ALL OF THE DOCTOR INSTRUCTIONS!!! This should be a no brainer, but we as people can be hardheaded sometimes. The instructions they give you will be beneficial going into surgery and coming out of surgery.

I always tell people to prepare in other ways as much as possible. What do I mean? When I had my breast reduction it was very important to have shirts and dresses that didn’t require me to lift my arms much. For my TKR, you want accessible items. A raised toilet, raised bed, shorts, extra pillows, and other things that will help. I found that this is a question to ask others who have been through it some of their BEST practices. Try to stay with the positive aspects. It’s important to go into surgery with a positive attitude.

So you’ve had your surgery and headed home. My word of advice is again, FOLLOW ALL DOCTORS ORDERS! If there is something you can’t do or it makes the pain worse, contact your doctor. Don’t overdo it. With my TKR I was able to exercise laying down. I would bend my leg while laying on my side. However, I was cautious to not over bend it. While recovering, don’t be afraid or proud to ask for help. If you have family or friends that can help in the beginning, let them. Just don’t get dependent on it. That can be your worst enemy.

With my TKR I had a roller coaster of emotions. The pain was up and down in the beginning with all surgeries. Also with the TKR my sleep is way off. I’m saying this not to scare you, instead to give you a heads up. You’re body is going through some rough stuff with surgery, so some things might change with your body.

I hope all of your surgeries go just fine and you have a speedy recovery. Keep your head up!!!! If there are any questions I can answer from my personal experience, I will.