02-23-2018, 09:23 AM
User Info
(02-23-2018, 09:08 AM)chazt Wrote: Today is Friday, February 23. I’ve been cleared and encouraged by the PT, surgeon and wife to return to work. The initial plan was to return on March 12, which would have been three months, as per surgeon’s instructions. We started this conversation about two to three weeks ago. At first I thought I’d return on Monday, February 26. Upon consultation with my medical professionals, we decided that March 1 would make more sense - i.e., work two days, get my feet wet (so to speak) have a weekend to rest my soft tissues, and then proceed from there...

I‘ve shown (so they say) remarkable progress with range of motion. On any given day with the PT, I’m 131+ degrees of bilateral flexibility, and almost 0 degrees extension. PT says we’re now working essentially on strength and endurance. Surgeon says I’m healing quite impressively. They say I’m in the top 10% of bilateral TKR patients. My wife agrees that I should go back earlier than planned. My principal is quite happy to welcome me back earlier than expected. The Department of Education wants me to submit paperwork.

Congrats Charlie, sounds like you are doing great!

46 719
Reply
 02-23-2018, 10:21 AM
User Info
That's good news Charlie.  I think returning to work will help your recovery and your psyche.

53 8,296
Reply
 02-23-2018, 11:21 AM
  • chazt
  • Senior Member
  • Queens, NY
User Info
(02-23-2018, 09:23 AM)LuvWetShavin Wrote:
(02-23-2018, 09:08 AM)chazt Wrote: Today is Friday, February 23. I’ve been cleared and encouraged by the PT, surgeon and wife to return to work. The initial plan was to return on March 12, which would have been three months, as per surgeon’s instructions. We started this conversation about two to three weeks ago. At first I thought I’d return on Monday, February 26. Upon consultation with my medical professionals, we decided that March 1 would make more sense - i.e., work two days, get my feet wet (so to speak) have a weekend to rest my soft tissues, and then proceed from there...

I‘ve shown (so they say) remarkable progress with range of motion. On any given day with the PT, I’m 131+ degrees of bilateral flexibility, and almost 0 degrees extension. PT says we’re now working essentially on strength and endurance. Surgeon says I’m healing quite impressively. They say I’m in the top 10% of bilateral TKR patients. My wife agrees that I should go back earlier than planned. My principal is quite happy to welcome me back earlier than expected. The Department of Education wants me to submit paperwork.

Congrats Charlie, sounds like you are doing great!
Thanks! There’s no more grinding in the joint, and no more arthritis pain. Now it’s just a matter of the de- and reattached muscles, tendons and nerve cells having time to heal and regenerate. I’m told it will be a good four to five months to actually feel like I’m making progress with that. Other time milestones are 6, 9 and 12 months. At least that’s what I’m told...

(02-23-2018, 10:21 AM)TheLegalRazor Wrote: That's good news Charlie.  I think returning to work will help your recovery and your psyche.
It’s funny you mention that, Ricardo. The other day in PT I told the therapist my observations about my knees, legs, etc. He replied, “You want to know what I think?” “Sure, that’s why I brought it up,” I said. He came back lightning quick, “I think you have too much time on your hands. Go back to work. You’re thinking too much.” When I told Gayle what the PT said, she though that was a laugh riot!

10 3,159
Reply
 02-23-2018, 12:32 PM
  • Mel S Meles
  • On the edge, ouch
  • 44.4899° south of the North Pole
User Info
(02-23-2018, 11:21 AM)chazt Wrote: Today is Friday, February 23.

I‘ve shown (so they say) remarkable progress with range of motion. On any given day with the PT, I’m 131+ degrees of bilateral flexibility, and almost 0 degrees extension. PT says we’re now working essentially on strength and endurance. Surgeon says I’m healing quite impressively. They say I’m in the top 10% of bilateral TKR patients.

There’s no more grinding in the joint, and no more arthritis pain. Now it’s just a matter of the de- and reattached muscles, tendons and nerve cells having time to heal and regenerate. I’m told it will be a good four to five months to actually feel like I’m making progress with that. Other time milestones are 6, 9 and 12 months. At least that’s what I’m told...

Charlie, congratulations on your progress and recovery.  

I have been fascinated in folowing your recovery progress — but wary to comment — because (unlike pre-surgery advice about what to expect and what among matters within your control to avoid), war stories from post-surgery experiences other than one’s own probably are unhelpful after the surgery, and, in the worst case, could discourage you or even sink you into depression.  You seem to be past that danger-of-depression threshold now, so my congratulations can be fulsome.  

(Six days from now will be the first anniversary of my (single joint) TKA, and the ten-month marker from my last PT session.  That’s right:  despite the fact that I am much older than you (I passed three-quarters of a century mark two months after my last PT session), I was released from the hospital only 27 hours after the surgery, and had an unpleasant (like your wife, my bride was an angel of mercy, assisting me — I really needed assistance, as you well can relate to — to get out of bed to get to the bathroom at least a half dozen times a day, and changing my compression stockings for me when I bathed), but almost completely pain-free, ten days or so at home before I could navigate fully around the house, including long flights of stairs, without my bride’s assistance; and my further and continuing recovery to approximately the stage where you are now took only two months (61 days) from the date of surgery.)

Probably the three main reasons (I think, but do not know) for the differences in our respective recovery tsuris and durations were:  (1) the big one: you had both knees done at once; (2) your pre-existing sciatica (ouch!); and (3) I had discovered before the surgery that, for me, diclofenac sodium (taken orally as a capsule) is a miracle drug (there are huge differences among individuals as to the relative effectiveness of the different varieties of NSAIDs), and I got strong support from my orthopedic surgeon to tell the nurses NO! when they attempted to push opioid pain relievers into me post-surgery.

Félicitations, mon ami!

1 1,282
Reply
 02-23-2018, 01:49 PM
  • chazt
  • Senior Member
  • Queens, NY
User Info
Tom, I always appreciate reading of your experiences. Thank you for sharing. Your wife sounds like an angel of mercy! You're a lucky man.

It's funny you bring up the sciatica. It just started acting up again today. I think I should exercise at home, more than just climbing stairs...

It's a journey!

10 3,159
Reply
 02-24-2018, 02:05 PM
User Info
Excellent!

Be sure that your work knows that it's a trial and that if you aren't up to it that you can go home.

Many years ago I worked in a lab which required hand/arm coordination (I was recovering from a shattered wrist). I went back to work to early and had to take verboten pain killers. Once I took them I knew I couldn't stay. I went home and tried it again at a later date. That 2nd  time was the charm.

32 6,524
Reply
 02-24-2018, 06:59 PM
  • chazt
  • Senior Member
  • Queens, NY
User Info
(02-24-2018, 02:05 PM)ShadowsDad Wrote: Excellent!

Be sure that your work knows that it's a trial and that if you aren't up to it that you can go home.

Many years ago I worked in a lab which required hand/arm coordination (I was recovering from a shattered wrist). I went back to work to early and had to take verboten pain killers. Once I took them I knew I couldn't stay. I went home and tried it again at a later date. That 2nd  time was the charm.

Thanks, Brian.

It’s good you were able to objectively evaluate your strengths and weaknesses.

My office is on the second floor of a school with no elevator. I returned too early after breaking my ankle many years ago. Crutches for a week or more. Not fun. Surprisingly, the arthroscopies were all non-issues. This time is different. I’ll “feel” the same whether I’m at home or work. The muscles and deep tissues hurt. It’s just a matter of healing. And learning to walk again. For an as yet unspecified time, my principal has agreed to have the students on the first floor brought to me by monitors and/or paraprofessionals. Theoretically, barring fire/evacuation drills I’ll go upstairs once in the morning and down once in the afternoon. I generally sit during (the 30 minute) therapy sessions, however am free to stand and move about. I walk between sessions picking up and returning students from and to their classrooms. If necessary I can always use a cane on the stairs.

I’ve generally had positive outcomes for the bulk of the last eleven weeks. I’ve worked my butt off and had pain along the way, but I expect to simply carry on as usual. I’m prepared for plateaus, peaks and valleys for the next year. I repeat my mantra through much of the day. Initially it was, “I want my life back.” Now it’s, “I’m getting my life back.”

10 3,159
Reply
 02-28-2018, 06:45 PM
  • chazt
  • Senior Member
  • Queens, NY
User Info
Work tomorrow! Alarm at 6:15. Ugghhh.

Biggrin

10 3,159
Reply
 02-28-2018, 07:18 PM
User Info
Great news!

One bite at a time.

11 1,619
Reply
 03-01-2018, 05:50 AM
User Info
We all hope your first day at work went well Charlie.  You'll be seeing faster improvements in your recovery now.

53 8,296
Reply
 03-01-2018, 01:42 PM
  • chazt
  • Senior Member
  • Queens, NY
User Info
(03-01-2018, 05:50 AM)TheLegalRazor Wrote: We all hope your first day at work went well Charlie.  You'll be seeing faster improvements in your recovery now.

Thanks, Ricardo. It went well. I made only three trips up and down the stairs today. For the first time in nineteen years I realized that the risers in school are shorter than standard stairs. It was mellow. My replacement was there still covering the caseload, so I saw half my usual caseload. Tomorrow is back to normal. Our principal is a lovely person. She’s agreed to have the students on the first floor brought to my office on the second floor as necessary.

I stopped by the PT’s office on my way home from work, he’s on my direct route home, basically just to say, “hey, look at me - real shoes and a necktie!” So he says, “Y’know you’re doing so well, back to work... I’m gonna have to discharge you soon...” Wait. What? I wouldn’t be where I am if it weren’t for you.” He said it’s his job to get me functional. I’m basically functioning, so he has to discharge me. I get it. I’m a therapist, too. Get the student’s skills functioning to where he can be successful in the classroom, and move on... But still, no more PT?!???!

10 3,159
Reply
 03-01-2018, 02:00 PM
User Info
Sounds like  you had a great day Charlie.

53 8,296
Reply
 03-01-2018, 04:07 PM
User Info
Excellent!

32 6,524
Reply
 03-20-2018, 02:19 PM
  • chazt
  • Senior Member
  • Queens, NY
User Info
Three months, nine days post surgeries and I'm officially discharged from PT. We reached the decision together. I realize that I've reached my MTB, Maximum Therapeutic Benefit. It's time to move forward and I'm genuinely feeling ready and excited about this. There will be bumps in the road, but that's normal in life, isn't it? I'm getting my life back, and that's what I've wanted all along! I see the surgeon during the first week of April. It'll be my first visit with him since the staples were removed on January 4th. Tom (my PT) said the doctor will be very pleased with his work. Will report back after the office visit.

Thank you to Everyone here at TSN who has offered encouragement and support all these months. I sincerely appreciate your concern and kindness Smile.

10 3,159
Reply
 03-20-2018, 02:55 PM
User Info
Congratulations Charlie.  Now it's all up to you to keep exercising hard.

53 8,296
Reply
 03-20-2018, 03:01 PM
  • chazt
  • Senior Member
  • Queens, NY
User Info
(03-20-2018, 02:55 PM)TheLegalRazor Wrote: Congratulations Charlie.  Now it's all up to you to keep exercising hard.

I'm determined to improve, my friend. Determined!!

10 3,159
Reply
 08-12-2018, 06:23 AM
  • chazt
  • Senior Member
  • Queens, NY
User Info
I last posted here nearly five months ago. Time for an update. Yesterday was eight months post surgery.

Long story short... because I continued with exercising, April and May saw steady improvement in strength and stamina. I felt real comfortable with my progress. June was a bit hectic for us as a family, and my exercise dwindled to a relative trickle. As a result, my quads, hamstrings and calves began to atrophe and post surgical pain crept back in, until it started to burst back in! So as much as I’ve always detested exercising, I made it my point to hit the gym regularly, starting with the last week in June. Now mid-August, I feel like I’ve surpassed where I was at my peak of recovery in mid/late May. My schedule is now gym three days a week, light exercise at home another 2-3 days a week, and one day of west and welaxation. I’m guessing that this going to be something of a “lifestyle” now. As much as I have always detested exercise for the sake of exercise, I see that without it, post-surgical pain returns. Pain sucks, so I’m learning to enjoy the gym and now, even look forward to going.

The big takeaway is “use it or lose it!”

10 3,159
Reply
 08-12-2018, 06:37 AM
  • Garb
  • Active Member
  • Oregon
User Info
I just read though most of your story on your medical experience. I'm a firm believer in what some call exercise I call a way of life. Staying active is the basis of most everything that we do. I'm happy to hear that you can now enjoy a more active lifestyle and use shaving as a way to relax on a few days a week, if not daily. 
Cheers buddy, continue with your new ways to stay pain free. In a matter of time it'll be as addictive as a BBS

(or is it BSS)?

0 344
Reply
 08-12-2018, 08:41 AM
  • chazt
  • Senior Member
  • Queens, NY
User Info
(08-12-2018, 06:37 AM)Garb Wrote: I just read though most of your story on your medical experience. I'm a firm believer in what some call exercise I call a way of life. Staying active is the basis of most everything that we do. I'm happy to hear that you can now enjoy a more active lifestyle and use shaving as a way to relax on a few days a week, if not daily. 
Cheers buddy, continue with your new ways to stay pain free. In a matter of time it'll be as addictive as a BBS

(or is it BSS)?

Thanks for the encouraging words, Garb. I’m beginning to understand the benefits of this new way of living. BBS is nice but less pain is better!

10 3,159
Reply
 08-12-2018, 11:50 AM
User Info
Charlie,
I've read your posts on this topic, off and on, for several months. I have a personal interest in your 'challenge' because over 10 years ago I was told by an Orthopedic Surgeon (after an MRI and subsequent arthroscopic surgery) that I had NO cartilage left in my left knee and my 'next step' would be knee replacement. I did a LOT of running in a harsh Alaska environment, starting in 1978 and I am sure that that contributed to my condition. I gave up on running and then concentrated on cycling, as your weight is supported and is much easier on your knees. I've put in thousands of miles, but as I turn 70, my knees are even in much worse condition and even cycling is getting more difficult and I have to remain seated most of the time. I still climb a lot, and some of the 'new technology' incorporated in some of the newer models (like gravel bikes) have very low gearing, and that allows me to continue. However, at SOME point I will have to have knee replacement. Several consultations with various Orthopedic Surgeons all seem to have the same advice: IF you want to continue to exercise AT THE SAME LEVELS, knee replacement is NOT a good option for YOU.

More pertinent to YOUR latest situation is that I took a HUGE 'slam dunk' into a rocky creek bed in January of 2017 (I had knee, elbow, and shin guards on, or else it would have resulted in worse injuries). I took it easy for the next few months, did the 'recliner with heat pads routine'. It was the worst thing I could of done! I got back into exercising and by the fall of 2017, I was doing much better. I incorporated gym routines, cycling, yoga, and more into my exercise routine. I even bought an Inversion table, which I still use daily, as most of my 'discomfort' was in my lower back.

As mentioned by GARB, if you want to loose weight, get more fit, heal from an injury or operation/surgery, feel better in general FOR THE LONG TERM, you need a LIFE-STYLE Change! That means changes in your life-style .. for LIFE, for the long-term. It also includes a multitude of changes, including diet changes.

... Keep it up!

53 473
Reply
Users browsing this thread: 1 Guest(s)