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Living With Severe Neuropathy & a TKR

Hi everyone! I have been receiving numerous inquiries regarding sciatica, nerve pain, and other pains associated with a tkr or total knee replacment. The timing is ideal since I have been experiencing tremendous levels of neuropathy pain. Here’s the scoop that I trust will provide further insight…

As I have written about in other posts that prior to my tkr, bone spurs were digging into my nerves. They were severing my nerves. (The nerves are located alongside the lateral portion of my knee.) Prior to my tkr, I had to readjust my entire body in order to compensate for this extreme pain.

Recently, almost 7 years post-tkr, this pain can be excruciating at times. I know that my situation could be much worse, but the level of discomfort is simply noticeable and potentially hindering. I do not know when it will happen. It is unpredictable.

There are times when the nerve damage leads to my entire tkr leg tingling. Sometimes there is pain, other times there is not. It is the strangest feeling. Right now, I am sitting at a computer using proper ergonomics, and I feel my lower leg tingling all the way down to the ends of my toes. I straighten my leg and the tingling diminishes. Other times I straighten my leg and the tingling continues.

I always like to pay particular attention to activities in place when the pain and/or tingling occur. I do notice that the pain occurs when lifting any amount of weight. Even carrying some grocery bags does this. It sometimes happens when I am swimming. It can happen when standing for more than 5-10 minutes. These are just some situations that pop into my mind as I am writing this article.

How do I ease the pain? I try my best to find stress-reducing body positions. Some work one time and not another. I lightly massage the area. This provides temporary relief, usually. Elevating my leg works some times, not all the time. In short, my remedies provide unpredictable results. I take aspirin, but dread popping pills for a number of reasons.

Hope this helps others going through the same thing. Find interesting? Kindly share with others who may benefit. Thank you!

AUTHOR NOTE: Booktoots’ Healing helps total knee replacement patients find support throughout recuperation and beyond. Its mission is for patients to understand they are not alone in their ordeal with either a tkr or other physicality concerns. The site is owned and operated by Marie Buckner, a published author and tkr patient who has been living with various physicalities for over 30+ years. She enjoys sharing her experiences to help others going through the same thing.






Paying Cold Weather Respects & TKR

Hello everyone! Hope you are all getting the 2015 year off to a great start. If this day finds you living in a colder climate geographical area, kudos to you! This is especially true for those of us living with a tkr. For those of you never living in a colder climate area, here are some reasons these people deserve extra credit:

It requires extra planning. Instead of simply throwing on a single layer of clothing, venturers must consider how to properly bundle up to fend off the cold. It involves covering all parts of the body in a manner that ensures warmth and protection. Heads, necks, abdomen, hands, legs, and feet need warmth.

It requires forethought. Will one drive or walk to the desired location? If driving, it involves cleaning snowfall and/or ice off a private vehicle. It involves warming up the engine prior to mobilizing the vehicle.

If walking to a desired location, it involves testing out the walking path prior to venturing out. That means taking a look at the sidewalks. Are they salted, sanded, and/or cleared of potential walking hazards? If not, is one able to safely walk on the surfaces? It involves wearing proper footwear, including shoes and socks, to ensure warmness and protection.

And..it involves not listening to the news…or taking the information lightly. I am thinking in particular about last night’s news. The temperatures were getting into the single digits for oncoming days. This segment I am thinking about discussed how cold temperatures negatively affect health. That is a well-known fact, but the way the information was presented was pure fear mongering. It is wise to take this information into consideration, but how many people will use this scare tactic to talk themselves into getting sick? It will happen.

The key to success is being prepared on all levels. If cold temperatures abound, make certain to do the best possible with what is available. For me, it means wearing a knit cap and scarf at all times. To say I have a love affair going with those two items is an understatement. :)

So, the next time you meet someone from a cold climate region, congratulate them! These hearty souls deserve a trophy with their name engraved on it. Kudos to cold weather souls!

Find interesting? Kindly share…






Happy Holidays and Personal Reflections..

Wishing all my readers a wonderful, joyous holiday season! For all those who have shared their tkr experiences, thank you. For all those stopping by to receive support and information, thank you.

Personal reflections involving three main components (movies, music and food) of the holiday season:

It’s such a blast to watch the holiday classic movies including the original (black and white) ‘Miracle on 34th Street’, ‘Holiday Inn’, ‘Frosty the Snowman’ (with Jimmy Durante narrating) and ‘White Christmas’. I can’t remember the name of the episode, but there’s a Dragnet episode involving the theft of Baby Jesus that signifies the magical quality of this season. The episode usually plays on Christmas Eve. It’s just great to watch. :)

The music is another blessing. Tunes such as ‘It Came Upon a Midnight Clear’, ‘First Noel’, ‘Halleluiah’ and ‘Silent Night’ never get old. Personally, I prefer classic versions and not that electronic stuff that some bands make money off of..(name unmentioned). I never get tired of hearing Sing Crosby sing ‘White Christmas’ or another Irving Berlin song titled ‘Count Your Blessings’. Wonderful….

It’s a blast to entertain at holiday festivities. It never gets old playing my flute, seeing smiling faces and sharing others’ personal reflections. The flute is so perfect for a wide variety of spiritual-related compositions. Nice..:)

Let’s not forget the food and beverage. It’s the only time gingerbread, pumpkin pie, pumpkin pie spices, yams, eggnog, sweet potatoes, turkey gravy, cranberries and ambrosia salad appear on the dinner plate. I don’t know about you, but this is the only time of the year I consume spiced wine, eggnog, gravy and dressing. Side note: I served up gravy at a local holiday meal fest and was taken aback by the amount of people who didn’t want gravy on their mashed potatoes…what’s up with that? Me…I cover mashed potatoes, turkey and dressing with the luscious liquid. It never occurred to me that others wouldn’t. :?

And, for those new to the tkr (total knee replacement) world, it does get better. Honest. Keep on doing your exercises and realize that all the pain and discomfort will result in a more pain-free living.

Happy Holidays! Remember not to overdo it and place your health above all else. Moderation is the key to success in all areas. :)

If traveling, be safe and patient.

Find interesting?
Kindly share…

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Holiday Gift Needs??

Hi everyone! Do you know of someone getting ready to undergo a total knee replacement? Remember..you can purchase my TKR Pre-op book in a number of formats. You’ll get it in time for holiday giving!

If you know of someone with a fractured jaw who is looking for insight from someone who has been through it…Look no further! My book “Why Do You Talk Like That” is available in different formats to suit a variety of reader’s needs. It contains information from a trusted source, me!, someone who has actually experience with the arduous recuperation and healthy living process.

Finally, remember my book that contains over 100+ real-life stories of tkr patients experiencing insomnia after the surgery. I had insomnia for 10 months. I can attest to the information being very valuable to others not familiar with this frustration.

All of my books are available for purchase by clicking on my Books page. Find more information here….

Hope this helps others looking to find the perfect gift of good health with treasured ones.

Find interesting? Kindly share….Thanks!






Being Safe While Walking On Ice With A TKR

Hey all you mugs..Oh, oh. It looks like those 50’s gangster movies are rubbing off. Reverse…Hi everyone!

For those of us in colder climates, it is the season that ice can sneak up on us. It is important to watch for it in all situations, let alone when dealing with a tkr. Ice can appear inconspicuous. Here are some helpful suggestions…

Wear proper footwear. Be sure you are wearing good treaded shoes. Smooth soles have a tendency to slide far too easily. Hiking boots are excellent and well worth the investment.

Feel first. This means before taking a step, test the area. Put your foot on the surface and slide it a bit. Be sure to hold onto something else for security purposes. I usually test a 2-inch area. It only takes a few seconds, but can save much hardship.

Watch out for snow. This may sound easy, but it is interesting how some people forget that ice may exist underneath the snow. Snow provides traction, but walking too quickly increases risks of falling or slipping.

Inform others. It may seem kind of foolish to inform others of your condition, but not everyone knows that you have an artificial knee. You are prone to increased risks that others may not have to deal with. Think of yourself and your safety first. Safety first is a great motto to follow.

Avoid tensing up. That may be easier said than done, but the more your muscles tense up, the more likely you are to injure yourself. Just use caution.

Don’t trust others opinions. I have known people who failed to clean private property of snow and ice, yet tell others that it is okay to walk on. Listen to your own intuition.

Hope this helps others going through the same thing.

NOTE: Let the records show that nothing beats watching an Edgar G. Robinson movie, complete with the gangster lingo, for an entertaining way to spend some time! The only drawback is bursting out laughing or chuckling while on a public treadmill. :)

Find interesting? Kindly share….Thanks!

AUTHOR NOTE: Booktoots’ Healing helps total knee replacement patients find support throughout recuperation and beyond. Its mission is for patients to understand they are not alone in their ordeal with either a tkr or other physicality concerns. The site is owned and operated by Marie Buckner, a published author and tkr patient who has been living with various physicalities for over 30+ years. She enjoys sharing her experiences to help others going through the same thing.






Happy Thanksgiving!

I wanted to take this time and wish all of my readers (in the U.S. anyways…) a very Happy Thanksgiving. Even those not living in the U.S., have a wonderful day of gratefulness.

Remember there is plenty to be thankful for, even though there are times it does not seem like it.

When you feel like there is nothing to be thankful, or grateful, for….Just think of the alternative…..that’ll put a different perspective on things..:)

Enjoy!

Find interesting? Kindly share…Thanks!

AUTHOR NOTE: Booktoots’ Healing helps total knee replacement patients find support throughout recuperation and beyond. Its mission is for patients to understand they are not alone in their ordeal with either a tkr or other physicality concerns. The site is owned and operated by Marie Buckner, a published author and tkr patient who has been living with various physicalities for over 30+ years. She enjoys sharing her experiences to help others going through the same thing.








Does Your TKR Involve Nerve Damage?

Hi everyone…It’s been 6.75 years since my tkr and I’ve received a number of inquiries about how my knee is doing and what others can expect.

As I’ve mentioned before, everyone recuperates at their own pace. My tkr knee still looks a little “fatter” than my other knee. Depending upon the level of my physical activity, sometimes it just swells up more than usual. It’s usually not painful.

What is painful, however, is the extensive nerve damage left behind from my bone spurs. Bone spurs developed on each side of my knee to the point where they were digging into my nerves. I was told the tkr would not correct the nerve damage, but would make the knee pain go away. I was fine with that.

This pain is exacerbated by swimming, but I don’t care. I’d rather have pain than no swimming.
In addition to the swimming times, this nerve pain can happen anywhere, any time. There does not seem to be any rhyme nor reason. The pain always runs from my lower spine down the side of my tkr leg.

Some times the pain goes along with a tingling sensation that goes from my knee down to my ankle. It’s a strange feeling. The tingling shows up sporadically and unexpectedly.

The pain and tingling will go away when my leg is elevated and resting. Ice helps and so does aspirin. Gentle side bends and toe touches also help alleviate some of the pain. Dealing with this pain is no big deal to me. It’s 100-percent better than the complete knee pain I had prior to my tkr.

Hope this helps others going through the same thing.

Find interesting? Kindly share…Thanks!

AUTHOR NOTE: Booktoots’ Healing helps total knee replacement patients find support throughout recuperation and beyond. Its mission is for patients to understand they are not alone in their ordeal with either a tkr or other physicality concerns. The site is owned and operated by Marie Buckner, a published author and tkr patient who has been living with various physicalities for over 30+ years. She enjoys sharing her experiences to help others going through the same thing.






Thank You Booktoots’ Supporters…

Hi everyone. It’s that time again to say “thank you” for visiting and playing an active role in helping this site succeed. I appreciate all you do. Whether it is reading through the posts, commenting about your current situation, or encouraging other readers, thank you for taking time out of your day to participate.
Best of luck to everyone. Kindly share this site with others you know could benefit.
Find interesting? Kindly share…






Leg Straightening Exercises After A TKR

Hi everyone. I’ve received numerous emails about leg straightening exercises and believe reposting this previous article is in order…Enjoy!

There have been a number of blog posts written about ways to straighten your leg after undergoing a total knee replacement. I have used them and they work well. The basic exercise is there, but it is always fun to see these exercises in a different perspective – how they can be individualized to suit each patient’s needs.

I recently received some interesting information from Monique, one of my favorite contributors who just underwent a tkr herself. Her helpful suggestions put a different spin on some traditional leg straightening exercises to do during the tkr recuperation process. I thought her variations would be fun to share with everyone. They are as follows, in her words:

1.Lie on the bed and extend the TKR leg and place the heel on a rolled up towel so that the leg is slanted, not touching the bed. Then take a phone book, open it in half and place it across the knee. Stay in position for about 4 minutes. (I had to work up to this because it hurt when I first began doing this.)

2)Another exercise for straightening the leg…Lie face down on bed and let your leg hang over the edge of the bed about at the knee. Add a weight on the ankle of the TKR knee. I put the strap of my purse on my ankle and let the bag hang down. Stay in position for about 4 minutes or as long as your can stand it.

I like the idea of the phone book as a weight in exercise #1. And, the idea of using a purse strap in exercise #2 is very ingenious, in my opinion. :)

Thanks, Monique. I’m sure others will enjoy these exercises as well. Well, maybe not enjoy them (due to pain, you know..), but will get great use out of them. :)

Hope this helps others going through the same thing.

Find interesting? Kindly share…Thanks!






3 Natural Ways To Decrease TKR Pain

Hi everyone. Anyone who regularly visits this site knows that I firmly believe in natural remedies as much as possible. After having recent bouts of extreme neuropathy pain caused by previous bone spurs, I needed to find new ways to reduce pain without prescription drugs…The neuropathy is located on the left side of my tkr. (I had to fit in tkr so the search engines love it…:) ) Here’s the scoop…..

1) Mattress rotation. It turns out one night I noticed that when laying flat on my back, my hip bones were uneven. My right one was about 1/2” higher than my left one. I also noticed that when I elevated my left hip, the neuropathy pain increased. So…an inspection was to begin.

It turns out the center portion of my mattress was caving in, or sinking. This slight alteration was causing my body to become slightly misaligned. Hence…the increased pain.

We all hear about the importance of flipping over the mattress so even depreciation takes place. It extends the mattress’ useful life, for one thing. It also plays a key role in keeping the spinal column as straight as possible..in my case, anyways.

Rotating and flipping the mattress over helped tremendously.

2) Massage. The source of the neuropathy is a nerve bundle in my lower spinal column (coccyx) area. Massaging this area helps.

3) Hot tubs with jets. Jets pointed at the nerve bundle massage the area and decrease pain for an extended period of time. Two drawbacks: a) I don’t like public hot tubs; b) the heat quickens my swimsuit depreciation, it will shorten the life span of my swimsuit. Heat expands elasticity.

Hope this helps others going through the same thing. Any similar stories? Feel free to share….

Find interesting? Kindly share…Thanks!