How To Find Motivation to Exercise After A TKR

Hi everyone. Usually, it is easy to back out of exercising. Many people continually make excuses about why they don’t exercise. However, I want to share some great ways on how to find motivation to exercise after a tkr. Read on…

Be diligent in doing your exercises while recuperating from your total knee replacement and you will get excited about what used to be difficult when moving your body. Why? You will reap your rewards. Here’s my take on the issue….

* You will love how thrilling it is to be able to walk without pain.

* It is great to have what is known as a ‘normal’ walking gait without walking aides.

* It is fantastic to be able to walk fast enough to get out of breath and work up a sweat. (To some this would be “speed walking”. I like to think of it as walking faster than I did prior to my tkr.)

* It is wonderful to be able to walk trails, take in the scenery, and smell the air without feeling any joint pain.

* It is a nice feeling knowing that you are getting the most out of your total knee replacement surgery.

* It is so welcoming to have clothes fit better. I know, in my case, there were times when my dryer shrunk too many clothes. 😕

All of these combine to provide motivation in staying with, or starting, an exercise program.

Hope this helps you get motivated to exercise after your tkr (or any time, for that matter).

Always remember to be grateful you can walk.

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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.

This site is owned and operated by Marie Buckner, a published author and tkr patient who has been living with various physicalities for over 40+ years. She enjoys sharing her experiences to help others going through the same thing.







What Exactly Does “Pain Med” Mean?

Personal insight into what “pain med” actually means.

Hi everyone. After almost three months of recuperating from a total knee replacement surgery, I have finally figured out what is meant by “pain med”. At first, I thought it meant that the medications were supposed to alleviate pain completely. That just was not so. What exactly does “pain med” mean?

In fact, no matter what type I was given, there was still pain. Sometimes the pain was unbearable. It always existed in some form. So, I resigned myself to the fact that a pain med just doesn’t work.

Then, I ran out. I didn’t think it as any big deal. Usually, I took one pain med one-half hour before my pt or exercise.   Well, this time I just went for a walk thinking “What’s the use of a pain med, anyways? The term is joke.” Wow….what a difference! The pain was intense after finishing my exercise routine. I could hardly move my leg.

So, the verdict is….pain meds help take the edge off of pain. They decrease the pain intensity. They do not totally eliminate pain, as some (like me) would think.

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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.

This site is owned and operated by Marie Buckner, a published author and tkr patient who has been living with various physicalities for over 40+ years. She enjoys sharing her experiences to help others going through the same thing.







Pacing Yourself After A TKR

Hi everyone…I’ve been getting requests lately about overdoing it after a tkr and how to know the difference. Here is a reprint of an article I wrote about pacing yourself after a tkr…Enjoy!

I am writing this post after having another day of overdoing it on my part. And, hopefully, others have done the same thing. I’m not hoping others are in pain, just that we’ve had the same experiences after having a tkr.

Yesterday was a beautifully sunny and mild temperature day. It was a perfect day for a walk. When my friend called at the last minute and invited me to partake, I jumped at the opportunity. I needed to perform an experiment of sorts, anyways.

My experiment involved testing to see how long I could walk with my new shoe lift (3/4″) without any discomfort. I also wanted to notice if there was any improvement in my opposing knee and hip pain. (As I mentioned in a previous blog post – when I went to the doctor for my one-year total knee replacement   follow up, I was experiencing severe pain in my opposite side knee and hip).

The surgeon and I determined that my legs were of different lengths and that I needed an external shoe lift. So…I was to report back to him with my feedback. This was the walk that would form the determination on my part.

Back to the walk: My friend and I walked for about 1 mile, then took a break. I noticed a slight knee pain. The trail we were walking is a community trail that always has a nice variety of dogs being taken for a walk on it. So, during our break we greeted a labrador, husky, and terrier. Very nice. Everyone was out for a lovely day of walking and socializing.

After our break, we walked about another quarter mile. Then, we figured (rather my bones did) it was time to head back. I was fine all the way until the last quarter mile. All of a sudden….BAM!! my nonsurgical knee starting getting sharp pains in it.

So, I will report back to my doctor that the shoe lift seems to be working since my pain is much better than before the lift. Actually, my hip on the opposite side of my tkr (I put that abbreviation in there for the search engines) does not hurt at all. That is a vast improvement. 🙂 However, how am I to know if I just overdid it? If I was to have walked for just a mile, I wouldn’t have this concern.

Anyways, I didn’t sleep well at all (more than usual…:) ) due to the pain. Even with pain meds, ouch. Luckily, I finally decided to get up and write this. Beforehand, however, I watched the Flintstones. Fred and Barney told Wilma and Betty that camping was no place for women. Who do you think won out? It was a good one. 🙂

My dilemma: I have a hard time determining when enough is enough until the pain is unbearable. How does one do that, pace themselves properly? I am not sure if I’m wording this properly. 😕

I feel great when starting to walk and forget about having to make a return trip. I just love walking and do so until it’s too painful. 🙁 There has to be a better way. It’s the return trip that is the bear. 🙁 Hmm… I’ll figure it out.

Just thought I would share about my walking dilemmas after a tkr. 🙂 Hopefully, someone else among my tkr blogging community will have the same concerns about pacing yourself after a tkr. Please  be eager to share with others on here.   I’m not complaining, just stating as fact.

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.

This site is owned and operated by Marie Buckner, a published author and tkr patient who has been living with various physicalities for over 40+ years. She enjoys sharing her experiences to help others going through the same thing.

 

 

Lose Weight By Eating Fewer, If Any, Processed Foods

Someone recently told me that they didn’t know how to lose weight. My response: “Stop eating processed foods.” Plain and simply, this is the perfect solution to a weight loss dilemma. Let me explain further…

Processed foods are defined as any food that has been changed from its natural state. These foods provide a convenience factor that can be hard to beat in our fast-paced society. Beware, though. These dangerous foods can easily put on the pounds.

These foods are calorie-dense, making them extremely dangerous for any weight conscious person. Being calorie-dense means they contain more calories per serving than unprocessed foods. You can start gaining weight without realizing it. You may be eating smaller amounts of food, but consuming more calories.

Packaging is another dangerous side of processed foods. Products may contain unsubstantiated health claims. Important details may be hard to decipher. Containers, in particular, can be very misleading. It is quite easy to believe that a serving size is the entire container, when in fact, it is only one-half the container size. This can easily lead to excessive calorie consumption.

Processed foods usually contain high fructose corn syrup. High fructose corn syrup is linked to obesity. Even in foods that are not sweet, this ingredient can be used by manufacturers to increase bulk. It is found in foods such as bread, ketchup, bottled and canned pasta sauces, boxed puddings and a variety of other prepared foods. High fructose corn syrup is especially harmful if you are trying to lose weight, since upon ingestion, it turns to fat. Unlike real sugar which fills you up, this additive has a reputation for not satiating the appetite. It fools your body into believing you need to eat more.

You can lower your consumption of processed foods by eating out less. Eateries can be extremely dangerous places for people trying to lose weight. Portion sizes are huge, which makes overeating too easy. Even if a menu item is listed as healthy, you do not know how it is prepared or what is added into the final product. Eateries are notorious for using a variety of commercially-prepared bases and mixes that contain added sugars, fats, additives and other items. These can play havoc on any weight loss program.

* The key to losing weight is having control over your food. This does not happen when eating out. To best avoid processed foods, order fresh foods without sauces, gravies and cream-bases. Instead, lower your calorie consumption by choosing salsas, fresh fruit compotes and have all condiments served on the side. Make certain your meals are made with the freshest of ingredients.

Avoid products made with refined flour. White flour, sometimes known as refined or enriched wheat flour, is a common ingredient in processed foods. Read the ingredient label on commercially prepared breads, crackers, cookies and baked items, boxed cereals, boxed cake mixes or other foods that are mass-manufactured.

* White flour is a processed food. White flour results from the processing of whole grain into a powdery substance void of any substantive nutrients. Consuming products made with refined white flour can be especially harmful if you are trying to lose weight since the foods contain zero fiber, making it too easy to consume larger quantities. This packs on the calories.

* Since refined flour has all the fiber removed, you will not receive that health benefit. The flour is especially dangerous since it is quickly digested, resulting in quick and easy weight gain. You will feel like you need to eat more, instead of less. It is a studied fact that processed foods promote binge eating.

* In comparison, the natural fiber found in whole grains provides you with a low-calorie appetite suppressant that fills you up. There are no side effects, either. The fiber is slowly digested by your body. This results in your appetite being quenched. You feel satisfied after eating whole grain foods.

Lose weight by retraining your buying habits. Eating less processed foods is easier than you may think. It just takes self-discipline, knowledge, and time. When in a grocery store, buy your food from the store’s perimeter. This is where the produce, meats and seafood, dairy and other natural foods will be found. Visit your farmer’s market and buy fresh foods. Talk to the farmers who grow the foods, the food’s source, to learn about your food. Learning about your food source is exciting and empowering.

Become a better informed consumer by realizing that the food industry is deceptive. Do not fall for their claims about processed foods being healthy for you. Some of those claims are completely unsubstantiated. Always remember that the industry spends millions of advertising dollars to sway consumer eating habits. Profits are the final answer, not health.

Getting back to the basics by eating fresh foods cooked in a healthy manner, exercising regularly and developing lifelong healthy habits will help you lose weight and keep it off.

Hope this helps others dealing with a weight loss dilemma.

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.






Nerve Damage & TKR Update

Hi my favorite readers! Recently, some of you have asked about nerve damage after a tkr. I thought it would be helpful to reprint an older post I wrote about this subject….

I’ve written before about how I have nerve damage on my tkr leg. The nerve damage, prior to my tkr, caused me extreme pain. Every time I’d stand up, I needed to wait for my skeletal system to get in place before moving. If I didn’t wait, the pain was too unbearable to walk.

Then, when going through the process of discussing tkr surgery, I found out the pain was caused by a bone spur. My bone spur grew due to my knee being bone-on-bone. The spur was grabbing hold of the nerve that went the length of my outer leg.

So, after my tkr, the nerve pain was still there. It was lessened, however. Then it seemed to gradually diminish. Woohoo!

Now, 18 months post tkr, I find that my nerve damage returns if I sleep for an extended time on my affected (surgical) side. Bummer…I thought I was over pain. (I’m chuckling to myself over that comment).

The past couple of days, I’ve made a discovery. I stretch prior to getting out of bed and it feels great. Slightly painful on my tkr leg due to the nerve…but MUCH better than the first few months after my tkr when I couldn’t stretch without immense pain from my nerve and tkr. It feels great to just stretch now. So, I get out of bed with the uncomfortable (but not severe) nerve pain in place. I gripe to myself, but accept it. Then, I go for my daily walk.

First I go downstairs. Gulp. Then, I get outside and stretch a bit more. It’s great being outdoors. The birds are chirping, the grasshoppers are out strolling (or hopping) and on a clear day like today…the mountains are in clear view. It’s truly a beautiful site that I am very grateful for.

As I start my walk, ouch. I feel a little out of sync. I continue, though, since I’m on a mission. Then, I notice that the pain completely stops. It’s as if my nerve has found its correct place and everything is working in alignment. Cool…

Well, thought I’d share this with anyone else going through the same thing. And for all who are in the beginning stages of your tkr recuperation…it does get better. Believe me on that.

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Resolutionist Time

Hi my favorite readers. Hoping everyone is enjoying a safe and healthy holiday season. It’s coming up to that time of year that we all need to prepare ourselves for. That time is known as “the resolutionist period.” Every January 1 people decide to start getting in shape. That means, that gym memberships rise, trails become crowded and any other number of fitness-oriented activities grow by leaps and bounds.

I am thinking of the pool. If it’s like last year, it’s going to be difficult to find a lap open to swim comfortably in. The locker room will be packed. People will be standing stark naked while talking on the cell phone. Cell phones will be taken into the shower, with conversations echoing off the stall walls. (You read that correctly.) Circle swimming is going to be the protocol for the next three months. BTW…resolutionists usually start to peter out around the three-month period. Getting, and staying, in shape takes hard work and discipline. It’s not for everyone.

Oh boy…I better buy a thicker swim cap to protect against head bumps. I wonder if helmet-wearing is allowed? Seeing that I like to stay on the positive side of things….I will end this post without saying anything else other than asking for an easier resolutionist period than last year’s.

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New Abs Exercise & TKR

Hi Everyone!
I haven’t been on here for a bit since I was playing some flute gigs and having a welcomed break from a computer screen. I went to the beach, walked for awhile and watched the ocean waves. There is nothing like it to relax and rejuvenate the soul. 🙂

While I was there, I “discovered” another abdominal exercise. Only, this one is pure fun. Thought I’d pass it along so you can take advantage…

It involves swinging (on a swing set, in case you’re wondering….). To gain momentum, lean back as far as you’re comfortable with. Extend your legs as straight as possible. This starts the swinging process. Go through the regular process of swinging. As you gain height, you can start sitting up like a “normal” person.

I didn’t realize how this affected my abs until the next day. The pain was not intense at all. It was just noticeable enough to let me know that my abs got a work out.

Cool, eh? Hope this helps others going through the same thing.

P.S. I couldn’t do this maneuver until about a year after my tkr, in case anyone is wondering. It was too painful before that time period.

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Another Benefit of Exercising after TKR

We all know the importance of exercising during tkr recuperation. However, once recuperation stops, exercising needs to continue. There are a variety of benefits, many of them I have written about previously. A new one happened yesterday, two years after my tkr.

I was sitting at a desk for most of the day. Throughout the day, I would stand up and move around. Stretching was good. When the day ended, though, my tkr knee area was painful. All areas, not just the front were causing discomfort. My nerve alongside the outer portion was touchy, the back of my knee was both stiff and painful, and my ankle was telling me something needed to be done (it was stiff and uncomfortable). And, my lower back was causing discomfort. Woah…

When I got home, I was very tired. Instead of going inside, making dinner and just relaxing…I went for a walk. My body needed to move. It was a 30-minute walk. Great weather, kind of chilly, but still nice.

What a difference! It took about three minutes to get everything moving fluidly. The more fluid my tkr leg moved, the less pain and discomfort there was. Nice…:)

The day ended with my being a happy camper, enjoying a great meal and relishing in watching some good ole hockey. 🙂

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It’s Two Years Since My TKR

I just re-read my 20-month post tkr post. Nothing much has changed, actually. There is one change, however. Now that I have reached the two year point, I do not have to take antibiotics whenever I go to the dentist. That’s great, in my opinion.

I attribute my success to the fact that I have diligently exercised every day. Starting out it was the rehab-type exercises. We all know the tremendous amount of work involved in doing that. I enjoyed it, however. I’ve always enjoyed exercising. I feel frustrated and “fat” when I don’t do some sort of exercise for at least 30 minutes daily. I also eat a healthy diet.

I have been very fortunate that I have not had any infections or other ill health along the way. My scar has healed wonderfully. In fact, it’s a trophy of sorts. 🙂

My prosthesis is obviously the correct size. After reading comments from other tkr patients, I feel very fortunate with this.

My knee clicked for only a couple of weeks. I wrote a blog post about that. I haven’t had any problem with that since.

Stairs are still a big bite. Going downstairs is more painful. Going upstairs is more of a strain on my “good” knee. I’m not overweight, either.

If I sit in a traditional office-style chair, it is not fun getting out of it. After sitting in the chair for about 15 minutes, it usually takes a few minutes for my tkr leg to adjust and “straighten out” upon standing up. It can be very painful. I believe this is related to my extensive nerve damage. (I’ve written another post about that. Nerve damage was caused by bone spurs).

When using a public restroom, the height of the toilet seat is a concern. Most times I need to use the hand rails. If there are not any, I look around for something else to hold onto. If there is nothing to hold onto, I wish I was a male… (they can stand and take care of their #1 business…my attempt at a joke).

If I bend my tkr beyond a certain point, it is extremely painful. I just don’t bend it beyond that point. (Remember that joke..”Hey, doc..it hurts when I do this,” says the patient. “Don’t do it” replies the doctor.)

It is painful when I first start to ride my stationary bike. My tkr does start to “warm up” after about two minutes.

My tkr swells up a bit when exercising more than about 30 minutes. The swelling is no where near what it was during my recuperation exercise process. Sometimes I put ice on it, other times I don’t. It’s not that big of a deal.

I can walk without the pain associated with pre-tkr functioning. I can function on a daily basis without that level of pain. The thrill of that cannot be described in words.

My tkr has about 115 flexibility. That’s better than it was prior to my tkr. I’m not worried about it.

I can kneel, but it is very slow and deliberate. And, it’s uncomfortable. I only do it when necessary. And, it’s done on a cushioned surface.

I don’t participate in any impact sports or perform any sudden movements of my tkr. There’s a snow tubing expedition coming up that I wouldn’t feel comfortable with. Snow shoeing is doable, though. 🙂

My “good” knee makes crunching sounds regularly. This occurs when I go up stairs or just walk. That’s not what I want to hear.

My “good” knee also swells up and is a bit tender after exercising or doing stairs. That’s not what I want to see.

I can lay flat and my tkr leg will settle into position without much pain. Somedays it takes longer than other days. No big deal.

I can sleep through the entire night. That’s right. It does happen, just takes a LONG time.
I can even sleep on my tkr side without pain. Usually, though, it is painful to stand up after laying on that side.

Well, that’s all I can think of now. Overall…all the PAIN, sleepless nights and frustration of having a tkr is worth it to me. Not once during the original recuperation did I regret having the surgery. Not once since have I regretted it.

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.

This 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.






Hot TKR Knee Update

Hello everyone. I wanted to post a quick update about a hot tkr knee. After riding my stationary upright bike for 20 minutes, I remembered to check my knee to see if it was hot.

It was not hot. It was warm. The heat was much less than when I was going through tkr rehabilitation exercises (first three months post tkr) or the early stages of walking for exercise.

Hope this helps others.

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