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.

The Anesthesia Diet

Nowadays it seems almost everyone is looking for a way to lose excess pounds.  Well, forget about being concerned about what to eat and not eat, how to exercise, etc.  Have a major surgery and reap the benefits of anesthesia – I lost 10 pounds without trying.  I call it the Anesthesia Diet. Of course, the side effect of this diet is nausea and vomiting.

Now my clothes fit, I look younger, and I can chuckle about it.  This is a true story. 🙂

It seems this post has been found on numerous “diet” and “weight loss program” sites. Apparently, many consider this a viable solution for losing weight. WHAT??!!!

Please…this original post was written as a joke. There is no way in blazes I would recommend having a major surgery as a way to lose weight. Get real..

If you want to lose weight…..WORK AT IT!!!

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Moment of Gratitude

Hi my favorite readers! I wanted to take a short moment here and express my gratitude for having such a positive outcome with my total knee replacement.

After reading all the stories and comments posted to this site, I am truly grateful I do not have any horrific stories to share. My recuperation included 8 months of sleep-deprived evenings, horrendous pain while getting my leg back to operating conditions and other bouts of what appears to be standard occurrences.

I may not be able to bend my tkr-affected joint more than about 93 degrees, but I certainly am not complaining. The scar tissues preventing the flexibility are due to 35+ years of accumulating scar tissue. And, no….revisions have NEVER crossed my mind. That is, until now that I’m writing about it. I would much rather deal with inflexibility than go through the revisions, setbacks and other negative situations many of you have experienced. You deserve all the credit in the world for going through such horrendous things.

Anyways, I am truly grateful to be what is known as a “successful tkr recipient.” No medications, in general good health, eating well, exercising regularly and appreciating every day I have. End of story.

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Fresh Off The Press – My E-Book!

Hi everyone,
After having received requests for a pre-op tkr book, I just completed one. It’s in PDF form and is 30 pages. It’s an electronic book, or what is popularly known as an “ebook”. 🙂

It’s a helpful book that I wish I would have had when I knew I’d be having my total knee replacement. What’s so nice about it is the fact that it contains “insider’s secrets” to properly preparing for a tkr surgery. It’s stuff that’s not mentioned in the literature I was given by my doctor’s office. And, seeing that I went through the process TWICE for the same surgery, I consider myself an expert who can help others. 🙂

I’m still learning about all the ways to use WordPress, but for the time being, I have added a page specifically for this e-book. And, the e-book can be purchased via PayPal. 🙂 (I like Paypal since its so convenient and easy to use. Plus, it’s secure).

Still in the process of how best to word the marketing portion of selling the book without sounding too pushy or obnoxious. 😕

Different Perspectives on a TKR Surgery

It is always interesting to me to hear stories about someone’s experience while undergoing a total knee replacement, or any joint replacement – for that matter. This is due to the fact that there are anesthesiology options available for one undergoing a tkr. You find this out when meeting with the anesthesiologist. The two options are: general or spinal.

Patients can get a general and be put right out. Recovery time is longer with this method. It is said to poison the entire body. Then, there is the less severe method of numbing one from the waist down. And, the patient is given the option of either staying awake or having varying degrees of an altered state. Upon hearing what would happen during the surgery, I decided to be put into a deep sleep. I did not want to hear saws or anyone talking. Nor did I want to feel any pulling on my leg or anything like it. Don’t get me wrong. I am not as big of a chicken as you may think. I have seen other total knee replacements done, and hip replacements done (I worked in orthopedics for years)– but there was something different about having it done on me.

Fast forward to a couple days ago on NHL Live! Mike Milbury was being interviewed by Bill Clement. Both are former NHL players. Milbury has had a total knee replacement, while Clement has had a shoulder replacement. Both stayed awake during the surgery. Gutsy! Milbury mentioned how he heard the saw, watched the operation on television, and felt the tkr knee being popped into place. Clement mentioned how there was a partition between his head and shoulder area. He heard the saw and mentioned how strange it sounded. “Crazy, huh?” asked Clement. “Yeah, all that was missing was the popcorn and coke,” replied Milbury. Their viewpoint struck me as very interesting and insightful.

You had to hear the entire conversation to appreciate it to the fullest extent. It was inspiring, yet funny, to hear about someone going through these joint replacement surgeries while being awake. It just blows me away.

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It's The Small Steps – TKR

Throughout a total knee replacement recuperation there are times when it seems that all the exercise and hard work just does not seem to be doing anything except cause pain and discomfort. You do not see results and it’s so easy to get frustrated. Well, this blog post is intended to provide hope and cheer for every person going through recuperation from a tkr. Why?

I’m coming up on seven months after my total knee replacement surgery. My recuperation has involved exercise of some sort every day, sometimes more than others. And, just the other day as I was laying down at night my mind wondered to the time period involved since my surgery. Every tkr patient probably goes through the same steps, only at different times. Here is what I came up with:

It dawned on me that just within the last week, I can lay my leg flat against a surface (usually my mattress or couch) and there is DECREASED PAIN! Sometimes, there is no pain AT ALL!! This is after suffering from pain of different strengths affecting my hamstring for months and months. For the first few months, I could not even straighten my leg – as previously mentioned.

My leg can easily be moved off of the bed. Immediately after surgery, I could not lift my leg at all. Zilch. And, for the first few weeks after my tkr, my muscles needed to be strengthened enough to allow me to do something as simple as that. In fact, physical therapy dealt with many of these exercises. The exercises were exceptionally painful at first. Now, my leg can be moved as if it is second nature. Wow. That’s huge.

My leg can be bent outwards while laying down. This means that I can bend my knee enough to stretch my inner thigh muscles. This couldn’t be done before.

There was a time when it took all of my strength to simply lift my leg onto a step. (In fact, that is a physical therapy exercise). Now, the effort is much less. Of course, some days are better than others.

My knee can be straightened out. This was a concern with my surgeon since I had a definite bend in it immediately after surgery. I had worn an inch shoe lift for 30 years and it was now showing in my muscle structure. This is a HUGE improvement for me and I am thrilled by it. 🙂

My gait is “normal”. Now, I feel my ankle and knee “swing” like a regular walker. It’s fun and entertaining, actually. 🙂 Prior to my surgery, I couldn’t do this. This took TONS of work to accomplish, however. And, it still needs worked on.

The back of my knee touches (lays flat against)  the surface I am laying on. Whooppeee!!! This is another HUGE improvement to me. 🙂

Even though I have a ways to go in fully recuperating from my total knee replacement surgery, it is progressing. It’s a lot of small steps, a lot of pain and discomfort, and sometimes a lot of frustration – but it’s worth it.

It’s the small steps that add up to the big accomplishments. 🙂

What? A Swollen Knee….still?

It’s been almost 6 months after my total knee replacement and my knee has really swollen up today.  I’ve been exercising more while attempting to increase its flexibility.  I’ve gone up and down 18 stairs 3x today. Going downstairs is getting easier,  but the swelling has increased.  Yesterday I went on my routine walk around the motorcycle course.  I’ll forgo that tonight and elevate my leg while laying down.

The pain involving my tissues and muscles is worthy of a pain med.  There is no pain in the knee joint, though.

I guess I’ll be a couch potato with my laptop while icing my knee. Hmm…I wasn’t prepared for my knee to remain swollen for so long after my tkr.  Oh well….

Using Rowing Machines as a Total Knee Replacement exercise

Hi my favorite readers! While gaining flexibility in my knee after a total knee replacement, the rowing machine works out pretty well. The seat can be adjusted, either stationary or moving.  The moving function offers me a chance to gain the most flexibility.  Even when not using the handle bars (similar to using paddles or oars), the moving seat offers a pretty good leg workout. it definitely gives a good upper body workout, which helps increase the circulation.

As much as using the rowing machine helps with my knee’s flexibility, I believe the exercise bike is more beneficial.  However, one makes do with what is available. 🙂

Hope this helps others going through the same thing.

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Walking as exercise for a Total Knee Replacement

The simple act of walking can do wonders for helping the recuperation process after a total knee replacement, I have found.  By walking, a definite effort needs to be made of maintaining or developing the proper gait.  I needed to learn how to walk again after 30 years of wearing a shoe lift, so it’s not as easy as one may think.  I needed to retrain my muscles.

The more I walk, the more I notice a greater swing to my knee.  My hamstring is stretching as is the front of my knee (I can’t remember what those/that muscle is called).  Anyways, that is a nice feeling.  First time I noticed a ‘swing’ it felt really good.  However, later in the evening, wow….did it hurt!

And, the more flexibility in the hamstring and front of the knee, the easier it is to go up and down stairs.  It’s easier to get in and out of cars.  And, my leg can lie flat on a surface without being propped up on a pillow.  Before, a pillow was required due to the pain level of my hamstring.  Cool.

Walking is great exercise, and it is cheap to do.  I’m still not at the point of hiking, but I will get there.

Swollen Knee

Hi everyone! I was told after my total knee replacement surgery that my knee would be swollen for about 3-4 months.  So, it is swollen, but less than others I have seen.  It’s not a pretty picture, but who cares? That’s part of the deal, so I’m not complaining.

I actually like showing people my scar since it’s a trophy of sorts. :)  Just add it to the collection, I say.

Today is an eye opener.  I walked for about two hours today at the zoo.  (What a great time!)  Now that I am home, my knee is swollen in areas it didn’t use to be.  Oh well, that’s what ice bags are for.

I’ve been told that my surgery knee will look like my healthy knee in time.  That will be interesting to see how it works its way out to that point. Right now, I can’t imagine that.   Time will tell.

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.