Adapting to new knees and life at home

Sunday, April 29, 2012

Stu has been home two weeks now and continues his daily improvement. We have made a few adjustments to help him adapt to being home and doing PT here.

The first was getting a toilet riser. They come in many styles, we opted for one that mounts on to the toilet (we have a standard porcelain toilet, fortunately) and has handles on the side to help him stand up. He only used this for the first week but it was a huge help.

His initial attempts at PT were done in the reclining loveseat and utilized the coffee table for an extended stable surface. For a bolster, he used a beach pillow/pad roll. For something to squeeze between his knees, he used Sadie's biggest stuffed toy.

Each PT session is followed by 20 minutes of ice therapy, this is where the Cryo-Cuffs have really come in handy.

That is followed up with a 20-30 minute walk, weather permitting. We've been trying to walk at least twice a day.

He has lost weight and hopes to lose more. His PT has moved to the bed and is done on the days he doesn't go in for PT at Anne Arundel Medical Center. His first week was spent in one-on-one sessions with a therapist, three times a week for 45-60 minutes.. The second week he was moved into the group class, three times a week for 2 hours. Intensive!

But the highlight of the last two weeks was when Stu got to drive for the first time. No more Coumadin, off narcotics for pain and able to flex leg to specific degrees. Woot!

The therapists think he'll be in for another two weeks before they let him loose. Each visit they add and subtract exercises, tailoring things to his specific needs. He has good flex and can get his knee completely straight so now they are working on strengthening and balance.

He still tires more than he would like - it takes the body a while to recover from all this. He's still glad he did both knees at once. He also added a little to the write-up here.

Till next time - keep on rollin',
Donna and Stu

Didja miss me?

Mommy finally took some picters of me and my sissy, Fiona, playing. Oh yeah, and her bratty brother, Clubber, is in some of them too. He's really a pain, glad I don't have a bratty brother to live with.

We love playing tug of war and keep away....

Sniffing and lickingly yours,

Yes [he's home] and Yes [I'm late telling you]

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Sorry I haven't posted to let you know that Stu did make it home on Friday, it's been a bit of a whirlwind ever since. Things have been going well most of the time. Our trip home was uneventful, but Sadie sure was happy to see her daddy (and Yes, she blogged about it).

Stu is doing his PT faithfully every day, adapting what we have handy to take the place of items used in the rehab center (more on that later in the write-up he is still working on). In addition, we are taking 2-3 walks every day - thank goodness for decent weather.

Turns out he overdid a little on Saturday (FREEDOM) and spent more time in the "toes above the nose" position with ice on his knees. Sunday was better.

Today was his evaluation by the Physical Therapist, she was impressed with his progress but really put him through his paces. He will got three times a week for 45-60 minutes each session. On the off days he will do all the exercises he was already doing (from the rehab center) plus another half dozen she added.

So our time in the next month will be spent doing lots of exercising (hoping we both lose a few pounds in the process) and working towards getting Stu approved for driving (which means both the truck and motorcycle). Right now the only things holding him back are the Coumadin and pain killers. Once he is off both of those, he will be okay to drive. Needless to say, he can't wait!

Not much else new with me, still busy writing flash fiction on my writing blog. Hope some of you are enjoying it as much as I am enjoying writing it. I still have a couple of doctor appointments left and need to get a few maintenance things done to Scooby (our pickup). At least taxes are done! ;-)

Till next time - keep on rollin',
Donna and Stu

I missed my daddy.....

Monday, April 16, 2012

I love both my mommy and daddy but daddy lets me snuggle on the sofa with him LOTS more than mommy does. Even with his new nees....he just can't resist me!

Please daddy?



Ohhh, a warm spot!

I love you!

Sniffing and lickingly yours,

Getting closer....

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

To keep it short and sweet, Stu is still on target for coming home on Friday. If there is any delay, we should hear about it tomorrow when he gets his staples removed.

Stu has been busy working on a new page for our blog, "Stu's Bilateral Knee Replacement", where he explains the reasons behind his (and the doctor's) decision to do both knees at one time. In the second section he talks about getting ready and the day of surgery.

He will continue through his hospital stay and in-house rehab when time allows. If you know of anyone considering a single or bilateral knee replacement, we hope they will find this information helpful.

On a lighter note, Sadie came home today...after visiting "daddy". Needless to say, after two weeks at doggy camp, she is one pooped puppy! She blogged, too!

Till next time - keep on rollin',
Donna and Stu

I'm HOME!!!!

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Mommy came and picked me up today. I was SOOOO happy to see her but I hated to leave my friends behind. This is me looking out the back window as we drove away.

Later mommy took me for a long ride and we visited daddy at his re-rab house. Mommy forgot to take a picture of US but did take one of ME when we first got there.

I don't understand why he's there but I know I got yelled on when I jumped up on his knees. That's so hard for me to remember...mommy said no one likes me to jump up on their knees so I try....but sometimes I get SO EXCITED and forget. [snicker]

We got home late, I ate a WHOLE BOWL of food, played with my toys, looked in the fence for my sissy, Fiona, and her bratty brother, Clubber (they weren't there) and then got comfy.

Then I snuggled in for the night. I'm pooped!

Sniffing and lickingly yours,

Stu has moved to a cane!

Monday, April 9, 2012

You read that right, two weeks after having both knees replaced, Stu has moved from a walker to crutches and today was released to cane use. The best part of that is wearing shoes again rather than the hospital no-slip slipper-socks.

From there he took a walk outside and practiced on a curb with the cane and then moved to getting in and out of the truck. "Piece of cake", he said.

A stroll through the grass was the next challenge followed by inside stairs. One thing he noticed when walking is that he is able to stand taller and it felt good on his back.

Unless something turns up on Wednesday when he gets his staples removed, he will be coming home sometime Friday afternoon. We're both excited! He will still go out for PT three times a week and do his own PT sessions on the other days. He also has to have a blood test twice a week until he is taken off Coumadin. So needless to say, our days will still be busy. Lots of walking...we'll go to Kmart if the weather is bad. ;-)

Once again, for those interested, here is a link to photos of his staples at two weeks: left knee and right knee. He is working on a write-up of his pre & post op observations. We'll let you know when he's got it uploaded. It will be available as a tab on the blog.

Till next time - keep on rollin',
Donna and Stu

Happy Easter / Happy Sunday and Stu's weekend update

Sunday, April 8, 2012

For those who celebrate, Happy Easter. For those that don't, Happy Sunday.

Stu continues to do really well, in fact PT told him today they are going to let him try a single crutch tomorrow which means wearing REAL shoes rather than non-slippy-feet socks. They've been joking about him carrying the crutches down the hallways.

He had PT twice every day during the week and at least once each weekend day. In addition he gets out and walks 3-4 times a day, up and down all the hallways. He has lowered his pain pills to less times per day as well as only one pill rather than two and he is still staying comfortable. Ice packs after PT really seem to help him.

Doing thigh contractions - it really is work!

Enjoying lunch in the dining room - he loves the socialization

Trying to convince us that he doesn't smile ALL the time

He gets his staples out on Wednesday and he should be coming home on Friday. We're both really excited about that. I pick Sadie up on Tuesday and know she will be happy to be back home, no matter how much fun she has at doggy camp.

More later!

Till next time - keep on rollin',
Donna and Stu

A week post-op...

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Just a week post-op and Stu is now on crutches. That is mainly because a walker won't work in the RV when he comes home. He's doing really well on them, only uses the walker for nighttime potty trips.


PT continues twice a day, grueling at times (I get tired watching and counting reps for him). But he knows the end result will be worth it. He's doing steps, albeit slowly and always holding on to the handrail. This photo looks like he's resting but they've got him doing small muscle moves that are absolutely draining to the body. Honest! ;-)

He has an appointment on the 11th to get his staples removed...everything still looks good. He's fighting the nerves waking up and talking to him as well as some issues from the pain medication he's on. But all in all, he's doing amazingly well!

I continue to run errands, tend to my doctor appointments and write my posts for the April A to Z Challenge (hope you'll read a few of the stories and if you like them, pass the link to your friends). Sadie is still enjoying doggy camp. And life goes on...

Till next time - keep on rollin',
Donna and Stu

I've got mail!

Did you know I could get mail here at doggy camp? I didn't. I don't even know where the mailbox is...and I'm too short to look inot it anyway.

But mommy and daddy sent me some mail and I laughed a lot so thought I'd share it with you guys cause I KNOW you miss me.....[snicker] You can click it to see it bigger.

Sniffing and lickingly yours,

Update on Stu and his surgery

Sunday, April 1, 2012

It's been a long almost week since Stu had his double knee replacement. As previously posted, he came out of the surgery without any major issues and spent most of the night Tuesday in a self-induced drug haze (gotta love morphine pumps controlled by the patient).

Wednesday morning that was taken away, the drains removed and the IVs were stopped. That meant getting up and taking a short walk. That afternoon, less then 20 hours after his surgery he was doing the PT exercises, and doing them quite well.

Stu's Self Portrait the morning after

Stu doing what he does best

Enjoying lunch the day after surgery

Heading out to PT with Phyllis, his therapist

LINK for those who want to see the incision/staples

From then till Friday the day was divided between get poked/prodded/stuck, sleeping, eating, sleeping, get poked/prodded/stuck, PT, sleeping, visitors, sleeping, get poked/prodded/stuck, sleeping...think you get the idea. Toes above the nose was the mantra for the week.

Friday brought a slight change to the schedule when he woke up feeling dizzy and week. His hematocrit had been dropping all week, even though they had recycled his blood during and after surgery. While they checked with his doctor's office, the PT folks came and pushed him to the PT room in his recliner. Yup, no stopping PT (which is a good thing).

By afternoon they had gotten the okay for two units of blood, not out of the normal for double knee replacement patients. Of course this delayed his discharge quite a bit. Long story short, he was finally discharged at just before 10PM. They loaded him into our pickup truck and we headed over to the rehab center. The discharge office managed to get him approved for 14 days there...much needed days for therapy.

Walking the halls of rehab, 4 days after surgery

Working on the machines at rehab

Resting on day 5 after surgery

So now he's made it past his first weekend at the facility, gotten PT done both days and is happily walking the halls. He gets around with a walker and does amazingly well. Kudos to his surgical staff and all the staff at Anne Arundel Hospital and the Joint Center. Nothing but praise for everyone we dealt with.

I'll report in again before the end of the week. Right now I'm slammed with taxes, writing, laundry, and my own medical visits. Pretty beat at the end of every day. Oh, and Scooby has decided he needs to see the truck doctor in my spare time. LOL!

Till next time - keep on rollin',
Donna and Stu

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