You regular readers of this blog know I have RA. I have made a number of adaptations in my life to help me keep as active as possible. One of those things is Emmy, my Black Lab mobility service dog. Without her, I don’t know what I would do.
Other adaptations include having a tiny table and two task chairs in the kitchen. We can sit in there and eat, or I can sit in there and talk to Himself while he makes dinner (breakfast and lunch are usually mine to make). It is very friendly. But when I’m making breakfast or lunch, the chairs are there for me to sit on while I “do things” at the counter. Saves my hips, knees and back a lot of pain and stress.
But, no matter how hard I work at not over-stressing my knees and hips, eventually the disease gets to them. The time has come. I went to an orthopedic surgeon the other day for an evaluation. He took pics of my knees and hips (some of those positions for the radiographs hurt!) and agreed that my right knee in particular was a candidate for a total knee replacement (TKR in doctor-speak).
I haven’t scheduled it as yet. I’ve been working out a calendar of when my kiddoes will not be available this summer. My husband will need some support, as will I. So it looks like early to mid September is the soonest I can schedule it. By the time all of this is over and my back has been worked on, I’ll be like the bionic woman! “They” say the new implants don’t light up the airport scanners, anymore. I’ll believe THAT when I see it!
I’m also considering all the changes I’ll have to make in the house. I’ll have to use my “lifter seat” in my favorite chair, or I won’t be able to get out of it for the first 3 or 4 weeks home. Either that or rent another chair for that period of time. Also, the first few weeks, I’ll have to get Himself to get me out of our big, high water bed in the mornings and help get me back in at night. Himself said he will build an 8″ riser for me to have beside the bed so I can step up – making it easier for me to get in and out without hurting my knee.
According to the literature the doc’s office gave me, I’ll need a raised toilet seat (that adds some other adjustments, too, but not that I’ll discuss here), a walker (I have one), a cane (I already use one, and I have several), a reacher for picking stuff up from the floor (mostly, that’s what Emmy is for! But I have 3 of those). I’ll need to worry about getting around the house – the cat tends to be a major impediment to my walking around, as does the clutter. Himself is concerned about my clutter getting in the way of mobility with the walker. I don’t anticipate using the walker very long, though. When I get a hip done, then I’ll have to use the walker for an extended period of time.
Therapy will have to come to me until I can ride in my stair-lift more easily. Since it’s the right knee, I won’t be driving anywhere for the first 2 months or so, or until the knee is less tender and bends more reliably. No long trips for the first 2-3 months, so I’ll have to work out rescheduling Emmy’s recertification until November or December.
Have to work out a swimming schedule. Even if the water is chilly and makes my muscles cramp, the activity will do me good. Mornings either 6-8 (T&Th) or 9-11 (MWF). Get exercycle back from the kids, start practicing on the treadmill now.
Whew! Just thinking of all the planning and prep that we need to do for this makes me really tired!