Knee Surgery Recovery Tips

On October 10th, I had knee surgery. I have been dealing with this bad knee since I was 12 years old. I’ve dislocated it a few times over the years and really did a doozy in July of this year. It finally became apparent that I need to do something about the knee. In talking over things with my surgeon, he came up with a very good surgical plan. Despite all of that, my nerves were shot the day of surgery. I was nervous as all get out! Hopefully these knee surgery recovery tips help you!

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knee surgery recovery

About the Knee Surgery

Like I mentioned, the surgeon had a good plan for my surgery. Since I deal with very little cartilage, the first thing he wanted to do was clean up my kneecap and take a biopsy of the cartilage. That biopsy will then be sent to a lab so they can grow more of my own cartilage! Unfortunately, in doing that procedure, it means that I need to have a second surgery. During that second surgery, I will have the new cartilage implanted and then the surgeon will use donor tendons to reconstruct all of my tendons so my knee is more stabilized.

Since I had my gallbladder removed in January of this year, my deductible was gone and my out of pocket was nearly gone. In working with me, my surgeon made sure that my surgery was the last of his day so that in case I was not a candidate for the Maci procedure (the biopsy), then he could go ahead and do the tendon reconstruction at that time.

 

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The Knee Surgery

Everything went well. I woke up very weepy and freezing, but the nurse told me that is very common. The pain I had was a bit much more than I thought it would be at that time, but they gave me something and covered me with some sort of heater thing. I warmed up quickly and thankfully, the tears stopped! Other than that, I felt amazing. I had no anesthesia “hang-over” feeling like I did with my gallbladder surgery. The nurses kept remarking how good I looked. I take it I had a good anesthesiologist! I ended up being a great candidate for the Maci procedure so I will be having a second surgery some time in 2019.

Knee Surgery Recovery

Knee surgery recovery has not been that bad. I have to say, I am pleasantly surprised. Friday (two days after surgery) was the worst day. I could not get comfortable to save my life and I took the most pain pills that day. Other than that, I haven’t really needed the pain medication.

So…What have I been doing?

I am, by no means, an expert, but here are the knee surgery recovery things I’ve been doing that has helped me tremendously over the course of the last for days.

  1. One of the things my surgeon told me to do, was take Tylenol three times a day. If I need a pain pill in between taking the Tylenol, then take it. So that’s what I did from day one. Total, since surgery, I’ve only taken four pain pills.
  2. Another thing the surgeon recommended is that I take magnesium. Apparently there are studies that taking magnesium with the Oxycodone will help prevent the patient from needing to up their pain pill dose due to tolerance.
  3. If you are having surgery and your hospital does not send you home with an ice machine, ASK for one or BUY one. I have the DonJoy Iceman Clear3knee surgery recovery and it is amazing. For the first four days after surgery, I was able to continuously ice my knee. It really helped with pain and swelling.
  4. Do your exercises. My surgeon gave me a list of four exercises that he wanted me to start the very next day. Do them. Even if they hurt…do them. It will get better, but it will help the recovery process.
  5. Take Colace. Trust me on that one. Take it. The last thing you want is to be laid up and constipated. Pain medication will constipate you.

Aside from those five knee surgery recovery tips, I have been keeping myself busy by reading and watching Little House on the Prairie. I have to say, after being as busy as I am on a daily basis, it is rather nice to be able to sit back and taking it a bit easy for a little while!

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Top 5 Tips for Dieting Success

Making the decision to make drastic lifestyle changes can be a difficult one. If we’re being honest, it’s WAY too easy to not make changes. However, my about three years ago, my husband and I made the choice to drastically change our lifestyle. We were done being fat and out of shape. Over the course of the last three years, I have learned a lot about my body and what I needed to do for dieting success. These are my tips.

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dieting success

Pre-Plan Your Day

One of the first things I found to help me be successful day after day, whether I was doing the Keto diet or Weight Watchers (WW), was to pre-plan my day. Whether you are using apps like My Fitness Pal, Carb Manager, or the WW app, start your day out right by pre-planning it out. What I do is, I eat breakfast, log that information, and then I input my dinner. That way I know what I have left for the rest of the day. I used to say I didn’t have will power. However, I think that by pre-planning my day, it taught me how to have will power. I never ate something I didn’t have tracked in my app. Try it…it’s a great tool for dieting success!

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Drink Your Water

I know…I know…this is one of those dieting success tips that we are always hearing about, but it’s so true. Not staying hydrated is so bad for us, for so many reasons. If you are like me, you may get bored drinking water. One of the things I do every day is fill my glass water bottle with ice, put a few drops of Young Living lemon oil, and fill with water. I find that drinking the lemon water helps me get my daily intake of water in, and not get bored with plain old water.

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Take Measurements

This is probably one of the most important dieting success tips. So many times, people (me included) will get discouraged when they are making lifestyle changes because the number on the scale is not budging. The day you decide to make your lifestyle changes, take measurements. Write them down. Once a month, take new measurements. Even if the scale doesn’t seem to be moving, I promise, if you are sticking to your diet, you will see your measurements changing. For almost one entire year, the scale didn’t seem to budge. However, I dropped another pant size and I went from needing an XL shirt to needing a L or sometimes a M. So pick up a measuring tapedieting success and get measuring!

Don’t Worry What the Scale Says

This next dieting success tip goes right along with the last one. You will never hear me say, “don’t step on the scale” because I don’t believe that. I believe we should weigh ourselves. Shoot, when I did the Keto diet, I was so freaked out that it wasn’t going to work, that I weighed myself every single day for a few months. The idea of eating fat to lost weight was one I could not wrap my mind around in the beginning. However, if your scale is not budging, don’t worry. Remember, take those measurements. Plus, at the end of the day, if your clothes are fitting looser, then you know you are doing something right, despite what that scale says!

Tomorrow is a New Day

We all slip up. It happens. Don’t let it completely derail you. At the end of the day, remember that tomorrow is a new day. If you allow a slip up to completely throw you off course, it will be harder to get back on track. Simply finish out your day and start your next day back on track with pre-planning your day, etc. I know you can do it!

Figuring out what works for you takes a little time. These 5 tips are what helps me stay on track. I have one more tip for you. We can call it a bonus tip. For me, paying for a service, whether it be the premium version of My Fitness Pal or Carb Manager, or signing up for Weight Watchers online, has helped me stay accountable. I don’t like to waste money!

What are your dieting success tips?

How to Break the Diet Coke Habit

If you’ve been following along, you will know that, over the course of the last three years, I have really been making improvements in my life. I was able to successfully get rid of my sugar addiction. It wasn’t easy, but what was easy was physically feeling how much better I felt without the sugar. The one vice I still had was my Diet Coke habit. I’m finally at the point in my life that I want to break that habit.

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diet coke habit

As you know, my husband and I embarked on a new lifestyle a few years ago. The Keto diet helped us lose a combined 215 lbs. We felt better, looked better, it has been amazing. Recently, we decided to change things up a bit and give Weight Watchers a try. I had been stuck in a place of not losing so I wanted to jumpstart my body and give a new lifestyle a change for a bit, while hanging on to a lot of the principles that I learned from doing the Keto diet for so long.

While I felt like I mastered the ability to not want or care about sugar any longer, I was still not great about drinking enough water. I am amazing at drinking Diet Coke. I could drink that stuff all day long, like it was water. That’s one of the main reasons I don’t buy a case of pop at Sam’s Club to have at home. I would drink way too much per day. It was time to break that Diet Coke habit.

Breaking the Diet Coke Habit

As addicted to sugar as I was, I am probably more addicted to Diet Coke. I don’t drink coffee, so my only source of caffeine comes from pop. Believe me, I wish I liked coffee. For many reasons. The caffeine being one of them, but also so I can drink out of fun coffee mugs like this mugdiet coke habit. But more than needing caffeine to get through each day, or wanting to drink out of fun coffee mugs, I need to up my water intake.

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Back before I started the Keto diet, I was really into Young Living essential oils. I still use the oils for things, but not like I did. That changes now! One of the ways I got my water in then, was putting my favorite Young Living essential oils in my water. Not only did the flavor help, but the oils are good for you!

Why Essential Oils?

Grapefruit essential oil (my favorite) is very high in D-Limonene. If you are not sure what D-Limonene is or what it is good for, check this out. While all of those benefits are great, I like that it makes my water taste good, as well as benefit my health at the same time. As a side note though, not all essential oils are created equally. I would only add Young Living oils to my water (and only those approved for ingesting). Other Young Living essential oils that I like to add to my water are lemon, orange, and lime.

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So What’s My Plan?

Am I giving up my Diet Coke habit for good? No, probably not. I want to break the habit of feeling like I “need” a Diet Coke to get through my day. Which, let me tell you, I’ve been up since 5 am and I’ve yet to have any caffeine and I’m still wide awake! However, with that said, I see the Diet Coke habit the same as I used to see my sugar addiction. I want to get to the point that I don’t care about whether or not I have it. Once I get to that point, then I know I can have a pop and it won’t trigger me to have more, just like I can have a piece of candy and not eat another for days, weeks or months. To me, that would be breaking the Diet Coke habit.

Weight Watchers Freestyle Week 1 Success

Making the decision to switch from the Keto diet to the new Weight Watchers Freestyle plan was not an easy decision to make. I had tremendous success with Keto, until I didn’t. More than that, I hate change! The idea of starting something new and it possibly not working for me, was almost too much to handle. Gaining my weight back is not an option. However, what ultimately pushed me to try Weight Watchers is the fact that I was just as scared to embark on my Keto journey and look how that worked out for me!

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weight watchers freestyle
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My Dieting History

I’ve tried Weight Watchers in the past and I was not very successful with it. Why? Mainly because I wasn’t ready to commit to ANY diet plan at that time. My will power was non-existent. Not because I didn’t have will power, but because I didn’t WANT to have will power. It wasn’t until I did the Keto diet that I learned about how my body processes certain foods, and the why behind everything we eat. Most importantly, I learned that I can survive just fine WITHOUT sugar. I know it sounds crazy, but I will go days/weeks/months without eating any sugar and I don’t miss it. That was a key to learn. Especially since I was a self proclaimed sugar addict!

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Why Weight Watchers Freestyle?

Some people have asked me, “why Weight Watchers Freestyle program?”. They want to know why I can’t just eat based on how I’ve learned and continue on my merry way. In all honesty, I like the structure that a program that requires tracking offers. My life is crazy busy from the second I wake up until the second I go to bed. If using an app that the Weight Watchers Freestyle program offers to take all the guess work out of eating, then I am all for it! Not to mention, a lot of people I know (including my husband) are following this program so it’s nice to have support.

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So…How Did Week 1 Go?

I was very excited to weigh in for week 1. With Keto, I had been on a year+ long stall. I gained a little after having my gallbladder removed and after that, everything became difficult. When I stepped on the scale, I found myself saying to myself, “oh please oh please let there be a loss”. And there was! I actually lose 5.4 pounds my first week! My husband lost 10 pounds! I can’t tell you how happy I was to finally see a loss!! Now on to week 2!

Interested in joining Weight Watchers Freestyle? Using my unique link below, you will receive a free month and so will I!

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Leave me a comment if you are doing Weight Watchers and what your favorite Weight Watchers meal is! I am looking for new recipes to add to my collection!


KT Tape for Total Knee Support

I have been having issues with my knees for YEARS. About 10 years ago, I dislocated my kneecap (read how here…it’s a really funny/embarrassing story). Ever since then, I have had issue after issue with my knee. A month ago, I stepped into the garage and my leg gave out and I literally felt my lower part of my leg go one way and the upper part of my leg go the other way. It was as gross as it sounds. I now needed to figure something out.

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What Have I Done for my Knee So Far?

Last summer I met with my knee doctor and we went over options for my knee. My MRI wasn’t terrible in that I needed surgery immediately, but it wasn’t great either. One part of my issue is that I have a lot of damage to the cartilage. The doctor recommended that I looking into gel injections. Basically, they inject gel in and that acts as the “cartilage”. They typically last 6-8 months before you need to redo the gel injection.

In addition to the gel injections, the doctor also recommended I met with the surgeon to get his take on things. That meeting was really good. My surgeon and I decided that I will exhaust every possibility before resorting to surgery. So I met with a physical therapist to get a program that I can do at home and the gym and I did the gel injections. I religiously did my exercises over the course of the year. Things were going well, until they weren’t. When I started getting a lot of pain again, I made an appointment with the doctor and we set up another round of gel injections. Just after the third injection was when I had the incidence in my garage. Back to the doctor and surgeon I went.

Meeting with the Surgeon

After talking things over with the surgeon and having him evaluate my knee and compare those results with the evaluation from last year, it was apparent that things have gotten a lot worse. He recommended two surgeries. The first surgery, called the MACI Procedure is a scope procedure where he will go in, look around, clean up the backside of my kneecap and take a biopsy of my cartilage. That biopsy will be sent to a lab and more of my cartilage will be grown in that lab so it can be implanted back into my knee.

The second surgery will be where he takes my cartilage and replaces it back in my knee. In addition to that, he will also perform a MPFL reconstruction to reconstruct the ligaments and give me better patellar stability. After reading up on both surgeries, I feel it is a good plan of action. I can’t continue on with the pain and instability. Getting the surgery scheduled will happen this coming Tuesday, as the scheduler is out of town.

Best Way to Stabilize the Knee for Support

So, as you can imagine, I have had my fair share of braces over the years. My favorite brace is the DonJoy Reaction WEB Knee Support Bracekt tape. If you are looking for good knee support, this is your brace. It’s well worth the money and right now it’s on sale for $40 off!! While I like the support of the knee brace, and have been wearing religiously every day for the last month or more, it’s sometimes hot or it doesn’t fit well under my clothes if I’m wearing long pants. Someone mentioned that I should try KT Tape. I know a lot of people swear by KT Tape, but I was always skeptical. However, after watching a bunch of videos on YouTube,  decided to give the KT Tape a chance.

kt tape
Does the KT Tape Offer Support?

Again, I will say, I was SUPER skeptical, but I picked up some KT Tape and tried it out all day yesterday. Within minutes of having it on, I was amazed at how stable my knee felt. The true test came when I had to walk down some stairs. I felt just as stable walking down the stairs as I do when I am wearing my brace. As the day went on, I really felt this was a good option for those times that I either couldn’t fit my brace under my clothes (or didn’t want a super bulky look) and when it decides to be triple digits outside! Things were going great until my leg (hours and hours after putting it on…it’s meant to stay on for multiple days) started itching really bad. It became unbearable. I took the tape off and I had a rash where the tape was. Unfortunately, it looks like I am allergic to the adhesive.

While I had a reaction to the adhesive, many people do not and they swear by this product. I will need to do some research to see if there is another product I can use that may use a different adhesive. Hopefully after surgery (whenever that will be) I won’t need a knee brace or the tape! Fingers crossed!