Waiting and thinking ahead

Discussion in 'Camping for the Medically/Physically Challenged' started by penny, Aug 17, 2019.

  1. penny

    penny Well-Known Member

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    I suppose this is the proper place to post my questions and thoughts about my first camping trip after knee replacement. It won't happen for several more weeks, but thinking about it helps while away the hours laying around, and inspiring me to do PT exercises when I'm supposed to. I can't imagine getting in my kayak yet though.

    I'm thinking of things I'll need. a more gradual step into the trailer, for sure, but when I came home from the hospital, i realized I wasn't prepared for the week I was very limited. So before I go camping, I'm trying to think ahead to potential difficulties. My DH will go, of course, and he will do all the hitching and un hitching, water and tanks, etc. tables will be put away, the bed is easy to get in and out of, it should be easy to get out, I hope!

    I'm getting around quite well, and can't believe I put this surgery off so long, when I already have so much relief. Maybe in 3-4 weeks I'll be completely able but it's hard to imagine.
     
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  2. Toedtoes

    Toedtoes Well-Known Member

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    Just take it slow and easy while camping and you'll be fine.

    With your DH there, you don't have to worry about setup, take down, moving heavy objects, etc., so that removes most barriers for you. Take some nice easy walks and relax!
     
    penny likes this.
  3. hayyward

    hayyward Active Member

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    What about going to the bathroom? If you have a pot in the camper, is it the right height? If you'll be trekking to the shower house each time, is it far?
     
  4. penny

    penny Well-Known Member

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    we do have a real bathroom, and toilet is regular height, so that is one thing I don't have to worry about! it would be a real problem if we didn't, and a low potty or trek to the bathroom in the dark would really be a deterrent to going out this soon.
     
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  5. Sjm9911

    Sjm9911 Well-Known Member

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    Pm orchid. She will be the best source as she just did thia.
     
  6. CamperChrissy

    CamperChrissy Well-Known Member

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    I haven't had a knee replacement myself, but know a few who did and thought I'd share my observations. My mom had one and did all the PT, but was kind of timid and slow about it. She is 69 and walks around like she is 109 now. I couldn't imagine her camping. My FIL is 80 and had both knees done at the same time. He did all the PT and approached things with optimism and he now flies back and forth to Florida and golfs all the time and rides his bike several times a week, sometimes up to 30 miles!!! So from what I've seen, keep your head up and focus on all the things you WANT to do and you will get there!
     
  7. Ladiesman

    Ladiesman Active Member

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    You will be able to go soon. Having had this I can tell you that your knee will talk to you. Seriously listen to it. What I mean is if its feeling good you are ready to do things. If its not then take it slower.. If you go camping and it starts to bother you some slow down. Bring a couple ziplock bags that you can make an ice pack out of if it starts to hurt or swell a bit. Before mine I never used ice on anything now I am sold on Icing. Like I said listen to your knee and you will be fine. That being said this also applies to therapy don't let them therapists do anything that you are not comfortable with. If it hurts to bad tell them. They sometimes get over aggressive and cause more trauma to your knee and slow the healing process. I had one that shoved my knee back with all her might and the pain was so intense that I let out a word I don't care to repeat on this forum. My knee swelled up like a softball and i couldn't walk for three days. Lesson learned from that is don't let them do that stuff to you.
     
  8. jmkay1

    jmkay1 2004 Fleetwood/Coleman Utah

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    I didn't have knee surgery but had a severely torn ligament that thankfully didn't require surgery. With that said the doctor pretty much also told me to listen to my knee, but to also push myself too. I'm bound and determined to get back into hiking, kayaking, and camping etc that I'm doing all my PT every day try and push myself further on my walks, but still not wanting to overdo it either. My first camping trip, I needed a helper to do everything about setup. Amazing how much bending, stooping, stepping you need to do during set up. Way worse with a popup. Beware of your feet at all times on your campsite. My campsite was quite unlevel and even had a shallow hole. Smooth even ground is easy, but unlevel ground can be a bit more difficult as it starts putting pressure on different parts of your knee and you sure don't want to step wrong. Said shallow hole was my arch nemesis. Thankfully I was able to climb into my inflatable kayak as long as i had it on shore and was able to push off shore. I had to keep moving my knee so it didn't get stiff and needed a helper to get the kayak back to camp. Felt so darn helpless, but thankfully my two helpers were amazing. Every day I'm feeling a whole lot better and can now see the light at the end of the tunnel.
     
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  9. Toedtoes

    Toedtoes Well-Known Member

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    Getting the right shoes will help on uneven ground. Make sure the arch support is high enough for your instep and that the shoes keep your ankles straight. Both my knees have torn cartilage and shoes make the biggest difference once you get off pavement. No more casual hiking in sandals, tennies, etc.
     
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  10. penny

    penny Well-Known Member

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    thanks to all. Orchid has been a great help, just the fact that she has had two such surgeries and has camped and plans to go out asap after the second as well is encouraging. I felt this discussion, should it prove helpful to others, might be more appropriate in this sub-forum, having to do with camping with medical challenges.

    thanks for the reminders that as long as DH and I both go, I will mostly relax and enjoy it! Also, that I'll know when I'm ready and comfortable to try camping. I am lucky to have a good PT, she comes to my house. Next week, staples out and PT outpatient. I'm actually starting to enjoy the exercises a little, they are starting to bring some welcome stretching and strengthening instead of post op pain. Good advice to be active and work out at gaining strength. My ortho surgeon said "I can give you a new knee, but only you can make it yours". And he did. the knee is amazing! muscles and tissue around may be sore and tight, but boy can I walk without pain in my knee. I'm using a cane, mostly just for safety sake, and walking all over the house (in good supportive shoes, yes). So now I have a job, and that is to make the knee "mine"

    When I think of how long I put this off, how much pain limited my life, I can't believe I didn't do this sooner. It is not nearly as awful as I expected. In fact, I'm amazed at how fast I'm feeling better.
     
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  11. penny

    penny Well-Known Member

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    staples out today, tomorrow physical therapy. my restrictions on driving has been changed from 3 months to 6 weeks. so, 4 more weeks to go. I still will have to get out and walk every half hour or so, but still.
     
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  12. Arlyn Aronson

    Arlyn Aronson Well-Known Member

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    4 more weeks before camping?
     
  13. penny

    penny Well-Known Member

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    i hope so! depends on how I do, I guess. still have to take breaks to walk around, so won't drive too far. My big challenge now is the steps into the camper. My side swipe of that car took off the step, so we have been using a small step stool. I need something a lot more sturdy and safe before I try to climb up into the trailer!

    yesterday's PT was pretty painful, but I feel it did a lot of good and today I can do the exercises easier. I am so motivated to do all they say because I want to get out so badly!
     
  14. Toedtoes

    Toedtoes Well-Known Member

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  15. penny

    penny Well-Known Member

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    ThInk you! I will order that now!
     
  16. penny

    penny Well-Known Member

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    Yesterday my dear DH was able to remove the bent and twisted bracket from the old step. It was really hard, envision blood, sweat and tears. But the bolts that go through the frame to hold the slide out step are not bent or damaged, it should be easy to replace. Since the Ollieroo step stool is so nice and wide, I believe it will be perfect and getting in and out should be well within my ability very soon! Thanks to all, again.
     
  17. penny

    penny Well-Known Member

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    another PT session today, only this one was physical therapy and not "personal torture". It felt good to work the knee, and exercises were manageable. I even drove myself there and back! Went up and down some fairly high steps, so I can see managing the camper soon.
     
  18. Ladiesman

    Ladiesman Active Member

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    Thats great news, Glad its going well. I tell people if you've never had a knee replacement you don't know how tough it can be.
     
  19. penny

    penny Well-Known Member

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    I know it can be really tough--I was scared to death to go through with it! I say to myself every single day, "why did I wait so long!?" I don't know if my surgeon was extra good, if the methods have been improved, if I just got lucky, but my experience with this surgery has been so much easier than I expected. I'm very thankful that it has been without complications, pain has been minimal or at least easily managed. I'm walking better than I have in years!

    I saw 3 other ortho surgeons before I found the one I was comfortable with. He had a plan, discussed it with assurance and it sounded like he really knew what he was doing. He also does an average of 10 knee replacements a week and has a very, very low incidence of infection in his surgeries. Some of the first surgeons I saw were just to busy to give me the answers I wanted and their casual attitude made me uneasy.

    I'm a pretty young 69, and in physical therapy I see people that made me glad I didn't wait any longer on this surgery.
     
  20. penny

    penny Well-Known Member

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    Feeling very good today! I walked around outside for a while, our gravel drive a good challenge in that it is not smooth and level. then I decided to try a step up the little step stool into the camper. Just to see "how it felt". It was actually pretty easy to go up the two steps and the threshold of the camper! I was really happy! I called DH to spot me coming down, as the step stool has uncomfortably narrow treads. I backed down, and it was easy. When we replace the slide out step and add the step stool that Toadtoes recommended, getting in and out will be no problem at all! One hurdle down.
     
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