Knee Slappers and other horrors.

Rod Duggan is a good friend of mine who I have never met in person. We got to know each other through recovering from knee replacement surgery, which, for those of you who have never had a pain in the knee let alone someone sawing it in half, drilling holes in to it, hammering spikes into it,  after ripping all your tendons in half, and stapling the thing back up the size of a sleeping bag zipper, you have no idea what real pain is. And I have given birth several times so I can say that.

Just don’t tell us to “walk it off”. This surgery takes a year to recover from, if you have no complications. It’s not funny, which is why we strive to  be.

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We “met” on a Facebook page dedicated to those who were going in for or coming out from TKR or total knee replacement surgery. Our group is the underbelly of the knee support Facebook groups, kind of like the Hell’s Angels of the titanium knee community, and we all wholeheartedly agree that laughter is the best medicine and judging by the penis in the X-Ray of our cover page, we are all a little immature.

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Now we do warn the slight of heart thinking of joining us limping delinquents that we are who we are by the introduction: Clinical and Non Clinical Rude Crude and at times socially unacceptable way of taking your mind off the knee replacement without worrying about having a good time and sharing jokes. Of course we still care and want to answer questions about the TKR but just enjoy having fun along the way. Please, if you find a post not to your tastes, just move along to another post and ignore the offending one.
There are lots of laughs, an excess of raunchy humor and a lot of TKR information and experiences by caring people with a taste for a bit off the wall and risqué brand of humor. If thats not what your looking for, this may not be the page to join, seek another and good luck.
Now, did ya hear the one about the TKR replacement that…………………….

Rod Duggan is a funny guy. Hilarious in fact. He has made my laugh take over my sobs on many days when I was ready to self amputate my leg because it hurt so much (and go bang it over the head of my orthopaedic surgeon since the voodoo doll didn’t appear to be working). With his permission, I am going to share a couple of his stories, in his words, about his recovery from this satanic, evil, tortuous medical procedure known as TKR under conscious sedation.

Heeeeerrrrrrreeeee’s Duggan….

After spending the night in “Day Surgery” they shoved me into the hallway in the ortho ward so that was a plus. It was crazy busy but I was headed in the right direction. I could not see the man but there was a guy talking loudly on his cell phone using language that would not make his mom proud. He was loud and obnoxious and after 15 minutes of F this, screw that and various terms that showed he was adept at foul language I had had enough and yelled down the hall “Hey buddy, do we all have to listen to that language? Go outside”

Every able body on the floor started clapping and he just left. Many thank you’s were shouted down the hallway and the nurses thanked me. I have no problem with swearing, but those around you don’t need to hear it!.

I suspect this helped my room assignment as I ended up in the ward right by a window and it opened for fresh air! I could see the ocean and sky. Now that is a treat.

In the room were 3 other people.

Fritz, a 91 year old German guy with a hip replacement that seemed very “old world strict”

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Mike, a late 50s guy that seemed as crazy and fun loving as me

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Agnes, an 86 year old German lady that spoke no English and was suffering from dementia who had a knee replacement.

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This poor lady was not doing well. I had seen her on my various travels in the hospital for Xray etc. She was chanting and wailing in German. Any time a nurse came by she would yell in German Nein Nein! This was a 24/7 thing.
Many of us here have our troubles but could you imagine the shear terror of not understanding mentally or verbally what was happening? This was torture to this poor lady. Only one person came for a visit and it was a worker from her home. No family or friends at all. It was all very sad. It turns out she was also restrained to the bed by her families orders. Why would you even consider a TKR for this poor lady?

Around 3 AM she had a huge episode of loud German chanting, it was quite the show. Well it woke up Fritz and he started yelling at her in two languages, Mike woke up and asked if I was enjoying the show. I figured with the two Germans having a war I would aid the situation by singing Jewish folk songs! (I have no idea why I know Jewish folk songs).

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So now you have a room of four people, one German senior female chanting, a senior German male yelling in two languages, a late 40s Canadian guy singing Jewish folk songs and another guy just laughing his butt off. About 30 minutes after it started we all settled down and fell asleep.

The next morning Mike was told he could go home as long as his bowels worked. All he had to do was pass wind and he could go home. Game on!

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Around 9 AM the chanting started up again and Mike was doing what he could do to complete his exit requirements. Mike needed a witness to his impending fart so asked me to verify it. I was putting together a cheer for him, he started to fart, I congratulated him, he did it again, so I cheered and passed wind myself. Well right about this time Agnes had a moment of comprehension and started yelling “He’s Schwein, a SCHWEIN” and just went on and on at the top of her lungs. Mike was laughing and farting, I was laughing and farting, Agnes was freaking out and poor Fritz was just wondering what planet he was on. The poor nurse rushed in, quickly assessed the situation and told Mike he was discharged and left.

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I was able to go to my hotel that day and then came home a couple of days later.

All in all it was an adventure, the food sucked but people watching was at an all time high. I wish Agnes the best in her recovery.

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Ok since I am grumbling about pain I will just put on my big girl panties and deal with it!

Here is another episode from my original hospital stay that lead to my TKR. Like many great stories (Star Wars) I started in the middle, so here is part of Episode 1.

After being abruptly transferred from my semi private room with a great room mate into a ward with 3 other guys I was settling into my new routine. I had been waiting 3 days in the hospital for surgery as everybody else was hurt worse than me. I was promised the next spot. The doctor walked in and said I could go next but…. Could I wait 1 more day as a man was injured badly. He had crashed on his mountain bike and managed to shred the skin off of his, well, hmm, how shall I say this? Ok he got his “johnson” shoved into the handlebar and peeled the skin off it like a banana. (Delete mental image).

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I gladly gave up my surgery spot for that one!

Now in my ward was a dude that puked every 15 minutes like clockwork. Every time he did this I made noises like a kookoo clock. I tend to be sick if somebody else is so I had to take my mind off of the real noise. It was the the halloween version of Westminster chimes It turns that I had shared a 1.5 hour ambulance ride with him. That was fun….

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Another older gent that was very nice and he did not say much.

Then.. there as dementia dude. Why do I always end up in a ward with a crazy person? Birds of a feather perhaps.

During the day this guy was ok, very loud and lots of very loud visitors but I just hit my happy button for more drugs and zoned out to some vintage Pink Floyd. The 60s all over again!

Now night time would come about and this guy would get a tad weird. He would wake up yelling that he needed a phone. He would just keep yelling about a phone until the nurses would come in and settle him down. Then he would start doing the same thing but he would need to know which way North was. ( maybe he needed to contact the mother ship?). They would settle him down again.

Then the real entertainment would start! He would decide to make a break for it and run out of the room. Well, try to run out of the room. As he escaped he would rip out all his tubes and monitors run to the end of my bed and do this strange spin and fall down, gown open and his old man butt hanging out right at the end of my bed.

 

Now this would happen 3-4 times per night. Each time the grand finale would be a spin at the end of my bed with his naked butt looking up at me.

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Very Circ de Soleil inspired.

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I had to figure this out.

So it happened that I was awake and reading during his first episode of the evening. I grabbed my glasses so I could see the show from my front row seat. The opening scene of ripping out his tubes had begun. He jumped up and hit his stride and trailing along behind him was his urinary catheter hose. He reached the end of the hose and physics took over. The hose tightened up as it was well attached at both ends! And he would spin around due to the sudden tug on his…. and then fall down! Ouch bloody ouch! I don’t know if they attached it with duct tape or Gorilla glue but it was attached well. Every time he ran away his catheter jolted him to a stop. Kind of like a leash on a dog! I can’t imagine the feeling of such a thing.

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Well at least I knew what was going on and could just lay there waiting for surgery.

And yes there is a story from the surgery. Lets just say some doctors need to work on right and left a bit more. It makes a difference.

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After my original accident I had to grow enough bone to accept a joint replacement. The doctors and physios were intent on saving my knee so I had so much physio it was crazy. One of them was hydro physio at the pool. This is an incident that happened during a trip to the locker room at the pool.

Our town has an excellent pool and our population is about 6000 people many of them are seniors. The local lions club had donated a swimsuit dryer to the pool and it was installed the week before. I was in the locker room along with about 8 other men most of them over 70 years old. A service technician came in and started repairing the dryer as it was not working properly. He was laying on his back looking up into the machine which hangs on the wall. Now remember, this is a locker room, did I mention the old guys were post swim and naked?

This was a great opportunity for the old guys to offer assistance so they all gathered around the poor service tech, no towels or shorts, just letting it all hang out. Now the service tech looked up from the machine only to be staring up at a half dozen totally naked seniors that had no compunction to cover up, I am sure this was the stuff of nightmares to him as they were all asking questions and offering advice while closing in around him.

Just imagine the view from his angle and this being your first job of the day. I doubt that tequila could get him to unsee this job!

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Thanks Rod. Until next time, keep eating cookies.

Sian Erith Thomson

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