Sunday, December 12, 2010

The End

I'm at the end of my light duty at work and the end of this blog (for least until I get inspired again). Tomorrow night I will go back to road patrol at work. It's been 7 1/2 months since my surgery and my knee feels good.

It doesn't feel exactly like my right knee and it may never. Time will tell. I'm no longer tentative to run and I trust the fact that my quad is strong. Kneeling on it is still very uncomfortable, but that is something I can avoid doing or at least control when it happens. Hopefully that improves with time. The front of my shin and outside of my calf are still numb. I assume it's from the incision and wonder if I will ever regain normal feeling? And I get goose bumps over that entire area when I'm exercising. Weird, but I'm not too worried about it.

I've slowly started sparring again in class. I've adjusted the way the spar as I ease into it and that may not be a bad thing. I'm much less willing to do crazy kicking combinations and instead look to block and counter with hand techniques. Maybe this will make me more well rounded since I'm developing something I've never been strong with. Whatever the technique I'm just stoked to be out there again.

And as crazy as everyone thinks I am... I can't wait to go snowboarding! I'm already planning for an afternoon or two of riding over Christmas break. I did promise my hubby that the only time my board will leave the ground is on the chairlift. I'm not getting younger and "go big or go home" may not be the motto to live by anymore. However I can still get out there, ride hard and love it. I know what my knee can handle and I'm aware of the consequences if I push it too hard. Here goes.... I can't wait!

Monday, November 22, 2010

Goal Met- Feeling Good

Tonight I did something I haven't done since mid-January left heel touched my rear end! I was doing a few stretching exercises at work and finally got it done. I've been really focusing on getting those last few inches the last few weeks. Tonight I had less than an inch to go, pushed it and got it done! I was so stoked I got goosebumps. Feeling good right now!

This weekend has been great! I competed in the taekwondo tournament and was very happy with the way it turned out. My knee felt great and I did my form even better than I've been practicing it. Every ounce of my being, except my knee, wanted to spar. But it was on a gym floor and there was no give with pivoting. So, I behaved myself and sat out. The next tournament is in February and my goal is to spar in that one. I'll be ready.

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Moving On!

I've decided that I'm done with PT in the formal setting...just over 6 months post surgery. Instead I've started doing my own impact program, expanding on and continuing what I've been doing at PT... only I'm doing it throughout my nights at work (toe raises, heal raises, stretching, lunges and balance exercises), working on the plyometric exercises at our taekwondo school (sprints, shuffles, shuttle runs and hops etc) and running on my treadmill at home. The only thing I'm lacking that PT offered is the leg press. I think I'm doing enough quality exercising (in addition to kickboxing and my regular taekwondo classes) throughout the week that I'll be ok.

I'm really looking forward to this weekend. I'm competing in my first taekwondo tournament since surgery. Still no sparring, but I'll compete in forms and weapons. Most of my form is ok with the exception of a reverse spin hook kick. I have to piece that kick into two separate movements because of the extreme pivot. Some of the other kicks are iffy, but I'll just do them as well as I'm able. I'm out there and that's the most important thing for me right now!

And on a parting knee hates the cold weather. It's getting into the 30s at night and it's so stiff. Might be a long winter as far as that's concerned. Since I'm not willing to move to Florida I'm just going to have to deal with it.

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Numbers and Doubt

It's been 292 days since I blew out my left ACL snowboarding and 185 days since surgery. I have 15 more working days until I'm back to full duty at work.

I was feeling good about going back to work until last Wednesday. I was working out and quickly snapped a side kick out, fully extending my knee. Not something I've done with gusto since surgery and it was obvious I'm not ready for it. My knee let me know right away that wasn't a good idea. It hurt and I was done for the night. I watched the rest of class instead of participating out of fear that I had already done too much. It didn't seem like much considering I didn't even make contact with anything. So now I'm doubting whether it's strong enough.

Tuesday, November 2, 2010


Last Tuesday was my last appointment for my knee. I passed my leg press test with flying colors. I was told to finish out my physical therapy impact program (through December) and then I'm good to go! My release paperwork has me back to full duty at work on December 12th... exactly 19 working days left at the front desk. In January, February and through the spring, with the uncertainty around the clots and surgery, it felt like I would never be in this position, counting down the days for my return to normal activity! I'm excited to say the least. I can't wait until I can run, jump and pivot on my foot without thinking about it.

On the other hand I'm also nervous. I've heard and read horror stories of people blowing their knee out again shortly after returning to their sport. My focus is on being smart about what I'm doing and not getting too crazy too fast. It'll just be a matter of learning to trust it again. Hopefully I've done the right stuff up to this point and my strength is where it should be. And honestly my job worries me more than taekwondo and snowboarding. There's just so much unknown with work... it could take one fight with someone and planting my foot wrong or one foot chase on uneven ground or in snow. I can't stay on the desk forever and I have to start somewhere. Here's hoping 7 months of healing after surgery is enough!

On another note... the bump I had on the bottom of my foot that my family doctor thought was a cyst is not a cyst after all. The bump is still there and still bothering me so I went to the foot doctor. X-rays show that I have 28 bones in my left foot when I should have 26. The bump is where one of the extra bones is located and I've irritated it. In the next month or so I'm trying to get the swelling to go down by icing and not walking barefoot. If the swelling doesn't go away and it continues to be an irritation my only real option is to take the bone out. Good stuff... and why did this have to happen on my left side? Another surgery is the last thing I want! Lots of thinking to do before it gets to that point. Right now I'm not sure it's THAT much of an irritation.

I've wrapped up my appointments with the hematology doctor. I had the genetic tests done and the end result is that I do not have a clotting disorder. The doctor just wants me to be aware and proactive in the future because of my body's enthusiasm for clotting. If I have another major injury I need to start shots of Lovenox right away to prevent clots from forming. If I take a flight longer than 4 hours I will need to go on Lovenox several days before the flight to thin my blood out. I also had a final ultrasound last week on my left calf and got the all clear. The tech did not find any evidence that the clots had even been there! Yeah!

Monday, September 27, 2010

To Brace or Not to Brace

I'm starting to see the light at the end of the tunnel! I'm just shy of 5 months post surgery. I honestly don't know where the time has gone. It's flown. My fitness level is coming back with kickboxing two times a week, taekwondo once a week, swimming once a week, a little running, lifting and some biking thrown in there. With kickboxing and taekwondo I'm still not pivoting on my left foot, doing any jump kicks or sparring. In due time. Hopefully by January at the latest I'll be back to doing taekwondo without any restrictions. I'm planning on being back to full duty at work by December 1st.

I'm getting really bored with PT, but know that I have to stick with it at least through Christmas to keep my leg muscles strong. If I don't lift there I won't lift. I'm trying to find ways to keep myself motivated. Lately I've been trying to take fewer breaks in between each exercise so I can incorporate a little cardio into it. It gets me out of there faster at the very least!

So, now that I have my eyes on the prize (unrestricted activity!) the question is...should I wear a hinged brace for sports? I asked my doc and his recommendation was to not wear a brace. His belief is that it doesn't really help a lot, but ultimately said it's an individual decision and it there's no harm in wearing one. I'm leaning toward at least wearing one for a while as I get used to sparring again. I have a $50 velcro-hinged-neoprene wonder that does the job for now. I found some sweet high end, light weight braces online. They were pretty expensive, but most had an insurance code in the description. I'm going to see if insurance will cover the cost and if so I'm probably going to order one. Ideas? To brace or not to brace?....that is the question.

Friday, September 3, 2010

New Challenges and New Pain

After running several times last week I began noticing a small bump developing just below my knee cap, between two of the scars. It's tender to the touch and I'm definitely aware of it even when walking. I decided to not run anymore until I talked to my PT.

She looked at it and said it is the general location of one of the three screws. She said it isn't uncommon for the body to reject the screw and some patients have it removed after a year because it's not needed. The screw is there to secure the new graft during surgery, but once the graft heals itself to the bone the screw serves no purpose. She said the screw removal is done as an outpatient surgery and usually does not require additional physical therapy. I was told to continue exercising as I had been if my knee will tolerate it and the new spot isn't too painful. If the pain increases I will call my doctor and get in for an appointment. As of right now I'm not due back in the doctor's office until mid-October. I'm so hoping it's not screw related and just my knee being cranky as it learns to run again!
I was allowed to start wall jumps this past Wednesday. It felt weird, like I had cement bricks strapped to my feet. The goal was to start facing a wall in a squat position, jump and extend my body up the wall, come down on my toes and allow my body to absorb the impact and smoothly/gently return to a squat position. All in all I think I did a pretty decent job considering my body hadn't moved that way since January. I'll do that for a few weeks and then move onto back/forth jumping and lateral movements. I'm very excited for that. Baby steps back to Taekwondo!