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!

Saturday, August 28, 2010

Running- Woo Hoo!

On Wednesday I ran for the first time and it felt strange, but awesome! I was allowed to run for 10 minutes at 3 mph. At that pace I could have walked faster, but the motion and pressure of running were there. My PT wanted me to watch for swelling that night and the following day. If it didn't swell up then she said I would be ok to run on my treadmill at home; starting at 10 minutes and slowly increasing the time each day. I didn't experience any swelling from the run, so I ran another 10 minutes the following day. Day 2 came a little easier and I didn't feel as much pressure. I'm going to plan on alternating between riding the bike and running at home. Onward and upward!

The same day she cleared me to run I asked her I could start jumping exercises. She told me no because I wasn't at the 16 week mark day shy! I had to try! So, I went in today (16 weeks + one day) and asked her again. I think I saw her eyes roll when she told me to wait until next week. I might drive her crazy before all is said and done!

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Cloud 9

Today rocked! The first person I saw at my appointment was the medical student working with the doctor. He checked out my knee, said "great, I'll go get get the doc so we can get you out of here". After he didn't say anything about the strength test I asked him if I would be doing it today. He said probably not, but he would check with the doctor. He returned 2 minutes later and said yes the doctor thought it would be a good idea. So off I went.

After warming up I met with the physical therapist and she said "you requested this? you want to do the test?". I didn't realize it was that unusual of a request. I replied, "yes...I want to start running and getting to this point has been a goal". I did the test; single leg press-right first, then left- 175 lbs- 15 times each. I started struggling at about rep 8 on my surgery leg, but pushed through it! I was so stoked after finishing it!

After the strength test I met with the doctor and he said I was ok to start on impact exercises at PT. I'm not quite ready for full jogging, but will work toward doing that next month. For now he said it would be more of starting/stopping exercises and jumping...starting to get agility into the workouts. Since it was a new doctor I asked him about his typical recovery timeline for patients. My first doctor was fairly conservative and told me to ideally hold off on doing anything for 9 months. My new doctor is good with 6 months. He said I could go back to full duty at work beginning Dec. 1st...a full month before I had expected to. There's my cloud 9! I'm so sick of sitting at the desk and 4 less weeks of it will be awesome! He also said that I'll be good to go with taekwondo by January. Obviously I'll let my knee be my true guide, but I'm starting to see the light at the end of the tunnel. It's still out of reach, but at least I can see it.

Monday, August 23, 2010


I'm back and loved every minute of vacation! We had a wonderful time and this may have been one of the most relaxing vacations I've had...enough time to really forget about work, spend a lot of time outdoors and just spend good, quality time with the kiddos.

I went into this vacation wanting to workout everyday, but over the 13 days I felt like I wasn't really doing anything. In hind sight I was...I just wasn't doing my conventional PT exercises, push-ups and sit-ups. I swam laps in my in-laws pool, we went on several hikes in the mountains (very carefully) and I rode my mother-in-law's bike 4 miles one morning. They weren't my usual workouts and it wasn't as much as I might normally do, but maybe that was good for me. A nice break from the PT routine.

Swimming laps was a great workout and something I want to do more of. I felt tired while doing it and upper body soreness the next morning. Call me crazy, but I miss that!

Tomorrow I have an appointment with my new surgeon. I'm pretty sure that I'll have my first strength test. I didn't realize it until today, but I'm already at the 16 week mark post-surgery. I'm not sure how the strength test will go...I know that I haven't done my body weight with the one leg press even once, let alone the required 20 times. And my understanding is that between the 16-18 week mark and upon passing the strength test most people are cleared to begin running. I want to give them my pre-injury weight for the leg press (no TKD and my summer Dairy Queen addiction= a few added lbs), but rumor has it they actually weigh you in so you can't fudge it! I'm going to give it my all and see what happens. Maybe I'll surprise myself. It's only 40 more lbs than what I'm able to do now. Hoping for the best....

(On a side note reference my last post about my mysterious illness: I ended up going to the ER the following morning because it was getting so bad. Doctor said I had Fifths Disease. My son had had it a few weeks earlier and had the typical body rash. The doctor said it can present very differently in adults and some adults feel like they've been hit by a truck. That about summed it up. All the the symptoms were gone within a week.)

Monday, August 2, 2010

Something's Wrong

Something is wrong and it's not my knee. I woke up two days ago feeling as if I had slept on my left wrist funny. It was very achy and hurt to bend it. I figured it was something that would wear off as the day went on. That didn't happen. By the time the night was over the pain had spread up into my shoulder, collar bone and was starting to creep up the left side of my neck.

I went to bed that day and focused on laying flat while I slept, with my hands at my side. For the most part I was successful. When I woke up the pain was no longer in my left wrist, but had completely consumed my right wrist. My left shoulder and side of my neck still hurt a little, but it wasn't as bad.

Onto day 3...I woke up and the pain was in both wrists and something fierce. For the first hour after waking up it hurt to bend either wrist even a little. Driving to PT was real trip. It hurt to turn the steering wheel.

Now as I type this both wrists hurt (probably shouldn't be typing, but I'm bored) and I can't raise either arm over my shoulders without pain in the shoulder area. Ugggh. My hubby thinks something's pinched or out of wack and I agree. We leave for vacation on Thursday and we're gone for 2 weeks. I'm going to let this ride and see what happens the next few weeks. If there's no improvement when we return I'll go get it checked out.

Saturday, July 24, 2010

Bike Ride, Leg Press and Encyclopedia

It's been a good week! I went for my first outdoor bike ride since last summer and certainly since my injury. I probably rode about 3 miles and loved every minute. It felt so great to be out in the sunshine, exercising and working up a sweat! And most importantly my knee felt good. Plenty more rides to come!

I'm continuing to build strength in my leg and really noticed a big improvement this past week. With the leg press I'm now able to do one leg @ 130 lbs (10 reps- twice), negatives @ 180 lbs (10 reps- twice) and two leg press @ 240 lbs (10 reps- twice). For the first time I've realized that pressing my body weight with just my surgery leg is possible. I'm not there yet, but getting close. By the end of August I know I'll be able to do it. Just a week ago that seemed like a stretch.

Starting Monday I'll be in the transition program at PT. I won't meet with a physical therapist, but will have a workout schedule planned for me and will be on my own to get it done. I'm excited about it. It'll give me the freedom to go in when I want (anytime between 7am-7pm) and not have to worry about scheduling appointments.

My only bummer this week (and in the scheme of things it's not a big deal) was an extra trip to the see the family doctor. About a month ago I started noticing some localized pain on the bottom of my left foot (surgery leg). The pain was just below my little toe toward the outside edge of my foot. At first I thought I may be walking differently to compensate for my knee and that in turn was aggravating muscles on the bottom of my foot. But I realized that wasn't the case. Walking barefoot on our hardwood floors became more painful and I noticed a small bump developing. I started to get worried and finally scheduled an appointment. My family doctor believes it's a ganglion cyst.

  • A ganglion cyst, also known as a bible cyst, is a swelling that often appears on or around joints and tendons in the hand or foot. The size of the cyst can vary over time. It is most frequently located around the dorsum of wrist and on the fingers. The term "Bible bump" comes from a common urban legend that treatment in the past consisted of hitting the cyst with a Bible or another large book.[1] Wikipedia

  • Ganglion cysts are idiopathic, but presumably reflect a variation in normal joint or tendon sheath function. Cysts near joints are connected to the joint and the leading theory is that a type of check valve forms that allows fluid out of the joint, but not back in. The cyst contains clear fluid similar to, but thicker than, normal synovial fluid. They are most often found around the wrist joint, especially at the scapho-lunate joint, which accounts for 80% of all ganglion cysts. Wikipedia

He hopes it will "pop" on its own. Gross. If it continues to get worse or isn't any better in a few weeks he gave me the phone number for a foot doctor. He said the foot doc may have a few recommendations including some assistance in popping it. Or maybe I could just use an encyclopedia or a dictionary!

Saturday, July 17, 2010

Just Do It

As frustrating as the injury and recovery have been at times I seriously don't know where the time has gone. It's been almost 6 months since my injury and 10 weeks since surgery. January 2011 is my target for being back to full duty at work and back on the floor at taekwondo. It seems so far away right now, but if the first half of the year was any indication it'll be here before I know it!

PT is coming along and I'm continuing to build strength in my leg. I've mostly been focusing on getting the muscles back and working on full range of motion. I'm almost walking normal again. My knee just doesn't want to fully extend as I follow through with stepping. It'll get there. I just have to keep working at it. I'm excited about my progress with the leg press... 1 leg @ 120 lbs, negatives @ 150 lbs and two legs at 210 lbs. I can't remember what I was at prior to surgery, but to think that I'm already pressing 120 lbs with my surgery leg amazes me.

Last week my physical therapist was laying out the game plan for one session and finished by saying "if you still some left you can do the stairmaster for 10 minutes". I responded by telling her not to give me an option...just make me do it. If she thinks I can and it's not detrimental to my knee I'll get it done. I've always responded well to structure and I don't want to have an easy out. Just tell me it has to be done.

She listened. Today she threw in an extra level of blocks with my step-ups and for good measure handed me the 11 lb medicine ball (for straight arm raises over my head when doing the step ups and one knee raise). After the first set of 20 I asked her if she was trying to kill me. It was a good workout. Her response was "you want to get back to that thing you do right?". Taekwondo and yes I do in the worst way. Yes I do. So here's a shout out to my physical therapist. Thanks for pushing me! It was a good PT day.

Monday, June 28, 2010

Not the Brightest Idea

It'll be 8 weeks post-op this week and I golfed yesterday. Yep, not the brightest idea I've ever had, but it was a blast and I was very careful. It was a fundraiser scramble for my son's hockey team. The expectation was laid down for my team that they shouldn't expect much out of me. I ended up doing a-okay all things considered. When swinging I made sure to keep light weight on my front leg (my surgery leg) and if I felt like I was planting too much I would lift it up. I made sure to not pivot or rotate. Still, I know that I could have tweaked it and could have really messed myself up. So, that's not going to happen again. It swelled up a little and was stiff by the end of the day. It was just from walking a lot and it was really hot out there. It's feeling a lot better now. Living on the edge once was enough and I'm happy to have made it through. Back to heal slides and squats.

On Friday I had my second post-op appointment with the surgeon. He was "very pleased" with the progress of my knee, the reduction in swelling, muscle tone and extension. Next appointment is the first week of August and that's possibly when I'll have my first strength test...although I'm not positive about that.

My current surgeon accepted another job in PA and is leaving in August. Next appointment I'll start with a different doc...someone I already know...a fellow hockey parent from one of my son's old hockey teams. He also happens to be the head surgeon for the U of M football and hockey teams. I know all of the docs are amazing, but I'm just glad I was able to hop on his schedule. It'll be nice already knowing him and being comfortable talking to him.

I've been extended on the midnight shift at work for at least another week or two. I'm still continuing to ice off and on all night and it's helping big time! At PT I'm up to 132 degree bend. Still have about 15 more degrees to go to match the other leg.

I'm missing Taekwondo big time and really wanted to be down in Little Rock this past week for our Worlds tournament. I lived the experience vicariously through my friends and instructor over text messages and facebook. At times it was extremely hard, but then again it also fueled a very frustrated determination inside me. Mid-week I found myself saying "it is what it where do you go from here?". I knew the answer, but two good friends reminded me and reinforced the concept of "forward". You go forward..and when I'm able to it's going to be with a rejuvenated appreciation of inner strength, focus and determination. My hubby has been my rock and has been huge with trying to keep me on track. He knows how to fire me up and likes to tease that I'll only get back to "98%". He does it because he knows what my reaction will be. Every time I whine about something or point out something wrong with my knee he'll say "there's your 98%". I repeat it to myself often and I know that's why he does it. It won't be'll be 100%. Now I just have to stay off the golf course.

Monday, June 21, 2010

Party Animal

Last week I finally started to get control of the swelling. Working at night has allowed me to ice 4-5 times over the 8 hours, elevate and do my heel slides/ extention exercises. It's been an awesome break from the chaos of working during the day. After my second shift on midnights I was finally able to see some definition on the top part of my knee cap! That was progress. And then came the weekend...

Every year we throw a big BBQ for friends and family. There's a lot of set-up involved. A lot of walking... a lot of carrying... not a lot of sitting down... not a lot of icing... not a lot of elevating. I could continue the list, but I'm sure those reading this will get the idea. My in-laws are staying with us so we even had four extra adults in the house to help. They were a tremendous help and I couldn't imagine how rough it would have been without them. Regardless I have been on my feet for the last 3 days without icing. The progress I made last week is gone. My knee is swollen and stiff.

Short term goal is to get back to where I was last week. Last week I finally measured to 130 degrees. It may only bend to 100 tonight. BBQ was an absolute blast and definitely worth the effort. But now I'm back at work hooked up to my ice machine. Cheers!

Monday, June 14, 2010

Ice, Ice Baby

Trucking along, but not much change at 5 1/2 weeks post surgery from my last entry. I'm trying to not walk like an ogre. It's a constant effort and on my mind with every step I take. Bend, bend, bend! I measured to 122 degrees last week and I'm still golden on the flexion. After warming up it's usually in the -2 degree range.

My ACL wonder twin and her husband set me up at home with a bike trainer. I bought a new bike a few weeks ago and they are graciously allowing me to borrow one of their old trainers. It's been awesome. While I'm not able to ride it everyday it's nice to have there when I am able to. A 20 minute ride here or there and working up a little sweat does the body good! I can't wait until I get cleared to take rides around my neighborhood, but I'm not sure that'll happen for awhile.

Work hasn't been helping with my progress. I'm up and down all day and usually not able to ice a lot. Sometimes it's slow enough for me to prop my leg up, but some days it doesn't happen at all. 8 hrs of work= cranky, swollen knee and swollen ankle. So, two days ago I was asked if I wanted to go to midnights (desk assignment) for three weeks. Another co-worker on light duty is recovering from back surgery and she had the assignment on nights. I had mixed feelings about it, but said yes. Ultimately it came down to giving myself and my a knee a three week break from the busy day shift schedule. Working nights on the desk to so mellow compared to days. I am going to use these three weeks to ice (every hour), elevate and exercise my knee all night long! My goal is to have the swelling under control by the time I go back to day shift. I'm looking for some decent improvement the next few weeks!!

Saturday, June 5, 2010

One month

It's been one month since my surgery. I'm now crutch free, but not walking normal. It's very slow and methodical...straighten leg, heel to toe, bend back and repeat. I have to make a conscious effort to recite this to myself every time I walk. It's so easy to just walk with a limp and not focus on getting it right.

I told the therapist my goal was 130 degrees yesterday. My best was 115 degrees prior to that. So I tugged on it and got it to 118. She asked me to remind her what the goal was and I told her....then she surprised me and jammed my ankle toward my butt. Ouch!...122. I'll take it. It wasn't my goal, but it was improvement.

We are moving into more of the pre-surgery exercises at PT...lunges, leg press, walking squats with resistance band etc. I'm improving on the weight with the leg press. I feel ok about already being up to 150 lbs with two leg press, 90 lbs with negatives and 60 lbs with my surgery leg. I was only at 30 lbs with the one leg as of a week ago.

Since I'm weight bearing now I called the surgeon and got the OK to stop my Lovenox shots (blood thinner). I've been giving myself one shot every night, alternating hips. My hips are littered with bruises and very colorful right now. I'm stoked to be done with that!

On a taekwondo note I had a frustrating, emotional day yesterday. Our association's tournament year runs from June to June, ending with our world championship tournament mid-June. At that tournament those that have earned enough points through the year and place in the top 10 of their division are given the opportunity to compete for the title of world champion in our association. I was happy to find that I had placed 4th in forms and 10th in sparring within the top 10 standings. It's very bittersweet given that I'm proud of the accomplishment, but beyond bummed that I won't have the chance to see how I compete against the others. I'm trying to find solace in the fact that it's an awesome honor to even be mentioned within the top 10, but the competitor in me is cringing. I'm missing taekwondo so much right now and this just added another weight.

Monday, May 31, 2010

3 Weeks Post-Op

It's been a little while since I posted. I guess time flies when you're having fun right? Ok, not really...I've just been lazy.

The stitches came out on May 19th (surgery was May 6th). It felt great to get them out. They were really starting to pull and pinch. I was shocked to find the stitches I had for the largest incision were all internal. The outer layer was only covered with sterile strips. So when it came time to take the stitches out all they did was tug on one end and pull the entire string out. It felt like a worm was being pulled out from under my skin for a split second. Very weird, but not too painful. (Picture to the left was taken right before they pulled my stitches out)

The doc put more sterile strips on top and told me to keep those on for one week. Now those are off too and the incision looks great! Pre-surgery I thought I would have a big old nasty scar, but that's not the case. (Picture to the right taken one week after stitches came out)

I wish I could say PT was going well. I'm at a stand still in terms of flexion. I've consistently been able to bend between 85-95 degrees for almost two weeks now. Once I got it to 105 degrees, but that was after being at PT for almost 2 hours. I know the improvement will come eventually, but I was hoping for more...sooner.

I took 2 and 1/2 weeks off work after surgery. So it hasn't helped that I went back to work last week and two days a week I go straight from work to PT. By the time I get there my knee is pretty swollen. The therapists tell me do leg raises and exercises at work. I try to do it as much as I can, but sometimes it's just not possible. It would be great if I had more sick time to burn.

This past week was a tough one emotionally. For the first time I had serious doubt that I would ever run normal again or get back to taekwondo. On Monday evening I was so frustrated watching the black belt class warm-up (waiting for my daughter to get changed after her class). I watched my friends running laps and then just couldn't watch anymore. I wanted to be out there in the worst way running with ease and not worrying about my knee.

I know this hasn't been the most positive post. I'm sure things will start to turn around soon. Here's hoping for more improvement this coming week...

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Tough Girls Cry?

Ouch!!! I had my second physical therapy appointment today. I'm at 6 days post op. I was in such pain. I've been doing my home exercises 3 times a day, but clearly this was on a different level. We started out mellow with just the basics and I was fine...heel slides, ankle pumps, weight shifts, mini-squats (very mini). Those hurt, but I was pushing through it and doing ok. Then my crazy Canadian trainer got a hold of me and had me sit on the end of the table. She wanted to work manual flexion and extension. That's when the pain caught up to me. Holy cow...the tears started flowing. I trust her and believe her when she says that pain now will give me huge rewards later. And I pushed through this part too, but I felt like my leg was going to fall off. I hate crying in the middle of the PT room, but there was no stopping it. Tough girls cry sometimes right?

At the end of the torture session she said that I am already way ahead of the average person with only being 6 days post op. I made her swear that she wasn't just telling me that to make me feel better after the waterworks. She assured me that wasn't the case. So I guess it was a little bit of a silver lining for how much that sucked. Today my extension measured at -1 degrees (yeah!) and flexion got to 70 degrees.

I'm going to try and get away from the heavy pain meds. I don't like what they're doing to me, but I just hope I can tolerate the pain. Here's hoping the rest of today is a good one....

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Post Op PT and Appt

(Note to the squeamish- there are pictures of my knee and the incision sites at the end of this entry)

Less than 24 hrs after surgery and I was out to the door to my first physical therapy appointment. The first real pain came as I was filling out my paperwork in the waiting room with my leg down on the ground. The rush of pain came on so fast and I started to feel sick. As soon as my hubby got a chair under my leg and elevated it things started to get better.

Once I was back in the table area they got to work taking off my dressings. I can imagine that I was quite a sight with my leg all wrapped up and the huge brace over it. There were probably 15-20 people in the table area. I became very aware that everyone was staring at me and my hubby verified it wasn't my imagination. Everyone wanted to see the dressings come off. It stung as she pulled them off because they were stuck to the stitches. I probably would have held up better emotionally had it not been for everyone staring at me. I shed a few tears and just wanted everyone to go back to what they were doing. Once the dressings were off people stopped paying attention. My hubby said it was as if I was the car crash and everyone in there was driving by and couldn't take their eyes off the scene.

The rest of PT was uneventful. I was able to do straight leg raises. I was pretty stoked about that. I hadn't expected to be able to do those for at least a few days. They had me doing ankle pumps, knee bends and extension exercises. I bent my knee to 60 degrees! I finished with icing and one of my least favorite things in the whole world....STIM! I was happy to go home after that. Well, we stopped at Dairy Queen first and then went home. It was well deserved!

(On a side note...the surgeon told my hubby post op that my ACL had started to reattach itself to another part of my bone. He said that if I was older and not as much of an active athlete that my ACL would provide enough stability with it's ability to regenerate without going through surgery. I guess it's nice to know that my body has good healing powers.)

I survived the weekend. Just sitting on my butt a lot and sleeping on the couch. It's just too much effort to move everything up to the bedroom, including myself. The stairs scare the crap out of me. I still haven't showered because I haven't been given the clearance by the surgeon. I will see him on Monday. I'm starting to gross myself out. My daughter helped me wash my hair in the kitchen sink. That helped a little, but I still feel gross.

On Sunday (Mother's Day) I decided to scale back my pain meds. Instead of taking 2 every four hours I decided to only take 1 every four hours. The pain meds are awesome for controlling the pain, but they basically knock me out within a 1/2 hr after taking them. I don't want to be asleep all the time.

We spent Mother's Day afternoon on the couch playing Wii. Kinda hard to play some of those games while sitting in a reclined position. But it was fun...we made the best of it.

The appointment was short and painless. I had expected to do some exercises with him, but that didn't happen. First order was getting the ace bandage off and shipping me off to x-rays. They took x-rays as soon as the surgery was completed on Thursday and then again today to make sure the surgical screws were staying in place. All looked good. Then the doctor had me make a quad muscle and I got the thumbs up. He said I was already ahead of the game in terms of quad strength. That was good to hear. Then he had me straighten and push down onto his hand. He said it was ok, but not great. Something to continue working on. Then he asked me to bend my knee. Yeah...not so much. He said " we have homework". Gotta get to work on that!

And that was it (except getting my clearance to shower....I can now stand to be near myself). Continue with PT and come back to see the surgeon again next week. Pretty sure that's when I get my stitches out.

I've been feeling sick and I'm fairly convinced it's from the pain meds. I'm taking some of the strongest stuff there is and I know that has to mess with your system after awhile. I've been nauseous, sleepy and constipated. I haven't been eating the greatest and that's bugging me. It's not for lack of being hungry. I start out fine whenever I try to eat, but then my stomach turns about half way into the meal. Some I've been able to finish and others no where close. We have an amazing group of friends from our Taekwondo school that have been bringing dinners everyday. They all look, smell and taste amazing (at least to start). I just wish I could finish a meal. My family has certainly been eating like royalty and loving everything! So, I've decided to spread my pain meds out even further and see if I can tolerate more time in between. And thus enjoy eating a little more and savor some of our left overs! We'll see how it goes.

Pictures were taken one day after the surgery.

Saturday, May 8, 2010


Surgery...three months and 2 weeks in the making! Finally. I was thankful to be scheduled for 8:30am. The morning was a blur with little waiting around time. Once I arrived at the office I was called back within 2 minutes and they immediately got to work...verifying information, changing into my awesome hospital gown, putting on compression socks, getting my IV started etc etc.

The resident initialed my left knee and the surgeon verified it to ensure they were operating on the correct leg. I was relieved to see him do that and for good reason! Earlier in the week there had been a slight mix-up when talking to the scheduler lady. She was giving me the run down on preparing for surgery and reminded me to scrub under my fingernails really well on the hand that was to be operated on. Whoa! Time out! No hand involved. Turns out she had accidentally flipped computer screens and was looking at someone elses info while she was explaining that section to me. She was very apologetic and we got it straightened out before hanging up. It was still a relief to see the resident initial my leg and have some assurance that I wouldn't wake up with a cast on my hand and a still bum ACL.

The anesthesiologist gave me a shot of feel good stuff as he wheeled me away from my hubby. My hubby said I had a dopey smile on my face. I recall being wheeled into the operating room and a group of people saying "hi" to me, but that's it. Next thing I knew I was waking up in the recovery room with other nurses talking to me. I had a huge knee brace on with an ace bandage wrap under it from my ankle to mid-quad. My hubby was called back to the recovery room at about 1pm and we were home at 2:20pm. They don't waste time kicking you out the door. It didn't really make much different to me. Once I was home my hubby helped me to the couch and I passed out. I remember eating dinner and continually icing with my new cooler pump, but not much else. Maybe that's a good thing.

Wednesday, May 5, 2010


So finally I'm here. Day before surgery. I'm scheduled for 8:30am and have to be there at 7:15am. I was really looking forward to today, but I'm kind of in a rut and my nerves are on edge. I know everything will be fine. This surgery has to happen for me to continue doing athletics and my job the way I want to. But now that 3 months have passed since the injury and I've been able to return to a fair amount of activity, tomorrow feels bittersweet. I'm dreading being completely immobile again and having to use my crutches. I'll do jumping jacks and work on my form tonight at TKD class and tomorrow I won't be able to lift my leg. Seems weird and I'm kind of grumpy about it. But in the end I signed up for this and elected to have surgery. I guess I need to go back and read my blog entry on perspective. Off to continue my nesting and doing laundry.

Sunday, May 2, 2010

Wonder Twin Help

Going over my check list for the hospital I was told to bring my crutches and my knee brace (just in case) on the day of my surgery. I found my crutches in the garage next to my snowboard. Fitting eh? The image of the two sitting there together made me laugh...the snowboard that started it all and my pain in the ass crutches that I will rely so heavily on in the month to come. Had to take a picture and share!
A friend of mine from TKD had ACL surgery last Wednesday and has been a great source of information! Thanks Mrs. I!! Keeping tabs on your pain levels and daily challenges have helped me. You seem to be holding up like a trooper and giving me hope for a similar week following surgery! You've also put reality into the situation which I appreciate. I am much more at ease when I know what to expect. I'm now more aware than ever that I need to absolutely stay on top of my pain meds, the first car ride the following day will suck and I will hate STIM even more than I already do. Even through all that the pain won't last forever and it does start to get a little better as the days pass. PT will be difficult, but hopefully I'll be in a different mindset because I will no longer be working toward surgery....but toward long term recovery and a normal functioning knee. Yeah!
Count down is on and I'm done with Coumadin...5 days to go...bring it on!

Friday, April 23, 2010

Pre-Op Appointment

My pre-op appointment went well. Nothing remarkable to report. I had my blood drawn and it was the most painless needle stick I've ever had. I'll have my blood drawn again the day of surgery just to make sure the Coumadin is out of my system. I take my last dose Wednesday 4/28.

Post surgery I will need to give myself daily injections of Lovenox for about 4 weeks or until I'm moving around on a regular basis without crutches. Lovenox is also a blood thinner, but does not require as much monitoring as Coumadin so it's easier than Coumadin for a short amount of time. I've already had the Lovenox script filled. The medicine is at home and ready to go. I'm not looking forward to having small bruises all over my hips for a month.

I've downloaded a new book (The Last Lecture) for the time I'll spend laying horizontal after surgery. My hubby says it's a pretty inspirational. I'll also have my i-pod all charged up and ready to go with episodes of Six Feet Under. I've already placed an order for breakfast in bed on Mother's Day. I'm planning to take a little over two weeks off work. It may be a little too much time, but I'll be able to cut it short if I feel like going back sooner. But then again I may enjoy the amount of sleep I'll for sure be getting! Writing this I was getting all giddy about the unlimited rest, reading and show watching...almost forgot that I'll have some pain to deal with. LOL!

Sunday, April 18, 2010


Pre-op appointment is today and surgery is now 2 1/2 weeks away. I'm trying to enjoy my last bit of freedom before I'm down for the count and/or crutching everywhere. So, what's the logical (illogical thing probably for most people) thing for a competitive minded martial artist to do...compete in a tournament! Yep, that's what I did on Saturday.

Knowing that I'm probably not going to be competing until next January I really wanted to get in the mix one last time. I only competed in forms and sparring. I've been working on my form the last few weeks and did some adjustments to avoid pivoting too much on my kicks. And of course I had a hinged knee brace on.

I felt great being out there! Obviously I noticed a big difference with the power of my kicking techniques with my left leg and how much I was able to chamber/re-chamber/jump etc. My knee wanted to argue a few times during the form, but I got through it. I wanted to spar in the worst way, but knew better than to push it too far.

After closing ceremonies I was filled with mixed emotions. I was proud of myself for getting out there, giving it my best and doing well. But I was a bit bummed knowing how much I'll miss in the next year. Sigh....

Thursday, April 8, 2010

Surgery Date

Finally...I have a surgery date! May 6th.

I met with the surgeon yesterday and he liked the progress of my knee. April 29th will be my last day of Coumadin (blood thinner) and the medicine needs to be out of my system for at least 5 days prior to surgery. I have my pre-op appointment April 19th. During that appointment they will do a blood draw, but I'll probably have to go in to have it drawn again the day before surgery just to make sure the medicine has completely cleared out of my body. They are concerned about excessive bleeding during surgery if my blood is too thin.

Overall, the surgeon said my leg strength was good and the extension/straightening was OK. He wants to see a little more improvement prior to surgery. He suggested sleeping with a rolled towel under my ankle at night to get my leg to straighten out for hours on end. I tried it last night and wasn't so fond of it. I didn't sleep very well and woke up with a very sore knee. I'll give it another try tonight or at least set my mind to starting out that way.

I've decided to do the hamstring graft for the reconstruction. I don't like the idea of using a cadaver graft only because I know I'm healthy enough to use my own tissue. I considered the patellar tendon, but did not want the scar tissue and chronic knee pain on the front of my knee cap. I think the hamstring will be best.

The doc told me to plan on no cutting sports (Taekwondo) for about 9 months after surgery. I'm hoping that's conservative. I can't imagine not doing my form for 9 months! Not sparring is a little more understandable. With that being said, there is no way I want to go through this again and I want the best possible outcome after surgery! I will just have to take it slow and be patient. With regards to work I will most likely be on the desk through the fall and possibly until the New Year. Uggh. That may require a lot more patience. Hoping for the best and a shorter time line!!

Thursday, April 1, 2010

Progress and Too Much Activitiy

On Tuesday my knee bend measured at 132 degrees! It felt the best it has since the morning of January 21st. I was super stoked. My good knee bent to 139 degrees. Almost there.

I was so stoked that I decided to really live it up on Wednesday and have since realized that wasn't the greatest idea. I started with PT from 7-8:45am, cardio class from 9:15-10:15am and then open taekwondo class from 11:45-12:30pm. It didn't stop there...I simply took an afternoon break. During the evening I assisted with instructing a class from 5:45-6:30pm, joined black belt class from 6:30-7:30pm and then finished with instructor class from 7:30-8:30pm. I modified everything throughout the day to not stress it out too much, but just the amount I was on it took a toll. I will modify things a little next Wednesday! LOL! I had a lot of fun though and it didn't hurt while I was doing everything. My knee was just really stiff today. My physical therapist said yesterday was a good lesson on what not to do after surgery.

Saturday, March 27, 2010

Going my way...maybe? finally?

This past Wednesday I met with the hematology doctor to discuss my blood clots. Bottom line she said both clot incidents have been "provoked"...meaning I had good reason to develop them (c-section/pregnancy and traumatic injury). I have a return appointment in 6 months and plan to get tested in order to see if I have a condition that makes me develop them easier than the average Joe. I can't have all the tests done now because I'm taking blood thinners so I'm just going to wait and have everything done at once. Whether or not I have a clotting disorder does not affect my ability to have surgery now.

Although my clots are still there I'm no longer at risk for having them dislodge. She said after someone is on Coumadin for 4-6 weeks the vein wall starts to grow over the clot. It's been almost 8 weeks for me. So while it won't dislodge it's still causing some circulation problems. Every once in a while my left leg will still look more swollen than the right and occasionally it's a different color from my knee down (red or sometimes a little purplish). To help with that I have an appointment next week to get fitted for a compression sock. Hot stuff! And I've given up trying to conform and wear dress shoes at work...either I'm working in my running shoes or I'm not working. Rebel with a cause!

With regards to surgery... she wants me to finish out one more month of the Coumadin and then I am good to go! YEAH! As of my hematology appointment this past Wednesday my next scheduled appointment with the surgeon (just to check in) was not scheduled until June 25th! When she gave me the thumbs up for surgery in a month I went straight home and placed a call to the surgeon. My next appointment with the surgeon is now April 7th! Two months earlier! Hopefully we set a surgery date during that meeting.

On Thursday my physical therapist said she was happy with my leg extension for surgery. It is very close to being equal with my right leg and that's apparently one of the most important PT factors heading into surgery. If both knees can't straighten equally at the time of surgery then one ACL ends up being longer than the other. I'm still working on the flexion. I'm now able to bend it to 120 degrees during my wall slides. Not great, but not bad.

All in all it's been a good week and I feel like it's finally starting to work out. Hope it lasts!

Monday, March 15, 2010

Back to the ER

This morning I noticed some funky swelling in my left calf and ankle. My calf was looking really swollen and I had a lump on the inside of my ankle (think "cankle"!). I hadn't seen this type of swelling since I started the blood thinners over a month ago. Given that I hadn't hurt myself or changed anything in my activity level my hubby and I were pretty concerned about possible new developments with the blood clots.

After a call to my family doctor we went to the ER to have it checked out. I had another ultrasound done on my leg. One superficial clot has disappeared, but one remains and there has been no change in the DVT (deep vein clot). The doc said at this point the clots should be going away and he's not quite sure why they're not. His hope (and ours) is that I will learn more about why it isn't going away when I meet with the Hematologist doc.

In the end the ER doc said intermittent swelling in my leg is common and to just be aware/rest whenever it comes on. He didn't really have an explanation as to why it just happened and why I haven't seen it before this. He said I shouldn't consider this a set back and my body is just taking a little longer to clear the clots.

I'm looking more pathetic in this pic than I actually was. I was just really tired. My hubby and I joked around that we were in the "South Hallwa Islands" (the sign above me is missing the "y"). The nurse added that if you crossed your eyes and looked at the sign quickly it actually looked like "Hawaii". She was right. It sounded good anyway to pass the time. :-)

Sunday, March 14, 2010


One year ago yesterday my friend and co-worker, Jason, passed away after a ~2 year battle with leukemia. Jason was the picture of health before his diagnosis. He played college baseball and was a huge hockey player as an adult. He packed his lunch every day for work and it seemed to always be the same.... turkey sandwich (cut in half), pretzel sticks, yogurt and an apple. He worked out all the time and had the muscles to prove it. And then out of the blue he was diagnosed with leukemia.

There was never a doubt that he would beat it. This was Jason we were talking about. He was strong and healthy. It was only a matter of time before he was back to work and back to playing hockey. But sadly that never happened and he passed away on 3/13/09. Jason left behind his wife, 5 year old son and 1 year old daughter.

When I'm pissed about my knee or frustrated at not being able to do certain things I'm trying to think of Jason. My situation can be fixed and I can return to normal activity when all is said and done. That never happened for Jason. So while this does suck and I may complain I'm trying to keep it in perspective.

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

A Date

My hematology appointment is scheduled for 3/24/10! Yeah! I'm so happy to finally get this going. I'm not sure what's going to happen at the appointment or how many more may follow, but it's a step in the right direction.

Next appointment with the surgeon is scheduled for a week from today, 3/17/10. Right now I can bend my knee to 105 degrees. My goal is to have it at 110 degrees + by the appointment. At PT on Monday I was FINALLY able to straighten both legs equally. Granted I was really pushing down on the bad knee to get it straight, but at least it got there. The area around my knee cap is still's been 49 days! My physical therapist told me most people are able to help the swelling by using compression wraps, but I'm not able to because of the blood clots. The swelling will have to go away eventually...right? All in due time.

Sunday, March 7, 2010

New View

Today I experienced something new... I joined the non-skiing/non-snowboarding parents at the bar and watched my kids on the ski hill all afternoon. I would have much rather been out there with them, but this was a good alternative.

I found a table on the deck and enjoyed the warm sunshine (should have remembered sunblock!) for 4 1/2 hrs. I came prepared with my book and iPod, but ended up not using either. I watched my kiddos the entire time and was completely wrapped up in their happiness and growing confidence. They loved it and I was so proud of them for trying something new on their own. I hope I'm able to ride with them at some point next winter. I know Dad is excited to get his "skiing legs" back and get out there next year too.

While watching the kids I also had the perfect view of the fateful jump that wrecked my knee. There were a lot of people out on that section of the hill, but oddly that jump was the least used (by far). Hmmmm... are other people seeing something in that damn thing that I didn't? Maybe it's just called common sense. It did look a lot bigger from the deck than it did on the approach.

As for the knee... after a few phone calls between all the doctors I'm starting to have a better understanding of what needs to happen and when. I still don't know exactly how long surgery will have to wait, but I should know at some point this week when I'll see the hematology docs (turns out there is a need to see them prior to surgery). After a quick conversation with the hematology scheduling lady this week I was told one doc was scheduling into June and the other had openings starting April 15th. But she said they may possibly be able to work with me if I was planning on having surgery sooner. It's all waiting on their the sooner the appointment the better. She's going to get back to me this week and hopefully set something up sooner than April. Fingers crossed!

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Same Page

I was supposed to hear from the Hematology group yesterday, but didn't. Squeaky wheel gets the grease right? I called this afternoon to get things rolling. The kind lady on the phone pulled up the referral and was confused as to why I was referred to them. She said that any blood screens they would be able to do would not affect my risk level for surgery and some of the tests can't be done while I'm on Coumadin anyway. She said those tests would have to wait until I'm done with surgery and completely done with my course of medication. She said the lady in charge of scheduling would call me regardless, but not to expect things to happen quickly. Only so many doctors and there was already a stack of referrals ahead of mine. In a more polite way she basically told me to dream on about seeing them before my next appointment with the surgeon (March 17th). Not sure that I need to see them at all right now. Errrr.

Going to make some phone calls tomorrow to my family doctor (who's monitoring my Coumadin) and to the surgeon. Hoping to get everyone on the same page! I don't think that's too much to ask.

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

And So It Begins...

January 21, 2010- Injury

It was a perfect day for snowboarding. The sun was shining, the snow was good, I was out by myself and had my i-pod...good stuff. I had been out for about 4 hours before I decided to head home. I was on my way to the lodge and hit one last jump about 3/4 of the way down. I went off the jump funny and landed off balance on a flat section of the hill. All my weight came down on my front leg (left) when I landed. My knee buckled and down I went.

Go figure...last run of the day.

I've read and heard tales of the noise that an ACL makes when it snaps. I'm sure I would have heard something had it not been for my i-Pod jamming away in my ears. Even without the noise I knew immediately that something was very wrong. I laid there for a second...trying to will away the pain. I started sweating, got shiver-bites (my daughter's word for goose bumps) and felt like puking. I was laying under the jump and was afraid of someone else landing on me and making a bad situation worse. And truth be known I was more stressed about laying there long enough for ski patrol to find me. No way was I going to get pulled off the hill on a sled. I had two main thoughts running through my head in a matter of seconds: 1. I'm screwed. This injury is going to impact everything and 2. pick yourself up and get to the car!

It took me a good 15 minutes, but I managed to get myself out of my snowboard and limped my way to the parking lot. It didn't occur to me that I should call someone to come get me. I wasn't thinking very clearly at this point. The pain was intense and I just wanted to get to the hospital. So I drove myself. 1/2 hour drive. My loving hubby met me there (we finally connected by phone when I was almost to the hospital) and wondered why I hadn't allowed ski patrol take care of me and why I drove myself. I'm still glad ski patrol wasn't involved, but I agree with him that I should have called for help and not driven myself to the hospital. I should not have been driving. I later found out my Mom was only minutes away at a local mall when it happened. Ooops. Lesson learned.

After a few hours in the ER and an x-ray they wrapped up my knee, set me up with crutches, gave me pain meds and a referral for follow-up. Off I went to do a whole lot of sitting still.

(The above photo is not indicative of my current skill level! Photo was probably taken ~18 years ago when I was riding almost everyday. I took a break from snowboarding when we had kids and was just getting back into it so I could teach my son how to ride. He's thinks Shaun White is the coolest ever and I kinda have to agree)

January 26, 2010- MRI

MRI. Not a fan. I'm claustrophobic. Thankfully I was in only up to my shoulders, but that was enough. Breathing exercises came in handy!

January 29, 2010- Follow Up Appointment/Blood Clots

Initial follow-up appointment with the surgeon. My ACL is completely torn and I have a grade-1 injury to the MCL. I also have some pretty good bruising on the bones surrounding my knee...not uncommon for an injury like this.

As the doctor was moving my leg and knee around he noticed that my calf muscle was very tender...not normal. He expressed concern about possible blood clots in my calf. I'm not new to blood clots. I had one 8 years ago after my c-section with my son. So, off we went to the Cardiovascular Department at the hospital for an ultrasound on my leg.

The ultrasound found 1 DVT (deep vein thrombosis) clot and 2 superficial clots in my left calf. Same location as my clot 8 years ago. Off to the ER to start a course of medication. Several hours later and refresher course on self injections of Lovenox we left the hospital. Back to the couch with my bum knee, Lovenox, Coumadin and growing frustration. Now I really have to sit still! As if I wasn't still enough before.

Thankfully my coumadin levels became therapeutic very quickly and I only had to give myself the shots of Lovenox for 3 days. I'll continue on the coumadin for a while with weekly finger sticks to check the medication level and make sure it's therapeutic.

February 4, 2010- Start of PT

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Starting physical therapy 3x a week. My knee is really stiff and I'm not able to bend it very much...maybe 60-70 degrees...and straightening it is already a challenge. It hurts. I'm sent home with basic exercises, but I'm cautioned that we are going to take it slow because of the blood clots. Sweet. I'm ready to do whatever it takes to get surgery done quickly. Going slow is not what I wanted or envisioned. I was told to let pain be my guide and not to press anything too much. Ok...I'll play along and be the good patient.

February 15, 2010- Crazy Lady Therapist

The crazy Canadian lady substituted for my regular guy. She wanted to know why I was still wearing the monster leg brace and using crutches. I thought I was being the good patient and was doing exactly what I had been told to do. She said that if I don't push it it's never going to move. Good point. 2 hours later my knee was more swollen than when I started the session, but I felt good. I felt like I was getting somewhere. Thanks for giving me the green light to start doing more. I definitely felt like that day was a turning point.

Mid-February, 2010- Help at Home

I have a really hard time sitting still! This injury has forced my family to adapt. Everyone is stepping up and taking on new rolls...and I'm stepping back. Thanks to my husband the kids now have chore lists for after school, they've learned to vacuum ("learned" certainly does not mean they've mastered's a work in progress) and they help with laundry. I realized just how much work I was doing before. It's not as if my family refused to was self induced. I either didn't ask or didn't allow others to help. I have a bad habit of wanting things done a certain way so I just do it. Needless to say this is something I've been forced to work on because of the injury, but I think something positive can come out of this....a more balanced household and sense that everyone is contributing.

February 24th, 2010- Back on the Taekwondo Floor

Taekwondo has become a major part of my life the past 3 years. I am usually at the studio ~3-4 times a week training and assisting with classes. I love the sport, the people and the atmosphere. Being laid up at home and not being around the studio bummed me out the most. I missed working out and seeing everyone. I knew that the rest of my tournament season was done (ending in June). I already had plans for 2 regional tournaments (Feb and April) and was just starting to plan for one national tournament in Las Vegas (Mar). See was fun while it lasted.

After my doctor determined my coumadin level was therapeutic I started going back to kickboxing. Kickboxing...sitting on my butt. Not the same, but it's something. I was also going to our taekwondo leadership/instructor class on Wednesday nights and just listening. It depressed me watching everyone out on the floor, but it was worse not being there at all. After a few rounds of that I began to realize that I could still assist with instructing classes. I would obviously have to modify my teaching style and rely on verbal instruction a lot more. In the long run I know that this will benefit me. I'm sure there will be a learning curve associated with it, but I know what to do and now it's just a matter of getting it done. My instructor has been supportive...he went through the same thing a few years ago. So last Wednesday (24th) I assisted with a class for the first time in more than a month. It felt so good to work with the kids again and to be involved. I'm going to do what I can.

February 26, 2010- Check Up Appointment

Not good. I went into it too optimistic about having a surgery date set by the end of the appointment. Instead I was referred to the Hematology Department for blood screens/tests etc because of my blood clots. They want to evaluate the risk level for surgery and to see if I have a clotting disorder. I am glad this is happening for my kids sake. If it is some type of disorder it may be genetic and may be a concern for my kids later in life. With that being said I am beyond frustrated with these damn clots. Surgery may be put off for a while until the clots are settled and the medication has run it's course. No one will give me a general time for how long that may take...1 month....6 months? I am goal oriented. Give me a time frame so I know what to expect. I was pretty down this past weekend about the whole situation.

I plan to use this blog to write about my ACL journey. I've looked at some others and it helped to read what others went through. This will help me just writing about it and getting my thoughts out. If it helps someone else in the process that will be a bonus!