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.