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.