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Posts Tagged ‘back to work’

Me and my new knee recently moved to San Francisco. But before I go searching for a new physical therapist, I figured I would try pushing myself to a new physical milestone–getting back into high heels. I’m a fairly short girl, so I have missed faking a taller height (via high heels) for two months now. Even before surgery, I still wouldn’t wear heels that much. But today was different. Today was my first day waking up in a new city and starting a new job. Today deserved high heels. After two+ months of flats, yeskneecan step back up into high heels. I’m a little sore already, but aren’t woman always putting themselves through pain in those things?

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This past weekend I was in San Francisco. I’m actually moving there for work next weekend. When the work opportunity first presented itself, I was about one month post-op and still in a knee brace. I went to visit and couldn’t walk around because the hills in that city are just so impossible. Well, after this weekend, I am happy to report that at two months post-op, I had no problem traversing up and down the hilliest hills of San Fran–Pacific Heights, Nob Hill, Telegraph Hill, Alamo Square, Chinatown and all little neighborhoods in between. For the record, the knee didn’t hurt the next day, even after a hilly 4 mile climb.

Yes Knee Can! Picture from http://members.cox.net/travelreflections2/sf/SFHillsViews.htm

SFHillsViews[1]

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This morning I saw my surgeon for my 3rd follow-up appointment. It’s been two months and one day since he sliced my knee and reconstructed my ACL and repaired my lateral meniscus. Here’s the stats and fun facts:

-I can start running, but just straight forward stuff; my meniscus isn’t ready for side-to-side, hard-core excercise just yet.

-I can return to sports in four more months … I missed last ski season and I’m determined for this one! Already thinking Tahoe, Park City for Sundance and Verbier, Switzerland. (Yeskneecan keep its eye on the prize!)

-The “numbness” I am still feeling on the right side of my knee is NOT from the nerve block, it’s from my patellar tendon incision. This may never go away, but unless I’m shaving my legs, I don’t notice that it’s numb–oxy moron?

-Quad muscle definition is good–everytime I am standing in line for something, I do “catwalk-model-pose stretches.” Think of the models at the end of the runway–hand on hip, with one leg bent and the other in hyper flex mode. That’s me, minus the 5’10 height and 00 dress size.

-Bending at 125 degrees

-Extending at 1 degree hyper extension

-Scar is still pink, slightly puffy

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This is what most Fridays in Junes looked like for me. I didn’t wear pants until about a month after my surgery. Cut-offs sufficed. If you look closely, you can see the scar.

cutout

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In the spirit of, “How many licks does it take to get to the center of a Tootsie Roll Pop?”,  I’ve decided to fill you in on my personal answer to “How long does it take to get back to normal  after ACL reconstruction?”

Let’s keep in mind we are all different, and it also depends on your procedure. From the P.O.V. of someone who had a patellar tendon graft reconstruction and a lateral meniscus repair, I answer the aforementioned question with this: six weeks. It took me six weeks and rehab to finally be able to walk normally (and at a normal pace), confidentily go up and down stairs, comfortably take mass transit and be able to go through the work day without thinking about the knee.

So there. I hope it helps. But I would love to hear your own take on recovery.

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I love to travel, but I knew with surgery it would take a while before I could travel again. One, because of my mobility and ability to get through security/terminals. Oh, and something about zero leg room didn’t sound appetizing.

So where did my first trip with the new ACL land me? Right in the middle of downtown San Francisco with its impossible hills. Good thing it’s a business trip and I can expense my cabs. But it is kinda of disappointing to be in SF and not do as much sightseeing as I would like to.  But I will see what the knee can do and let you know. As of now, I can let you know what the knee could do.

First Day of the Trip:

Three cabs. Four states. Two planes. Way too many hours in airplane cabin pressure…yes knee can! Just like an overseas flight, be sure to get up, walk around, stretch and pump your ankles. Gotta love budget travel. Time for some serious ice, maybe a few excercises and a whole lot of sleep.

P.S. I took my brace, just in case, and left the crutches. If you want some serious attention/VIP treatment,by way of wheelchair service, pre-boarding and your choice of seat, bring the crutches.

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Seventh day post-op. Work from home? Yes knee can! (Few wires required.)

Finally time to get back to the 9-5 grind via my “home office.” I’m very fortunate that my company/bosses are letting me work from home for a few days. At this point in the recovery game, my mobility is still not super–and I have to dedicate so much time each day to CPM and excersizes (approx. 5 hours). Knowing I can work from my CPM makes a world of a difference. I realize that recovery is (or will be) different for everyone. No matter how fast you recover, remember, there is no standard, so be sure to spend ample time focused on getting your knee better and also plan to work from home for a bit. I think your co-workers would rather have you keep your noisy CPM machine and ice machines at home, as to not hinder their productivity. Besides, it’s hassle enough carrying yourself (on crutches), a 30+ lb. CPM machine and an ice machine home from the hospital, don’t create more work for yourself by bringing them into the office.

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