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Posts Tagged ‘Dr. visit’

This whole time that I have been rehabbing, I’ve had my sights set on making my big sports comeback on the ski slopes. When I tore my ACL last Jan., I did it one week before a ski trip to Whistler. (Ouch!) I had to sit on the bench for the that one. I even booked my ski trip this year eight months post-op, hoping that would give me ample time to get fit. But sometimes, no matter how far in advance you plan and no matter how much prep work you do, your plans just fall through. Mine did.

I saw an orthropeadic surgeon a few weeks ago, and she told me I shouldn’t ski. What?! You mean to tell me that all my rehab and all my PT over the past months and all those times I unwillingly drug myself into the gym when I just wanted to collapse wasn’t good enough?!?!? Are you telling me that my knee is STILL in need attention and that I’m STILL not back to normal?! Ugh! FML!

Talk about disappointment in the midst of an already brutal, and sometimes seemingly elementary rehab process. Hearing that news sucked. But it wasn’t as bad as I thought, seeing as how I already heard that similar news about a year ago when I first tore my knee. If my knee isn’t getting stronger, at least my skin is getting tougher.

My first thought was, “What did I do wrong?” Then the guilt started creeping out. I should have gone to the gym more. I should have scheduled more PT sessions. I shoulda, coulda, woulda… This whole ordeal has taken enough of my time, stress and frustration. I had to give myself a break. After all, I have a life, and so do you. We can’t all make one singular ligament the sole focus of our crazy busy lives. We don’t all make a living playing professional sports, so sometimes the incentive to work the knee every day is non existent and just a hassle–at least it can be for me, your average former high-school athlete who wants to keep sports a part of her life for the rest of her life.

Before my doctor came to her conclusion about ruining my ski trip, she made me do the one-legged jump test. (You probably shouldn’t try this until you are ready to get back to sports.)

Stand with about 3-4 feet of clear space in front of you (hard surfaces work great)

Start with your non-surgery leg (I’m doing my best not to say “good/bad knee”)

Jump forward as far as you can. Stick the landing. Repeat with your surgically enhanced leg. It’s not that easy, huh? I didn’t do so hot. I didn’t jump very far and my landing was not stuck–I took an extra step like a nervous gymnast. The good thing was I had the confidence to attempt it–I did it without thinking twice. Just goes to show you how powerful confidence and attitude can be during rehab. That’s honestly what got me through this bit o’ bad news and allowed me to reset some goals and reevaluate my overall process and program. Now, instead of attempting the bunny hills next weekend like I would have, I plan on skiing in March at the level that I left off on; my therapist said she could even get me trained for jumping. We’ll see about that. I’m sure I’ll slowly immerse myself back onto the mountain, but this time I’ll certainly be stronger than expected. No use half-assing it. I’ve waited so long so, so hopefully I’ll be ready to conquer the mountain, as opposed to just bunny-hillin’ it.

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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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So far, so good. Today, I walked into work without the aid of crutches! Big win for me.

I can’t believe it was one month ago that I was braced, bandaged and doped on pain meds to ease the excruciating throbs. I’ve come pretty far in my progress. I’ve hit plateaus, got frustrated, thought I was moving backwards, but suddenly and a little slowly, you start waking up one week and the act of moving your braced leg out of bed is a motion you don’t think about. And once you’re on your feet, you don’t even reach for your crutches. Each day, you do get stronger, but it’s not easy. It means a lot of PT, and a lot of self-driven excercises at home. I finally reached a positive week where each day builds on the next. If I can do it, there’s certainly hope for you.

Update from my 2nd Post-op Dr. Appt.:

-No more crutches & I get to ditch the brace next week!

-He also told me the worst was over. And to paraphrase the genuis Dr. Nuber, “Some weeks will be better than others. You’ll have pops, pains and swelling, but this is normal. It’s all a process.”

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Stitches are out! Swelling is down! And I have the go-ahead to start physical therapy tomorrow! The dr. said things are coming along great in my recovery. It just goes to show you that if you follow the dr.’s orders, you just might end up in good shape.  This is my tiny, little scope scar. More to come from the patella…IMG_1834

A view looking downward from the knee.

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