Just What I Kneeded

What happens after a life-altering knee injury?

Addicted to ice

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Now let me be clear before you go turning me in to local law enforcement or tell my mom. I mean frozen water. Not whatever street drug might be called ice. Unless there’s not a street drug, and it’s diamonds. I might be confused.

Anyway, I cannot stand to be without my ice. I use a borrowed cryo cuff to ice my knee every night, all night long. I carry one of two ice packs with me wherever I go. And I’m always icing on the couch after I do my physical therapy routine. There was a period of about 2 weeks where I wasn’t icing as much, and I thought I might taper off completely during the day. Now that I’m slightly more mobile, ice is my best friend. I’d marry it if that was legal.

Ice has allowed me to, for the most part, stop taking narcotic pain medication. I still take one if I’ve had a particularly long/bad day, but I no longer take them like clockwork. I don’t take any anti-inflammtories at all because ice is the only thing I’ve needed to control the swelling. It’s increased a bit this week as my activity increased, but it’s not much at all. Just enough to feel.

I had another visit with my PT today, and it was ok. There are a few things that I absolutely cannot do, and there are a few things that I can do so well I’d make the Olympic team. If heel slides were an Olympic sport.

First, the things I can do. My passive and active flexion has been getting better and better. When I started on the heel slides weeks ago, I had heaps of pain when I’d extend the leg after the slide, and this is all but gone now. I’m working hard on active extension (sitting on the side of the bed or in a chair), and this is improving daily. Still not pain free, but I no longer want to curse my doctor when I do this. I can ride a bike! Still no resistance, and still extremely slow. Nevertheless, I feel like a winner because I was able to double the time in a week. Ok, so 10 to 20 minutes might not sound like that much, but it’s big for me right now.

Then the things I cannot do. This time last week, I was having trouble with active extension, but that’s getting better, so I moved it to the things I can do list. The one thing that continues to plague me is the quad strength. No matter how much I want to, I simply cannot pop my heel off the ground without first spending, like, 10 minutes warming up with quad sets. There is too much pain; it takes my breath away. I also cannot walk without feeling a bit wobbly. I’m happy to be walking at all, I suppose, but I have to be extremely careful and think about every step. It’s the quad strength again. And last, but not least, are the quarter squats. I shouldn’t say that I can’t do them; they’re just quite painful, and I hate doing them.

In an odd bit of a twist, I now have to remind myself not to sit with my knee bent under me or to lay on my stomach when in bed. I realized this week that I’ve been doing both of these things to some small extent. Which is kind of amazing because it means that I’m not having pain when doing these things. The pain has dramatically decreased when I’m off my knee. It does get a bit stiff/sore and start to holler when I sit with the knee bent under me, but it’s clearly not bad enough for me to keep from absentmindedly doing it anyway. I’m ecstatic that my knee can take it, but I’m worried that I’ll damage something because that has to load the patella in a major way. That goes for pretty much everything. I just walk around terrified about all the things that might screw this up, and then all this work, pain and sweat will have been for nothing. I’m seriously considering hibernation as soon as the first snowflake hits the ground.


Author: Laura

I have a fern I named Frankenstein. I like leprechauns, practicing kung fu moves on my dining room furniture, and pretending that one day I will move to Fiji. I dislike my neighbors' kids, anything that is chartreuse, and Ben Roethlisberger.

One thought on “Addicted to ice

  1. Pingback: The opposite of awesome « Just What I Kneeded

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