When I last posted nearly a month ago, I didn’t intend to stop updating this blog. I just haven’t had much of an update about the knee, and I was busy doing other things. Like living.
I essentially took the entire month of March off from all my PT exercises. The pain in my knee was so bad that I was going to work and coming home to spend the rest of the day/evening in bed with my knee propped up. While incredibly difficult on my psyche, this time off proved beneficial, and my knee pain started to ebb a bit. By the end of the month, I no longer had the constant pain that I had been feeling from mid-thigh down to mid-calf. I was able to differentiate the pain and pinpoint the three spots that are causing problems. None of the pain seems to be coming directly from the patella. That’s good news. The graft seems to be doing its job.
Once the pain started to go down, I began to think about getting back to some kind of exercise. T-Bone had given me a list of exercises to do at home when we parted ways, and I started doing those 2-3 times a week. I didn’t do the full list each time; I sort of eased my way into it. I also got back on my bike. My lovely, lovely bike. I’ve been feeling better and better with each ride. I started off with a short ride and a flat route. I quickly increased the mileage and time and was able to complete a few 30-mile rides in late April. Most rides usually end up being between 15-30 miles now. And I ride between 3-5 days a week. It’s not a lot, by any stretch of the imagination, but I could not have imagined riding like this two months ago.
In order to ride, I do have to take my pain medicine. The drug of choice is Norco. This one takes just enough of the edge off my pain to make the ride bearable, and I can tolerate the side effects with the help of Zofran (anti-nausea). I have no clue what this is doing to my insides, but I can tell you things aren’t normal. I’m willing to just deal with it because doing so means that I can be more active. This is key to my mental well-being. It’s a night-and-day difference in how I’m able to mentally deal with the pain and other subsequent issues when I’ve been able to get in a ride. My whole body just feels better, even if my knee complains. Plus, my VMO is finally starting to make an appearance. T-Bone would be so proud.
I have not yet had any additional scans or appointments with one surgeon or another. Those are still planned, but I’m not wasting my time waiting on them. I’m doing what I can to help myself, and I can honestly say that I’ve felt better in the last few weeks than I have since January. My plan is to continue with the cycling and increase my time in the gym to work on specific muscle groups. I’ve learned my lesson about doing too much too quickly, so I’m feeling my way through this piece of my recovery. If I feel like I can go for a longer ride, I do. If I feel like I can ride some hills, I do. If I feel that I’m tired from the ride the day before, I tone it down a notch and tell myself it’s ok to go only half the distance. Because you know what? It totally IS ok to go half the distance.