Just What I Kneeded

What happens after a life-altering knee injury?

An unintentional hiatus

5 Comments

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.

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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.

5 thoughts on “An unintentional hiatus

  1. Laura, its good to hear that the pain is getting better for you! I got a quote today that really hit home for me in this long journey of recovery! It says, ” Don’t stop trying because you’ve hit a hall progress is progress no matter how small!”

    I saw my doctor for my 5 month post-op last week and he told me that I will have days and even weeks when things are going great and than I will have days even weeks were its not good and I have pain. Right now its learning how far you can push before the pain comes. that right now I can’t push through the pain like I did before. This has been a REALLY hard thing to learn!
    Hang in there this is a long and very hard journey, and no really knows how you feel or what its like if they have not had this happen to them. There’s only one way to go, and its up!!! :)
    Jesika

  2. Sorry that should say WALL not hall!! my bad! :)

  3. Love that quote! It really IS hard to learn that progress is progress. Period. I’m also right there with you on the difficulty of learning what I can and cannot do. I was told that I could push through the pain because I wasn’t going to damage the graft, but my body had other ideas. Now, I have a much better sense of how much I can do before enough is enough. Thanks so much for your encouragement! How are you doing these days?

  4. Things are starting to look up, finally! One of my biggest problem’s right now is the weight I’ve put on! :( I think being on crutches for so long helped with not putting on the lbs, but now that I’m off of them I’m not using enough effort like before. Anyways I’ll get back. The other hard thing is I want to workout longer than 45 min. but I just can’t! My mind says yes but my body is just not there and its extremely frustrating!! Before this happened I would workout for 2 hours a day. I am making progress. When the dr. gave me the ok to start walking, it would talk me almost 90min. to walk 2 miles, now I can do it in 40min. better, but still have a long way to go. I’m hoping to start running next month and I won’t have to wear my off loading brace all the time starting next month. Only when working out.

    • Oh my. I know exactly how frustrating a physical limit on exercise can be, despite the mental knowledge that there is a good reason for the current limitations and that things will get better. I struggle maintaing weight, too. It’s so easy to gain it when you can’t do as much as you’re used to or even as much as you want to. It’s sinister.

      I’m so glad to hear that things are looking up for you and that you’re making progress! I bet you’re really looking forward to ditching the brace, especially now that the weather is warmer (those things itch!). I hope you’re making continued progress!

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