Just What I Kneeded

What happens after a life-altering knee injury?


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I briefly mentioned in my last post that I’d had an appointment with my surgeon and PT last week that left me feeling utterly defeated. I was quite upset and have been absolutely dreading this week’s PT session. I nearly canceled approximately once an hour for each of the last three days. In truth, that was just me being passive aggressive. And a little bit angry. But I totally made an adult decision and showed up after I admitted to myself that I was the only one who would be hurt by my not going.

T-shirt that says, "Pain is weakness leaving the body."

My new shirt for PT. “Pain is weakness leaving the body.” – US Marine Corps

I begrudgingly admitted that I’d gone biking and swimming over the weekend. It wasn’t until I also then admitted to testing out my TENS unit on Monday that my PT began (literally) beating her head against the wall. I tried defending myself, “I don’t think anyone could blame me for going off the reservation after last week.” Except, she didn’t think that was a good excuse. She said that she sees a pattern with my recovery. “You’re going along in a straight line, doing what you need to do, until you get frustrated or curious. Then you veer to the right and figure out that’s not good, so you veer all the way over to the left before you get back to the middle.” I guess that’s a fairly accurate description. At least not one with which I can argue easily.

PT asked me about my pain levels this week, and I finally told her that I’m never going to give my knee pain more than a 5 (on a scale of 0-10 where zero equals no pain and 10 means you just died from the pain) because it’s not a pain that’s going to kill me. As my grandmother always said, “It’s a long way from my heart.”

We agreed that the work I’d done over the last two weeks was successful in that it stopped my “precipitous decline” and helped me return close to baseline when at rest. I no longer have to lay around with my legs straight up in the air for 90 minutes a day. So progress.

I’m working on a few new things this week. Good news is that I’ve really improved my hip hinges over the last two weeks. Getting that internal rotation of my thigh under control by doing them while watching my leg in front of a mirror. Now I need to add the weights back in and make it a single-leg dead lift. And keep the proper form while doing so. Piece of cake, right?

I need to work more on my balance/proprioception. When I was in clinic, PT had me stand on a Bosu ball with one leg (I was standing on the hard part while the soft part was on the ground). Balancing in general was difficult while standing on one leg, and I was wobbling all over the place for the first 15 seconds on each leg. Then it suddenly got much harder when PT started pushing different sides of the platform with her foot. “That one was for going biking this week. THAT one was for doing step-ups. THAT ONE was for swimming laps.”


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 “Unbalanced

  1. Pingback: What the hell happened in February? | Just What I Kneeded

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