Just What I Kneeded

What happens after a life-altering knee injury?

Much work to be done

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“The price of success is hard work, dedication to the job at hand, and the determination that whether we win or lose, we have applied the best of ourselves to the task at hand.” -Vince Lombardi

I have a lot of work to do. Two weeks into the new year, I had a third knee surgery to address some lingering issues after the DeNovo NT cartilage graft in September 2012. Today marks 10 weeks since the surgery, and I’ve made a lot of progress, but there is still such a long way to go. Much work to be done with that (more on that later in this post), but there is also so much to be done in general. In life.

Spring officially arrived last week, and I feel a new urgency to make things happen. On the first full day of spring, it was nearly 70 degrees and sunny, so that obviously meant I had to go cycling. I went on the longest ride I’ve done in six or seven months. It was only 15.1 miles, but it felt like such an accomplishment. Luckily, the aftermath wasn’t much different from the 10-mile rides I’ve done recently (plus, my knee goes numb about mile five or six, so the pain on the bike isn’t that bad). Progress there means I’m looking at riding in Indiana’s Tour de Cure at the end of June. It’s good to have goals, and I think this one is my first bike goal for the year. Don’t tell PT. Cycling is still not on my list of approved activities, and she frowns at me every time I admit to a ride.

We have our quarterly “work day” at the farm this weekend where we trim nails on the llamas/sheep/goats and give them their dewormer medicine. With nearly 100 llamas, it takes an entire day and wears a body out. I’m just happy that I can participate again this time because I had to sit out a couple of times last year. My sister does the nails and shots because I refuse to give shots; I don’t want to mess it up and leave them with an abscess. My job is to run the animals from their pens (spread out all over the farm) up to the “middle barn” to get them weighed and then to the “Main Barn” to have their nails done. Then I have to run them back out and bring in the next group. As you can imagine, it’s a lot of stress on my knee, especially when I have to chase down the more reluctant members of the herd who refuse to come inside the barn where it’s easier to catch them. Smart is probably a better adjective than reluctant.

Soon, we’ll begin the process of shearing the llamas and sheep. Thankfully, we don’t shear the sheep ourselves anymore. I did that for two years, and then I threw in the towel because it’s extremely hard, physical labor; you have to throw the sheep over on its back and then move it around as you shear the different body parts. As if that weren’t hard enough, I accidentally cut one of the older ewes one year, and it scared me. She was fine, but the cut was severe, and I decided to never shear sheep again. Leave that one to the professionals.

I do shear some of the llamas. My sister shears a bunch because she lives in the same city, where I have to drive a couple of hours to help on weekends. I love shearing the llamas. There’s something satisfactory about seeing the wool come peeling off the animal (partly because once that’s done, we don’t have to groom the shorn portion). I’ll have to remember to take a camera with me this year.

I also need to get the horses cleaned up and ready to go after the long winter we’ve had this year. Baths and braids are coming in the near future. It’s kind of depressing because we haven’t even hit the muddy part of the year. There’s more dirt coming. Yuck. I hate the muddy part of the year.

Picture of Gypsy Vanner horse.

What a dirty girl.

 So much work to be done.

Physical Therapy Update

Last week at physical therapy was a bit… dull. Dull, but also painful and slightly frustrating. We didn’t do any of the “fun” exercises and instead focused on the small exercises that are intended to help my muscles work properly to get the kneecap to track properly when I’m up and going. I don’t know that it’s worth discussing here because it was a lot of my PT holding my kneecap in place and poking me to get certain muscles working correctly. I only added one balance exercise to my home routine. Nothing too exciting. Perhaps I’ll have more to report after this week’s session.

The session was slightly depressing as well because my PT said it could take up to a year to get everything in working order. And that’s if I pay close attention and keep on top of my exercises and recovery. Aaaaaahhhhh! Another year?! Not sure I have the stamina for that. But I’m assuming that the year will continue to get better, and I’ll be able to add more and more things to the list of approved activities (and then I can stop having to shamefully confess to doing things I’m not supposed to do).

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 “Much work to be done

  1. Pingback: To the old dude in lane 7 | Just What I Kneeded

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