Friday, October 31, 2008

Week 14

I'm starting to lose track of the weeks at this point, which is a good thing, seeing as how I'm thinking less and less about my knee.

I had my three-month post-op check in with my doctor on Monday. He gave me the green light to run on the treadmill for now (until my knee doesn't feel sore from the impact, in which I can move onto concrete). I have another appointment with him in two months, just after Christmas.

My physical therapy routine has been pretty much static since I could start doing leg extensions. I did end up moving with my therapist to a new location (at NU). The only thing really different I'm doing now is jogging:

- heat on the knee: 10 min
- walk/jog on treadmill: 15 min
- leg press (two legs): 3 x 15 x 10th weight plate (193lb)
- leg press (one leg): 3 x 10 x 6th weight plate (93 lb)
- step ups on balancing disk: 3 x 15 x 8"
- lateral step downs: 3 x 15
- frontal step downs: 3 x 15
- squats on Bosu ball: 3 x 15
- squats: 3 x 15
- lunges: 5 x 10 (across the PT room)
- roll out IT band
- ice and stim: 15 min

My leg is definitely getting better every day. I have little trouble going up and down stairs at this point. The clicking is going away, especially since the swelling is going down. The only time I feel some pain is at the end of the day (usually after UPS), when I'm going up the stairs to my apartment, and that's because I'd been standing for two hours.

I'm hoping I can get some running in soon. I want to get on improving my cardio before I go back to TKD, and to get into shape again. I recall my doctor telling me that I'll be fitted for a brace by December to start doing cutting and pivoting movements, which is fantastic. I'm so excited for that!

I'm so glad I've been keeping up with exercising and whatnot. There are so many stories I've heard of people not staying with their rehab routines, and then they end up reinjuring themselves. I want to have my knee for the long term, even if it's a bit . . . replaced.

Sunday, October 12, 2008

Week 11

Last Tuesday was the 11th week of post-op, and my leg is getting so much better.

When I wake up in the mornings, the knee is not as stiff. The swelling has gone WAY down and my range of movement is closer to normal. I only have soreness after walking for long periods of time, and leaving it in a bent position for too long and getting up immediately afterward leaves some soreness as well.

My PT session this past Thursday was the toughest yet. I woke up Friday morning feeling sore from muscle usage (which was nice since I hadn't really felt that in a long time).

The session:

- heat: 10 min
- massage: 5 min
- elliptical with resistance: 10 min
- squats: 3 x 15
- step ups at 8" with balancing disk: 3 x 15
- lateral step downs at 8": 3 x 15
- frontal step downs at 8": 3 x 15
- leg extensions: 3 x 15 x 1st weight plate
- leg press: 3 x 15 x 9th weight plate
- single-legged leg press: 3 x 15 x 5th weight plate
- single-legged squats on balancing disk: 3 x 8
- mini lunges: 3 x 15
- straight leg raise: 3 x 15 x 6lb
- hamstring curl: 3 x 15 x 2 lb
- IT band roll-out: 3 x 30 sec
- stretching
- Game Ready icing: 10 min

I felt the burn by the leg presses - those were the toughest. My muscles are definitely getting stronger; I can feel it when I walk now and I'm almost at the point where I can run. I am going to start doing calisthenics at home to keep myself in shape, since I rarely have time to make the hours at the gym. Working in the mornings before/after class and working nights is taking a toll on me now, and school is only getting tougher. So, it's back to the grind and the challenges that lay ahead.

Wish me luck!

Thursday, October 2, 2008

Week 10

The limp's been gone for weeks. I barely struggle with going up and down stairs. I can carry a 25-lb book bag. I can drive my standard shift car with very little soreness. I can sit Indian-style. I can bring my knee up to my chin when I'm sitting. The swelling is almost gone and I have about 130 degrees of flexion.

This is progress. This makes me happy that I've come so far, and it hasn't even been three months yet.

I'll be going back to UPS on Monday night. I don't look forward to it, but I need to keep my health insurance somehow. I have to speak to my shop steward about the union terms of my insurance. I owe $200 in union dues for June through September, and god only knows how much I owe for insurance. I think I've accepted this insurance fate - expect the worst and be pleasantly surprised when something really good happens!

My routine at physical therapy has generally been the same these past two weeks:

- heat: 10 min
- massage: 5 min
- elliptical: 10 min
- squats: 3 x 15
- step ups: 3 x 15
- lateral step downs: 3 x 15
- frontal step downs: 3 x 15
- leg extensions: 3 x 15 x 1st weight plate
- leg press: 3 x 15 x 8th weight plate + 1/2 weight
- single-leg leg press: 3 x 15 x 4th weight plate + 1/2 weight
- mini-lunges: 3 x 15
- straight leg lifts: 3 x 15 x 5lb
- balancing on disk w/ playing catch: 3 x 30 second intervals
- stretching (hamstring, quad)
- ice w/ stim: 15 min

The weights in my exercises are going up, which is nice. It gives me a challenge and I am feeling the burn now the next day. I'm walking a hell of a lot more, too - at least 2 or 3 miles a day to and from school. My leg doesn't consume my thoughts anymore - I only think about it about 50% of the time now instead of 90%. Now I can't wait to start jumping and doing other sports. I don't feel as frustrated doing my exercises either, since I know I can start pushing myself more.

I know I should probably go to the gym more, given my love for working out/sports and using sports as a stress reliever, but school exhausts me. I just gotta keep pushing myself.

I started doing forms again a few days ago as well, and found that I can't do some of my lower level forms due to my lack of practice. I gotta get back into that, too, so I can get working on my second degree again. I can only push myself so far . . .