Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Week 18. 4.5 months post-op.

The only times I think about my knee now are when I've been sitting down for 3 hours without a break during class and suddenly have to stand up (there's that feeling of instability when I first stand up); when I climb the stairs at the end of the day to my apartment and my knee just doesn't want to cooperate; and after I've been standing for 2 hours at my night job and my knee locks up.

I love that I can sit Indian-style again. I love that I can walk normally again.

My PT sessions have been cut short by my insurance company. I've been doing my exercises on my own at the gym anyway, which is helping to add muscle to my quad. In January I can get fitted for a brace for my knee to start doing cutting and pivoting exercises.

I also learned that I have patellar tendonitis (aka jumper's knee). My PT said that it was common in a lot of women recovering from ACL surgery since the kneecap moves around so much afterward. She also said that it will eventually disappear, as long as I keep rolling out my IT band and doing my stretches after my exercises.

This whole knee business has been a long trial for me. It's been a blessing in disguise, since I probably wouldn't have slowed my life down, which would have left me hitting a wall much harder than I did back in June. I've learned the nuances of dealing with hospital billing, insurance billing, and referrals. I've come to understand the rules my union stipulates about health insurance coverage, and I've learned to deal with various kinds of people.

I discovered that I only lose insurance coverage for a month (December). I could either choose to pay the $1,009 to maintain my health benefits under COBRA, or I could just wait it out and not incur any charges til January when I get reinstated. I chose the latter decision - as long as I don't get sick or hurt or need a doctor's appointment, I should be scot-free. However, the challenge is maintaining my health for 31 days . . . I think I can do it. :)

Every time I hear about someone else's knee pain, I have knee sympathy. I no longer feel invincible anymore - I knew that would come in time, but I never expected it this early in life.

Hope everyone has a great Thanksgiving holiday!

6 comments:

Anonymous said...

I wish you well.
Here in Ontario, Canada, after 4 months of waiting for ACL surgery and still 4-6 months more to wait, your story still gives me hope.

Thought was invicicible too, hardly. But will appreciate walking much more when it get does get back to normal. Your story give me hope and inspiration.
Thank you, have a good day.

Blackbeltmama said...

I'd love to hear more about this jumper's knee thing. I wonder if that's my problem. I'm almost a year post-op and am still having annoying issues.

Anonymous said...

Thanks for posting your story. I'm a father of 2 sons and tore my ACL playing soccer. I have two questions as I keep wavering about going through with the surgery. I know you have some more strengthening to go but;
1. Would you go through the surgery again?
2. Do you experience any constant pain or discomfort with your knee currently?
(My does and it sort of feels like a knuckle that needs to be cracked within the knee).
Thanks,
T

Wei said...

T:

1. If I had to (god willing, I hope I don't tear my ACL again), I would go through the surgery. I had a particularly good surgeon and no complications whatsoever. The recovery part is the hardest, but I know what to expect now.

2. At this point, I'm about 5 months post-op, and I still have some swelling in my knee. That knuckle-popping feeling is normal - it's swelling that will eventually disappear towards the 7 or 8 month mark. My physical therapist has told me that the swelling is nothing to worry about.

I wish you luck with your surgery!

g said...

hello,
I have 16 weeks from my acl surgery and I want to ask u smthng. Do/did you have hip pains? I have some hip pains (not a real pain) for 2-3 weeks, especially after running, but also in walking. I'm becoming fearful about these pains. Thanks.

Wei said...

Around week 18, I didn't have hip pains, but my IT band (iliotibial band - a group of fibers that run along the outside of the thigh toward the hip) used to click a lot when I moved. Have you been going/gone to physical therapy? Your physical therapist can definitely help with removing the pain.

The pain might be a result of throwing your hip out of alignment to compensate for your knee, especially if it has something to do with your gait. Again, the best thing to do would be to have a physical therapist look at it.