Sunday, January 4, 2009

I've stopped counting.

I think I've hit the five or six month mark (24 weeks by January 7). There's been improvement in my knee (such as being able to climb stairs without wincing at the end of the day), but I think that my lack of physical therapy (and physical ANYTHING in general) is causing a minor setback. I was supposed to get fitted for a knee brace (the kind that provide a security blanket for you when working out) in mid-December, but my health insurance stopped covering me for that month. So, I moved all my appointments to January, but if my union screws me again and I end up not having health insurance, then I have to wait until February to start do cutting and pivoting exercises. What's worse is that I'd been so busy during the holidays that I didn't make time to work out. I think I've started to lose muscle mass again in my quad and that does not make for good further ACL recovery.

And there's still the swelling in my knee. My surgeon told me that it goes away after 9 months, but I'd love to see it go away now. I'm tired of the feeling of needing to crack my knee, the random popping noises, etc. I know that it's normal (for now), but I can't help feeling frustrated. I suppose it's normal when you can't do much about the stuff going on underneath the skin.

I've decided to get back into shape again (since I let myself go pretty badly this semester - full-time MBA program + working 2 jobs does not make for a good schedule to work out). My friend Melissa and I have made a pact to go to the gym together at least twice a week this month to get back into the swing of things, and eventually going five times a week once we are in shape. Workout buddies are great - it's much easier to motivate myself to go work out when you know you can't keep someone waiting.

These past two weeks I've just been doing calisthenics to get some physical activity into my day. I've maintained my knee exercises and stretching, and added pushups, situps, back extensions, and good mornings (all without weights). My surgeon has told me that I can do straight-line running, so that's next on the agenda when Mel and I begin our gym sessions next week. I've already seen improvement in my energy levels and mood, and I can't wait to keep this going.

Here's to a better year, and to a full recovery! For all those people out there who've torn their ACLs, I wish you luck in your surgery and recovery processes.

Happy (belated) new year!

3 comments:

Hack Shaft said...

Wei,

What a drag! So sorry to hear you're struggling with stairs still.

The rehab program I have begins a return to running at 6-8 weeks with hopping drills, figure-8's and related running in patterns around 13 weeks. I'm surprised to hear such a conservative approach, but I know doctors all hold differing opinions.

Hoping the best for you in 2009!

blackbeltblues said...

Popping noises? Lingering swelling? I hear 'ya.

Well actually, at nine months the swelling is almost gone. But I'm still icing the knee several times a day, especially after lifting weights and what seems to be my once-a-week-only visits to karate class.

Good luck with the insurance and definitely get back to that weight training.

Michele said...

Happy New Year!

My knee is still noisy. I will never get used to the crackly sounds. My lovely insurance only paid for 60 consecutive days of PT. I did not have a running program but I wish I had.

Have fun at the gym!