Friday, February 28, 2014

Gimme a P.... Gimme a T!

Because this is February vacation, I'm doing my best to make PT my full time job this week. Don't be envious. The pay is terrible and the working conditions leave me a little sore. But, they tell me the benefits are well worth it, so on I go.

I no longer have the visual stimuli of my 40-miler training grid, nor the satisfaction of crossing the days and miles off as I go along, so yesterday I created a substitute for PT. My goal is to do the strength and stretching exercises twice a day. This includes knee-specific stuff as well as general things that I have found I can do without pain to my knee. It's no 60 minute sweat session, but there is some satisfaction is checking things off and/or marking off the number of sets and reps I have done.

I saw my physical therapist, Kevin, again yesterday. I definitely feel that I'm making progress with my range of motion and I'm starting see a glimmer of muscle tone in my quad. One weird thing is that I can't shake the limp that I have. There's no real reason for it, it's just a habit, I think, trying to protect the knee. It's still a  bit stiff when I walk normally, but there's no reason, except laziness, I guess, for me to have a hitch in my giddyup.

Kevin has given me permission to do whatever strength and stretching I can handle, as long as I don't feel pain in the MCL. (That's the big ligament on the inside of the knee). I haven't seen the MRI, but based on what hurts, I think the worst of the damage I did was to that area. It's still very tender and unlike the other parts of my knee, does not let me forget it's around. The sort of weird thing is that one never gets an MCL repair surgery. This is because (and I'm explaining this based on my understanding of Kevin's explanation to me, my comprehension of which was definitely at about a 4th grade level!) that fibers in that ligament are not as dense and rope-like as the ACL and they are able to repair themselves. All I can think of is a starfish re-growing one of its legs.... which is cool, I suppose.

Speaking of ACL, I am once again feeling more and more certain that the surgery is going to happen. This is based on nothing, really, except my own desire to not spend the next 60 years (I plan to live to 100... I figure if I get my kids to the ages of 70, 68 and 62 I will have fulfilled my parenting obligations) worried about my knee giving out. In an effort to get my head on straight, I have an appointment with another orthopedic surgeon next Friday. This doctor is an Ironman and comes highly recommended by the members of my medical team who are athletes. Obviously, much more to come on that.

I was the beneficiary of a borrowed bike yesterday. (Thank you, Kathleen!) I still need to get my hands on a trainer so I can set it up, but I have a good hunch that the one I have a line on will come through soon. Once that comes into the house, look out... (For my sore butt, I mean. I am SO not used to sitting on a bike seat!)

I'll end this with my Tweet from earlier today. It reflects the way I'm feeling about my situation at the moment:

    Get strong & mobile. 
    So knee can get cut open 
    & destroyed. 
    Leading to
    Get strong & mobile.
And, just because I have not showed them off lately, some pictures of my kids at the Children's Museum we visited on Wednesday. If we had that train set at our house, I would never have to put on an episode of Daniel Tiger's Neighborhood again. Oh well....

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