No Turning Back – Injury Update

Last week, I went to see my doctor again. It had been four weeks since I injured my knee and things were not improving. I take that back. I could walk without limping so that was an improvement, but my knee still wasn’t normal. It was still wonky and unstable if I changed direction too quickly. You know those vitamin bottles that have a child-proof top and clicks when you turn it? Yeah, that’s how my knee feels.

When I walked into my doctor’s office, he turned to me and said, “You know that this means that we’re talking surgery, right?” I let out a big sigh and nodded in agreement. At first, I thought that he meant he was just going to scope my knee to clean up my meniscus and scar tissue. Wishful thinking. He was going to do a revision of the ACL reconstruction that I had about 15 years ago. Apparently, while my ACL was still in tact (hence zero swelling after I injured it), it had become too loose and wasn’t doing its job anymore. So, he was going to snip my ACL and replace it with a new one.

Over the past week, I have been in denial about the whole thing. While I knew that there was a good possibility that I would need to have surgery again, I didn’t think that it would be another reconstruction, complete with its attendant recovery period. After my first knee surgery, I was not allowed to put any weight on my knee for 3 weeks. It was scary and frustrating to watch all the muscles in my right leg shrink and atrophy. Thankfully, physical therapy wasn’t too bad and I regained my range of motion fairly quickly but the journey back to full strength and activity levels took some time.

But I’m kind of scared this time. I’m not 21 this time. I’m in my mid-30s and I know that recovery is going to be different. I know that I’m still young and active, but things just move slower these days. Muscle soreness lingers a day or so longer than it used to and a few days off from working out feels like a month. I’m worried about gaining weight and backsliding in my fitness. I’m frustrated because this wasn’t supposed to happen again, especially because I had just returned to running and my legs felt stronger than ever. I also have two young active boys who may not completely understand why Mommy can’t move around much. But if I want to keep doing these things, surgery makes the most sense for me.

After we decided on the surgery, I asked my doctor to tell me exactly what to expect in terms of rehab and recovery. I will be in a brace for two weeks. While I can put weight on my leg (hooray for the small things!), I will likely be hanging out at home and not doing much of anything. Then, it will be a 4-6 month recovery period and 9-12 months before I can train for anything seriously. 9 to 12 months. Those words echoed in my head and all I could managed to say was, “DUDE! That’s a long time!”

I’m scheduled for surgery on March 26. I have roughly a week and a half to be as active as I can, strengthen my legs and have fun.

{This post is linked up with Pour Your Heart Out at Things I Can’t Say}

 

 

Comments

  1. says

    Wow. You are handling this so well, all things considered. I pray for a quick recovery for you and strong legs to come back when the time is right. I love that you are going to strengthen your legs in the next week or so, that is so smart. Hang in there.

    • says

      Thank you so much. I’m trying really hard not to dwell on it. It is what it is and I’m trying to focus my energy on what’s next rather than bemoan the fact that I have to have surgery. Plus, strengthening my legs gives me something productive to do!!

  2. says

    Oh no! We are in the same boat, except you’ve got impending surgery and let’s face it, knee issues are much worse than plantar fascitis. It’s so frustrating…hopefully you’ll live it up til your surgery, get better and can get back to normal soon.

    • says

      Plantar Fascitis is pretty damn frustrating too!! It’s hard when all you can do is wait and hope that it gets better. I hope you get better soon too! Thanks for your well wishes.

  3. says

    You made the right decision. I have too many friends that have waited too long to make that decision and it just ended up making the injury worse, the surgery more complicated and the recovery longer. You’ll do better than you think. You have those sweet boys to rally for! I’ll keep you in my thoughts!

    • says

      Thanks Kristen! It’s funny. I didn’t really think that there was really any decision for me to make. I’ve been surprisingly matter-of-fact about this whole thing. I know that this is the right choice for me considering the things that I want to be able to do in the long term.

  4. says

    I will be thinking of you before your surgery and sending lots of happy, skippy, and jumpy thoughts.

    I will also be thinking of you after your surgery and sending lots of healing, regenerative, restful thoughts.

    Best of luck to you.

  5. says

    You are going in that soon? I know my mother needs to have her knee caps replaced and she hasn’t done it because recovery time is so long, like you say. Looks like you will need to do some light swimming too. Oh dear, sorry to hear you need to have this done.
    When we are in our 20s we are still fearless.

    But you will recover quickly Christine. You are in excellent shape. Good time to teach your boys to help you out around the house. Have them draw happy pictures. Always made my day better when I was sick or feeling blue.

    • says

      I did think about postponing the surgery but I would then just be postponing the end date of my recovery, you know? This way, there’s still a slight chance that I can get out on the water and surf towards the end of the summer/fall, potentially ski next winter (Jan/Feb) and run by next spring. Seems like a long time horizon but I figured that I was missing one season of everything. Thanks for your kind words. Yeah, outlook in our 20s was so very different.

      That’s a great idea about having the boys help around the house more. Excellent teaching opportunity :-)

  6. Reza says

    I will be doing the ACL surgery in a month or so. You weblog is so inspiring and I don’t feel alone. You posts on passion for surfing really put me into tears. Good luck and bless you.

Trackbacks

  1. […] There is another part of me that doesn’t love the idea of New Year’s resolutions and goals. Often, what happens at the end of the year is that I’m overcome with a huge list of should-have-dones which then results in an overly ambitious list of resolutions for the new year, often made on New Year’s Eve (ahem) and that haven’t been set intentionally. Resolutions feel like they are set in stone (even if just in my head) and don’t offer enough flexibility to account for a myriad of different circumstances that may arise during the year (like a little torn ligament). […]

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