Tales of the Amazing Human Body

Hi there! I’ve missed you… I’ve missed blogging…. so many things (bad, good, and great!) over the last several weeks. 

(Bad – I have only got 1 more muscle up. Great – I got accepted to a professional development program by my employer)

 

I’m not entirely sure where the entire month of June went… other than lots of work, pool time, and puppy snuggles.

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Tonight, I am feeling sentimental … so I wanted to write about it. Of course, it’s about a workout..

The prescribed WOD was a two-parter.  The first part was CrossFit Endurance.  1 Mile for Time.  All day I stressed about this workout. Running has never been my forte – especially since my knee surgery.  I wanted to cherry-pick the WOD (aka: skip!) but I didn’t. I figured it was time to face my fear.

I will just jump right to it, because as it turns out, I set a 1 mile PR tonight!  I ran it in 8:30.

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Prior 1 mile would be 9 mins + some change.  

I know I’ve never been a fast runner.  And 8:30 is not “impressively fast” and it is far from the “gold standard” of 7-min mile set by my CF Coaches.  But it was a spectacular feeling for me tonight.

Realizing that 1-year ago, I literally cried in Physical Therapy as I did toe raises (i.e.: stand flat footed – raise to toes – and lower). My stitches had only been out for 3 days and I was still taking pain meds every six hours. 

 

Flashback Photo:

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What felt like torture at the time … and felt like I would never be “me” again…. time passed. Eventually (about 6 months ago), I got a full medical release.  I put in a lot of hard work. And I can’t wait to see where the next year takes me!

 

 

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Post Surgery: Ten Weeks

It has been just over 10 weeks since my reconstruction ACL and meniscus repair surgery. It’s been a while since I’ve done a status check of my knee….

Over the past several weeks I will have really good days. Some days I even feel like I’m >75% recovered. But then, I usually over-exert myself on those days and I pay for it the next (feeling < 50% recovered).

Skipping two one week of PT (so it was two weeks between visits), I felt like my progression slowed. I wasn’t good about doing my homework while in Denver and I walked a lot. At one point in Denver my knee was uber painful and a bruise started forming on the back of my knee. I got a little nervous that I’d done some damage.

Once I went back to PT and my therapist were talking about how I felt… she reminded me that at four months I’d feel good but I needed to be very careful. I reminded her that I was only at 10 weeks (several weeks shy of that mark). She said that I’m progressing much faster and she needed to remember I wasn’t at the 16-ish week mark. 

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At my 10week PT appointment I also achieved FULL range of motion (141*) while working on my heel slides down the wall.

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So, how does the knee feel?

  • The outside incision still has quite a bit of scar tissue underneath it. 
    • Pain is usually located around incision areas so I’m trying to bust up the scar tissue. The outside incision is most common achy spot. Under front of knee cap is second biggest offender.
  • The whole knee aches nearly all the time, sometimes it’s a “thickness” feeling others it’s a much sharper pain. I get tired of telling people I hurt, so I often don’t mention it or want to talk about it. I just tell them “I’m good”.
    • Sometimes I will get stabbing pains in the inside of the leg/knee. It feels a bit like I imagine electrocution would feel. Quick, intense, and then gone.
  • Going up stairs and hills is slightly more challenging than normal; but going down stairs and hills can be extremely difficult. If I don’t have a handrail, I will often take one step at a time just because I don’t feel stable.
  • Building up my quad muscle has helped reduced some of the “popping” I was feeling. 
  • Moving around (from push ups to sit ups, skin the cat upside down hangs, rolling over in bed) still feels odd. Not always painful, but just not normal. It reminds me of the “looseness” I felt when the ACL was torn. And of course that freaks me out.
  • Sometimes I feel wobbly on it. And I almost alway worry that I’ve re-injured myself. But I try to calm myself by realizing it’s likely the muscle strength and coordination that I still need to work on.
  • My PT graduated my homework to lunges and mini-squats. I do that in addition to quad sets and prone hangs.
  • There are times I wake up in the night, in pain, when I straighten/stretch my legs. 
  • Sitting/Standing too long I get stiff and tight.
  • Getting full extension when walking is tough. I really have to slow down to feel it and walk right. I hate walking so slowly… so I haven’t been doing it. But I worry that will harm me in the long run.

Most of these bullets sound like I’m not doing good. But I truly believe I am. I think this just goes to show how far I’ve come…but how much more work I will have to do! I think it also shows that when I visit the ortho surgeon in a week that I am not ready to be ‘on my own’. I want to continue some PT visits…even if it’s less frequent…but I feel I need (a) that reminder that I’m not healed and (b) someone to help keep me in check and a little less worried as I get back to it.

Post-Surgery: Seven Weeks

It’s nearly been seven weeks since my ACL reconstruction and meniscus repair. Hitting the six week mark felt like a major milestone. I’m able to do so much more than I used to…but I still am not quite 100%.

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I’ve been hitting up the gym a couple times a week in addition to visiting ProRehab once a week. Staying diligent on my “homework” has been tough, but I know I need to stay focused.

In terms of recovery, here’s what seven weeks looks like for me:

  • Most of the swelling has subsided with a little “thickness” still right around the knee area
  • Thigh muscles are starting to make an appearance during leg lifts & (mini) squats
  • Popping occurs on a regular basis. Which can be scary since at time of injury there was a HUGE pop. But the ortho assures me that this is just inflammation and a fat sack that will eventually calm down
  • Sometimes the knee feels “out of place” until it pops
  • Pain on the front of the knee cap when trying to work on my bending
  • Hamstring strength is pretty weak. Using gravity I have great range of motion, using my muscles “eh, not so much”

During open gym today I worked on rowing. Set a new record for myself – Row 2,000m (single legged) in 10:36. I also focused on some skill work (skin the cat) and PT time. To top it off, while waiting for Gregg to wrap up, I did 5 mins of core work.

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Having Fun on the Rings (Skin the Cat Skill Work)

Last week was Gregg’s birthday… we didn’t do much to celebrate because he has been studying non-stop for an exam at work. If there is a spare moment in our evening we read flash cards…. Over dinner, over brunch, while showering, … it never ends. He is so very dedicated and I am always inspired by is persistence. All that being said, I look forward to the day after the exam when we can both relax a little.

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TV on the Stove

Back in April we started a house project… little did I know I’d still be dealing with it in JUNE!

We’ve tore up all the carpet in the 2nd floor (and stairs) in our house in order to have the original wood floors refinished. The wood itself was in great condition.  The layers of paint and dirt on top of it was another story! IMG 2480IMG 2476

(Stairs before (top) and after (bottom) sanding)

Needless to say, they finished up beautifully. The only problem was the contractor couldn’t get to all the floor because we have lots of furniture in our little house.

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They worked on it for a week. Then I had surgery. And they had several other big (aka: money-making) jobs. Finally getting back to it today… 

Since we have our doggies, and many precious valuables, neither hubby nor I are comfortable letting people come and go. So we have to adjust our schedules to be here while they work. Luckily, I can work virtually most days. I’m glad I don’t do it all the time though because it’s very lonely. 

Also, never leaving the house makes me a tad crazy.

Top that with not having TV or Radio… I’m getting instant cabin fever. Why can’t I go for a run?! Damn you, knee. This is my TV on the stove…. yes…the house is in disarray…  it’s bad.

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Oh, speaking of my knee!!… yesterday was a big day for me in Physical Therapy. As a reminder, my left (aka: good) knee set the bar at a bend of 141* on day one. Yesterday my therapist just laid into my right knee and got it to 141!!! I was audible about my displeasure with the process (aka: moaning, groaning, and trying not to curse)! And then…. THEN… I did it all on my own! SUCCESS!

But now, the bar has been set and Molly will expect that everyday. CRAP. I couldn’t barely walk last night.

Regardless, it is a huge boost to my motivation to finally break through that barrier. A funny little thing is happening to me… I’m becoming slightly competitive. Even with myself. Gregg is rubbing off on me.

PS – I’ve never been so pale going into summer before.And these hot sunburn lines on my shins (and chest?!) prove that my sunscreen is working. In the areas I apply it! 

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Making a Change

My blog is still so new, many days I struggle to brainstorm an interesting enough topic to write about. I often joke that I live in the movie “Groundhog Day” (same, boring, things happen every day). 

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But I know that’s not the case. I just need to appreciate things more. 

For example I could blog about the experiences I’m having in PT (pain & torture… physical therapy).  I finally have full extension of the leg (most important)…and now I’m working toward full bend. The goal is 141* according to my left leg. I’m currently at 133*; this is total max cursing effort. While it feels like I have a long way to go, I try to remind myself I started at 104*.


But, I bet you’d find this more interesting…

A 9-year old girl started a blog, documenting the sad state of her lunches provided by the school. Read the full article here

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For each school meal, she offers a Food-o-meter rating (how much she likes it), a mouthful count, a healthy rating and a number for how many pieces of hair were in the food.

It didn’t take long for a change to occur. Nealrly one month lager… She said there was a new system for ordering food. And — lo and behold, she claimed — there appeared “cherry tomatoes, radishes, carrot and cucumber shreddings.”

So today we have learned that the power of publicity is very strong. And if you want to get something done you have to get noticed. You have to blog about it.

Visit Martha’s blog.


I’m off for a fun Memorial Day weekend… three day weekend to workout, shop, clean, relax, and perhaps work on my tan poolside.

 

 

No Pain, No Gain

Many of you already know, but I had meniscus repair surgery back on May 1st. It was orthoscopic and I was able to keep all my meniscus (good news on the arthritis front!) but I have stitches in there that will slow down the healing. The only limitation I really have is that I’m not allowed to squat past 90 degrees. Otherwise, I need to work on getting full range of motion… both bending and straightening!

All that being said, I started physical therapy yesterday. I went before work. Boy, oh boy, was that a mistake! By the end of the day, my pants were so swollen I felt like I was wearing a sausage casing. I know… the mental picture you have right now is very attractive. It was. Not.

Molly, my therapist, tested my strength and range of motion. It’s pretty crappy. And you can imagine that when I bent my knee as far as it goes… it was nothin’ compared to how far SHE could bend it. Gah. I’m going to fill up the swear jar.

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After that… Molly put me on the bike for 10 minutes. I couldn’t make a full rotation. But that will be the goal. Obviously. Until then I spin 1/2way around then back 1/2way around. I probably wouldn’t get very far at that rate. Oh, and Molly cracked the “don’t run away”joke… like that’s the first time I’ve heard it.

Lastly, they attached the electrodes to my thighs that made the muscles contract involuntarily. At the same time I was to raise my leg and contract them.

All this was done by 9am and I headed in to the office for a 10 hour day. Thrilling.

Tomorrow it will be the same thing, but in reverse. Work 10 hrs followed by an hour of torture.

That being said, tonight I cooked a tasty (paleo-friendly) dinner and savored a glass of Malbec wine. Hey, I opened a bottle… can’t let it go to waste!

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