PCL recovery

Hopefully when this shapes up into something, it will help other people going through a similar surgery... not much out there on PCL's, and I think there should be.

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Sorta running?

So today was a milestone in my rehab.... today was the day I went out for a run, sorta. I am on a family medicine rotation right now, and I always hear teh doc tell his patients how important 30 minutes a day of aerobic exercise is, and how he runs 5 miles a day on the treadmill and has managed to lose 50 pounds so far. Well, I wanted to do something about it too. So I woke up this morning with every intention to go for a run. I set my alarm for earlier, and I woke up early. Looked out my window, and it's gray and gloomy and looks like it's about to pour. guess I'm not running this morning. So then, I go to work, and we get out, I get home, and it's still light out. Woohoo!

I quickly changed, didn't even put my clothes away, threw on my running shoes and went outside. Talk about deconditioning. At first, I just kind of stood there, unsure of what I'm supposed to do. I think my muscles just forgot after oh...  5 months of not running. So I started walking quickly. Hey, not too bad! And then I tried to start running. Not too bad, it certainly felt more stable than it did from before the surgery. Pain wise... there seems to be more pain now than before, but it's still too early to tell, and my knee still hasn't recovered 100%. The problem though is that my gait is completely off. I would take a short stride on the bad, right leg, but then a more natural long stride with the left leg. So then, my left leg was taking a pretty strong beating because I would pound my left leg with more force, since I wouldn't transfer so much weight onto my right, if that makes any sense. I realized this, and I tried to correct it, but it was really difficult.

I remember when I was learning to walk again after surgery, I had to try to really exaggerate the stepping motion with my right leg to actually get it into a normal stride. My PT explained the reasoning behind it, but I don't remember it now. So even though it felt like I was really exaggerating the motion, it wasn't a particularly huge motion in reality. So I tried doing that, trying to exaggerate my stride so that it started to feel more natural. But then I started getting the pain behind my kneecap, a similar pain to when I first started walking.

What ended up happening is partly from the issues with the stride and my good, left leg taking a beating, and partly fitness issues, but I would run for about 30 seconds and walk for about a minute. I think my "run" was actually slower than my walk, just because I was trying to figure out my gait again. But it did feel good to be back out there.

Saturday, April 2, 2011

Just call me Sabeehah

Back from belly dancing, and my knee is actually starting to look normal most of the time. The lumpiness over the lower lateral incision is going away. It seems like I've kind of stalled at the discomfort level, when I get to the last few degrees of flexion, it't still uncomfortable, and it doesn't seem to be getting any better. It's not a prohibitive pain, but it's definitely noticeable. And if I try to keep my knee at full flexion for more than a minute, it starts to get stiff. I'm doing as much strengthening as I can, flexibility was never an issue for me. I don't have access to a gym, so I'm doing what I can with ankle weights and resistance bands. I got adjustable ankle weights so that as I get along further in the rehab, and I can go with heavier weights, I won't need to constantly buy new weights. Definitely something that is recommended. The ones I have are adjustable from 2 pounds to 10 pounds. I was warned not to do straight leg raises with weight that is more than 10% of my total body weight, and I'm not going to post my weight online, but I have enough in ankle weights to eventually get to that point.

I do have some medial joint pain in the knee, and it's irksome, but not enough to make me want to see a doctor for it. Maybe I should, but I figure I've just been working out more, putting more stress on the knee, and it's hopefully just an adjustment period and once I get back to the high level of activity, my knee will get used to it and then it won't bother me.

But the belly dance classes I started, those are so much fun. I am having a blast doing it. We started last week, and it's such an amazing workout, and so much fun you don't realize what a good workout it is. It's hard too, I've been using muscles I didn't know I had. I'm not saying I'm great at it, in fact, I'm probably pretty darn terrible at it, but a lot of it is in the attitude I think. Fake it til you make it. We were told to channel our inner diva, and so I decided that means I need a stage name. I found a website that lists middle Eastern dance names for belly dancers, and I wanted to get one that had the same first letter as my real name. And so I found Sabeehah, which means "beautiful lady with a fair complexion". Oddly appropriate, I think. So next week when I go to the dance class, I'm not going to be myself, a somewhat nerdy, constantly fumbling, almost pediatrician... I am going to be Sabeehah! Master belly dancer, diva extraordinnaire! Graceful as a swan, beautiful arms, beautiful legs, hips and chest moving in isolation.