Thursday, July 1, 2010

9 weeks and 2 more stitches bite the dust...

Ok, so scratch that note about being done spitting stitches... I lost 2 more last week. I think (hope) I am really done now. I look at all the other scars at PT and most of them are these nice fine white lines along every ones legs. Not me. I have somehow inherited the Frankenstein gene. Maybe it is the stitch spitting, maybe not, but it looks pretty gross to me. I guess it's a good thing vanity has never been one of my issues! : )

This summer schedule is really wearing me out. It is really hard to be full time at home mom while trying to recover. I need to figure out how to better schedule things so that I can do more with PT. I love spending the time with Little I, but it is really hard to take care of me. Not because of her. She has been such a trouper! She is 6 and wants to play and I have a really hard time putting my PT first. I sometimes get so frustrated that I can't do what I want. It has been 9 weeks since surgery and I'm still slave to this injury and it makes me grouchy. Not good for any of us. Looks like more camps and play dates are going to be in order for the rest of the summer or we may all loose our minds!

On the TKD front, I am still waiting. I don't know when I'll be able to join class again. I have been going to some of the open classes and "walking" through Big K's form with him and Little I's form with her. I am being very careful not to twist, pivot, or turn on the injured leg which makes for a very interesting looking form, but has been good for the family. I really enjoy helping them and would like to join leadership when I get back into class. I was starting the process right before the injury. Another thing that is on hold. I can do the front and middle stances with basic hand techniques and walk through the kicks. It has helped me feel a little more connected to the studio, but it is still hard to watch everyone else learning their new material and know that I still have months to go before I get to do them. The annual campground/outdoor testing is coming up and I will again watch everyone else get their new belts while I wait. If all had gone well up to this point, I would have been testing for my blue belt. It is what it is. I am trying to continue to learn by watching class and hope that when I am able to get out there on the floor again I will remember all of the things that I have learned from having this observation time.

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

7 weeks

Sometimes I feel like I'm doing alright and other times I wonder if my knee will ever feel like it did before the injury. I am getting to the point where it feels pretty good, but not normal and I have weak spots with certain movements. My scar looks like Frankenstein, but on the bright side, I think I am finally done spitting stitches!! Nine in all. Four on the side, and five on the front. It is much easier and less painful to massage the scar now that they are gone.

I'm entering into the prime re injury time (8-12 weeks). I can see how people re injure easily at this point in the recovery process. The new tendon is getting to the weakest point in the recovery, but things are feeling better. A prime combination for disaster. I really want to start TKD again, but know that it will be a long time before I can really participate. For now, it's watching and "walking" through things mostly in my mind and some basic hand techniques that don't require any twisting, turning, or pivoting. It doesn't leave much, but I'm not up for taking any chances.

I had to move into the transition program at PT since our insurance only covers 20 visits for the year. Stinks, but luckily I'm doing ok and think it will work out ok. I got the ok to ride the bike very carefully around the neighborhood, but no really big hills or rough terrain yet. There is no way I want to go through this again, so easy does it. I can't wait to go out for a ride!

Monday, May 31, 2010

Happy Memorial Day

We had lots of fun this weekend with friends at the lake on Saturday, then at the parade in town today. My incisions are still not totally healed since I keep spitting stitches. It looks so gross will all of the little holes along the incision, but I guess that's just the way it is. I sat on the shore and watched little I play in the water with her goggles and snorkel which was lots of fun. The joy, and ability to live in the moment that children have is wonderful to watch on weekends like this. Very important in my recovery too. They can find joy in the smallest things and I'm trying to take that cue.

The parade today was fun. I sat in the trailer with the Tiny Tigers since I was not able to walk the route. It is so hard for me to sit by and watch everyone else do the things I used to do. I walked the short distance from the end of the parade to the cemetery for the presentations and did my best to stand throughout. I couldn't make it through the whole thing. I slowly and stiffly walked back to the trailer and sat listening and thinking that things could be a lot worse. I saw lots of people drop from the heat, and so many families who have lost so much there to celebrate their loved ones on this day. I'm really stiff and tired, and I'm sure swollen, but I guess things really aren't that bad.

This is such a long process. I have missed 2 testing cycles already from this injury and will miss several more before I am able to return and then learn all the new material. I have watched people test and get their new belts while I sit and watch. We used to joke about Big K being the eternal while belt, but here I am now on the eternal camo belt track. Sigh... I tell myself that this is just a hurdle in the long race of martial arts. I will get through this. I will come back to class. I will work toward my black belt. And on this day, I will be thankful for what I have.

Thursday, May 27, 2010


Today was the day! I drove again. I felt like a teenager. It has been so long since I have driven, but I have been following the PT's guidelines so strictly. The last thing I want, is to get in an accident, so I have waited like she said until I felt safe enough to have my daughter in the car with me driving. I felt good today and it was time to give it a try. No problem. I can move fast enough and with enough power to hit the brakes in case of an emergency. Woohoo!

I am starting to feel alot better. I'm walking pretty well at this point without crutches, although I'm still working on planting with the injured leg as straight as the "good" one. Flexion was 146 degrees without a lot of stress. We've added shuffles, one leg ball bouncing on the trampoline, mini squats with weight, step ups with a kick, and hamstrings. Leg press single leg was at 60 lbs., negatives were at 80 lbs., and both legs were 130 lbs. I still hate lying on my belly to work my knee toward my rear. It is torture, but I have to say that am seeing it's benefits.

The other new thing this week is that I'm spitting stitches. It is really gross, but I'm told that it is a normal part of the healing process for some people. After I got the stitches out, I thought that was it. I thought the couple spots that were bleeding would heal up and I would be able to start working the scar, but no. As we worked on the scar, I started to see what almost looked like a blood blister show up. Then one day as I got out of the shower and toweled off, I noticed a little piece of something sticking out. I pulled the little piece and saw that it was a stitch. The first of three so far that have decided that my knee was not the place for them. I would really like for the stitch spitting to finish and to get on with the healing process. I must say that they are a pain, but I'm happy to be making progress. I feel like I am starting to see the light at the end of the tunnel!

Monday, May 17, 2010

bike ride!

I had my first bike ride yesterday!! Yes, it was on the trainer in the living room, but hey I'm not picky these days! It felt so good to move and do something that I used to do before the injury. The more I rode, the better it felt and the easier the motion became. Big I was worried about how quickly I was turning the pedals over after a few minutes but I felt really good. It was the first time I was really moving and without pain since this started. It is a day to celebrate!

I flexed to 130 degrees at PT today and got the ok to use one crutch! One step closer to getting off the crutches and then driving. Things seem to be getting a little easier. Pain is still always there, but not consuming me like it was in the beginning. The PT rubbed the IT band and scar area today and it really was no fun! The IT band area was ok, but the scar felt like someone was stabbing me with a flaming dagger. Pain now, gain later? I sure hope so!! I am gaining strength slowly but surely, but still showing the atrophy pretty bad. The goal is to develop strength while keeping swelling down. No small task, but I'm doing my best.

Sunday, May 16, 2010

baby steps

What a strange turn of events this is for me. I am getting ready to move the bike and trainer up stairs to the living room. For years I have ridden and even raced on the road and off road. I always hated the trainer. It was boring. Now, I can't wait to get it set up. It has become strangely exciting and welcome. Something that is a link to my "normal" life before this injury. The fact that I may not be able to complete a full pedal stroke until the end of my 15 minute "ride" is ok. A challenge that I will overcome, like that first ride of the season. The one where I always wonder why I let myself get that "out of shape" over the winter. I hope for the same transformation as the spring progresses this year. A noticeable gain in fitness and ability. A series of baby steps back to my "normal".

Saturday, May 15, 2010

why now?

Little I came home from school on Thursday telling me that one of the kids in her class threw up in the lunch room. Oh joy. So when she wakes up Friday morning complaining of her tummy hurting I'm dreading the possibility of some sort of stomach bug finding it's way into our house. Do I send her to school? Keep her home? Big K has a business meeting that he can't get out of and I still can't drive, so we decide to keep her home. After a few hours, she is feeling great, and I'm wondering why I'm not. I love spending time with Little I, but 2 weeks post op with an angry tummy doesn't make for a very happy day. What a trooper she is though. Getting me water and really anything else I need. She asks me "are you going to cry?" and I seriously ponder the question, but tell her a cheery "I don't think so". After a long night, I think I'm breaking through. I hope I'm breaking through! So far no throwing up, and I'm hoping it stays that way!

I feel like my progress on my knee was going well until this. I flexed to 122 degrees and was starting to do some leg press and unsupported mini squats. I was making lots of progress on the bike, actually making full pedal strokes, and I feel like being stuck in the bed is erasing all of that hard work. I'm trying to do as much as I can in the bed without encouraging other issues. I am so ready to feel normal again!!

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

2 weeks post op

It is hard to believe that I am 2 weeks post op today! Stitches came out yesterday which was so nice and a very welcome step for me in this process. Getting them out means that I can start bearing more weight. Now we can start getting off of the crutches and drive. Darn right leg!

The stitches didn't want to come out. I had felt them pinching for a couple days and came to find out that they were starting to scar on to my knee. With a few yanks, they finally came out feeling like an extended bee sting. Not exactly comfortable, but what is with this process?! The surgeon was happy with my quad, extension, and flexion. He said I could start working my way off the crutches over the next 1-3 weeks with the guidance of PT. Working on the quad and continuing with the PT, I should be walking into my next appointment in 3 weeks on my own. I am hoping to be on the shorter end of the off crutches/driving spectrum because it really stinks being stuck at home. I hate having to ask for help and rides. Again, I find myself so thankful for such good people in our lives.

PT today was feeling pretty good until S decided to torture me at the end! Heal slides are never my favorite, but they are getting less miserable. I flexed to 120 with a little help and was at about 115 on my own. Mini squats went well and I was able to do most of them without holding on to the table. It feels strange to stand on both legs again. It is going to take a little getting used to, but I will gladly try it!! Leg press single leg at 30 lbs., and both legs 80 lbs., bouncing the ball on the trampoline with both legs planted. Moving along! Time for the aerodyne. It felt like that thing had cranks that were about a mile long. As a competitive cyclist, I had totally taken for granted the "simple" movement of peddling a bike. No resistance to worry about, no hills, roots, or rocks. Just the pedal stroke itself ground me to a halt in the first few minutes. After about 10 minutes of the back and forth, I finally made a complete revolution! Woohoo! then came the "one more last little bit of torture before we stim". Torture it was. Being on my belly with my foot reaching toward my behind was torture! The left leg easily reached its goal, but the right leg was a whole different story. By 90 degrees I was not happy. Somewhere shortly after that I was really hurting, and just a smidgen more and it was torture. Lucky me, I get to go back tomorrow for more. : /

Saturday, May 8, 2010

Wonder Twin Powers Activate

It is kind of strange having a friend going through the same surgery a week after me. Ms. C had her surgery on Thursday, which was 8 days after mine. As I was going into PT on Friday morning, there she was going through her first post op PT torture session and it was almost surreal for me. It felt so close to home yet so far away at the same time. In a way it was hard to reconcile that it was just one short week ago that it was my torture session. What a change a week can make!

We have been dubbed the Wonder Twins and I have to say that it is both funny and encouraging to have a "twin". While I would never wish this ordeal on anyone, I am excited for the fact that I will have someone to work with on this long road ahead. Hopefully our Wonder Twin Powers can activate us back into two pain free, happy wives, mothers, and active martial artists soon!

I have been thinking a lot about how this injury throws the tenants of martial arts right in my face. It requires all of the key concepts. Positive attitude, perseverance, determination, confidence... The list goes on and on. All required in recovery, martial arts, and I think if you are doing things right, life. I would like to respectfully ask for a gentler reminder of those ideas next time! : )

My new short term goals:
1. Get stitches out on Tuesday (yeah!!)
2. Get off of crutches
3. Drive

Thursday, May 6, 2010

One week post op!

One week post op! I made it through the first week! Yeah!!! I got out of the house for the first time last night and did my exercises while I watched Little I at taekwondo. It did wonders for my spirit to get out of the house for something other than the doctor or PT if even for just the one little hour. It is so easy to start feeling isolated.

One week, and it's a busy day ahead! PT and a mother's day tea at Little I's school. When I woke up in the morning, I wasn't quite sure how things would go. I was still tired and trying to manage the pain without spending all day sleeping. PT went very well. I felt much better than on Monday. Flexion was 95 degrees. Good progress. I felt hopeful for the first time in a while.

Since PT and recovery are taking up every waking moment at this point, I find myself going straight from PT to the Mother's Day Tea. Those mom's whom I knew greeted me happily and asked how everything was going. It was really nice to see them all. Those that I didn't know looked at me like they were afraid they would catch something. Sorry, but I didn't have time to change from my shorts and t-shirt that I wore to PT, and my daughter means the world to me. It's not like it's easy getting in to much else these days all wrapped up anyway. I already missed the spring singing performance that was the night following surgery. I would not miss this. I was going to be there. Period. Little I saw me sitting there with my leg stretched out on the cafeteria bench and smiled the biggest smile I've seen since before the surgery and my heart melted. They sang several songs before joining us at the tables for our special strawberry shortcake treat. Her place mat had a picture of the two of us. Me with my crutches. Both of us smiling It was really a great day.

PT begins...again

My dad came in to town to help with Little I and me. Big K is happy to have the help I'm sure. He's back to work and I'm sure feels like he just had a baby and I'm not there to help out after a weekend of fetching food, meds, ice etc. at all hours day and night. Dependent on the crutches I feel so helpless. Everything is still so hard and my dad understands that. He had a total knee in November.

Little I is super excited to see Pappap and off to school she goes. Together dad and I head to PT. Extension is good and flexion is now 78 degrees. Progress! The work is hard and in baby steps, but I'm moving forward. Things are getting better very slowly.

The picture is a few days post op. I had a tough time with swelling as you can see from the beautiful markings from the ice machine pad.

First day of post op PT

I was two days out of surgery at this point and time to go to the first post op PT for their assessment. Extension feels different than pre op. Somehow strangely almost less painful. Flexion is at about 60 degrees and average, but worlds away from the 135 I was going into surgery with. My quad is pretty sad, but it's there and "moving" on command. Straight leg raises seem like a cruel joke at this point, but I know they are going to be a big part of my life for a quite awhile. With help I struggle through them. My leg feels like a sausage and I wonder how long I can do this. Today is my hard day.

day after surgery

OK, here it is and I am waiting with my best game face on. The supposed "worst day" in the ACL reconstruction process. Stay ahead of the pain, stay ahead of the pain. At this point staying ahead of the pain meant sleeping, but if this is the worst, we're doing OK. I have a reasonably high pain tolerance, as evidenced by my past adventures, broken bones etc. so while I'm in a great deal of pain, I am trying to take it in stride. In the past I had been prescribed some pretty serious meds for injuries and never really ended up taking them. I am cautiously optimistic.

Time for the post op visit. If the saying "If it doesn't kill you, it makes you stronger" is true, I got a lot stronger at this point. I underestimated everything about this appointment. I was excited about seeing how things were going, but just getting there and back was a battle. Getting in and out of the car was the hardest thing I had done in a long time. I was in pain, sweating and getting really grouchy because of our lovely MI roads. The PA said that things looked good, surgery went well. He handed me of to one of the trainers to assess my starting point and take a baseline x-ray for the screws. I straightened OK, and flexed in the average range. "Can you lift you leg?" My brain says "yes" my leg says "hahaha that's pretty funny, but I will make the quad twitch. Remember, I'm stubborn". Out comes the home stim unit. WOOHOO! At least I get to shower tomorrow!!

Friends start to come visit with food and goodies that I will be eternally grateful for. The break it gave my poor husband with cooking and the emotional good it did for me to see people were very really treasures. Even if they just stayed for a few minutes, I felt like I was still connected to what was going on outside of this event. They didn't care that the house was a mess and I was a dopey mess. They were there anyway. They may never know just how much they did (and continue to do) to help with my recovery, but Big K and I will. I am very lucky to have such people in my life.

Pretty quickly, however, I realize that the level of pain that comes with this surgery can change quickly and significantly. Wow, Oxy is a very powerful pain med. One that I have never been prescribed or needed before. This is not good. I start to realize that when people said this was the worst pain that they had ever been in, they were serious. I have a new sense of respect for everyone who has endured this process. By this point we are almost done with what was supposed to be the "hardest day" and I'm not liking where it is going. Getting up to use the bathroom is seeming to get harder and harder. Maybe because I am so thirsty from the anesthesia, meds, who knows. The blood rush is feeling worse and worse. A bed pan is starting to sound like a nice idea. This is going bad, and it's going fast!

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

surgery part II

As I wake up from the haze of anesthesia, I keep asking "what did the doctor say?" to my husband. He apparently tells me many times what the doctor said, but I keep asking anyway. Funny how everyone seems to have a certain thing they get "stuck" on after coming to. Keith's was trying to continue selling the doctor a bike and asking if I had called his mom. Anyway, we laugh now, but there was not much laughing going on that morning for me.

The surgeon told my husband that everything went really well in surgery. They ended up finding a 95% ACL tear and no meniscus damage. Yeah! I was worried about the meniscus because of the MRI combined with the symptoms. Looks like that stubborn 5% of the ACL was the root of the pain pre op. I know I'm stubborn, but really, did all my parts have to be stubborn too? I guess so.

Nothing can quite prepare you for the first time you try to "walk" after having ACL surgery for several reasons. Number one, the blood rush is something that you can't understand until you feel it. Kind of like when the doctor says "when you feel like you need to push" during labor. No words can quite give it justice. Number two, after all that work pre op to get that quad to fire there you are with a giant, heavy wet noodle hanging from your rear end (that is bare and hanging out of a hospital gown at this point). Number three, dizzy from the meds and already in some pain you realize that this is going to get a whole lot worse before it gets better. Oh man. I guess it's too late to turn back now...

Somehow, by the grace of God, we were discharged and made it home with some Potbelly sandwiches in hand. Half of the sandwich filled me up and helped calm my uneasy tummy. Most of the rest of the day was a blur with intermittent pain, drug induced sleep and feelings of "what in the world did I just do to myself?". It was clear that I had made my nest on the couch and that is where I was going to stay for at least the night and next day. Everything I had read about this surgery from real people said how it was one of the most painful things that they had ever been through and the second day seemed to be the worst. My mantra became "stay ahead of the pain" and I did a pretty good job. Surgery day down.

Monday, May 3, 2010

surgery part I

Wow, surgery. Where do I start?

Friends of ours from down the street were so wonderful to offer to take Little I in and get her on the bus with their kids the morning of surgery. I will never be able to express to them how much this meant for us. To know that she was in good hands and going to have a fun morning before school, complete with chocolate chip pancakes too, made it alot easier for Big K and I to head to the hospital with less to worry about. Little I was such a trooper! She woke up, put her clothes on and got in the car. We dropped her off and I could tell that she was a little nervous. She was quiet and kept her head down as we tucked her in on the couch. I tried to be strong and positive for her. It was hard. I gave her a big hug and kiss and told her that I would see her later. I didn't want to leave her, but we had to go. Off we went.

It was still dark when we got to the hospital and I took my last Tylenol before surgery. I checked in and they called us back within a few minutes. It is kind of nice being in the first round of surgeries for the day. Doctors and nurses started to come in for their shifts as they were prepping me. I got the anti-nausea pill and the nurse took the water from my hand with a "just enough to swallow the pill smile". They placed the Velcro sticky strip on my head to prep me for anesthesia. It is supposed to measure your brain waves to make sure they regulate all of the meds properly, but all I know is that it hurts since they just mashed sticky Velcro onto my head. And of course Big K takes a picture for me to have as a keepsake. He was good at taking pictures to help me document the big day-even when I didn't want him too!

Everyone was very nice at the hospital. Even sneezy who ended up being my fellow. I saw him sneeze when he came in and then couldn't stop thinking about how he sneezed into his hands and then I never saw him wash his hands. This was not helping my anxiety level, but luckily they started the IV, rolled me down the hall and into the operating room. I got onto the new "bed" and goodnight...

Monday, April 26, 2010

time scheduled

Surgery is scheduled for Wednesday morning at 7:30, and I have to be there by 6:15, which means I have to leave the house at 5:45. I'm so excited about that! I guess I'll get up at 5:00 to shower with my cool anti-microbial soap and put on my cozy clothes. It's not like I have to worry about eating breakfast...

I am really glad surgery is scheduled for the morning, but that time of the morning has caused a bit of a wrinkle in things for the family. This is one of those times that I really miss having family in town. You can't just ask a friend to wake up at that hour of the morning to get your child up, fed and on the bus when they have their own children to wrangle in the morning. At this point, it looks like Little I is going with us to the hospital and hanging out with Big K. Maybe being there will help with her anxiety about the procedure. She keeps asking when the surgery is and I know that she is worried about the unknown. I am happy to be so close to being on the road to real recovery even though I know it will get much harder before it gets easier. There is a certain amount of comfort in the fact that it will be "fixed".

Going through the checklist:
anointing of the sick, check
special soap, check
comfy clothes, check
ice pack cooler thing, check
books and movies, check
extra pillows, check
Tylenol, aspirin and vitamin C, check
prunes, check
new ACL...

Thursday, April 22, 2010


Well, it's been awhile. Let's catch up...

The transition program is going well. I am progressing nicely with my exercises although I have a new knee issue that has decided to make itself known. Crap! I was starting to feel pretty strong, although still unstable. Walking was becoming easier and my ROM was improving. My heal was coming off of the ground when straightening my leg and I can see my quad engaging. Yeah! A great way to go into surgery. I survived the research study with no problems (more about this later) and was looking forward to getting well. I started to feel this sticking sensation in my knee at the extreme ends of the ROM. Interesting. "It could be the ACL ball getting caught up or it could be a meniscus issue that was missed on the MRI" is what the pre-op nurse and my PT say. Then it started to get caught up and hurt. Hummm... no nerves left in the ACL to create pain, so it is looking a lot like the meniscus. Crap! It is amazing how something so little can change your mood. I knew that this was a possibility as the surgeon had it already listed on the surgical form, but..., but CRAP! I feel like I am moving backward. My exercises are going along ok, but the pain is really bothering me because it is hindering my extension. This is one of the most important pre-op skills. Crap.

All of the whys start coming into my mind. I can't change what happened and I am in charge of how I react to things. I'm working on my reaction right now! I'm frustrated and tired, but know that surgery is right around the corner. I think that is part of what makes it so hard. It is the start of making things better, but to get better they are going to have to get worse first. Crap. Starting over on crutches, with exercises, with everything. Crap.

It will make me stronger. I will appreciate the little things more. I will show determination and persevere. We were watching the deadliest warrior on TV the other day and they were talking about how you need to feel hunger to understand the hungry, experience pain to understand suffering, etc. This has reminded me of that once again. It will make me stronger and I will persevere (or I will fake it until I make it : ))!

Monday, April 5, 2010

Happy Easter

The transition program at the cube started out with a bang! Suzi kicked my butt on Thursday! I was sore on Friday everywhere but my knee, which felt great. We added hamstring curls, more leg press, and side shuffling. The foam was added to the medicine ball trampoline exercise too. It feels good to be making progress, but at the same time it is frustrating because I know I'll be starting all over again after surgery.

I went into the weekend feeling good and am now sitting here icing my swollen knee and feeling a little cranky. We had a great Easter with family in town. I was able to take it easy, but overdid it a bit. A day of baking lead to a 2 hour long nap which I was very thankful for! I slept through all kinds of noise and comings and goings of people in the house, right in the very middle of it. I don't think I have ever slept that soundly. My mom is the kitchen cleaning house elf, and made things very easy for me over the weekend. Isabella loves playing with Grandma and Pap Pap. They left this morning and I was on my own with a 6 year old on spring break. I ended up spending way too much time on my feet and now have a very sore and swollen knee. I am exhausted and humbled by how fragile the body can be at times. I am praying for the strength to get us all through this week unbroken and happy. I am going to need a vacation after this week of spring break for sure!

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

surgery scheduled

My appointment with the surgeon went well today. He seems like a nice enough guy who I'm sure has done thousands of ACL surgeries. I know for sure he did 4 last week alone. He has recommended that I go ahead with the surgery since I am an active person who enjoys activities that involve running, jumping, turning etc. We talked about the different options available for the "new" ACL. "Dead guy" as MB calls it, is not his first choice because of my activity level and its higher failure rate. I can't say that I was really disappointed about that, as the thought of "dead guy" did not sound very appealing to me! He did a very good job of going through the process of explaining why he made the recommendations he did. So, it looks like we are going with the patellar tendon and have a surgery date set for April 28th.

PT is going well. I am going onto the "transition" program which is the "insurance only gives me 20 PT visits per year and I'm going to need them post op" program. It allows me to develop a plan with my PT and work out there at the Cube on an "independent" program. She is happy with my progress and thinks it will be fine. I am almost equal on extension and was able to flex to 135 degrees today. I added the leg press to my list of exercises along with a balancing exercise where I throw a medicine ball against a trampoline thing and catch it. It feels so good to be making progress and start doing some normal activities again. I get tired fast though, and don't have a lot of muscular endurance back yet. This means that things are really falling apart at home since I can only do bits at a time and can't move like normal yet. I can push all the dirty clothes down the stairs, but can't wash them and fold them as fast as they accumulate. Getting them back up the stairs after they are folded, is out of the question. Isabella has really been a helper, but is 6 and leaves EVERYTHING out all over the place. I can't pick it all up and don't have the energy to make her do it either. It looks like someone robbed us!

Sunday, March 28, 2010

So far, so good on the PT front. The physical therapist is happy with my progress so far. We are working on straightening the leg and getting the swelling down. Bending is getting better too. I went from 105 degrees on my own to almost 120 degrees last week. I am anxiously awaiting the meeting with the surgeon on Tuesday. So much is up in the air until then. It is really nice to feel some of the strength coming back and know that we are making progress.

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

MRI results

Well the MRI has spoken and the last word is...meniscus ok, but the ACL is completely torn. I am thankful that it wasn't as bad as it could have been. At least now, I know where I am and can start working toward getting better. I had my first day of PT yesterday and while it hurt, it felt really good to know that I was starting to do something to help the situation. There is already a noticeable difference in the size of my right quad compared to the left, but I'm now able to work to fix that. The electrical stim machine helped reteach the quad to fire.

I have a consultation scheduled with a surgeon on Tuesday and we'll see what he says...

Monday, March 22, 2010


MRI this morning at 7:30 am, but had to be there at 7:00. It is nice being scheduled first thing. I was actually taken in a little early and out of there by 7:50. I asked my tech how things looked, but he wouldn't crack. : /. They said that the images would be in the system in about an hour and they would be read today. The doctor should call in a couple days. I think I'll be checking in later today to ask about PT. Maybe I can get some info then. Until then, I wait some more...

Saturday, March 20, 2010

snap, crackle, pop

Well, last night was the first time that I watched the video of the accident with full volume. Keith and I both looked at each other and said "What was that noise?". There was a pop/snap/crack of some sort audible with the volume up. The look on his face spoke a thousand words. Either that was my knee, or a very well timed noise from another ring. Two more days until the MRI. I can't wait to know what is going on in there!

Friday, March 19, 2010


So this weekend is testing weekend. Isabella will be testing for her camo belt tonight. We seem to have gotten over her fear of sparring as she has been asking to spar everyday since our talk with Mr. Teboe. I don't know what it is about children that makes them believe everyone but their parents, but in this case I'm glad it worked.

I would have been testing for my green belt on Saturday morning if it weren't for the injury. Isabella continues to say "I wish you wouldn't have done the tournament" as I reassure her that I'm ok and will get through this. I am trying to look on the bright side. As long as Isabella's testing goes well, we'll be working on the same material. She will learn that sometimes in life stuff just happens and our response not only shapes who we are, but tells us where we're going. She'll learn a valuable lesson in perseverance and hard work. I'll have time to review all of the old forms and one steps to help down the road, and I'll now have a nice little group of camo belts to work with in class...once I get back there.

I have had this quote posted on my laptop for awhile now, but it has gained a new relevance this week.

"Don't let what you cannot do interfere with what you can do. --John Wooden"
I can't test this weekend, go to TKD or cardio class in the traditional sense, do much in the way of chores around the house, ride my bike... but I can continue to be there for my family and friends to cheer them on, and have a good attitude. One of the beautiful things about TKD is that it is on our timeline. So, I am a camo belt a little longer than expected. In the grand scheme of things that is really not a big deal. I am not in a race and have no ego to stroke. I'll just have taken a step back to traditional karate where you watched for months before even being allowed to join the class. Sometimes those are some of the most valuable moments we can have.

Thursday, March 18, 2010

ortho appointment

So, I make it through the weekend and first thing Monday morning we call to make an appointment with the sports medicine doctor. I get in to see her Tuesday morning. My knee doesn't want to bend much at all and I can't straighten it all the way. She says that there is more play in the joint than normal.

Diagnosis: possible ACL tear and possible medial meniscus tear.

I leave with some new crutches that I'm told insurance probably won't cover because our insurance doesn't like to cover crutches. Oh joy.

Also, I am instructed to continue with the rest, ice, compression, and elevation (RICE) as I had been doing. We want to keep the swelling down as much as possible for the MRI scheduled for Monday morning.

Wish me luck!

March 13, 2010 And so it begins...

After a crazy morning, we arrived at the taekwondo tournament. Isabella did an awesome job in her Tiny Tigers competition!

Then it was my turn. I collected my self and got ready for my competition. We started with the forms portion of the day and I felt pretty good. I was very happy with a first place fininsh! Then it was time for sparring. The first round went well and I moved on to finals.

There we were, my friend Kerri and I in finals together. We smile and get ready to spar as we have many times before. We bow to the center judge and to each other. We shake hands, "do your best ma'am" and off we go. The first move of finals was "the" move. I came in and landed a left a kick to her chest pad, then OUCH! Contact. The knee of my planted leg moves right... and I don't. I fall like a sack of potatoes.

As most athletes have experienced, I take a minute to assess the situation. Is this just a sting because it just happened? One that can be worked through? There is no way to know for sure without giving it a try. Up I stand. Sore, but still somewhat in the assessment process, and a bit of shock. Not because I got kicked, but because of the collapse. We get our warning about low kicks as I try to stretch and move my right leg. Time starts again. I try to continue the match as normal and quickly realize that things are not "normal" anymore. I continue to feel the knee "pushing out" for lack of a better term. I don't feel stable on the right leg and I'm afraid I am going to collapse again. I switch to the left leg as my support leg and finish the match. Still somewhat in shock.

We couldn't reproduce the accident again if we tried. Bad timing I guess. One of the inherent risks of contact sports. Accidents happen, and I'm thankful that it wasn't worse.