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.