Posted on August 02 2016
Carrying on from the last blog...
Tuesday was results day! An inconclusive MRI showed that I had a tear in my Lateral Meniscus and unfortunately it was unable to show that damage to my ACL so another wait and see. Some good new though was that being fit, healthy and active made me a perfect candidate for early surgery, which was music to my ears. I was off crutches, training hard and well on the road to recovery. Due to there being excess swelling still around my joint though it was very difficult to fully tell the extent of the injury so I was given a second appointment for the same time next week. For this appointment I was given 2 goals;
- To be able to lie down on a bed and fully straighten my leg and...
- To be able to bend my leg while seated to at least 90 degrees.
You might look at these and think that this should be simple. To bend and straighten a leg should be easy, however the opposite was the case. For the next week and at any chance I had I would try and straighten my leg and bend it while standing, to make the challenge a little more difficult. Day by day the challenge got that little bit easier. Th swelling started to go down and my leg was starting to feel that little bit better and the range of motion was coming back. Some things however that you take for granted on a daily basis still remained. Getting in and out of the car was always a challenge and since the first day of my injury I have been constantly trying to find new ways, hopping in, climb onto the passengers seat over the drivers seat or go in legs first. Stairs also were a constant challenge, having to take one step at a time, not fully trusting your bad leg and wondering which step was the one that was going to send you crashing back down to the ground. However through the days it got easier and I started to put a little trust in my leg. Before I knew it I was climbing the stairs again properly and getting in and out of the car was now easier which showed the prehab was working. It was still a challenge coming downstairs however as after just a few steps semi-debilitating cramp would set in and that feeling of being indestructible as a kid would slowly dissipate.
One feeling I have had though is a feeling of confidence restored. As you go through all the different exercises prescribed, no matter how trivial some of them may seem, the fact that you can do more and then rely on less people restores a little of the superhero mentality we all, at some point in life, dream of.
The following weekend, unlike the last, I was determined to stay as busy as I could. Writing my blog has given me a sense of ownership of my injury and frequent trips to the gym and doing regular activities like cooking, shopping and walking the dog stopped me from sitting on the sofa and heading back down the slippery slope of self loathing. I also, thanks to a rare glimmer of sunshine in the cold and gloomy Australian Winter, had a chance to take my baby out for the day and to watch the lads play soccer. No I'm not a dad just a proud owner of my dream car a 67 Mustang.
So, for the week ahead. It was just days away from the 2nd Orthopedic appointment and once again back to the Gym and training my clients. My leg was still suffering throughout Monday so a little trickery was needed to aid in achieving those some what trivial but important two challenges. I sought my good friend Asha, a remedial massage therapist in my housemates business for a little trigger point therapy. After a solid hour of kneading with elbows and digits the range of motion in my leg dramatically improved. Goes to show you can never underestimate the power of a good massage.
Tuesday was appointment time. Like all good medical appointments it was not on time but i was in no rush. This was time for Doctor number 4 and their opinion. Like all the others, stress tests showed there was definitely some ACL damage as well as Meniscus tearing. Due to my age, job and physical lifestyle this put me in a special situation. Out of the room left Doctor number 4 and 10 minutes later came back Doctor number 4 along with Doctors 5, 6 and 7. It felt a little overwhelming to have so many people looking at my knee but like all good hospitals it was a time for the surgeons of tomorrow to do some tests and give there diagnosis to the head surgeon. Eventually, after over an hour of wondering whether or not my parking ticket had expired it was official, SURGERY!!!
I had been expecting this so I was not to disappointed but the Doctors gave me all the information, advice and support they could to make the decision to go ahead with the surgery. Thanks to a little issues with my medicare (Australian Public Health Care) I would have to wait a while until I was issued with a new medicare number. This would then allow me to go onto the waiting list for surgery.
The next week continued as normal and now having adapted to the lifestyle of having an injury, doing my prehab exercises seemed normal, my workout intensity was turned back up and I found myself going back to a way of training I had not visited for a long time, my old love of calisthenics and lifting. The Olympic rings were brought back and before I knew it my core was getting stronger than ever, I was back to doing sets of L-sit chin ups and my bench press was heading back to the 120kg range.
Its now 1 week since I was told I would need surgery and although it hurt inside a lot more than I let on to the people around me I can't stress enough the importance to follow your rehab and go and get treated with holistic and remedial treatments as I can tell you they work. Yesterday I got acupuncture done on my injured leg and for the first time since my injury all the pressure around my knee was relieved and still is right now. I am able to walk semi normal again and enough to trust my leg a bit more. It is such a relieving feeling to know that the support is out there for treatments. You don't have to heavily medicate yourself with painkillers and to be stuck on the sofa. Injuries don't mean you are stuck and you have to stay inactive until it heals. You can lead an active pain free lifestyle thanks to some slight adjustments and instead of dampening the pain you can treat the source which are the muscles, ligaments and joints around your injury. I do say I am blessed to have a great support group at my gym, with my housemates and my friends and thanks to Chris and Asha at Even Strength and Fitness Massage and Aaron at Bodywise Chiropractic I am able to go about my daily life and still able to do the thing I love. Time to hit the gym now...
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