I don’t know about you, but when someone thinks that I can’t or might not be able to accomplish something, that I believe is within my capabilities, I tend to bristle up a bit. It also gives me the motivation to push a bit harder than I might have otherwise.
Let’s get to it
Well…today marks three weeks post-op. It’s hard to believe that much time has passed already!
In that time I have been doing a lot of strength work, started physical therapy, and had my two-week follow-up visit with the Doc. I also got rid of the crutches early, never used the cane, and very quickly stopped using the pain meds. I’ve walked a mostly discomfort-free mile and am getting back to more of my typical daily routine of walking the dog, doing chores around the house, and just generally being me.
All signs that I am making great progress.
The Orthopedic and I discussed how things were going and agreed to the plan going forward, but in his notes, he expressed his doubts (which he didn’t share with me, or at least I never heard them) about my being able to accomplish long-distance running again.
- PLAN: “We discussed the situation. He will continue with physical therapy. If he feels he wants to, he can start to get back into running as the knee improves if he wants. I am not sure if he will be able to accomplish long distance running again, but he feels that he will be able to. I did show him the pictures taken during arthroscopy and described the findings and but was performed for surgery. He understands and agrees with this plan.”
One of the reasons that I love electronic medical records is that I get to see what the Doc’s actually say, versus it being buried behind a wall of paper, in a file you never see.
When I read that comment, it did make me bristle a bit. Then I thought about it for a while and relaxed and chuckled. I remember my last Orthopedic surgeon telling me that I would never run again and yet somehow I ended up putting over 15,000 miles on my other knee (so far).
I guess there must be something that Ortho’s in this area have against runners.
Oh well, it isn’t a big deal and my current Ortho seems to have done a great job repairing the knee. Instead of getting wound up about the comment (though I won’t forget it either), I will simply use it as motivation to get the knee as strong as I can. Then get back out on the roads and see how things go. I have a sneaking suspicion that long-distance running will be a part of my life again sooner than later.
However, if his prediction comes true, it will only be after I have done everything I can to get back to running.
A challenge accepted.
On a more positive note, my physical therapists are much more on board with the idea of getting me back on the roads (that long-distance running) and thinking of solutions to help me make it happen. I have a feeling that I am providing them with a different challenge than they usually encounter and they are enjoying it. I was given concrete mileposts to achieve in order to get back to running. Then it will be a slow process to get back to running the mileage that I want.
Now, I just need to be able to walk 2.0 miles pain-free. I think I flustered her a little when I asked on which leg? heheheehehe.
Oh well, I know that there will always be a bit of discomfort that I will have to enjoy…err endure in order to run again. At this stage of my life, learning to be comfortable with being uncomfortable is just a part of life. Running completely pain-free is a nice dream and a fantastic goal, but in reality, probably will only happen on rare occasions that I will savor.
The reality is that
I am ahead of where either the Doc or PT expected when they saw me last week. Walking without a limp was noticed by both and what I was able to do in the exams (120 to 125-degree flexation, along with doing a full squat surprised them.
Getting this far, this quickly has been a lot of hard work. Putting up with the discomfort that goes along with pushing the body to do more than it wants at times was part of the deal. While I do push, I am not being stoopid about it. I have a plan in place, know the difference between discomfort and pain, rest when I need to, and ice when it bothers me.
Now, I have to not let the bad days overwhelm me. Because I know they do and will happen. I just have to deal with those days as they happen and keep moving forward. The biggest thing is to remain positive, knowing that I have successfully done arthroscopic knee surgery rehab before.
And despite what the Doc believes, knowing that isn’t what will necessarily happen. Back in 2011, I had an Ortho doubt that I would ever run again and until this freak injury, I was still running.
Needless to say, I will do my best to make the Doc’s prediction inaccurate — again.
Yes, I have accepted that challenge.
It sounds like you are making good progress.
It seems your Ortho didn’t get the memo – don’t tell runners they can’t run.
Early in my injury I went to an Ortho and he said we both had the same goal – to get me out running again. My PT said the same thing.
A few times, I did push it a bit more than my PT wanted and I suffered set backs.
But I know that you know what you are doing.
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Thank you Andy, yeah I think just about all the Ortho’s up here seem to think that way. Oh well, I will run, mmmm errrrr have been running this week, not very far or fast, but enough that I have a pretty good idea of how this running thing will go in the future. 🙂 The PT are just shaking their heads and not getting in my way, but today they did figure out something that I have struggled with for years. My half-inch leg length difference, that others have noted, but not given any long-term solutions beyond stretching out the short leg which works for a week or two. After watching me this morning, the PT said the left leg was fine but the right leg was pounding the hell out of the belt. She suggested using a heel lift and I tried one – then got on their treadmill — what a difference, it wasn’t comfortable that piece of foam in there (not used to it), but the sounds on the belt were almost even. And my right foot didn’t hurt while running. So something as simple as that might be a part of the answer, we will see, but I walked a mile and ran a little bit and the muscles were being used differently and my right foot wasn’t hurting. So I am hopeful that I might have found a little piece to the puzzle that is going to help me get back to running :-).
That could make a big difference for you. Hard to believe no one suggested that before.
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I know Andy, something this simple has never been brought up to me. If this does work, it will be something I will appreciate even more at this point in my life. 🙂