Thursday, April 10, 2014

Day 9

I know I have been lacking a bit in updating this, but as my routine until today consisted of food, naps, movies, more naps, bad reality shows and more food, I didn't think I was missing anything :)

I finally got my act together and sent the letter to the family of the donor whose tissue was used to create my new ligament. I was not expecting to have strong feelings pushing me to write a letter to the family. I was afraid of trivializing their loved ones death by stressing how important a ligament was to me, since a bundle of tissue does not carry the same weight as a heart, lung, kidney, etc. I was also afraid of seeming too grateful for something that didn't save my life. Granted, it will improve my quality of life, but seeing as I was able to go on the elliptical the day before surgery, my mobility wasn't too impeded. However, I could not shake the feeling that I owed the family a letter. I wasn't expecting to feel such a strong connection to a person and family that I know nothing about, except for the fact that someone else's tissue is now in my body and giving me a second chance. It's a second chance to run, to bowl, to hike, maybe to even play tennis (hopefully my father's heart can withstand this). While these may seem small or even minute, the last 9 years have been one road block after another and this surgery is my second chance to be active and not think about my knee giving out in almost anything I do.

I do not expect to hear anything back from the donor family- most of the personal information remains anonymous. However, I hope they know the impact they've had on my life.

Another milestone: I started physical therapy today. I really do have the best Physical Terrorist (yes, he calls himself that) ever. He's been with me since my first surgery in 2007 and really is great at his job. It's just trying to do leg raises when your quads and glutes are like mush and your knee hates you is pretty much torture (and he enjoys my suffering a little too much). This is definitely where the hard part starts- I have to work up to 4 sets of 20 leg raises (on my back, stomach and sides) and quad sets every hour. Pro tip- in the weeks before surgery, try to do leg raises or any sort of quad-strengthening exercise as much as possible on the injured leg (the other one will have plenty of work to do while you crutch around). While you will still lose all your muscle function, it will help the function come back quicker.

Overall, though, I feel great and remain awed and overwhelmed by the love I have received, especially from my mother, who despite of her not perfect health, spends every day taking care of me. I am beyond blessed.

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