Thursday, June 26, 2014

The 3 Month Mark

Pardon my inactivity in the last month, but I've had several things going on.

Getting my Master's- finally!

And this:
Road trip home

And getting to see this view again, too:

Hence, the lack of posts! There also hasn't been that much news to report. However, here a few new things:

First, I finally lost my last crutch (only after 10 weeks!). When I returned from CO, my physical therapist was on vacation, so I saw one of his colleagues. I was a little apprehensive about it, but now I'm really glad I saw someone different. First, it wasn't as much torture, and getting some space from my normal routine really helped. The other therapist also showed me how to use a foam roller to massage my legs. I had been looking into myofascial release therapy to help loosen my muscles and make bending easier. However, at $80 per session, that's just not happening. But, the foam roller has been a great alternative, especially working my quads, and I've noticed that's really helped with the bending. 

Second, I got to go back on the elliptical last week, as well as leg weights at the gym. I'm up to about 20 minutes of cardio (10 on the bike + 10 on the elliptical) as well as leg extensions (12 reps x 3 sets at 45 lbs); hamstring curls (12 reps x 3 sets); and leg presses (12 reps x 6 sets) doing both legs and one leg. My quads will probably take another 6 months to get back to where they were, so using these machines is a great step forward to help strengthen my muscles. 

Finally, bending. My nemesis. I try not to focus on it too much because I then forget about everything I have accomplished in the last 12 weeks (including walking normally). However, I face the very real possibility of my knee surgeon deciding to do a manipulation in the next few weeks. Knee manipulation is a fancy term for knocking me out, and bending my knee all the way, since I cannot do that on my own. Then in the 3 days that follow, I go to PT every day and have it snapped continuously for half an hour. All this without hardcore painkillers. Yet, it may be what I need to snap out of my mental block that's preventing me from bending my knee and get my full range of motion back. The longer I take, the more I risk permanent stiffness and inability to bend my knee, which I do not want. I know I have improved- I can get to 130 degrees and can rest relatively comfortably at 120-125 degrees, but it's not good enough. I see my surgeon on Tuesday, so I'll know more then!