Wednesday, April 1, 2015

The One Year Mark

I cannot believe it has been a year. It literally feels like I just moved back from Denver and just had the surgery, and now I've gone on vacations, feel pretty much back to normal and have been working at a relatively physically demanding job for the last 4 months.

I know I have been lax at updating this blog. I was thinking about why and I realized that it's harder to mark milestones as the months go by, and I stopped thinking about my knee so much, as I was able to get out more and get my life back.

A couple milestones (as much as I can remember them):

  • I believe I hit full bending around the end of August, so about 4 1/2 months post-op. I won't mention the usual bending time, as I far exceeded that am still a little embarrassed to admit that. However, I am proud that I did it on my own, and at my own pace, and never gave up. 
  • I had my last physical therapy visit in October and my last visit with my surgeon in November. I am back to full strength at the gym and feel stronger than I ever have been. I do about half hour on the elliptical, then weights: leg extensions (2x12 at 96 lbs); leg curls (2x12 at 106 lbs); hip adduction/abduction; leg press (3x12 at 125 lbs); squats (5 lb weights for 50 reps); and lunges (5 lb weights, 25 reps on each leg); and side lunges (no weights, 25 reps). I think one of the toughest things has been staying consistent with workouts (especially squats, lunges, etc), now that I'm working and don't have as much time. However, I've found that making time for about 10-15 minutes worth right after I get home a couple times a week has really helped. 
  • I am back working full time, and have been for the last 4 months. My job involves a lot of physical work (lifting and shipping), and my knee has been fine the entire time (I better not jinx myself :)). 
I also got to experience a lot of fun in the last few months, for which I am very grateful. 

I was lucky enough to spend 2 weeks on the east coast in the end of September and got to see one of my favorite views again! I am still in awe of the fact that I was only 6 months post-op and able to walk and spend most of the day on my feet for 2 weeks straight and not experience any pain or negative side effects. 

I think one of the hardest things about my rehab was that I struggled for so long and then seemed to heal overnight. It was hard to try to get my life back and still deal with the pain, and then all of a sudden, feel like I didn't have to think about my knee anymore, but feel like my life wasn't catching up. I know my journey is not complete, nor will it ever be, because after 3 surgeries, I will (like it or not) always be thinking about my knee. However, I am no longer in pain on a daily basis and feel like my knee is more stable than its been since I was first injured in high school. My surgeon asked me at my last visit if I was glad I had the surgery, and I was so glad that I could enthusiastically respond, 'yes". I am so grateful for all the love and support I had and truly hope this blog will help other people on the same road I was just a few months ago.