Short term blip for Long Term gain

Today marks 6 weeks since I came home after surgery. Felt that this was a good time to blog about what’s been happening….

For those who don’t know, a brief history…

1st Feb – dislocated left knee playing basketball at work. Ruptured two ligaments and tore a third.

27th Feb – major open knee surgery to reconstruct the two ruptured and attach the torn ligament to one of my ‘new’ ones.

The last 6 weeks have been like my very own rollercoaster. Within 24 hours the feeling of ‘would someone please just chop my leg off’ had implanted itself and lasted for about 2 weeks. In those 2 weeks I’d had to have supervision walking up and down the stairs, assistance in the bathroom & many other forms of help with every day tasks. I didn’t cook a meal for over a month!!

12th March saw me be able to lift my leg up off the floor from being seated. I raised my heel about 2 inches off the floor three times. My muscles were coming back and I was focussed!

A consultant appointment followed soon after; by this time I’d not really appreciated the enormity of my operation, so when I asked the surgeon if I could use a static bike, he said ‘no’ in the kindest way possible. It would appear that it will be the end of May before that happens. Walking in straight line with crutches and upper body based gym work is my only source of fitness.

I was back in the gym after about 4 weeks. Mostly upper body work but used the opportunity to do my leg exercises on the mats whilst there. The gym mirrors help you to keep posture and check on progress. The main aim after knee surgery is to straighten the leg. I’m about 15 degrees away from being straight at the moment; although this varies depending on the time of day and how active I’ve been. If the surgery had been keyhole (as initially intended!), then my leg should’ve been straight by now. Due to the structures & swelling involved we aren’t quite there yet but progress is good & I’ve started exercises that involve weight baring.

The future; …. as I’ve said, end of May I shall hopefully be back on a static bike. I never thought I’d look forward to this as much as I am. I can walk in a swimming pool now if I wanted to, but one of my fears (& there are many) is slipping over pool side. For the sake of waiting just a few more weeks, I think I’ll wait.

Come the summer months I shall hopefully be able to gently swim with some static bike. September time may see me back on a road bike, but this may yet still be optimistic. Potentially a little treadmill jogging by November / December time with a return to ‘proper’ running maybe March 2020.

I’ve been actively running since I was about 9 years old. I ran till end of the first trimester when pregnant with James but couldn’t run at all with Rhiannon due to other complications, so apart from then, I think this is quite possibly the longest I’ve gone without running somewhere for 30 years. Psychologically this is having a major impact on me. I look longingly at cyclist “if only I could ride a bike” – I watch fellow runners “I want to be like you”. Finding time fillers has been hard (going back to the gym has helped this). I even contemplated getting the sewing machine out (that didn’t last long).

Family and friends have been great (a TOTAL understatement!) A major source of ‘kick up the backside’ when needed or simply just to pass the tissues when I’m having a moment.

Having a year out so I can carry on running for the rest of my life is something I never thought I’d have to get my head around, certainly before 12:40pm on 1st Feb, it had never crossed my mind. In reality this is a short term blip in order to have long term gain. I can spend the next 10 months getting stronger and fitter so that when I can run again, my body will work the way I want it to.

Maybe I’ll organise my very own race to the end of the road with a medal and T-shirt, allow just me to enter so I have my own medal and T-shirt and my first race back I’m a winner!!

I’m reflective that this could be worse & worse things are happening to other people every minute of every day. It’s just a knee Jen, at least you have 2 of them.

Thanks for reading what is by far my longest most self indulgent blog. I’ll keep you posted. Bye for now!!

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