A friend (Hi Rob!) has reminded me throughout this knee surgery/recovery process to take the long view. I can’t say that patience is one of my strengths, in fact, I can tell you for certain that it is NOT, but there’s also nothing that I can do to speed up this process. I will say that finally starting the process – getting surgery – does seem to help a bit. While I dreaded it, I was also ready for some action. My knee healed up enough from the impact of the accident so that I could walk a few miles at a time, but I was still quite off-balance, and my knee was probably as good as it was going to be without surgery.
Tuesday the 26th was the day, and while I felt pretty calm until that point, I’ll admit that there is nothing like a pending surgery to heighten your anxiety just a little. Also, my surgery was scheduled for 3:00 pm, which meant a VERY long morning with nothing to eat or drink except for some gatorade around 11:00 am. There was nothing I could have done about the time of the procedure. As usual, I arrived early, but they said that the doctor was ahead of schedule – quite a surprise – so the nurses and anesthesiologist got right to work on me. Before I knew it, people were wheeling me along, and then the next thing I knew was that I woke up. It is SO weird – you expect to drift off to sleep and to remember the moment that you are “out”, but, in my limited experience, it’s like a light switches off and then back on.
Anyway, the surgery was a success, but the process is not over! They weren’t able to do everything in one go, which I honestly didn’t expect, so I’ll cue up for my second surgery in August. The doctor worked on the meniscus and ‘cleaned up’ the knee and prepped it for the next surgery. Much of that work had to do with prepping tunnels – the ones from my first ACL repair needed work so that they would be functional for this one, so he grafted bone (from a cadaver) which needs to fully heal before they slice into me again! Crazy, right?!
I may be repeating myself, but had I known how complicated a 2nd ACL surgery would be, I definitely would have been more cautious…
I will say that recovery from this first stage hasn’t been terrible, and I’ve regained a decent range of motion and am cruising through PT. Ha ha, if you can consider what I’m doing “cruising”! I have about 2 more weeks with crutches – they are definitely the WORST part of this process! I’m at 50% weight-bearing on my left leg, but I won’t get to 100% until the 4 week mark. But I’m half-way there, so I’m trying to stay positive and be grateful that it’s not longer and that I am progressing along! Also, I’m reminding myself of the big picture – that this rehab will be slow and steady. I need to stay off my leg so that the bone can heal and be ready for Stage 2 of the surgery.
All of this positivity isn’t easy, and I’ve had plenty of fits of tears and frustration. This weekend was absolutely GORGEOUS so I had major envy of everyone who was out riding, running or even just walking their dog without crutches (I sort of walked our dog with crutches yesterday while Michael ran – I must have looked like a pathetic sight to most people, but I at least I was outside). I should have a decent amount of strength in the legs to enjoy easy walks/hikes for much of the summer, so, yes, I’m also going to take that as something to look forward to.
In the meantime, fun photos of the process – Before and after:
Yes, compression socks are so sexy!