My Comeback Continues... [5 Months Post-Op]

Towards the end of last week, my BOSU ball arrived!! I didn't get a chance to check it out until yesterday, and even then I chose to do what looked like the easiest of the included DVD workouts because I wanted to start out simple. So I promptly popped in the 'Long and Lean' DVD, and it was a lot of yoga-type poses (but, incorporating the BOSU, of course) and I was delighted to see that once I got past the awkwardness of doing the DVD for the first time, none of the poses created additional pain or strain through my knee! This included lunging poses where the BOSU was bubble-side-up and the forward (bent) leg was on the bubble. And now, a day later, I feel it more in my back and abs than my knee, which must mean in a left-to-right comparison, my legs are getting back to even!

The BOSU wasn't enough for the day though, as I have gotten pick-up ultimate frisbee back on the radar and we had a group planning to meet at 4pm. Eric and I have gone and thrown around a little, but that never prepares you for the stop-and-go running of a true pick-up game. So prior to getting started I strapped on my cleats and did some jogging on the field to remind my body of the ground conditions and being in cleats instead of runners. I also spent extra time stretching my legs out and doing some side-to-side jumping to imitate a quick change in direction. Besides the butterflies in my belly, I felt prepared to give it a try.

Originally I thought I'd have everyone huddled up and be making a blanket statement of 'take it easy on me!' but since we're not that hardcore (and, maybe the opportunity didn't really present itself) we just kind of got the game going and slowly but surely I reacclimated to the game and the feeling of being out on the field and active again. As soon as I started to feel comfy, the enjoyment really came for me... As out of shape as I might be for the sprinting aspect of the game, the knee held up amazingly and there hasn't even been any soreness since! There were a few plays where I became a little timid and avoided jumping up against other people for a free frisbee, but I will probably avoid major contact like that until I feel closer to 100%.

And my latest accomplishment on my 5 month anniversary from surgery, is that I've started a yoga class with my friend Jen! We chose a beginner level class we've taken before to try to get back into practice, and I am looking forward to the first session tonight where I can continue to monitor the progress in my knee and work on balance, strength, flexibility and relaxation! I am bringing along a foam pad to provide extra padding to my patellar tendon area during various kneeling poses, but aside from that I feel I have my entire range of motion (ROM) back, and hope there won't be many poses where I even feel a difference from side to side!



Swinging Clubs and Passing the Torch... [21 Wks Post-Op]

An update to share- just a few days ago I hit the driving range and followed up the next day with my first 'official' round of golf! I am happy to report that my knee felt fantastic and the only discomfort the following day or two was the usual- my shoulder from swinging the clubs for the first time in months! Thanks to Eric, Jordan and Katy for your patience and getting me back out there!

On another note: Today was my friend Wendy's ACL surgery... So, for her I have this...

I know there will be setbacks along the way that will make the word 'discouraged' seem like it's not strong enough to describe how you're feeling. You'll get upset over the smallest tasks that you'll be forced to learn all over again, but you will also get excited as you overcome those very same challenges. As the days and weeks pass, the pain (and, even the memory of the most painful moments) will subside and will be replaced by excitement about the little things -- which you will soon be taking for granted all over again! So, enjoy the ACL journey, because I've got my fingers crossed that this is the only time either of us will ever have to go through this!! ;)


I Bit the (BOSU) Bullet... [20.5 Weeks Post-Op]

Time to step it up a notch.

The money I would have been spending on PT should be going towards a gym membership or equipment or something along those lines, but I just hadn't pulled the trigger... until now! I decided a BOSU ball would be a good purchase since I'd used it before in PT, and my therapist, Drew, also confirmed it's a good tool for rehab. Not to mention, it helped to get rave reviews from fellow blogger, Andrew, and also my friend Chris who has done some of his pre-med work with ACL rehabers. And BOSU isn't just good for balance and PT, but there are tons of exercises to be done on it which help all kinds of muscle groups. My arms and abs should be very, very afraid...

My dilemma was to decide if I should buy the consumer model or the commercial model. For about the same price I could get consumer +4 DVDs, or commercial +1 DVD. (See the difference HERE). In the end, I went with the consumer one, because while I'm all about getting a more 'durable' product, I will never put it through the use that a gym would if it was used for daily classes, etc. I hope I don't regret this decision!


Ciao, Dr. S! [20 Weeks Post-Op]

From the title, I'm sure you can guess... My good man, Dr. Jeffrey Shapiro gave me the final farewell yesterday in my follow-up visit! He admitted that I came out of the gate a little slower than most, but that I've made up ground since then and am right on track. I had often looked forward to my visits with Dr. S to get such confirmation, but at the same time I'm grateful that I had a (mostly) smooth road to recovery and that I'm nearly back to normal!! This must be what Drew felt like when I ended things with him, and PT... *sigh*

Despite halting doctor and PT appointments, I'm not done yet! PT (at home) will be ongoing, as I hope to stick with doing things on my own at least 3 times a week until I can work my way back into sports. For instance, today I strapped on my soccer/UF cleats for the first time and got a taste of the field. Unfortunately tomorrow's soccer practice was cancelled, but I will be doing a workout and eventually heading up to the driving range to dust off the 'ol golf clubs too! Knowing the doctor doesn't need to see me again gives me that 16-yr-old-with-a-set-of-car-keys feeling of freedom again!

But I must share... Yesterday's 'closure' with Dr. S did end on a bit of a personal sour note. My good friend Wendy was in one of his OTHER exam rooms, getting the news that she'd torn her ACL (just like me- playing flag football!). So, as much as I would have liked to avoid my injury, I am almost glad I have the experience (and blog!) under my belt to help reassure her that she'll come through it just fine!! [You can do it, Wendy!]

The gorgeous bouquet I received from Miss Wendy... just for helping! Aww, shucks!

Things I'm looking forward to: Golfing this weekend, Yoga class starting in 2 weeks, and hopefully dusting off the frisbee one of these weekends for some good 'ol fashioned pick-up games!