1 Year Post-Op (Surgery #2)

[..Also, 4+ years post-op from surgery #1!...]

It's hard to believe a year has gone by since my ACL reconstruction surgery on my right knee.  I had the pleasure of getting back to indoor/outdoor soccer, indoor volleyball, flag football and softball too! I feel confident on the field (er-well, as confident as I did before) once I got over the fear of the first few games of soccer, which was the worst on the knees out of all of my activities.

There were a few plays in flag football where I had to cut side-to-side to keep the other team's QB from getting around me, and I told my team I needed to move to another position, because I remember those exact same motions were how I tore my first ACL, and I just can't "turn it off" when I'm in the middle of a play!

Otherwise it's been back to normal, even though I wish I would have committed more effort to my rehab the second time around. Part lack of effort, part full of excuses, I found having to entertain a toddler during some of the critical rehab times would easily distract me from what I really needed to be doing.  Luckily I think I had a good enough start to the rehab, I did not lose range of motion (ROM), but perhaps just don't have the muscle I once had.

The good and bad of having 2 ACL reconstructions on opposite legs is that if one quad was smaller before, now they're pretty much back to even! I have not felt that whatever muscle I might be lacking from before has been a handicap in my activities, so I must have done something right to get back to a confident level.

That being said, I was happy to be a part of a championship volleyball team, a runner-up flag football team and currently on a softball team that is running away with the #1 spot with a landslide! (Thank goodness for athletic friends to support these endeavors!)

05.20.2013 Indoor Volleyball CHAMPS (with our camping chair prize!)
I'm hoping I won't have to frequent this blog again, but I encourage anyone who's followed it or found it (and has been or is going through an ACL reconstruction) to not be afraid to get back out there and do what you love!


Knowing me is not bad luck... I swear! [6+ months post-op]

[Alternate title..." If only Dr. Shapiro gave cash for referrals, I'd be rich!"]

3 days of snowboarding in Colorado and all I had to show for it was a nice scratch on the face (thanks, tree run...), an all-over soreness of muscles I forgot I owned and a lovely bruise on my knee from a chairlift-exiting gracefulness not often seen in those parts! The knees held up great, I felt confident out there and was happy I could keep up with the lovely ladies I traveled with!

And in the spirit of returning to things I love... Last night I had the pleasure of playing volleyball again with some fantastic folks I played with about a year ago, who I really enjoy playing with! The unfortunate part of it all was that one of the girls (Miranda) was out due to a knee injury the week before, so that's why I was subbing. When arriving to the gym I asked if anyone had heard how Miranda's doctor's appointment had gone I learned that she had, in fact, torn her ACL ("NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!").  Boo! Hiss! Dislike!!

Miranda is already set with a doctor (thought I'd happily recommend my own) and it just got me thinking how common ACL tears seem to be. I blame fun, active lifestyles and surrounding myself with people who enjoy the same activities I do! It also reminded me of when my girlfriend, Wendy, got the unfortunate ACL diagnosis on the same day I had my last appointment with Dr. S from my first surgery! That's why I must reiterate - knowing me isn't bad luck. But if we're pals, there is a good chance you enjoy a good soccer, volleyball or flag football game as much as me, and I'll keep my fingers crossed that you won't ever have the pleasure of an ACL reconstruction. But if you DO... I know a decent blog you can reference..  :)


Getting Back Out There.... [6 Months Post-Op]

While I dabbled in yoga a few months ago as my first activity back (outside of rehab), that fell off the table when the hubby had his own ACL reconstruction and I focused on making sure he wasn't having to carry our daughter up and down stairs or be sure that he was R-I-C-E-ing while he had the compression/ice machine at home.  Since his recovery is going smoothly (he's just begun to run again last week at ~5 wks post-op), things around the house are getting back to normal and I've gotten more comfortable with the idea of playing soccer again. 

2 weeks ago was my first game back (indoor, co-ed), and BOY was I nervous!!! I don't remember having this intense anxiety before my first game back last time, but I was pretty sure I was either going to have a heart attack or pass out, just due to pure nerves pre-game! But between a calming talk from teammate Johnny Drama and the fact that we got there exactly at game start (read: no time to get worked up anymore -- just had to get OUT there...), these old knees jumped on the field.

I was (probably too) careful, but felt comfortable running up and down the field and doing the stop-and-go required. Luckily the cardio side of it didn't make me feel too out of shape, but I was EXTRA careful in any side-to-side stop-and-go.  Sure, they were able to run circles around me and I probably took 1 or 2 awkward spills (more to get out of the way than in the heat of the battle over a ball), but an hour later I walked away a little more confident that the "first game" was behind me and that I was uninjured and just happy to be active again!

Another game under my belt since then has gotten a little more confidence in me, and I even have a snowboarding trip booked for this weekend to hit Winter Park, CO!  I'm excited to get back on my board (due to the baby, I haven't boarded since... December 2010!) and think it'll be a great time! I've already decided -- if I must -- I will happily call it quits if I feel my legs getting too fatigued (or my brain getting too anxious). If that means warming up and enjoying an adult beverage in the lodge-- So be it!

Here's hoping that 2013 brings good things for all (and keeps knees strong)!!