Blog 14 – 10 Days update. “Maybe I’ll move to Mars”

March 8, 2020

My knee isn’t really in pain. By that I mean, when they gave me four types of painkillers, I was expecting shooting and agonising shocks throughout my leg and especially where they drilled into my bone. The reality is more of an uncomfortable niggle really. The knee is stiff. Getting it past 90 degrees, although isn’t painful, is very uncomfortable to a point and then it just doesn’t bend anymore. The exercises I’m required to do aren’t about strength, they’re more about how long you can hold the uncomfortable position until you’ve had enough. The hamstring on the other hand- well that’s a bitch. It’s just so tight! I was asked to straighten my leg and lay it flat on the bed by the physiotherapist and she was able to slide her hand underneath the back of my knee and the bed with ease. As for the hamstring exercises, it’s the same discomfort but it stays for much longer. If I stretch my hamstring for too long, it feels like it shrinks and for the rest of the day, I can’t put as much weight on it. That’s the general story of the recovery so far- stiff knee and tight hamstring with little pain and a lot of discomfort. With not being able to walk, it limits what I can do and thus write about doing – so my week has been pretty uninteresting. I finished my week with going home for the weekend. As I always do, I got some free food, saw an old friend but this time I had an appointment with a musculoskeletal specialist. But no ordinary specialist. 

Ex-navy; served in the Falklands. Simply put- doesn’t take bullshit. I had him when I broke my leg when I was 12 and I remembered his methodology from all those years ago. It frightened me then, but it excited me now. I entered his clinic and immediately he said “Why do you have two crutches? It’s been a week- you should be on one”. Great start- but I liked it. I liked it because you can’t hide anything. You give it your all and that’s that. If he sees you can give more, you damn sure give it. No winging. And with that no-bullshit approach, I was walking with one crutch within 5 minutes of him. Simple as that. 

Now for the cool part. Although I’d like to build up some hype around this, I feel the name is enough hype and speaks for itself: Anti-Gravity Treadmill. A machine that allows you to walk with between 0-100% of your body weight. Imagine a normal treadmill with a fancy harness. A half a million-pound harness. I got strapped in, and honestly, it was nothing short of magic. Wow. I was walking again. No pain; one foot in front of the other; no crutches or anything. It was honestly beautiful. Unfortunately, it was only on 20% my bodyweight, but if you phrase it as ‘Moon Mode’ it does become a little more exciting. Continuing to name the settings as planets I moved upward to ‘Mars Mode’ (40%) and again, it was spectacular. I could feel my thigh muscles actually being used again. I eventually got it up to 50% my bodyweight where I pretty much maxed out. The reality of my knee and tight hamstring began and I couldn’t do it forever. Regardless, it felt so good to walk again, even on 50% my bodyweight. Maybe I’ll move to Mars. Skip all this rehab nonsense.