Blog 15 – Progress and Realisations

March 21, 2020

They say when you have reconstructive knee surgery, the first three to four weeks are just recovering from the surgery. It’s where you need take daily buckets of painkillers, you do very simple exercises to gain basic flexibility and the concept of walking is replaced with slow hobbling on crutches. Then, as they say, “the rest is up to you”.    Progress In my last update, I was semi-comfortable on one crutch. 2 days later I went to the doctors and had my skin staples removed. Although on paper this sounds terrifying and was made worse when the nurse got out a pair of tweezers, it was genuinely painless. Once removed, I looked at my leg differently- I think that was the first moment I no longer felt like a patient. The swelling had gone down, I didn’t have any metal protruding from my leg and I didn’t seem to notice that I’d forgotten to take any painkillers that day. I was no longer someone who had just been operated on, I was someone who was injured and maybe a little weak. From there I shifted from the semi-comfortable one-crutch to just comfortable one-crutch. More physio, more stretching, more strengthening. One crutch is now the norm. It’s how I get around the house. I’m carrying things and can cook properly. More physio, more stretching, more strengthening. Taking my first 6 steps without crutches. It was like a Forest Gump style slow motion; the leg braces are being used less and less until they are no longer supporting the legs and little Forest is running by himself as the braces fly apart. More physio, more stretching, more strengthening. Today. The day I vouch to not use a crutch to get around the house. It’s going well- I don’t need it. I hope I won’t need it again.    Realisation Three weeks and two days is where I’m at. That’s within the three to four weeks of recovery and there’s no more daily buckets of painkillers and no more hobbling. So where does that leave me? “The rest is up to you”. Yesterday, I got up out of bed to shut my window and caught myself in the mirror walking for the first time. I was wearing the same top I wore when I tore my ACL and I hadn’t shaved. I lifted my long frisbee shorts up to show the scrappy remains of my thighs and whatever was left of my calves. I looked weak. I looked dishevelled. I looked ill. Whatever progress I have made so far is nothing. I’ve not even started yet.