Blog 16 – Journeys and different progress

June 8, 2020

In my last update, I told the story of ‘the end of the start’ and ‘the start of the middle’; a realisation that this was going to be a long journey. That blog was three weeks and two days after my surgery – March 21st. Two days later, the prime minister announced lockdown measures for the coronavirus. This is now day 102 after my surgery and the journey I thought I would take, as you can imagine, was not even close to what I thought.  My regular physiotherapy stopped. My weekly plans to meet with a specialist to help get me stronger turned into a monthly call. Needless to say, physiotherapy isn’t as useful once the visuals are taken away. “How’s the swelling?” – he would ask. “How’s the knee bend” – he would ask. I can try and describe what I was looking at but it didn’t make a difference whether or not it had swelled to the size of a balloon- what difference would it make? Nothing can be done about it and he has no idea how accurate my descriptions are. No physiotherapy and no gyms, no human contact; not even a tournament I can moan about not playing at provides little motivation. I have never lied to my phone physio- I told him that no, I have not been doing my exercises and have little effort to start. He understands.  Over the coming weeks, my trips to Morrison’s had slowly become less of a hassle as I became faster, and walking returned to being normal. Thinking about getting up and then walking slowly gradually fades into just plane walking and life with two legs is back. It’s progress, but I don’t feel like it’s progress. I go for a few longer socially distanced walks to test the water when the weather improves. I take the main road so when it hurts, I’m always close to a bus stop to rest at. It’s progress, but I don’t feel like it’s progress. The tightness in my hamstrings gets better and little things, like flipping the end of the duvet so it folds under my feet, is now a two-legged task. It’s progress, but I don’t feel like it’s progress until finally, 100 days post-surgery- I go for a run. With a tubi-grip and support holding my knee, I run a slow and cautious 1.2km. 274 days without running. Two hundred and seventy-four days. I don’t need words to describe the feeling – all I need is the number 274.   It’s progress, and it finally feels like fucking progress.