Here are a few of my favorite Easter pictures. It sure is hard to get a good picture of both kids, considering the constant motion!
Ha. I made up a word, and it makes me laugh — Gimptastic! That is my life right now! My knee measurements are back at my pre-surgery levels, with flexion of 130 derees. I have been crutch free since Monday, which is all great progress.
But oh, is this stage of recovery tedious. I reminded my physical therapist today that I hit the 4 week milestone post-surgery tomorrow, begging him for some new exercises. I’m motivated!!! But, he brings me back to reality, reminding me that it takes bones 4-6 weeks to heel, and I have four screws in my bone.
He then said he tends to be conservative, as he doesn’t want me to tear my graft. He gave a patient as an example, who at the 6 month mark post-surgery, managed to tear his ACL graft while he was setting up a tent in sand. WHAT?! In my mind, I thought I’d be fine because I have no plans for crazy sports, and would wait 9 months to ski. But, no, he says, you can tear it just turning the wrong direction getting out of the car.
Like I needed something else to worry about!
So, back to the tedium of the geriatric exercises for which I am cleared. Right now, I’m just setting my sights for the day when I can walk around the block again!
I feel like a bit of a failure in the aftermath of Easter. After years of obsessing on how to get my kids to eat healthy food and not be obsessed with sugar, I came to the conclusion yesterday that I’ve failed.
I remember when Little Miss was a baby. I decided I didn’t want her to have a sweet tooth like her mother, as it has been one of my toughest challenges in managing my weight. I thought what if we just have fruit for dessert? I tried to keep candy out of the house.
But somewhere along the way, she got older, and the few bits of sugar/sweet treats I gave her became an obsession. Somehow, she now expects dessert every night (even though I didn’t want to get in that rut), and her entire focus yesterday was CANDY and SUGAR! Lately, I’ve been trying to steer her towards fruit with whipped cream for dessert, which does seem to do the trick, but Easter convinced me that we have a problem…
My theory for the past few holidays (XMAS and Easter) is that I’d just lift all of the rules for one day. Candy before breakfast? OK. Cake with lunch? OK. More candy in the afternoon? If you insist. And that was exactly how yesterday went. She dug into the Easter basket at 6 am and started in on the candy. I then encouraged her to eat a healthy breakfast before we went to church. After church, there were baked goods served, and she devoured a piece of chocolate cake.
After church, we headed to a neighbor’s house for lunch, where there were bowls of candy at easy reach of my kids, and Little Miss fed herself and her brother. That’s right, her obession is now starting Little Man in on the sugar thing at way too young of an age. It feels like a top spinning out of control.
I knew we had a problem when she asked for dessert after dinner about a hundred times last night. I finally got so irritated at the constant prodding that I said NO. NO DESSERT. I then marched her upstairs and got her ready for bed an hour early, as the sugar seemed to make her act like a crazy person, and I couldn’t deal with it anymore.
So today, I’m looking back wondering where I went wrong. My original theory was that you let them have the treats on the holiday, and then any additional treats will be allowed in small doses as dessert after dinner if she eats her vegetables and protein. I didn’t want to make sweets taboo, as I thought that would make the obsession worse. But goodness… Yesterday was just plain ugly in the nutrition department. Not only does she have a sweet tooth, but she has an insane obsession with it.
I thought about putting carrots in her plastic eggs next year, but that would probably cause quite a rebellion. Does anyone have tips for me to break out of this cycle for the next holiday season? I guess I could have put money in some of the eggs, but I was also worried Little Man would try to eat the money… He is following in her footsteps, and it isn’t something I’m happy about in this case.
It has been 3 weeks and one day since my surgery… But who is counting?! Things are better… The whole process is just slow. I was back in the office this week, and have found that having to move around more has left me confined to the recliner in the evenings with my ice machine for hours trying to recover. You wouldn’t think that the office would require that much more movement, but going to the restroom, getting a drink, and going to meetings all seem like miles of effort when you’re on a bad leg.
My measurements are steadily coming along. This week, I was at 122 degrees flexion and 0 degrees extension. My physical therapist is really concentrating on my extension, which is supposed to be around -10 degrees. The torture of the day was the prone knee hang. It looks like this:
Except add 5 pounds of weight to my bad leg and make me stay there for 10 minutes. The last 2 minutes have me writhing in pain, and I was amazed how out of breath I got just lying there, but I guess that is what pain will do to you.
I tried to ditch my crutches on Wednesday. I made it about 1/2 the day, and walking in between the buildings at work totally did me in. I ended up going back to two crutches the rest of the day, and have been trying to get by on one since then. I haven’t been using the crutches at home, but I also think I’m paying the price, as my pain in the evenings has escalated to the point where I had to pop a Percocet last night.
Today, I actually brought my ice machine into the office, and am loving it. I thought I could get by with just ice packs earlier in the week, but turns out the ice machine can deliver sustained cool temps for hours on end, numbing my pain and keeping the swelling in check.
This weekend is Easter. I really want to take the kids to an egg hunt, and perhaps even church, but I’m not sure that is in the cards. JB of course wants to go skiing, and I can’t do those activities by myself right now. Boo. Also, I am feeling some guilt around the fact that dying Easter eggs just seems like too much effort this year for a Gimpy Momma. Little Miss dyed two at school yesterday. Doesn’t that count?!
The inactivity is really getting to me. I just want to be able to go for a walk or a swim. Hoping those activities will be in reach very soon.
Yesterday, my daughter’s teacher told me that she asked the entire class of pre-k and Kindergarten students what we’re celebrating at Easter. All of the kids except for one said that Easter was about the Easter Bunny.
My little girl is the only one who said that Easter is about Jesus.
*sniff* That makes a Momma proud.
My alarm went off this morning, and as I pressed snooze, I heard cries coming through the baby monitor.
But it wasn’t the cries of the baby. It was the cries of my 5 year old daughter in the room next to the baby. So, I got up, crutched myself up the stairs and found Little Miss in her bed crying real tears saying her tummy hurt.
Need I say I was just a tad bit irritated? She recently spent two weeks at home — one week with Grandma while I was recovering, and last week was Spring Break. Of course, I was paying for all of that time. And now, my first day scheduled to be back in the office, she has the stomach flu?!
Or does she? Although the display was rather convincing, she didn’t have a fever, and there was no vomit. And then she started asking for breakfast… Her tears and writhing on the floor/couch/bed went on for 45 minutes, but my Mother’s Intuition was telling me something was amiss.
And my logical side was thinking you haven’t hardly left the house for the past five days — how could you have gotten sick?!
So, although I worried about the guilt if I was wrong, I told Little Miss that she needed to go get dressed, as she was leaving for school in 10 minutes. And that she better hurry, because otherwise she wouldn’t get breakfast.
I packed her a lunch of chicken noodle soup, yogurt and Saltines just in case. When she came downstairs, she had discovered one of her favorite summer dresses in the closet, and already her demeanor had changed. She then fretted that she wanted to make sure she had time to brush her hair, and went running into my bathroom to do so.
A few hours later, I called her school, telling them the scenario and asking them to check if I made the right decision. The teacher went to check on her, and came back laughing, saying, “you totally made the right call. She’s fine.”
That girl is getting very good at playing sick. I keep telling her the story of the Boy Who Cried Wolf, as one of these days, I’m not going to believe her, and send her off to school despite being sick!
Got my knee measured at PT yesterday. Flexion is at 110 (a 15 degree improvement in 5 days!) and Extension is at 0 (goal is to get to -10). Now if only I could ditch the darn crutches!
My parents leave in two days. I’m not looking forward to being a fully functioning Momma on crutches. The help has been a total life saver!
I went to the doctor on Friday. I was right in that my measurements for flexion and extension are ahead of the curve. I was at about a 95 degrees extension and 5 degrees extension, which is much more range of motion than after I came out of the immobilization brace.
The doctor reviewed my XRays (with my new permanent titanium hardware) and pictures from the surgery (which I hope to post here eventually). Anyway, the MRI hadn’t shown the three tears he found on my Meniscus, so there was a significant amount of Meniscus repair in addition to my double bundle ACL repair. He also fixed some jagged edges on my patella. This all equates to me needing more time on crutches than a typical ACL repair patient. I’m looking at another 2-3 weeks of crutches.
I am so sick of crutches. Nothing is easy when you are on crutches. I’m constantly dropping the crutches or things I’m trying to carry, and my house has landmines of kiddie toys that I have to navigate around. I have to admit though I am happy with the range of motion I have this early in the game, I am so frustrated at being on crutches for a whole month — which isn’t even half way over.
My parents are in town, taking care of the kiddos and Mom is cooking me the most amazing meals. I’m already dreading their departure this weekend, as the level of complexity in my life is going to take a sharp spike.
I’m riding my spin bike regularly, and trying to do my exercises as often as possible. I’m back at work, using my Lazy Boy as my main work station.
Here is the quote of the day from my phisical therapist yesterday:
He sees writing on my upper arm, which was a “tatoo” drawn in markers by Little Miss. Gesturing at my markings, he says: What, did you do a marathon this weekend?
My response: Yes, the crutches division!
I’m setting my sights to returning to races. I hope to participate in the 5K runs I do every October. At a minimum, I’ll walk them, but I really think I should be able to run 3 miles by October. No marathons in my future!
Hello from the Gimpy Momma. I am happy to report that the surgery went well, and I’m in a lot less pain than I anticipated. That guy that told me his knee surgery was the worst pain of his life (remember from my previous post?), well, let me just say he has never been through labor or c-sections. Although the effects of this are longer lasting, not once has this pain brought me to tears, or had me writhing around. Plus, I don’t even have to get up to take care of a newborn!
It’s seriously like a stay-cation for me. I get to sleep in every day, and Mom has been cooking all meals for me, taking care of the kids, doing the laundry, and washing the dishes. She is amazing! I’m soaking it up, and doing my physical therapy exercises religiously.
Yesterday, I tried riding my spin bike, and was thrilled to discover I could easily do a full rotation of the pedals with hardly any pain. Back when I first started physical therapy after my injury, my knee was much tighter, and doing one rotation of the pedals took at least 2-3 minutes of warm-up of rocking back and forth. Getting a full rotation was excruciatingly painful. Last night, I sat there riding my bike with a surprised smile on my face, as I was expecting much worse.
The doctor also told me that getting full extension of my leg would be my biggest challenge, but I find that straightening my leg fully isn’t that difficult at all.
I have my post-op appointment tomorrow, and I am excited to get my initial measurements for flexion and extension, as I am willing to bet I’m ahead of the curve on these.
I ended up getting the double bundle ACL repair, taking one bundle from a cadaver and one from my hamstring. I am very thankful for the dead person who gave me their ligament. I kind of wish I knew something about that person, as it is strange to have a part of them in me without knowing anything about where it came from. I also wonder if when you sign up to be an organ donor if they harvest ligaments from you as well… As otherwise, how else would my surgeon have “a freezer full of cadaver ligaments”?
My hamstring graft is sore, but really feels more like I did a massive hamstring set yesterday… I was shocked when I took off my wound dressings not to find an incision on the back of my leg. It sure felt like there should be one, but evidently my surgeon accessed my hamstring ligament from the arthoscopic hole on the front of my knee, as there aren’t any marks where I feel the graft was taken.
I went to the gym earlier this week, rocking the arm bike once again and working out my good leg and my upper body. I swear working out at the gym with crutches is like an open invitation to the old men there to talk to me. I had one come up to me and say, “you’re having trouble getting around. Are you injured, or are you permanently crippled?”
I guess if you’re that old, you don’t need to worry about being politically correct.
I had another one approach me wanting to exchange battle stories (i.e. surgery details), as he had recently had a knee replacement.
I could be the next Anna Nicole Smith! I could find me a rich old man using my crutches and be set for life!
Anyway, I’m in good spirits, reading a lot, doing my stretches in front of the fireplace, and loving this extra time with my kids and my Mom. I am so thankful for an amazing insurance plan that covered 100% of my surgery costs, and for awesome drugs to take away the pain.