Monday, March 26, 2012

Six months later

On March 2nd, I reached the magical milestone of six months. Apparently this was the only number that mattered to my surgeon, not 92, as in my knee was at 92% of my other knee, or 30, as in how many miles I could walk on it in a day. I had to reach 6 months before I could run. The visit was pretty brief. He told me that this was what we had been working towards, me running 100s again, so he told me to head out and start training. Wear your brace. Case closed, adios.

Last week, for the first time, I ran on technical trail. I've been stopping and walking on anything rough but I just followed Tony. I jumped up on logs on my bad leg, and landed on it as well. I kicked some roots, ran on uneven rocks, and even "sprinted". It was all good and it was the best run I've had in eight months. Then this week I ditched the brace for two miles on the road. Amazing how five straps and some airplane-grade metal can cramp your style!

I still have pain. The surgeon found arthritis behind the kneecap (no surprise) and that in combo with the scar tissue hurts in certain positions, mainly walking steep uphills and doing lunges. It still swells up on occasion, freaking me out, making me think I've done something horrible. When you Google "knee swells 6 months after ACL surgery," you find that you are far from alone in freaking out, but apparently the swelling will happen for a while.

So anyway, I HOPE this is the last ACL rehab blog post. Here's a few things I've learned in this experience:

1. I can survive eight months of no running without seriously alienating friends and family.
2. After three afternoons a week of power hiking a very steep part of the Bartram, I can now cover that same section almost as fast hiking as I could running. That workout's a keeper.
3. As much as I hate spending time in the gym, it is a good thing. Sigh.
4. After spending all that time around other people in PT, you appreciate how trivial and temporary knee surgery is compared to their problems. I am a lucky girl!