(Last Updated On: March 8, 2009)
Well, today is my three week anniversary of tearing my ACL. I am scheduled to have surgery on Thursday March 12th.
My knee is feeling pretty good these days. I am walking without a brace or without crutches, even on ice and snow. I am still walking slowly, but more naturally than a week ago or so. I can ride my bike for up to an hour now with little to no pain. My range of motion is nearly 100%. I don’t feel the instability in my knee anymore, really. But, I do feel this kind of grinding or something catching on the left part of the inside of my knee. I only feel this when I lock my knee straight, and then release it. I don’t know if this is some meniscus damage or what. The doc said it might just be from the swelling. But, if this wasn’t here, my knee would be feeling pretty much normal, despite being without an ACL. I had my last pre-op PT appointment early this week on Tuesday. My PT guy was happy with my progress and says I’m ready for surgery.
And believe me, I am ready for surgery. I was ready like two weeks ago. It’s so mentally challenging to be on the mend and feeling pretty good about your progress only to have it taken away by surgery again. I’m healing now, but not for real…. because I don’t have any ACL yet. It’s kind of like a big tease.
I had my pre-op appointment with my doctor on Friday. Really, this appointment was completely unnecessary. I think it’s just one more way for the doc to make money. She just had me sign some forms about payment and risks and gave me some prescriptions to fill so I have them after the surgery. Basically, all of this could have been done the last time I met with her. We didn’t even talk about anesthesia options. She just said the anesthesiologist would call me before the surgery to discuss my options.
Something about surgery scares me. It always has. I don’t know why. But both times I have had surgery before (to repair my right knee ACL and my left thumb UCL) they had to give me something to calm me down because my blood pressure was so high because I was so nervous. I don’t know why I get so scared. I guess it’s because the surgery is completely out of my control and I’m basically throwing my life into the hands of these medical professionals. I know that the risks of surgery are relatively low compared to so many other things I do. But, it still just scares me.
The other thing I’m worried about is that the doctor will find more damage in my knee than we expected. I don’t know– maybe it’s because she spent so much time talking about it that it’s on my mind. She said that even with MRI’s and x-rays, we can’t see everything. So, my knee could still possibly have some meniscus or cartilage damage we are not aware of. The bad thing about this is that the recovery can be a lot more painful if she finds these. If she has to repair cartilage, I will have to be non-weight-bearing for about 6 weeks and then sleep every night with a machine that moves my leg back and forth. I am not really excited about that. There’s a good chance that she won’t find this extensive damage, but I won’t know until I wake up after surgery. The not knowing part also kind of drives me crazy.
I have been really busy these last couple of weeks. I have been tutoring more than ever, going to PT and doctors appointments, riding my bike (on a trainer), lifting weights (core and upper body), cooking, and trying to be as social as possible. I am so busy, I don’t know how I ever fit the skiing part in before!
At first I was really bummed about not being able to ski. I am still pretty bummed about it. But, the weather has been so warm these last few weeks that feet of snow have been melting. We haven’t had a lot of new snow. And a lot of ice has melted that was on our streets and sidewalks. Because the weather hasn’t been the best for skiing, it’s helping me miss it less.
At any rate, I’m coping pretty well. ACL injuries are so common in the skiing world, it’s just part of the sport really. And I just keep coming back to the realization that so many worse things could happen…. because it’s true. I should be back for skiing next season and by then, all of this will seem like a blur 🙂