Day 45: Right Back on Track

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March 21, 2005 at 5:32 pm

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My PT session this morning went superbly, with no problems doing any of the exercises despite some lingering upper body pain. As soon as I began my PT session, the back pain that’s so easy to focus on when I’m sedentary (working at the computer, for example) fades to the background. Movement to get the circulation going, and a mental focus on something other than pain or discomfort, goes a long way!

After PT wrapped up, I felt really good — strong and pain-free — though I got a bit stiff and sore during my post-PT errands and drive home.

After working at home for a bit, I walked 2.6 miles; the first 2 miles were at a brisk pace, followed by a “cool down” walk at a pleasant pace.

During the walk, my leg muscles (quads, then calves and hamstrings) all burned slightly after 1 mile — in fact, my post-op leg’s calf muscles felt like they were on the verge of a cramp. I suspect all of this is simply a result of my having taken 4+ days off from my walks due to the back pain that set in .

This weekend while fighting off the low back pain, I spent a lot of time out of my hinged ACL brace for convenience sake. Even with the low back pain, I noticed I feel very strong and sure-footed when I am not wearing the brace now — indoors, anyway (I always wear it outdoors, still.)

My next OS checkup is Friday, April 2, and I’ll be asking him when I can walk unassisted. I don’t mind the brace at all, but I worry the longer I use it the more of a “crutch” it will become.

I have no problem needing to wear the brace on uneven surfaces, such as when I resume hiking, for up to 1 year post-op. I simply feel the leg and knee may be ready for unassisted walking now on paved surfaces.

With that said, I noted during my walk today that as my muscles tired, the post-op knee felt “different” even with the brace on. I can’t find an adequate way to describe it — it didn’t feel like Jello (loose), but it just didn’t have that solid support sensation I’m used to when the muscles aren’t overworked.

I suspect the reason for a full 3 months of hinged bracing post-op is to allow the muscles time to recover sufficiently so they can resume their knee stabilizing duties. Right now, all one needs to do is look at both of my legs with the quads tensed to see they’re nowhere near equal yet!

My PT regimen today follows:

11:15 PM: I hate when I’m late on the uptake.

For weeks now, I’ve been seeing announcements for the upcoming Susan G. Komen Breast Cancer Foundation ““.

I kept thinking with all the walking I am doing as part of my self-guided rehab, I should sign up and walk in the upcoming “race”.

Unfortunately, I only remembered this evening to check out the website and obtain registration information.

Online registrations are now closed, so the only way to sign up is to go to one of our local malls (locales I typically avoid), and that doesn’t necessarily guarantee receiving race materials in time. If I’d had any sense, I’d have signed up at least a month ago so I could actually have any hope of reaching any fund-raising goals! The race/walk is on Saturday, April 2 at the Alamodome in San Antonio.

I think I’ll sit this year’s race out, since I’d rather have had my ducks all in a row and actually do some useful fundraising. At any rate, it is a meaningful reminder that not all of my exercise activities need to be inwardly-focused and done in relative isolation. It’s similar to the trail maintenance work I’ve always wanted to sign up for at some point, so I can help maintain and/or build hiking trails in some of my favorite local .

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