Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Day 1 sans the brace

I have finished my first day of physical therapy without my brace. It wasn't as painful as I thought it would be, however, I am in more pain than I've been in several weeks.

I didn't think it would be as difficult to walk without the brace as it was with it, but I have found it to be so. Walking without the brace has been a completely new experience. My leg, of course, feels much lighter than it did before. As a result of that, I walk with a funny gait much like the one I was walking with when I was wearing the brace. However, I do enjoy my new found freedom. I was able to drive today with out any difficulty. It was very nice to have my mobility back and to be able to drive myself and not rely on my wife to do the driving for me. I am certain she is enjoying the extra time she will now have free from being my chauffeur.

I have at least two more physical therapy appointments, and probably three, before my next trip to the doctor. I will find out then how much longer I'll be going to physical therapy. My therapist thinks I'll be going at least six more months, so I'll have to find a new physical therapist when we moved to Iowa.

Free at last! Free at last!

Thank God Almighty, I am free at last!

The immobilizer came off today! Woo hoo!

And, it was quite by accident.

Crista had picked me up to take me to a lunch meeting. On the way, I was tightening the straps on the immobilizer, because, as they were wont to do, they had come loose. One of the straps, in fact, the most important strap, broke loose when the plastic ring holding it in place snapped apart. I am scheduled for my eight-week post-surgical doctor's appointment next Wednesday, when I was hoping to be freed from the brace. So, I called the doctor's office to see about a replacement brace until then. I was placed on hold for a while, and then connected to the doctor, who told me since I am seven weeks past, and since my physical therapy was progressing so well, I could remove the brace a week and a day early!

After lunch, Crista took me home, and I DROVE MYSELF back to work. It was the first time behind the wheel in eight weeks, and it felt so liberating to be able to drive myself rather than rely on the loving kindness of my wife. I know she's thrilled to be relieved of the inconvenience of that brace, too. It restrained her almost as much as it restrained me.

However, in just the three short hours since the brace came off, I've noticed a few things. My pain has increased. I've been about a zero most days, except for a short while after exercising or physical therapy. In the past three hours, my pain has achieved and maintained a steady three level. I am very limited in my range of motion. And walking is very weird. My leg is so much lighter without that heavy immobilizer it just feels strange to walk. However, it's a good strange, and I'm not complaining about that.

My next physical therapy appointment is in 20 minutes. We'll see how that goes now that I've been freed from my chains.

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Knee update

It's been a while since the last update on my knee, but there's not been much to report. I'm still trapped in the immobilizer, and I'm still going to physical therapy. The pain is pretty much nonexistent except when I'm doing my exercises. Of course, the immobilizer remains a major annoyance, as I still can't drive because I'm too tall to sit behind the wheel with my leg locked into a straight position.

The scars are starting to fade, but they are still tender to the touch, and my tibia is still sore as well because of the giant screw inserted into it to hold my new ACL in place.

On the positive side, I've not endured any usual cravings or behavioral changes from the dead man implanted in my knee.

My next doctor appointment is July 21. I'm very hopeful that the brace comes off that day, because if it doesn't, we're going to be in trouble, as we are moving to Iowa July 31, and I've got to drive our moving truck all the way up there and fly back and live solo for three weeks afterwards. So, doctor's permission or not, that brace has to come off.