Almost to the 2-week mark of my knee surgery! What a difference 2 weeks makes, right?
Week 2 has been a rollercoaster of ups and downs but overall I’m making progress and feeling good. I’ve been following my instructions with icing, doing my exercises, resting and increasing activities as tolerated. It’s worked well so far as long as I don’t overdo it.
Here’s a rundown of the past week:
Pain: Perhaps I hit “publish” a little too soon with my last update when I said things were on the upswing because Thursday, Friday and Saturday night were awful. Like, wake-up in-the-middle-of-the night-and medicate-the-hell-out-of-yourself awful. I felt like there was a drill in my knee and my leg was throbbing.
I had been really active last Thursday because things were going so well, and I think I overdid it (and set myself back). Lesson learned. I spent the entire weekend resting and things have since gotten back on track.
Stiffness and Muscle Loss: The main thing I’m dealing with now is stiffness in my knee and weakness in my leg. I am still not able to bend my knee normally and it feels like my calf and quad muscles completely disappeared. I was warned me of this before surgery but it’s weird actually experiencing it for myself.
Think about the muscle soreness you feel the morning following a tough workout. That is how my entire leg feels. Every morning. I have to do a series of stretches just to be able to get out of bed. I also spend at least an hour stretching and doing leg exercises every day.
Lily thinks she’s my personal coach.
And Beamer thinks that whenever I get in the floor, it’s time to play. This picture pretty much sums up how that goes….
Mobility: I mainly walked around with a heavy limp at the beginning of the week. After my setback on Thursday, I took it easy the next few days and used my crutches whenever I left the house. I’ve since ditched the crutches and am walking OK for short distances. I can go out to 1 place with minimal walking, like to get coffee, but that’s about it. I’m still favoring my right leg but not as much as at the beginning of the week.
Swelling: My knee is still pretty swollen but it comes and goes depending on my activity level. Some days it actually looks the same to me as it did after my surgery, but when I spend most of the day resting, I can tell it gets a bit smaller. My instructions are to ice and elevate, and I probably spend at least 5 hours everyday doing this. I think I hate ice right now!
Sad moment from this week… I tried to get an ice machine and my insurance wouldn’t cover it. And I called 7 different medical supply stores and only 1 carried them, and that place was 30 minutes from here. So I scrapped that idea.
How I’ve been spending my week: At this point, I’m really just trying not to lose my mind from boredom. I’ve watched TV, read books and gone through an enormous magazine collection. One day I was so bored that I polished all of my silver jewelry.
Another day I spent an hour doing my makeup with a smoky eye everything. It was a good look for lounging around my apartment.
Oh and don’t worry, I have *lots* of random blog posts coming. Now I’m contemplating filming my first vlog!
Best Part of the Week: I visited one of my friends who also recently had surgery. We had coffee and chatted one morning, and it felt so good to get out of the apartment and see a fresh face. We are both fairly active people normally, so we had a good laugh at how slow we’re moving around. Hopefully we’ll be back to our old selves in no time!
Worst Part of the Week: Lack of sleep! Oh my gosh, I really feel like a nocturnal zombie . My knee is so sore and tender that sleeping is really just awkward and uncomfortable right now. I toss and turn until 3 or 4am most mornings and it has been miserable. This is going to sound so bad but I had a doctor’s appointment at 2:30pm one day and I had to set my alarm to make sure I got up in time. I’m just praying I can get back into some normal routine soon.
And my bed is looking crazy right now because I’m basically living there.
Speaking of my doctor’s appointment, I had my post-surgical follow-up with my surgeon this week. There was a scheduling mix-up somewhere along the line so my appointment that was originally scheduled for today got bumped up to Monday. I was fine with that because I really wanted to get the scoop on my knee!
He went over everything he found during the surgery and we talked about where I’m headed now.
Remember how I was having surgery to get my plica removed because I responded well to the lidocaine injection in my knee?
Well, here’s a picture of the inside of my knee… and there wasn’t really a plica. I had a little bit and it was removed, but that probably isn’t the cause of my knee pain.
When my mom told me this after I woke up from surgery, I was so disappointed and upset. I believe I started crying and dramatically told her that I felt like this knee issue was ruining my life If my plica had been my issue then I would have been well on my way back to cycling and running once my knee healed.
At first I felt like I had surgery for nothing and that’s not a good feeling to have as you’re recovering. But after my appointment on Monday, I now know that there were several benefits to having the procedure.
- I was able to see what’s going on inside my knee and everything is all good in there. This eliminates the possibility of an undiagnosed issue that didn’t show up on my MRI.
- I have a picture showing that my kneecap is a bit out of alignment, which could potentially be contributing to my pain.
- Apparently, sometimes people just have inflammation that will not go away but something about going into the knee and roughing things up triggers your body into healing mode. So maybe that will happen to me?
My doctor overall seemed confident that whatever is causing my pain can be corrected with a lot of physical therapy. If he seems confident about this then I’m going to try to remain optimistic as well. He referred me to a new PT that does well with knees, and I start next week!
This journey has been 7 months of frustration. I feel like my first PT appointment on Monday is a fresh start on a new road towards healing and happiness. I also love that it’s happening right around the first day of spring… it kind of feels like a new beginning for me.
I feel really good about everything moving forward and will continue to keep you updated on my progress. If things go well, I could possibly be back on my bike in the next few months!!
In case you missed them, here are my prior recaps from my procedure: