Wednesday, July 07, 2004
Oh yeah, I almost forgot. I got my car back this weekend! Yayy! No more automatic for me! Is it comfortable driving with a clutch and a bad knee? Not for the first minute or so, but after that I loosen up enough where it's all right. So, the car tally:
Days 1-4: Drive a car? Riiight!
Day 5: Okay, I'll drive a car, but only if it's an automatic and only if I can push the seat waaaaay back.
Day 23: I can drive anything! But I still want to push the seat waaaaay back.
Updated at 11:35 PM
Okay, technically, week four doesn't start until Thursday, but that's close enough for government work. And, it's close enough for Dr. Don to call it four weeks, and he's the man in charge. So, what did he say?
As it turned out, not much. This is a good thing. What you DON'T want to hear in situations like this are things like, "Hmm...that's interesting," or "Oh boy." He had me extend both legs so he could compare the extension between the two (almost identical...GOOD!), and also flexed the bad knee to see what my range of motion was (he didn't quantify it, but he seemed satisfied by the progress).
The only thing he really commented on was my edema. For those of you who AREN'T knee surgeons, "edema" is the official doctor term for "swelling" that they have to use so they can charge you more money (it just sounds more impressive...think of a doctor yelling, "Nurse! This patient has a serious edema! Get me a framistan, STAT!!"). The solution? RICE. Rest, Ice, Compression, and Elevation. In other words, sit around on my lazy butt watching TV and icing my knee. I HAVE to watch TV? Heh...okay! Doctor's order!
As for the PT, I'm now doing 3 sets of 20 with a two-pound weight on my ankle on all of my exercises. At least, I'm doing that at home. At the PTist's, I'm doing 3 sets of 15 with a two-and-a-half pound weight, but since I don't have a heavier weight at home, I just upped the reps. Is this equivalent? Got me, but I figure as long as it's not painful, it's probably not a bad thing.
I also asked the doctor about two sports, golf and swimming. Golf was right out. Dr. Don said that there's too much twisting in a golf swing for it to be safe for my knee right now. Not to mention that climbing in and out of sand traps and rough (my usual game) would put me on uneven footing and would therefore be dangerous. So until the bone graft heals, the only golf I'll doing is the miniature kind. I'm not sure if that's at eight or twelve weeks, but I'll ask him again at eight and see what he says.
Swimming, however, is okay, as long as I follow certain rules. First, no jumping into the pool. Landing on the bottom on my bad leg? Baaaad. Also, doing flip-kick turns after each lap? Baaaad. Essentially, putting any kind of impact-type stress on the leg is a bad thing. Once I'm in the pool, swimming --a non-impact activity-- is fine, so I might start doing that just so I can do SOMETHING again. Seriously, you can only do so many leg-lifts in front of the TV before you really want to get out of the house.
Finally, I've stopped using crutches completely. Last week I was just using one to speed up my travel time, and the week before I was using two for the same reason. Now I can walk fast enough where the slight speed increase I can get from using crutches isn't worth the extra hassle it requires to carry them around. And really, I hadn't been using them much at all when I was at work or in the house, only when I went out into the public. So, total time on crutches? All the time for the first 11 to 12 days, and after that, anytime I was outside the house up until about 21 to 22 days. For those 10 or so days in between, I was navigating around the house and the office without crutches. As long as you have a flat, obstruction-free area you're pretty safe. After 22 days, I stopped using them completely. Adjust your own recovery accordingly.
Updated at 11:30 PM