Monday, November 29, 2004
So, which will happen first? Will I completely recover from an ACL reconstruction surgery or will Ken Jennings finally lose on "Jeopardy!"? I'm betting someone will beat Ken first, but I can remember --in what seems like an eternity ago-- sitting on the physical therapist's table the week after surgery watching Jennings kick some major brain. At this point, I'm beginning to wonder.
Anyway, it's not quite six months yet, but it's close enough for Dr. Don. Actually, Dr. Don is going to be on vacation on December 10th, which would be the actual six month point, so he brought me in early. The verdict? Drum roll, please....
I'm good to go! Dr. Don said that my ACL is now stable enough where I can fully exercise my knee. There's just one problem: I can't.
See, for the first three months after surgery, the amount of weights I was allowed to lift was verrrry limited, and that really took a toll on my thighs. Or rather, on ONE of my thighs. I've been pretty regular about working out (I do miss the occasional day), but when you let one of your legs atrophy for three months there's only so much you can do. My left leg is CLEARLY smaller than my right, and it's just going to take some time to build it back up. The positive news is that it's stronger every day, but by comparison, I can leg press 180 pounds with my right leg, and only 80 with my left. I won't be winning any taekwondo trophies or, like some of Dr. Don's other patients, other kinds of trophies anytime soon.
But that's okay. I'm pretty optimistic about the results now. I thought I might lose motivation as I got further and further from my surgery date, but the closer I get to being fully recovered, the more excited I get. Obviously, I'm in no shape for taekwondo right now, and I don't plan on going back this year, but I could see starting up again in January, even if only on the simple, non-contact aspects of it. I think if I stay on my current schedule of two-days-running and two-days-lifting per week that I can be leg-pressing over 300 pounds by the end of the month (I'm doing 260, now). That should get me to the point where I can jump using only my left leg (wearing my brace, of course). I never thought I'd be so excited about being able to jump.
So, that's the news at six months. I'll probably have another update in a month or so. I don't have to report back to PT or to the doctor for follow-ups anymore, so I'm essentially on my own. This means I don't really know what my next big goal is. I'm sure it will strike me as odd at the time (like when I went up stairs two-at-a-time a week ago). I'll let you know when and what it is.
Updated at 11:42 PM