On Monday, I had a long-awaited surgery on my knee. I have had pain since before Christmas, and had tried resting, injections, and physical therapy. Despite my efforts, I could only run a mile or two before being stopped in my tracks by knee pain. As someone who has come to thrive on running, not running on a regular basis has been difficult. My insurance finally approved an MRI after I did five weeks of physical therapy, and it showed arthritis behind my knee cap and IT band tendonitis, which is what the doctor had suspected all along. Since I had already done the injections and PT, the next step was surgery.
I hesitated about a day, and still questioned my decision after a date had been set, but I knew I had to do it. If not, I just wouldn’t be able to run, and I can’t imagine my life without running. I felt fortunate that I was still able to complete other workouts without much pain, and I was still able to teach Zumba. However, if I over-worked my knee, even just by walking a lot or walking down a steep hill, it became really sore.
Gary and I headed to Jasper Monday. I wasn’t really very nervous – I rather enjoy being put under! I was also anxious to get the surgery over and begin the healing process. The surgery went well (I assume it did; I was asleep, afterall). Dr. Love scraped out the arthritis, removed something that was behind my knee cap, cut a small triangle out of my IT band, and (I think) removed a small bursa that was behind the IT band. I was still out of it when he explained all of this, but I think that’s the gist of it. Once I awoke, I drank some Diet Coke, got dressed, and was loaded into the car. I felt pretty woozy all the way home, but overall, it wasn’t bad at all.
This week I have to rest. That’s hard. I know that it sounds good that I have doctor’s orders to sit around all week, but that got old really fast. Thankfully, my daughters are all home this week, as well as my grandson. They have helped out a lot, and just kept me company. Tuesday morning, I took my last Lortab. I believe it was making me feel worse. After I took the last one, I was nauseated, and felt drained. I decided to stick to ibuprofen, and that has been enough. Tuesday proved to be the longest day ever. I literally laid on the couch all day and evening. Bethany stuck with me, and I know she had to be bored out of her mind. By yesterday, I was ready to get out. I had planned to go see Addison play in the band at the Schweizer Fest, but my friend Kelly texted me in the morning to see if I could go to lunch with my new co-workers. I decided it wouldn’t hurt to get out for an hour, and I could keep my leg propped up, so I was good to go. It takes a lot of effort to walk any further than from the couch to the bathroom, so my outings were all I could handle.
I was glad I went to the Fest last night, but also glad I didn’t stay long. Bethany dropped me off as close to the stage as possible, but I still had to hobble down the sidewalk through the flea market. As I was heading toward the stage area, there was a young couple coming toward me. Now, my knee was all wrapped up, I was clearly struggling to walk, and yet, they made no effort to let me pass! Seriously, I had to turn sideways and stop so they could continue on hand-in-hand. What brats!
Last night I was finally able to take the wrap and bandages off. I waited until Gary was home because I don’t handle seeing stitches very well at all. I was also able to shower for the first time, and wanted him to be around in case I lost my balance. Let me tell you, my husband is an amazing caregiver! He unwrapped my leg and took off the gauze, which terrified me. He explained what it looked like before I looked. He stuck around while I showered (I didn’t hear him complain!), and then bandaged my knee back up. My knee really doesn’t look that bad (see below). I have three incisions: two from the scope, and one larger one from where the doctor made an incision to get to the IT band. The larger one has four stitches, and is pretty sore. My knee isn’t too swollen, which is great.
Today is my third day at home. The kids have all gone to Holiday World. They tried to convince me to go, saying they’d haul me around in a wagon or wheelchair. There is nothing appealing about that offer. I am going to stick to the couch today. I am going to school Monday, so I want to make sure I am ready to tackle the first week. I plan (today, at least) to not exercise at all for four weeks. It’s easy to say that now, when I can hardly walk. The doctor said it will be four to six weeks before I can teach Zumba or run, and he doesn’t even want me walking for exercise for several weeks. He said I could do yoga and pilates after a couple weeks, but really didn’t encourage it, so I think it might be best to just avoid anything that could cause problems. I don’t know what I am going to do with myself because basically all of our free time is spent working out. Getting the school year off to a great start will be my priority, especially since I am starting a new job (that I am super-excited about!). I will have lots of time to blog, so I will keep everyone updated on my journey back to running. It is going to completely suck to have to start back at the beginning. But I will do it. And I have so many terrific friends whom I know will encourage and support me. How blessed I am!