When I talked with the nurse to schedule my knee surgery, she told me I would be able to run after four weeks. When I questioned my doctor right before surgery, he confirmed what the nurse had said. At my post-op appointment, the orthopedic nurse practitioner also said I could run after four weeks (Gary was there, and also heard this). I actually rested more than was recommended. I was told that after two weeks I could bike, do the elliptical, and begin doing some easy workouts. I chose to continue to rest, and the only exercise I tried was walking. I walked about twice a week. I have been determined to recover fully so I can get back to doing everything I love.
Yesterday morning, I went to town to walk. I had decided that since it had been four weeks (okay, I was two days early, but really, two days wouldn’t have made a difference), I was going to attempt to run a little. I was alone, so I didn’t have to worry about keeping up with anyone, or making anyone stop because I couldn’t do it. I walked my favorite route, which includes the River Walk, a one-mile stretch along the Ohio. My plan was to run that stretch. I have to admit, as I approached my starting spot, I began to get really nervous. I had no idea what to expect, but gosh, I wanted to run.
I got to the starting line, and slowly began to run. It hurt. My knee felt tight, and it just felt awkward. I was going at a snail’s pace, and though it wasn’t comfortable, I thought that since it was my first run since surgery, that was probably to be expected. I made it the full mile; it wasn’t pretty and it certainly felt awful, but I did it. And then I limped another mile and a half back to my car. I don’t think I was ready.
Throughout the next hour, my limp became more obvious, and my IT band throbbed. Crap. I went home, propped my leg, and iced. Since that time, my knee has felt like it did one week after surgery. I can’t walk without a heavy limp, and any sort of twist or quick move makes me cringe. So for those few steps of forward running, I set myself back three weeks. While I was icing, I searched for some info via Google. I found a woman’s blog, and she had had the same type of surgery. She had physical therapy after, and was not released to run for eight weeks. I am not sure why our post-op advice was so different, but I know that I won’t be attempting a run for a few more weeks.
What now? I am going to get on my trusty bike, though today even that sounds painful. I might hit the gym and try my least favorite machine, the elliptical. I had planned to go back to Zumba September 16, but I don’t even know if that’s possible. I was originally told I could begin teaching within four weeks, but I am not even close to being ready to squat, jump, shimmy, or twist. I have to find something that works because I’ve also found that not exercising leads me to eating more crap. Burgers, pizza, and sweets have been my good friends the past month. I know it’s bad, heck, I went to nutrition classes while we were in Atlanta, but I have no self-control. As I type this, a plate that once had three cinnamon rolls on it sits beside me. They were good.
My husband and friends are training for fall half marathons, and I so wish I were training with them. I just hope that I can eventually run again because after yesterday, I really question whether I will ever run again. It was that bad. Do I regret surgery? Right now, yes. My hope is that in a few months I will look back and see this as just a little hurdle.
Run a mile for me! I’ll eat a cinnamon roll for you!