Tag Archives: knee

Week 11: do your homework

This past year has been nothing if not a lesson in perseverance.

April 9 will mark one year to the day after my knee reconstruction surgery. I had no idea the pain would be that bad, or the recovery would be so difficult.

Spoiler alert: I’ve gotten through it.

Last year at this time, I had naively booked the first meeting with a client to start a contract a week after my planned surgery. I limped around the campus at Simon Fraser University on crutches, bandages still around my swollen knee.

My left leg has come to be known as “Frankenleg” as it is still slightly bigger than my other one.

Weekly physiotherapy also started a week after surgery. (No extended health benefits, that’s why I needed that contract!) I managed to move the leg back and forth on the pedal of a stationary bike for 5 whole minutes. A couple of weeks later, I ditched the crutches for a cane so I could get around easier. The first time I drove Ken’s car (manual transmission) to campus was painful but probably good for recovery.

Each slow step in recovery has been a huge victory for me. From the beginning, I knew I wanted to run again, to hike again. Maybe no more marathons, but perhaps regular 10Ks – I want that triathlon season back – the one I signed up for just before injuring my knee, and had to do as relays instead.

A few weeks ago, I realized this anniversary was looming, and said to Jonathan (my Physiotherapist) – “can I run 5K on April 9 and what do I need to do to get there?”

Complying with that homework has been extremely challenging, what with my schedule of hopping back and forth over the straight between Vancouver and Nanaimo for my current gig. Nevertheless, even with my uneven compliance, on Sunday Ken and I walked/jogged nearly 5 km around False Creek. It is slow, it is not continuous, but every day gets better and better.

I’m well on my way to reaching my goal.

 

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Lost poster for season one

Weekly picks for April 6-12

I’ve been doing little else but – OK that’s not quite true – I’ve been doing a lot the last week. A team of superb health-care professionals knocked me out safely, grafted a piece of ligament from my shin onto my torn ACL, fixed the torn meniscus, and closed me back up. I was sent home that same morning.

Lost poster for season oneWhen my daughter couldn’t get there right away they seemed impatient to get me dressed and ready for when she did arrive to get my groggy butt out to the car. I guess they needed the bed for someone else? Anyway, still very loopy from the anaesthetic, my daughter and I stopped by a pharmacy to get my prescriptions filled. While we waited she took some (I imagine) hilarious video of me which she has promised not to share on any social network.

No worries, I recuperated at a friend’s place on the Island for a few days, then Ken drove me back home to Vancouver, where I’ve been trying to do my exercises and get rid of the need for medication that makes me foggy. Mission accomplished on both counts. No, I can’t bear all my weight yet, nor walk more than a few steps. But I’m working on it. And I’m onto Tramacet only, soon to be Tylenol only for pain relief.

Huzzah modern medicine.

While I’m on crutches, you’d think I’d be reading a lot, right? Well, yes. That and binge-watching Netflix. But here’s what I have been reading:

Frequently Asked Questions following Anterior Cruciate Ligament Reconstruction Surgery (PDF), Rebalance MD. 

Here is the only motivation I need for doing my icky, painful exercises. According to the FAQ: “In general, between 80-90% of people are able to return to their pre-injury level of activity after a primary ACL reconstructive procedure.” And it’ll only take 6-9 months!

So I’ve graduated from the seemingly endless wait, despairing of ever being able to run again, to the work of learning now to walk again. I get stronger every day, and I expect to ditch the crutches in another week or two. Hoo. Ray.

The Psychopath Inside, by James Fallon.

A funny thing happened when Dr. Fallon, a brain researcher, compared a bunch of brain scans as a favour for a colleague. He asked the colleague, who was studying Alzheimer’s disease, to mix in scans from Dr. Fallon’s own family, and make all the scans anonymous (Because science!). Fallon found the scan of a psychopath mixed in with all the others. Odd, because he thought all his psychopath brain scans were in another study, another pile. Turns out (spoiler alert!) the scan was his own, shaking his idea of what makes a psychopath, what makes people violent criminals, and the role of nurture versus nature in socialization and personality development. It’s a pretty interesting read, but gets a little bogged down in self-aggrandizing detail at times. But then, what did you expect from a narcissistic scientist with psychopathic tendencies?

Prepare to be Shocked! What happens when you click on one of those “One Weird Trick” ads? Alex Kaufman, Slate.com

I’m just endlessly fascinated with what makes people do what they do, and make the choices they make; or rather how others get people to make the choices they make. I guess it’s part and parcel of my profession. The One Weird Trick marketers know their audience, is what it comes down to. And it isn’t you or I.

Here’s what I’ve been listening to, watching:

LOST 

OK I admit it. I’ve listened to no podcasts in the last week. Ken and his daughter urged me to watch LOST so I could share in their fandom. (No, I never did jump on the bandwagon while it originally aired.)

So, still on pain meds and drugged up the wazoo, I started watching. Now I can’t stop. Sayid, what were you doing with Shannon in the first place? You like ‘em shallow and dumb? I expected more from you. Kate, get over your daddy issues and go for the good guy for once, will ya? Jack, you can’t save everyone, and quit running off into the jungle and leaving a settlement of 40 people behind, you’re their only doctor for crying out loud! Michael, you should have drowned Sawyer when you had a chance, and I’m sorry about your boy.

And Locke. John Locke. The very first episode sent me running for my old philosophy textbooks (oh right, individualism, natural rights, no absolute monarchy, we’re all free, etc). By the third episode, Tabula Rasa (!), I was thoroughly hooked. I imagine there have been graduate papers written already about the significance of this character and what he represents in the human political psyche. I’d look them up, but I have several seasons to get through first …

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