365 Days in Review

Yesterday marked the one year anniversary of blowing out my knee, and it was only fitting that I had my 6-month check-up with my surgeon. In the next week, I also have an appointment with my physical therapist, my general practitioner, and my chiropractor. As you can see, my knee requires a team of professionals. As I was in the waiting room yesterday, I started thinking about that traumatic day and the proceeding traumatic year. There really is no way to fully explain how horrible the whole experience has been, but at the same time you all know I’m an “upshot” kind of girl so there have been some good things to come out of it, too (this blog being one). 

The last 365 had many significant dates for me because I was required to chunk time to measure my progress (otherwise I would have thrown myself off a bridge from being so depressed by the whole experience). So today I will look back at the year in review.

September 25th: Some evil girl illegally kicks my knee and sends me sprawling onto the field at Mary Rieke screaming obscenities (or so I am told – I blacked out a little). Not ONE of my in case of emergency people answer the phone (thanks mom, dad, and husband!) so I lay on the side of the field in agony while 18 girls hem and haw what to do. Finally, at Urgent Care, the doctor on call gives me a morose look and says, “It’s your ACL. This really sucks. Really, I’m sorry.”

September 26th: My brand new student teacher calls me sobbing because she is suddenly in charge of the most notorious group of students to come through our school in years. Meanwhile, I watch a lot of daytime tv and think, “I’ll be better by Halloween.”

Early October: My swelling has barely gone down and I have my first physical therapy appointment. I am stunned to hear that my surgery might be as late at Thanksgiving because I must have full range of motion. I am wearing a leg brace most of the time, but my knee gives out in front of the my classroom on a Friday afternoon and I go down with another barrage of obscenities.

Halloween: I contemplate suicide as everyone I know is out having a great time, and keeps asking me to go to their stupid Halloween parties. 

Early November: I’m having physical therapy weekly and am wearing a leg brace but no one at Kaiser is willing to schedule my surgery. I am able to walk and use the bike at the gym, but my knee is STILL swollen and painful.

Thanksgiving: Thor and I join a group of a few other people for the annual Tabor Stair Climb Fundraiser. I walk up and down the stairs with determination while secretly hating anyone that can run. Then I eat a pile of turkey.

December: While back to the gym on a regular basis, I’m only allowed to bike or use the elliptical at a moderate pace without resistance. I incorporate a pair of heels into my work attire for the first time in months. 

January 5th: I still have physical therapy weekly and am starting to lift weights again. People insensitively invite me to snowshoeing and snowboarding on a regular basis, so I decide to join a bowling team to prove I’m not a total invalid.

January 19: I’ve given up all hope on scheduling surgery. The physical therapist tells me she is going to start me on a running program where I might be able to avoid surgery, then later the same day Kaiser calls to schedule my surgery. 

February: I actually run on the treadmill! By the end of the month I can run 4 miles with not too much trouble. 

March 17th: I have my own “Surgery Shower” where my friends shower me with fabulous gifts to make my upcoming surgery more fun and comfortable.

March 19th: My knee surgery goes as planned. I’m home by 5:00 in the afternoon and watch The Young & the Restless while hopped up on pain meds. Because I pre-ordered a bunch of healthy, microwavable meals from an online company, I eat a delicious dinner of salmon, carribean vegetables and quinoa.

March 26th: I understand why the Donner Party ate each other. I’m so stir crazy I think I’m losing it. Literally. It makes for a great wedding anniversary.

April: I’m still not walking. I attempt to take a short, slow walk down the driveway and have to turn back.

May: I have a check up appointment with my surgeon who says things are healing nicely and I will be running by mid-June. I mark this on the calendar.

June: I am definitely NOT running and curse my surgeon for planting false hope in me. My right thigh has shriveled to a spongey muscle-less mass of mush.

August: I am able to run very little, but start seeing my personal trainer who kicks my ass in other ways. My physical therapist exits me from the basic program and tells me to keep trying. 

September 21: I run two miles on the treadmill and realize just how boring running is. How did I used to do this for 10 miles? 

September 25: I have my 6-month check up with my surgeon who again says I am healing nicely, and that things will continue to improve “Over the next twelve months…” TWELVE MONTHS? ARE YOU KIDDING ME? YOU MUST BE KIDDING ME. I go home and realize one year ago I was bedridden so I put on a pair of heels and go to work. 


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