Posted by kristie

On April 13, I tore my right ACL and partially tore my MCL on a big step down at Park City (see the "Bye Bye ACL Edit").  I did a bunch of pre-surgery physical therapy--I got full range of motion back and was going to the gym every other day to rebuild my quads.  Surgery was May 15--about two weeks ago.  I saw Dr. Cooley in Heber because he could get me in sooner there than in Salt Lake.  I got a quadrupled semi-T hamstring graft, and in six months it's supposed to by 3 times stronger than my other ACL. 

My sweet new ACL

Gordon the Gigantosaurus and my knee

After surgery, I wasn't allowed to take my bandages off or get my leg wet or put any weight on it, and I had to keep my ice machine running all the time--so doing anything other than laying in bed was a pain in the ass.  Since being awake was kind of depressing and Percocet makes you drowsy, I spent most of my time sleeping. After being dirty for several days, I eventually figured out a way to wash my hair and shave my left leg without putting my right leg under the water. 

I stopped taking my Perocet after the first week and sold the rest of them to my roommates, and I used my knee as an excuse to dress unprofessionally and prop my feet up on the desk when I went back to work. 

A week and two days after surgery, I had my follow up appointment.  They took off the dressing and unlocked my knee brace.  It still said "yes" in I made a physical therapy appointment for two hours later.  In the meantime, Chris and I got lunch and drove around looking for handrails.  Anyway, they showed me a  bunch of exercises to do and taped my knee with this really cool Japanese sports tape called "kinesio tape."  It opens up your knee and makes it hurt less and makes the swelling go away.   

Kinesio tape

Exercises

Two days later, I could walk with one crutch and drive, and a couple days after that, I could walk like a normal person (sort of).

Electric stimulation (not as exciting as it sounds)

I'm a vegetarian, and my physical therapist said I need lots of protein, so I went protein shopping at Smiths.  I tried putting this stuff called "Whey" in a smoothie, but I threw up the first sip.  Then I puked again when I was trying to wash it.  It was gross.  So I went to this hippie store called "Herbs for Health" and got some pills to take, which is much better.  One is a green mix and the other is called spirulina, which is algea that's really high in protein.  I also got this essential oil cream called WinterCrest to rub on my knee that is supposed to make the swelling go down and help it heal faster. It's pretty cool. 

My knee yesterday

My therapist told me yesterday that I need to stop doing my bending excercises because I'm ahead of schedule (135 degrees), and it's important for it to heal tight.  Anyway, I'm really stoked on the care I'm getting at TOSH (The Orthopedic Specialty Hospital), and I'm taking this physical therapy thing very seriously.  It sucks that I can't ski at Hood this summer, but I should be fine by next season.   


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