Monday, 12 March 2012

A Month

Friday 9th March marked the four week anniversary of the operation. For new readers here is a very quick recap...

Sunday 24th July 2011 - I was attacked on the football pitch. An attack which resulted in my anterior cruciate ligament and meniscus both being torn.

After various further partial recoveries and collapses and non diagnoses...

Tuesday 24th January 2012 - Mr Knee, the surgeon gave the thumbs up to say it should be operated on.

Friday 10th February 2012 - Operation.

Saturday 10th November 2012 - Play my first XI a side football match - ok I'm looking into the future but that is what I am aiming for.

So on the four week anniversary I had another physio session. Clodagh doesn't work on Friday and so I am passed on to Minnie. Clodagh has filled her in on the state of play and what we are aiming for.

I followed her into a curtained cubicle.

"Have you got some shorts?"

"No. Just boxers."

"Oh, okay. Trousers, shoes and socks off. I'll be back."

I started wondering why she thought I should have shorts and started worrying that we were going for a run.

She returned and I lay on the bed. She had the departmental protractor for measuring my degrees of bend and straightening. The bend was now up to 100, good, the straighten was still not managing to hyper extend but was a little better than last time.

She decided that a lot of the problem was down to stiffness and so began massaging the 'fat pads' around the knee and flexing together the bones around the area. I didn't even know I had fat pads. Every day you learn something new. It all hurt quite a lot but after much pushing and shoving I tried the straightening again and was able to push the knee down on to the bed a little further.

She then disappeared and returned with some steps.

"Ok, we need to get you doing some more exercises. Have you got any steps at home?"

"Just their first album." Nothing. "Sorry. Are stairs ok?"

"Yes, they'll do."

She then proceeded to show me various nifty moves which a healthy knee can do with no problem but which looked impossible with my knee. On my printed pamphlet of exercises she ticked the ones I should be doing. I mentally unticked half of them as they looked incredibly painful.


"Erm, I'll try."

"I think you can move up into the ACL class now."

"The what?"

"It's like a gym class but everyone has had an ACL operation. You do circuit training for an hour."

It sounded like fun but I was a little disappointed to discover that, in effect, once you're ready for the ACL class, you stop having the one to ones. Minnie was very good at pushing me to bend a bit further. I liked her encouraging tone and felt a little guilty that I preferred her to Clodagh. But it didn't matter because now I was moving up to the ACL class and both were history. They would both become simply another staging post on my road to recovery. At each point you are pushed into something new, it's hard, you master it, and move on.

I'm now past the 10% point on the R to R. I just have to do what I've already done 9 times more and then I'll be back. 10% seems small, but it is psychologically a big marker. The funny thing is I seem to have some good days and some bad days, sometimes on the same day. At the end of the Minnie session I felt I could probably run home, then a few minutes later at the bus stop I felt like I couldn't go another inch.

There was a film once where Robert de Niro was a bus driver. He prided himself that he never pulled off until everyone was in their seat and I now think this is part of a driver's training. I got on the bus and was heading to my seat, feeling not bad, and then the driver pulled off before I was at my seat. I went flying, fortunately I managed to hop and land on my good leg but I think I may have called the driver something bad beginning with c and ending in unt. I'm sorry to him, but if you are a bus driver reading this, please, at the very least, always let crutched passengers get to their seats before pulling off.

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