I did much better at Costco today. I limited myself to a new fleece-lined microfiber jacket ($17.99) and three pairs of wool trousers ($19.99 each).
Today marks two months since the surgery to replace my ACL and repair my medial meniscus.
I've made great strides during the past several weeks and am now basically as mobile as usual. With some exceptions.
For example, I still find it difficult to climb stairs. Coming down is especially difficult — painful even — but we're working on that in physical therapy. Also, I'm unable to run, or even to jog. I can walk almost normally, but any longer stride (with forceful impact) causes me pain. I actually think that jogging and descending stairs must cause similar stress to the knee.
It also hurts to keep the knee flexed for extended periods of time. Sitting in a movie theater for two hours tests my limits. Driving certain vehicles, such as the Custom Box Service van, aggravates the swelling and soreness in my knee. (I threw a bit of a fit to get out of making a delivery today because the last time I drove the van I ended up having to take a painkiller.)
Yesterday I picked up my fitted brace (a.k.a. a functional brace). It's nicer than the old brace; it fits my leg perfectly, provides better support, and is more comfortable. Still, it's a foreign object, and it feels restricting after an hour or two.
Tonight, after physical therapy, I'm going to do two things to celebrate the "two months since surgery" anniversary. I'm going to mow the lawn, and I'm going to ride my bike.
Mac and Jeremy were true friends during my convalescence, mowing the lawn so that it did not get out of control. It's my turn now, and I'm going to do my best to mow both the front yard and the back yard with my reel mower. I don't actually anticipate any trouble, but it's difficult to tell for sure what's going to cause me problems sometimes.
I'm more excited about getting back on the bike. I generally ride great distances during the summer, and ideally I'd commute on my bicycle (as I've done a couple of summers). I'm not sure how well I'll be able to bicycle. I must take great care when coming to a stop that I don't cause my right knee to pivot when I plant my foot. Aside from that concern (and it's a big one), the only problem I'm going to face is my leg strength. My quadriceps atrophied after the surgery, and though we've been working on leg strength in physical therapy, I doubt I'm yet ready to bike 5.79 miles to work and back.
(Also, I don't know how hills are going to affect my knee. Does the slope make a difference to a cyclist's knee, or is it all one and the same pedaling motion? I'll know in a few hours.)
The one great negative aspect to my recovery right now is that I've nearly ceased all at-home exercises. Remember that I'm supposed to be performing a series of exercises three times each day. Strictly speaking, these exercises are not difficult — in fact they're not challenging at all — but they're tedious and easily shirked. And I'm shirking them. I've been very honest with my physical therapists so far, so I'll confess my sin later today and see what they have to say. Maybe when a person is ready to shirk the at-home exercises it's a sign that they're no longer needed. Maybe.
On this day at foldedspace.org
2005 — Checklist It's time to revisit the swimming hole. I'm much better prepared this year than last year. I've even made a list.
2004 — Bio-Feedback Sometimes I think I'm perfectly sane; other times I know that I'm a psychological mess, just like everyone else in this world.
2002 — Original Comic Book Art Kris, in a moment of true benevolence, agreed that I might obtain some samples of original comic book art to display in the newly remodeled study (in particular, down the "geek aisle").