Bend that knee

One guy's ongoing discussion with his left knee

Monday, May 30, 2005

Wacky 24 hours

Didn't make it to the gym today. Not good. But I had a decent reason - threw up twice yesterday. Booted, if you will. We had invited about 20 people over for a BBQ about 4. Right after the first group showed up, I started to feel bad. Upstairs for 1.5 hours, boot. Feel much better, 15 minutes later, downstairs for another couple hours hanging out and chatting with folks. [Lissa is a great job in playing hostess and checking on me during this time. Have I mentioned she's amazing? Am I pretty sure she'll read this?] Right around the time is started to hail and eeryone started to leave, I start to feel sick again. Hour or so later, boot again. But finally felt better, although I couldn't get much sleep Sunday night.

Sunday, May 29, 2005

New morning, new location

Lissa wanted to work out this morning, so we went to the Gold's Gym that is nearest to us, but I'd never been. Nice. The knee was feeling sore and tight this morning, so I took a couple ultracets and spent 20 minutes on the efx. I had never understood how people could read while exercising, but I managed to read SI at the same time. Knee felt more flexible afterward. It seems to make a decent difference from a comfort level; guessing I have a extra degree or two on the extension, which makes it easier. Of course, it could just be the drugs :)

Saturday, May 28, 2005


This site is great - Lots of good information and a small group of folks who are also struggling with AF. I spent some time on it last year, but tried to stick my head in the ground and work through the scarring to no avail. So I'm back, chatting with folks there. Few are really knowledgeable and are even up at Steady's right now. One suggested a couple of other doctors that have a lot of experience with scar tissue; wondering if it might be worth checking with them if I can't see Steady, mostly to see how it might fit with the wedding.

Also, no exercise today; tough to get going when I haven't really seen much benefit and I think I'll have some sort of surgery within a few months. I need to figure out some way to incent myself or just decide not to worry about it for a while.

Friday, May 27, 2005

Good morning

Suprising, I made it up at 5 am this morning. The fiance headed for her "bride-to-be" normal workout this week and due to my inability to drive while drugged, it worked out best for me to head out with her. I'm surprisingly awake (for now). Knee feels ok, although I only walked for 5, efx for 20, and 1/2 spinning on the bike for a while. Plus I forgot my towel and comb, so we'll see how stinky I am today. Later this afternoon head to Dr. Malone's office for some more drugs. silly me forgot to refill the prescription from the last visit, but between missing a few days and leftover pills from earlier, I still had enough for the PT visits. Didn't take anything this morning, and I think it showed - no significant pain but I didn't try to bend that much. Off for breakfast tacos!

Thursday, May 26, 2005

Drugs are good - or are they?

Yup, PT was decent today. Lots of trouble with flexion again, but extension was ok. I had pain on the treadmill right below the kneecap, but seemed to subside with overpressure. I usually feel much better after PT, but I'm still not sure if it's the PT or the drugs or both. I was feeling crappy going in. I'm a little nervous about trying the drugs without the PT - if the drugs work by themselves, might try to do things the easy way. I'm a little hestitant on drugs in general for some reason - not really sure why. I did find that my pupil went from big to small after about an hour and right after the "let's see how close Alex's heel can get to his butt" exercise.

Ironic - met a guy who had is surgery done by Dr. Windler, the other guy besides Kilbrider tha Schoch, my original surgeon, recommended. Second time that's happened, since I found out a couple weeks ago that one of the other patients had her surgery done by Steady. This chap was praising of Windler and the whole practice; said his fiance when to see another doctor in the practice and he actually recommended she see another surgeon. I'll probably add him to my list to visit while I'm making the rounds. Maybe enough voices will make a beautiful music.

Exercise Stops

Irnoically, I didn't make it to exercise. Can't even get a streak of two days going. This is harder than I thought. Part of it might be that I called Shirley to see if I might get in earlier if I only saw him for an office visit, not an office visit plus surgery. Heck, harder than I thought considering I haven't tried for so long.

So we're back in therapy this afternoon and see if we can keep that momentum until Friday. Odds are better, since the fiance has to bring me to work on Friday cause I'll be on drugs afte therapy since she has the "bride-to-be" exercise class at freakin' 5:30 am in the morning.

Tuesday, May 24, 2005

Exercise begins

Hit the gym after work today. Nothing major, 15 treadmill, 15 elliptical, a little bike. Major thing is I actually made it. Consistency here has been tough; hell, doing anything on the off days from therapy has been tough. Reminds me of the ol' high school basketball days when I practiced harder than anyone but didn't do much outside of practice working on the shot, dribbing, etc. Other things always got in the way. Tomorrow's another day, and I need begin the streak.

Phone Call - the return

Shirley just called from Steady's office. They might not be able to see me until August. That makes any surgery very tight with the wedding. She seemed surprised when I said "between 20 and 60 ROM", like I didn't know what I was saying. Understandable, I suppose. There are not many like me. I can go for a visit or for visit and surgery, so I opted for the latter. She actually mentioned it could even be a couple surgeries if the range wasn't coming after the first one. People normally take at least a week. She said I didn't need to send any of the MRI or anything.

Lissa and I were just talking, might be worth going up just for a consultation in July to at least understand what the options are. Man, I'm just bummed. I think less so from the August date that from the lack of information she wanted. I was hoping to forward MRI and/or other info to provide them to review so they'd call and say something about the details of my case before actually heading up to Vali. Should've started this whole thing sooner. Man, I'm a little hesitant to have Burns do anything, but I'm equally concerned about waiting until after the wedding. Maybe Burns will have more to say, might be worth checking with him.

Monday, May 23, 2005

Let's get physical

Just returned from physical therapy session 345,212. A good day, actually. I was able to padel on the bike with only a small hitch of my hip - after about an hour and a half of pushing on the knee with various exercises. I was also able to put 25 pounds on the knee while icing, the most so far. Felt pretty straight after I was done. The roxicotin definitely helps, a narcotic that probably has a decent street value. Funny, while in therapy I normally feel ok, but when I sit down afterwards at some point, I can get a little fuzzy. Lissa won't let me drive becuase my pupils are pinpoints.

Elite Physical therapy in Austin is awesome. Those guys are great - they got Christmas presents from me last year. Whoa...nothing like blogging while fuzzy...

Phone Call #1

Just got a call from Dr. Thomas Burns. He called Shirley at Obi-Wan's office and let a message and suggested I do the same. Nothing too exciting, but I was pleasantly surprised that he called himself. I suspect there will be many more phone calls after this one. "A journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step. " - Chinese proverb. "Even if the step isn't a pretty one."

Sunday, May 22, 2005

Really, that long?

Almost 5 months until the wedding. Choosing invitations should be one of the easier items. Nope, 2 hours, after the fiance had already chosen one. Crazy. Can't complain too much, though. She's ben doing almost everything else and hasn't harassed me to much for it.

Mowed the grass today, never realized how much that can take out of a guy. Especially since the yard is only .17 acres. That's the only real exercise today, but the knee was sore a couple times. Call today a 1/2 day.

Looking forward to hearing tomorrow from Burns about Steady. We'll see what transpires on that one. Interesting thought today: I had trouble during the MRI last June, which didn't show any scar tissue. If we remove all the scar tissue that is displayed on the recent MRI, is that enough to help the motion or does that place us back where we were during the first MRI - no visible scar tissue but no motion? Read that one again. Funny thing that both Kilbride and Burns asked how much motion I had before the surgery. Burns went so far as to say motion problems are more prevalent within ACL that also have MCL injuries. Looksl ike I should've waited until the MCL had full healed and I had some good motion in the knee before I had the original ACL surgery. Everything's easy in hindsight.

Saturday, May 21, 2005

Tough, fun days

Spent part of the afternoon hanging with my fiance's godchild, a third grader. We spent part of the evening tossing a football; I feel lucky to still be able to do that but frustrated that I can't move more than two steps to catch a pass. Now I know what Refridgerator Perry must've felt like...

A little exercise and a little trip

Day two, headed into the gym today, with 20 minutes on the elliptical, 10 on the treadmill, and a little time on the bike. Having the same pain right below the kneecap as yesterday. But yesterday's PT session was really good - 120 flexion and 5 ex (after icing); the flexion was especially surprising since I hadn't been about 100 a while. I suspect/hope the pain might be from the knee getting a little straighter, putting the tissue in a new position. Still should be able to mow the grass, though. Still strange that I can get some range and then immediately lose it after exercising.

Skiing in the summer...
Saw my third doctor on Thursday, the good Dr. Thomas Burns. Outstanding guy. His assistant, Michelle, was cool as well. He provided more insight into my arthofibrosis that anyone so far, but his best part was admitting he didn't know everything. He suggested I could also see the Obi-Wan of knee surgery, Dr. Richard Steadman. Steadman's in Vali and has seemingly worked more on bad knees that anyone else. Burns said, "I can do your surgery, but there's a 50/50 change you'll see Steady after that. " and "there's no ego's here, I'm happy to call his right hand and see if we can get you in to see him." That meant a lot. Said they'd start arthoscopically, and if Steady couldn't get the range on the table, he could open up the knee right then. Might even try popping some of the components in the back of the knee since they haven't stretched in more than a year. That and the scar tissue are probably blocking extention.

Of course, as soon as the fiance heard last week Steadman's in Vali, she wanted to know why I hadn't made an appointment...but I do think we're gonna go. The trip's the easy part, the potential surgery might be a harder choice.

Friday, May 20, 2005

Bend that knee

Ah, the adventure continues. I've been working on recovering from a ACL tear for just over a year now. Things waver between "wow-this-was-a-good-day" and "maybe-we-should-just-cut-it-off". It's been a while since I had one of the days where my fiance asked my therapist, "so should we put this lame horse out of it's misery?".

But it's getting harder to continue the dedication after a year. So to motivate myself, I'm exposing myself to you, dear friend, and committing to you that I will continue. Well, exposing my knee, at least. Hopefully, this act will get me off the couch on the tough days and push me farther on the good ones.

Anyway, that's why I'm here. Some other options besides physical therapy are currently under exploration, and I'll probably talk about the past and the future at some point. If you're really lucky, I'll blog while on drugs. We'll see if anyone can tell the difference.