Bend that knee

One guy's ongoing discussion with his left knee

Saturday, December 31, 2005

End of 2005...

We had a few technical difficulties the last few days of 2005, as the wireless access for our condo was once again down. On Friday I (Lissa) dropped Alex off at the hospital for his PT appointments and went to hang out with one of his other physical therapists, Kim, on her day off. She and I had planned to go skiing at Breckenridge, but decided that it was too crowded and instead went for a long hike with her dog, Elli. We had a great time and fortunately the weather held up for me to make it back to Vail to pick Alex up after his second PT appointment that day. Phew, was I tired after the long drive and hiking!!!!

Saturday we had a fairly routine day, with PT in the morning and afternoon. During his afternoon session I went over to a shop in Lionshead Village to rent a pair of skis for the next day. :) We went back to the condo and rested for a while, before I went out to pick up some take out Chinese food for our New Year's Eve feast. Around 8:00 Alex decided he wanted some "sugar" and we took a journey to the local convenience store where we got ice cream for our celebration. After watching the coverage of the Times Square New Years Eve celebration, we kissed and went to bed.

Happy New Year!

Thursday, December 29, 2005

Rubbing Elbows

Another day, a little more excitement. Morning session was uneventful, still maintaining flexion on wall slides, a good thing. Typical exercises. Oh, and Martina Navatorlova, the winner of 11 tennis majors, was on the table next to me. She had knee surgery from Steadman as well, and we chatted about knees, Indiana, and other unimportant things. She only'll remember "the guy in that contraption that was straightening his knee" but still pretty cool.

Afternoon was painful, as we focused on extension, but the knee seemed as straight as it's been after some time in the JAS brace and some work. And then we drove home in a massive snowstorm. A good day.

Tuesday, December 27, 2005

Movin' along

Another day, another double session. As a bonus, the JAS brace appeared today, finally. Imagine a rack, but only for your leg. Fortunately, one can dial up or down the tension. Everything else standard fare for the two sessions. We did have a beautiful snowstorm starting last night and on into the morning. Really big snowflakes too, about 6 inches worth. Still maintaining the flexion in wall slides (lie on back, heel against the wall, slide heel down) and hopefully the JAS will help on the extension side.


Monday, December 26, 2005

Christmas, post

Another day, another double PT session. Top range is up to 112, but bottom is (well, also up) to about 10 degrees. Bike, wall slides, patella mobes, prone hangs, quad sets, and rolling with my foot on the top of the ball were the majority of the days' activities. Seems a little smoother between the ranges, and I can hop on the bike and pedal without too much trouble. After the first surgery, the big kickback came between days 4 and 7 or 8, so the next few days should be telling to see if there's a light at the end of the tunnel or an oncoming train.

But the speed of the oncoming train is all relative, according to Einstein, and the knee seems relativity better at the moment.

Sunday, December 25, 2005

Happy New Year!

First person to wish you that, wasn't I? Day 2 of therapy down, with another week to go before we head back. Partial weightbearing is better than none, I can actually step with the leg and try to bend/extend as I walk. I remember last time, I would drag it around in a bent position wherever I went, which probably didn't help either direction.

Basic schedule the last couple days, with wall slides, patella mobs, quad sets, hamstring pulls, straight leg raises. Actually pushed the knee to 4 and 105 yesterday, we'll see if I can hang onto it all. Trying to create more fluidity in the knee as well within the range I have (as moving from 10 degrees to 40ish after hanging out in 10 after a while is pretty tough) Seems a little smoother at this point. It's going to be small steps and trying to maintain the gain from the pain before returning on the plane so I don't drive Lissa insane.

Plug along we shall! She's making Christmas cookies, so it's pretty cheery around here.

Click here to see what we've been doing from our balcony...

Hope to see everyone soon...

Feliz Christmas!

Mrs. Bentley here again. Alex doesn't feel like posting, so I'm stepping in...

Alex was discharged from the hospital just before going downstairs to his first physical therapy appointment at 9. Around 10:45 Dr. Steadman appeared to greet the patients he had worked on the day before. He told us that he decided to be more cautious about pushing Alex's knee too far, after having seen what happened the last time around. He said the surgery was about 20 minutes with 15-20 minutes of moving his knee through the range of motion they could get, from 120 to somewhere between 5 and 10. He confirmed that Alex should do partial weight bearing on the crutches and use pain meds as needed to tolerate physical therapy exercises. We gave him a santa jack ball and parted ways until his next round of visits next week.

After a quick lunch, Alex had his second therapy appointment with Mary Ellen. We got Alex settled into the condo, with the CPM (move-his-knee machine) and ice water machine. He looked pretty tired and has developed a bit of a cough, but no fever, so no concerns about infection so far. We spent Christmas Eve watching tv and relaxing. This CPM is fairly noisy, and it didn't help as he had a hard time sleeping. He finally took his knee out of the machines and was able to sleep from 5-7. At 7 he brought in the box my sister had sent us here and proclaimed that it was time to open presents... and thus our Christmas Day began! (thanks Becca!!!!)

Therapy this morning was with Phil, and I went on a long walk around Vail and Lionshead while he was in there. I even got asked for directions to a coffeehouse... and was able to give two options. I tell ya, I'm feeling like a native :) Now I just need to actually ski here.

We're back in the condo now, on a lunch break before heading back for the afternoon session at 1.

Merry Christmas to all our Christian friends, and we'll see you all soon!

Friday, December 23, 2005

Lucky half dozen

Alex's wife here :)

His 6th surgery went smoothly - as far as we can tell! Alex went in around 9:45, and they found me in the waiting room a little before 12:30. The surgeon didn't stop by afterwards this time, probably because we weren't in the same centralized location with other post-op patients as the last time, so it wouldn't have been as convenient for him. Regardless, we'll find out more tomorrow when he goes to his first full physical therapy appointment in the morning... Dr. Steadman is expected to make the rounds there around 10.

He came out of the anesthesia pretty well; a little nausea, but nothing that our capable staff at the Vail Valley Medical Center couldn't take care of! The view outside of the room was a goreous scene of several ski trails, dotted with skiiers throughout the afternoon. His dinner was "okay", which is to be expected with hospital food. Rae came by to chat, as she'll be out tomorrow through Thursday and wouldn't see us the next day as she did the last time. I ran into Kim in the hallway and she was surprised to hear that Alex had surgery. She stopped by his room for a bit too, and we'll see her on the PT floor after she returns from a holiday weekend off.

I was planning to stay the night, but he was in a regular hospital room and the staff didn't seem to excited about me being there (they have set visitor hours). So I decided to come back to the condo, update the blog and head to bed. Tomorrow we start the two-a-day PT appointments, one at 9 and one at 2:30. It'll be a fun day of getting him moved to the condo and getting his post-op equipment set up.

The weather has been very nice, with an impressive layer of snow on the car and roads when we left this morning. Thank goodness for our good planning in having picked up a snow brush/ice scraper thing the night before!!! I drove like a good little Texan out of her element... SLOWLY!

Thanks for your support and encouraging thoughts... Alex will post more with details tomorrow.

Thursday, December 22, 2005

The hospital scavenger hunt

Yep, another brief tour around the hospital today. Saw Steadman first (well, the varying experts who support him, nurse, doctor, etc). Surprised that he remembered that I left becuase my boss left the company, so I had to head back to Austin. Told him my other boss left the day I told her I was going. "Well, that's not a normal complication of surgery, that's a first!" He said it looked better (but I've long stopped trusting anyone's opinion on that) His fellow, Dr. Clark, asked if I would be more interested in flexion or extension - I can walk ok, but I don't have any range at all, so that'd be my hope. Then bounced around to 3-4 different spots for pre-op registration.

Only real difference is I'm in the hospital wing instead of the Vail Valley surgery wing, since (I'm guessing, the VVMC is closed since they have few surgeries scheduled. Saw many of the old crew, and pleased to find Luke and Dirk are still around and I'm on their schedule. Actually saw Kim and she and Lissa congradulated each other on their weddings.

Only real complication was wireless internet, actually - my room is out of range and I was worried for a while they wouldn't solve the problem, but someone (Doug) is showing up tomorrow morning to fix that.

Back in the cautiously optimistic phase, so hoping that things go well tomorrow...ciao!

Wednesday, December 21, 2005

Direct flights rule!

Most of my travel, both business and personal, is never to a hub. AUS to DEN, 2.5 hours, Even with the extra 2 hour drive to Vail, much, much better. Turkey and Havarti panini, quite tasty at the grocery store where we stocked up (what, you thought it was airplane food?) Vail is lovely in the winter, so lovely the rental car agent nearly insisted we needed a 4 wheel drive vehicle, so Lissa's driving an SUV for the first time.

Our condo is nice, 4th floor with a raised ceiling right by the elevator, built in the 70s, so some wood paneling here at there. A fireplace though, if we get really excited. Spacious, too. Decent views out the window, maybe we'll get pictures.

Steadman's office called to confirm my appointment so we're on for tomorrow at 10:45. Hurray for wireless!

Tuesday, December 20, 2005

Back in the saddle

We're back. Headed to Vail tomorrow for another appointment Thursday and expected surgery on the 23rd, Friday. The last one helped some, but hopefully this one will provide a big hit. Certainly a bit apprehensive, but planning on the best. Staying at Falcon Point, another condo in Avon, so everything except the actual place should be the same. We're planning on good weather (well, as good for Vail and people used to warmth might get) Lissa will have a white Christmas for the first time ever as well.

I'll continue to post updates as we go.