Saturday, April 25, 2009

Seven weeks, 5 days

There are a few (but very few) benefits to being temporarily less abled. Here's a list of my top favorites:

1 - Indoor parking all winter at work
2 - Bypass long lines at the airport
3 - Preferential treatment every now and then

However, there are far more disadvantages. In addition to the obvious...

1 - People cut you off
2 - Elevator doors get shut in your face a lot
3 - You get stared at

The indoor parking pass at work will expire in about a week. By then, we should be good to bike to work and that is what we plan on doing. "We" being myself and Mireille, of course. I figure I should start talking in "we"s now because Mireille is finally taking a more prominent role in her life.

We can now swim freestyle and do the elliptical machine. We've also thrown the disc outside a couple of times. Walking is still slow and labour-intensive, but technique and endurance are improving.

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

7 weeks, 1 day

Oh, the irony.

For the past couple of days, I've been able to breathe freely. Mireille is making a supreme effort to walk without any kind of assistance and I've been spared the confines of an awkward brace. My good friend DonJoy is tucked away until we can do more aggressive sports (I think, I hope).

But with that, comes extreme paranoïa.

Mireille had an off-site meeting today for work and decided that DonJoy didn't need to join us for that. Talk about confidence. It was a location we had never been to and who would've foreseen the obstacle.

Upward slopes are fine. But going down... We don't like those. Factor in a gusty wind and it's a disaster.

A good portion of Mireille's body weight must come from that thigh that's now atrophied because I don't recall a wind warning. I was sure we were going to get carried away. Mireille stood there paralyzed, feet distanced for extra stability. Would the wind every die down??

Luckily, a nice old lady was walking by and noticed my plight. She sweetly asked if she could lend a hand. I couldn't say no... I would have been anchored in front of the government building all day.

An elderly lady had to help a barely 30 year old walk down a moderate incline. Now, that is the ultimate illustration of how my world is upside down right now.

Sunday, April 19, 2009

Day 47 (6 weeks, five days. Or something like that)

I've felt great these past few days. I'm even experiencing moments where I feel normal when walking. Doesn't last more than about 300 meters but I'm sure my endurance will continue to build up!

The big change that really has my spirits up is I am now doing laps at the pool. I was cleared to start trying a light flutter kick. Sounds pretty simple but it wasn't at first.

Mireille picked up a blue flutter board to match her bathing suit. (What? What's wrong with that?) Anyway, she delicately starts bending and straightening her legs against the water. Her eyes were fixated to the other end of the pool. Her motivation was greater than ever. She was determined to do 25 meters. She kicked and kicked and kicked...

And noticed that she hadn't even made it past the first flag. A small push with the good leg fixed that. And she kicked and kicked and kicked...

And realized she was going backwards.

Now, it might sound like I'm exaggerating but trust me I'm not. After a lot more effort, Mireille made it to the other end. I am happy to report that she is now up to doing ten laps.

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Day 44 (6 weeks, 2 days I think!)

I'm starting to get a handle on this walking business. I'm still a little wobbly and crunchy but it's a lot better. Mireille is getting less paranoid and more confident in me. After 9 months of walking funny and compensating, it'll probably take a while still to feel 100%. However, for the first time in a long time, I finally feel like things could get back to normal!

Went to see the surgeon today for a check-up. He's happy with how things are going and I seem to be on track. Just need to get those couple of missing degrees for my extension and continue on improving my bending. I'm now at 130 degrees.

Back to this notion of synchronicity that I've been noticing a lot more of lately...

Mireille got a copy of her post-op report and wanted to make a photocopy for her physio. However, after making it all the way up to her desk, she realized she forgot it in the car. Not sure whether or not to go back down right away, she decided to go now and get it over with. On her way, she noticed the "parking police" heading towards her car. She forgot to put her parking pass on the dash...

Ok, so she would've only gotten a warning but still... The universe is looking out for us!

Saturday, April 11, 2009

Day 39

This whole ordeal has made me quite the celebrity at work. Mireille can't go anywhere in the building without someone stopping her to ask about me. However, it often sounds like this "You hurt your foot?"

Complete strangers are concerned. At first, it was flattering but now it just seems to add a lot of pressure. "Been like that a long time, eh?" Yeah, thanks. I hadn't realized...

Sometimes it's just the stares that freak me out. Take a picture, please!

Oh wait, don't... That's even creepier.

Anyway, I'm inching my way out of this plateau. I'm still quite stiff and the kneecap is stuck but with some massaging, it's getting better. I'm feeling strong and a lot more stable.

Gotta get more agressive with my bending, though, because I'm still only hovering at about 127 degrees.

This is me now. I look swollen but that's just the way I'm bent in the picture. Wounds are healing nicely!!

Monday, April 6, 2009

Day 34

I was warned about this.

At my last physio appointment, a fellow reconstructed knee owner was looking glum. When his physio asked how's it going, he simply replied: "The novelty is wearing off". Indeed.

At the time, I was still optimistic and a tad overconfident. I'll be better in no time. This is easy. Nothing can stop me. I'm a superstar.

Maybe it's the fact that it's snowing in April or that I seem to have hit a plateau these past few days. Probably both. Mireille hasn't seen much improvement in me lately, and it's obviously reflected in her mood and motivation. To make things worse, I've been hurting. Shouldn't the pain and potential for pain be gone by now?

I was warned it wouldn't always be smooth sailing.

Friday, April 3, 2009

Day 31

Time to talk about the (exaggerated) vitamin and mineral regime. I know, I know. It's best to get all your nutrients from food. But after the trauma I've been through, Mireille would probably have to eat 20 heads of broccoli a day to fulfill the nutrient requirements to fix me. No thanks.

I admit she's been making a monumental effort to eat well before and after surgery. Lots of fruits and veggies, especially. Big salads full of fancy lettuces, multi-colored crudités and things (c'mon, we all love sprouts don't we?).

So it looks something like this. Calcium / magnesium three times a day plus some extra vitamin D on the side. Gotta rebuild those bones they drilled through. Tons of vitamin C for collagen and tissue repair. Glucosamine / MSM / Chondroitin because they say it's good for us joints. Fish oil for inflammation. Oh, and a multi-vitamin for good measure.

Finally, some B vitamins because all of this is so darn stressful!