Friday, July 10, 2009

Jen's injury update

Well, I had my final PT appointment this week. I guess that means I graduated, but I have the opportunity to go back if I need to relearn the exercises or if I experience more pain. I didn't feel much different this month except that the pain I had last time had diminished to my prior pain level. I have felt stronger the last three weeks and was up to 1 minute walk and 4 minutes jogging for a total of 15 minutes which felt great.

Just because I don't go back doesn't mean I'm healed. I have exercises to continue with and was taught ways to advance those exercises as I need to push myself. I have a side to side walk with exercise bands, a squat, one leg balance, and a step down exercise. My leg was checked over comparing to the right leg, and the muscles and ligaments are looser on the left which means that they will be at risk for future injuries. The damage is to the medial collateral ligament, the meniscus tear and a bone bruise. The bone bruising will take up to a year to heal. The next ligament in line from the medial is the ACL, in the center of the knee, which is a bigger deal kind of injury and more likely to be injured if I have another crash. The looseness will remain for life most likely and since this was my last scheduled PT appointment I decided to get any remaining questions out of the way. I asked about snowboarding, and got kind of a blank non-committal stare. Figuring I wasn't going to get a "sure, keep at it, go for it", I asked what precautions I needed to take when I go again, specifically a brace or stabilizer. Yes, was the answer and one was recommended. And turns out I have to use it forever. It will protect my knee from bad turns and slow falls like the injury cause, but obviously isn't going to save me from huge crashes. Not that I plan on having any of those. And if I do have an injury to that leg again when I am wearing the brace there is more likelihood of an injury to the ankle or hip which are harder to heal than a knee injury. So a brace is ordered and once I get one the right size I will be all set to go this winter. I'm just going to say right here, that I hate chairlifts and I think they hate me too. Maybe the two of us can come to terms this winter.

I became an expert at my balancing exercise and have more advanced steps for that now. I balance on my injured left leg on an unstable surface such as a pillow, foam padding, etc. Knee is bent and arms are drawn in and crossed over my chest, and eyes are closed. I keep that up for 2 minutes. And to mix it up I can set up an obstacle course of unstable items to step back and forth on and hold balance on each one for 5 seconds or so. My therapist said the kids can do this with me to get them involved in my exercises, it's like playing games. Makes me think that maybe our new item we have on order may help as well. We are getting a slackline for the backyard. Here is an example, it's webbing strung between trees or posts to balance on and walk across.

Chad ordered a set up and it should come in next week. Check out the video of tricks from Slackline Express. In no time these will be the stunts being performed in our very own backyard. I'm sure.


I just hope no one gets hurt.

Seriously hurt.

I'm sure there will be bumps, bruises, scrapes, crying.

Whatever, it will be fun.