Update

Thursday the 16th I went back to the doctor. He said I was able to shoot as long as I didn’t jump, meaning I could shoot free throws and form shooting. However I was happy with this news because it has been killing me not being able to shoot. He also said I could start to run in straight lines. This news made me even more excited because I can’t wait to get back in shape. When I got back to school I texted my coach and told her the good news. I also asked if I could stay after school and shoot some. She rapidly replied yes and told me she was so happy I was back on track. My rehab had been postponed when my other knee got hurt, but I was now back on track from my ACL injury.   After school I told my trainer the good news and he told me he was proud of me. He said that if I wanted to go shoot I would have to first heat up my knee and then stretch. At first when I was shooting it was weird because I could not bend my knees as far as I was use to. This caused my shot to be thrown off plus my shooting was off because I had not shot in months. The next day in training I was able to run on the treadmill for ten minutes. Midway through the run I felt like I was going to die. Man I thought to myself I am really out of shape. After the run when I stepped off the treadmill I felt like I was still moving on the treadmill, it felt so weird.  All of my hard work has paid off.  I have been training for almost 2 months since my second surgery.  It has been hard not to see any results.  Yes, my quads and gluts have gotten stronger, but it is not like when you play a basketball game and score points and get the rebounds.  You just train and don’t realize the progress you are making until the doctor says you are on the road back to playing basketball again.  I see progress and can’t wait until I hear the doctor say those great words, “Erin, you can play basketball again.”  But until that days happens, I must continue my training and strengthen my core.  The game will just follow.

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5 Weeks: 2 Surgeries: 2 New Knees

What I failed to mention in my last blog update was I had another minor setback. I tweaked my “good” knee (the one that locked up on me before surgery aka the “meniscus” knee) and I’ve had problems with this knee for awhile but this time I faced a different situation.   I was sitting on the floor doing my homework.  When I went to get up, it locked on me.  In the past I was able to work it out,.  At first, the trainer at my high school and myself thought this was like any other time and it would resolve itself.   Unfortunately, this time it needed a helping hand. So back to the doctor I went after a week with no improvement. Straight away, I was taken to get an MRI. After my MRI, I saw the doctor. It felt like an eternity as we waited to see the doctor. When he walked in, the doctor said with a sigh “well, you finally tore it.” I had torn my meniscus.

I thought it was going to be like my ACL surgery and would have to wait a few weeks but he scheduled my surgery right away, I would find myself on the operating table again exactly 5 weeks after my ACL surgery.    He informed me that it needed to be done so quickly in order to avoid additional damage.  At least this time I knew what to expect but the day of surgery seemed to sneak up on my just like my ACL surgery.

After surgery I wasn’t nearly as groggy or sleepy due to the fact that meniscus surgery is only 30 minutes unlike ACL surgery which was an hour.  Unfortunately, this surgery did leave my knee more swollen, pain medicine less often meant I did have a little more pain, and I needed to walk on it sooner which made it really sore.  Lucky for me (not) I got to start walking on it the day after surgery and it hurt really bad. The first few days of walking were hard but now I am able to walk with almost no pain. I’ve found a new use for the “torture device” used in ACL surgery. It helps me elevate my knee higher than I could stack the pillows which is helping with the swelling.  On the bright side, I got my family to get me everything I need for a little bit longer and I even avoided dish duty after Thanksgiving lunch.

Until next time, Erin

Recovery

I am happy to say I am finally starting to feel “normal” again. I am off my pain medicine. Thank goodness because they made me so tired. I was a little loopy after my surgery, but it passed after a few hours.  Unfortunately my sisters got some videos.  It took me almost two weeks to make up all my missed work because my teachers conveniently planned four tests while I was gone. I also missed  a debate so I had to write a make up persuasive essay. I felt such a rush of accomplishment when I finally made up all my missed work. Two weeks after surgery,  I was in the 90 percentile, which means I am doing great in rehab. I have started to walk on my own in short distance and only use the crutches to help stabilize myself when walking long distance.

Here are some tools I had to use while in recovery.

  1. I used this machine called a CPM machine, Continuous Passive Motion. It helped me bend my knee so it would not get stiff.  At first it hurt, but then it started to make my knee feel a lot better. When I first started using it was set to 30 degrees and every hour I would increase it 2 degrees. I did this for between 4-6 hours a day and after 10 days had made it to almost 90 degrees. The CPM machine would start at the specific degree and then would slowly decrease to 0 degrees and then back to the specific degree I was on. Watch here to see the CPM Machine In Action
  2. I also used this thing I called the “torture chamber” .  It is an extension block were you put your foot in and keep it there for fifteen minutes, it stinks. It helps keep your hamstring from getting tight.
  3. I had to used this thera-band that allowed me to stretch and strengthen my hamstring and quad.

Here are some pictures of my knee during the first 10 days of recovery:Knee During Recovery

Until next time, Erin.

Decorating Crutches: FINALLY

The moment you have all been waiting for… how to decorate your crutches.

  1. You enlist your sister or any other family member to help.
  2. Get your two favorite colors in duck tape.
  3. Choose one color to be your base color and the other to be the color you use as the stripes.
  4. Put your base color on the crutch (Side note: Crutches are wider than a piece of tape. So you need to overlap two pieces of tape to fully cover the crutch. It works better it you have someone helping.)
  5. Take your second color and take scissors and cut it in half. Starting at the top going down.
  6. Put the second color stripes as the base color.
  7. Continue until you finish your cruthches.
  8. Don’t cover up the holes that help adjust your crutches
  9. It helps if you get cushioned pillows for your crutches to help with the discomfort after lots of use, here are the ones I have used Medline Crutch Pillowsphoto

Updates

Sorry I haven’t posted anything in a while, but my teachers have been piling work on me all week and before school basketball practice started for my high school this week. So I’m going to give y’all some updates and a funny story.

  1. They found out what was wrong with my “good” knee, it never had time to fully recover from my previous meniscus issues because I tore my ACL on the other knee so I had to put all the pressure and weight on my meniscuse knee. So my knee locked up at school and I wasn’t able to put any weight on either knee. I had to miss another day of school to go to the doctor.  As I was trying to walk later in the weekend, my knee popped. It was sore, but I could walk again! Luckily it was nothing major so I just had to rest and work on range of motion.
  2. My surgery got scheduled for Wednesday.  I’ll have to get there a little before six in the morning. So much for sleeping in on my day off.  Luckily with the surgery so early I will won’t get as nervous before the surgery because it is first thing in the morning. I won’t get a video of the surgery but I do hope to get a few pictures.
  3. Today in training, I was able to walk crutch free on the treadmill. I even did a few mini-squats and walked without my ACL brace. I’ve also been doing the bicycle and cuff weights. (Sidenote: It is very ironic that I’m doing all this physical therapy only to have to repeat this entire process after surgery including getting off my crutches. And I will only have been crutch free for a few days before I get to use them again for another ten days, more or less.)
  4. Now funny story time. I was in the elevator going to the office to leave early for yet another doctor’s appointment. Unknowing I accidentally hit a switch with my backpack.  That caused the switch to become jammed in the middle position and the elevator abrutly jolted and stopped for a second. I had a mini-panic attack that I was stuck in the elevator. However, I realized the switch was stuck, I bravely moved the switch and the elevator started going again.

PS. I still owe you a post about decorating my crutches

Change in Plans

You all thought I was going to write about my crutches, but I had a little setback today at school. I was in class and what used to be my bad knee (meniscus issues) but after I tore my ACL became my “good” knee, locked on me causing great pain whenever I moved it. While I waited for the trainer and nurse to help me get up, my trusty friend Laura and Reagan kept me company. They just talked to me and kept me calm and I held back tears the best I could. I then used a wheelchair to get down to the training room and now I can’t put weight on either knee. On the bright side, I got to skip my Pre-AP Chemistry test because I had to leave school early. So now, I have to go back to the doctor in the morning and figure out what our next course of action will be. Right now, I’m sitting with both legs propped up with a bag of frozen corn on one knee, and frozen peas on the other. 

Who knows what the next blog will have in store.. everyday is a new “adventure.”

PS. Maybe a crutch post tomorrow

Pros and Cons of an ACL Tear

Since my injury occurred, I have had a chance to evaluate the pros and cons of my ACL tear.  You might think there would not be any pros associated with an ACL tear,  but you always have to look at the positive side in any situation.  At least, I have one good knee to hop on.  My pros list includes: other people get to carry around my “junk” (no offense to teachers that hand out the junk), no chores, my older sisters step and fetch at my beckon call, I always get to sit shotgun in the car, I get to use the elevators at school, I get to leave class a few minutes early to go to my next class, I get to chill once I get home from school, my food is prepared for me when I go to the table for dinner, I get curbside service when I have to go anywhere, and I only tore my ACL, no other knee damage.  My cons list includes: I have to have surgery, long car rides are painful, it hurts to walk,  I can’t do anything by myself, it takes me longer to get ready in the morning,  I have to stay downstairs in my house, I have to do physical therapy, I can’t stay at home by myself, and I can’t play basketball for a long time.  I have played basketball since I was in first grade.  Although, I have had other injuries in the past, this will be the longest I have gone without getting to play.  This will take me some time to get use to.

I have had some funny things happened to me since my injury.  My friend, Laura, helps me get to many of my classes and gets to ride the elevator with me.  Unfortunately, one of the elevators at the school is older, smaller and smells like a mix between crayons and paper.  We take this elevator to get to math.  So, Laura decided the best solution of riding the elevator would be to hold her breath from the moment we got on the elevator to the minute we got off the elevator.  Halfway through the elevator ride, she decided this was not the smartest move, and anxiously waited for the elevator ride to end.  As soon as the elevator doors opened she got out of the elevator and took a deep breath of fresh air.  It made me laugh and reminded me that friends can make any situation better.

Until next post , bye.

P.S. Next blog post will be about how to jazz up the crutches.

The Injury: 1 Week Ago

Exactly one week ago I was playing in the first few minutes of a basketball game when I was thrown an inbound pass and as I was trying to grab the pass I fell to the ground. I had hurt my knees in the past but knew this time, the pain was different. I felt a pop in my left knee but initially assumed I had only stretched a ligament. I couldn’t get up from the floor, so my dad and coach helped me back to the bench where I started to elevate and ice my knee. The trainer came over and examined my knee and thought my LCL and ACL seemed loose but didn’t offer much additional information only to get a follow up by an orthopedist. Little to say… I didn’t play the rest of the game. At the end of the game, I faced a 5 hour car ride home but luckily was able to sleep most of the way home. When I got home I tried to go straight to bed, but the pain in my knee kept me up most of the night. The next day, was my sixteenth birthday although instead of skipping school, I had to stay home becasue my knee hurt whenever I moved it and I was scheduled to have a doctors appointment. After the doctors appointment I had to go get an MRI, then it was a waiting game. The next day I found out I had torn my ACL, but I looked at the bright side I didn’t have to do any chores for a while. So I am creating this blog to tell others about my recovery and some tips to help others in my situation.

Disclaimer: This is only my perspective and the treatment for my injury.