Monday, February 25, 2008

Can you hear the drums?

I can. My knees are back to talking with each other in bed in the morning, setting up an interesting rhythm sometimes. Mind you, these are normal sounds, nothing painful or out of the ordinary, but most certainly entertaining:

"Crick?" "Snick..."
"Pip?" "Pop!"
"Crock?" "Pip-crack-snick!!!!!"

As remarked on once by Black Belt Mama, I am most definitely in the Doldrums phase of recovery.

No huge exciting leaps of progress, though I am by many accounts far ahead of the typical person recovering from ACL reconstruction. I still attribute my accelerated recovery to rapid response to the injury more than anything else; I simply didn't have time to atrophy or cause collateral joint damage prior to surgery. We're talking almost exactly 1 month from injury to surgery here folks, and that's unusually short by so many accounts.

It's been colder than blazes since I was OK'ed to start power-walking in anticipation of running. I have no treadmill, so the only walking I've been doing is daily stuff around the office and shopping. I did put in a good dose this past Saturday, walking 6 or so blocks to the Karate school to video tape record belt promotion testing instead of driving. Felt absolutely fine afterwards.

This morning I had every intention of getting out and power-walking for 20 - 30 minutes, but alas I went to bed way too late last night and couldn't rouse myself in time.

You see, I was glued to Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows until just past 1 am when I finished the book.

So...as long as I get to bed at a decent hour tonight, I should be good to go for power walking tomorrow. My plan is to alternate walking (eventually running) with the usual squats, leg lifts with weights, and Sloooooooowwwww kicks--quite possibly my favorite Karate-related exercise.
Plenty of stretching will accompany all of this, along with getting around to doing push ups and some cool core muscle stuff with an exercise ball.

I got a treat last Wednesday night at G-Shaft's sparring class. With a tournament coming up, the instructors wanted to maximize ring time for the kids, so they called me out to referee a 3rd ring. I was nervous, having never really called points during sparring, but put on a confident face--and promptly forgot ALL the kids names! Things were just fine, though, and I held my own.

It was cute when the kids would make an exchange, but I either didn't see it clearly, or it wasn't clean enough technique to stop the match and call for a point. They would each stop and look at me to say something, and I'd remind them to keep on going until I called a halt. Do that in a tournament, and your opponent is likely to plant one square in your torso while your eyes are turned away, snagging an easy point.

Don't ever take your eyes off your opponent, kids!!!

Saturday, February 16, 2008

6 Weeks: What's going on???

To you reading this latest post, thanks SO much for waiting! It's just over 3 weeks since my last post, and I've been busy as hell. My usually relaxed afternoons and evenings have been just so jam packed I haven't taken time to keep you all updated.

So here's the poop: I am at full ROM. My visits to PT and Dr. K have shown my progress to be excellent; quoting Dr. K, I'm "Way ahead of the game!!!"

So what does that all add up to?

Here's what.
  • Exercise bike - forward pedaling with resistance set as tolerated; right now it's the lowest, since I have to troubleshoot wiring of the brake motor!
  • Range of motion - Molly wants me to do some extension work, but the difference between good knee and operative is negligible; We've stopped measuring. Just consider me back to full range.
  • Stairs - I'm not even thinking when taking steps currently. I can lead equally well with my good leg or my operative leg going up or down, no handholds to balance or anything. Granted, my operative knee still likes to remind me that I have a remanfuactured body part, but I expect that'll last the rest of my life in some form or another!
  • Running - With jam packed days full of work, bitter sub-zero temperatures, transporting G-shaft around, Videotape and DVD production, as well as recording with the band, I just haven't had time to start my speed walking program. The exception was today, when I took my parents dog for a walk. Good ol' Maggie was testing me!
  • PT - I've been cleared to add ankle weights as tolerated on my straight leg lifts and hamstring curls. I've also been working both legs, since the strength is pretty much equal at the moment and I don't want the good one falling behind. Stair stepping, two leg mini-squats, and one leg mini-squats are the movements of the day. Add exercise ball work for stabilizing core muscles and interesting stuff like one-leg balancing on a mini trampoline, and I've got a big menu of stuff to choose from any given morning!
  • Surgery - On my visit with Dr. K February 29th, I heard he'll be strapping me into a machine--I assume something like a KT1000 Arthrometer--to quantify just how good my operative knee is doing. Based on those results, I may be approved to start a favorite Karate exercise, the slow-count kick.
  • Running - Yeah, right! Not quite yet, but hopefully this week's weather won't deter me from getting outside to do some power walking, working up to running within the next week or two.
So...I'm feeling great, getting a bit lax on PT--but that's not to say I've been sedentary at all! I'm able to sleep in MY choice of position now, and nightly cramping is pretty much non-existent.

Well, off to watch another episode of Torchwood. Ice those knees, and good night!