I haven't written for a while. Not for any particular reason, just coz. I'm still not entirely sure anyone reads this but I want it to be out there in case someone who is awaiting/researching their own ACL op has the chance to read my experience.
So, I have now finished my hydrotherapy and thought it was really helpful. Because I was like the only person who attended all the classes when I was supposed to the 2 physios were really helpful and let me do different exercises to really work on my flexion. In my physio gym classes Andre the mean physio had commented that my flexion was really bad, so I really wanted to prove him wrong! They were really good. And Siobhan, one of the physios, told me that to stop the pain I was getting behind my knee cap I should use my fingers to move my kneecap around, which I have been doing and it has really helped.
I have also finished my physio group classes. They were hard, but my leg is definitely stronger now so at least they worked. At the moment I am doing quite a lot of work at home to keep up my strength. I do at least 45 minutes on my bike each day, a session on my pilates machine, and gym ball work. If I am feeling motivated I also do about half an hour on the treadmill.
I have not gone back to work yet. I am due to go back on March 17th. I am so scared. 3 months is the point when the graft is weakest, and I am at 3 months at the moment. I am hopefully going to see Occupational Health this week so that they can assess what position I will be in when I get back. It'd be so much easier if I worked in an office but being a Nursery Teacher is a much more active job than I think a lot of people realise! My surgeon wanted me to go back after 6 weeks!! Ha!
I have just got home from my first exercise class and I don't know what was worse... the exercises or Andre the physio following me around and tormenting me!!!
The exercises were what I expected and I got through them OK, they were hard but that is what they are designed to be, else there'd be no point doing them. But yes Andre... it all started with him walking into my bike at the warm up and announcing to the entire gym that I'd tried to run him over! This shouting to the entire gym continued throughout the entire hour long class! Memorable quotes include "Ladies and gentlemen she's a player", and "Everytime Louise stops the time stops and holds you all (the rest of the class) up". Great! He knows what he is talking about but no one else got this 'special' treatment. HA! I gave him the finger as I left so no doubt I'll have some fabulous comments on Thursday!
Gosh I ache all over!! I've taken all sorts of painkillers! x
Tomorrow I start my exercise class at the physio gym... I'm excited, how sad am I? Very is the answer! My main concern is what to wear!
I had a clinic appointment on Thursday and didn't see my consultant, I saw one of his "team". Who didn't seem to know too much about, well, anything really! He said something along the lines of it being too early to tell if my knee is good, I don't think I really got him but he didn't seem bothered, said that the ligament is good because it's not too tight or too loose. I asked him if I could drive and he said yes because you mainly use your ankle to drive!! That was lost on me but I went out for a drive on Thursday and it was fine. The reason Georgie had been reluctant to let me is because when you do an emeregency stop you straighten your leg fully which is dangerous to the new ligament, but when I push the clutch down all the way, I don't fullen extend my leg. So I guess I'll be just fine.
I just got back from physio. Georgie has booked me in for the exercise classes that are due to start on Monday. We did the induction for it today and it doesn't seem too hard. She was pleased with my progress and really excited that I didn't have crutches with me. :o) Yey.
Erm, so basically I told her I was worried because I was a lot stronger last time I did the classes but obviously the exercises this time are right for where I am. The only thing that scared me was the mini trampoline, because I orginally hurt myself on a trampoline I'm not happy being on one anyway but also the surgeon told me that I shouldn't jump for 6 months. But I won't be jumping on it anyway. So that is ok!!
She got me to go on a bike, OH MY GOD! It was sooooooooo painful. I don't think I thought it was going to hurt that much. We had to make the seat really high so I wasn't bending so much. Good grief it was painful. But I rode it for about 10 minutes and it got better. It was just a shock to move my leg that way I guess.
When I was done I asked if I can drive yet... :o( She said I have to check with my consultant, which is ok because I am seeing him tomorrow but if he says I can't drive until 3 months I'll be gutted. And also buggered, because I don't know how I'll get to my physio. Grrrr.
Went to hydro again this morning and a different physio took it. She was very friendly but spent most of her time with an 'older gentleman' who didn't quite understand the instructions. Bless. It was a bit more active today, did "laps" round the pool and stepping exercises on the step. Also did some cycling whilst lying on a bed which is attached to the side of the pool, so you sort of lie on it and cycle your legs under the water. Did some work with the round float, which acts as a weight. That was it really. I was reading on the leaflet they give you about hydrotherapy and one of the benefits is to impove cardiovascular fitness! Ha ha ha!!! I break more of a sweat changing channel on the telly! Ok, not technically true, but although I can feel it working it doesn't feel hard or too challenging.
Next week I have hydro on Tuesday, I am seeing Georgie on Wednesday and I have a clinic appointment on Thursday, but also Georgie wanted me to start my exercise class on Thursday too, but I'm really not sure I'm ready for that and the time clashes with the clinic appointment. I have done the exercise class before as part of my rehab when I injured my knee initially. It is basically a circuit training session where you do different exercises on different things, like with a gymball, on a weights machine etc. Last time I did it it was quite intense, I will have to see what Georgie says I should do this time.
I am also being really strict with the times I am doing physio at home this week. I was quite bad last week and only did the exercises once or twice a day so now I am doing them every 2 hours without fail!
Speaking of which it is 10pm and that, ladies and gentlemen, is physio time. Ciao, xxx
Wow, I can't believe that I was so worried over it! It turned out to be quite an amusing little outing for me!
Got there and got changed, but I was a little bit late so the other people in my class were getting into the pool. But I couldn't find the lockers! But one lady showed me and so there I was, there was another girl there (I actually didn't get her name) and she was about 17, she had had her muscles shortened!!!! It was her first session too so we stuck together.
So, hydrotherapy... Firstly you have yourself a little shower then you get in, and everyone stands around the edge of the pool. The water is warm, really warm actually, but not very deep and the pool is only little really. Erm, so, there was one physio lasy out of the pool but she looked like she just did admin type stuff - she wasn't involved in the lesson. Then there were 2 young boys (!) in the pool. One, who I think was called Matt "took" the class in the loosest possible way (he basically called out what you should do and demonstrated but you couldn't see what he was doing because his legs were under water!) and another one who went round trying to keep bits of paper with our details on dry.
So we did the "warm up" where we did heel raises, squats and leg bends. Then the main part of the session we did more heel raises and squats, and then extending our legs out in front of us and behind us and to the side. It reminded me of barre work in ballet class - I guess that is essentially what it was really. Then we were given a circular float which we had to put our foot on and hold the other end and with our leg bent lift it up then down. Then we had to do the same with our leg extended. Then for the "cool down" we had to do side steps around the pool. Then that was it. It didn't seem too taxing really.
Then I had to go to the physio department and leave a message for Georgie because she didn't know how many hydro sessions I was going to have. She called me back this afternoon and said that she had booked me for the exercise sessions in the gym starting on the 31st but I had been given 5 more hydro sessions which were due to finish on February the 19th. And you're supposed to be finished your hydro before you do exercise sessions. So basically Georgie wants to see me on the 30th to assess me and see if the hydro has worked then she will still book me on the exercise course to start the next day. I have just realised that I also have a clinic appointment on that day I hope I have enough time to go home and shower because the physio gym is about 5000 degrees and I'll be a sweaty Betty!!!
Oh. So it's all very complicated as to how many hydro sessions I will be having but at least it wasn't half as traumatic as I thought it was going to be!!!