Tag Archives: knees

Get Moving Challenge!

So, yesterday marked the first day of the Get Moving Challenge. The first day was relatively simple, just based around scheduling your workout.

I did that, planning to alternate walks and getting back into doing my physical therapy exercises from my knee surgery. Hopefully I can manage to do a little bit each day. The suggestions mentioned maybe not starting so big, but I’m trying very hard to form habits right now, and I don’t think twice a week is enough to form a habit.

Today’s goal is to work with a fitness video and routine that they provide. I haven’t done it yet, but it looks pretty good. Hopefully I’ll be able to do all the exercises with the pain in my knees. Plus I’m planning on taking a walk today as well.

They don’t let you embed their videos (which is a shame, that would be a much better way for them to get the word out and get their logo in front of people without having to do their own advertising) but you can visit the second day of the challenge here.

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A new route

A few months ago, my best friend moved into a temporary apartment while she was looking for a new place.  My husband has been bugging me since then to take a walk to visit her instead of driving because he really likes the path that goes in that direction.

We finally went last week, and it really was worth it.  It reminded me of why I like living in this particular small neighborhood that I live in, because there were several spots where you could only just see the houses or barely hear the cars from the path, so it really felt like you were in the woods.  And there was this lovely little bridge over a small creek in the middle of nowhere, the kind of place where it would be wonderful to just set up a camp chair and hang out for a while.

The last part of the trail was kind of difficult though, because there was a very steep hill that was followed by a very long but slight slope.  So I ran out of breath and couldn’t catch back up for a while.

I’m not entirely sure if this particular hike was the reason that my knee is acting up again.  It’s doing some stranger things than before, so I’m trying to do light duty for a few days to make it feel better.  The problems with my knees are making me more upset every time, because if anything derails this entire plan (other than my own problems with concentration/motivation) it’s going to be my knees.  And that’s super discouraging.

But the walk itself did remind me of exactly why I want to do this, so that was a plus.

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Early morning walk

So, in the last week or so I’ve actually managed three walks around the lake (about 1 mile the whole way) and so I think I’m doing pretty good.  I managed to actually get up and take a walk this morning before I did anything else, which I think is a vast improvement over how I have been.

My right knee (the one I didn’t have surgery on) was giving me some trouble a day or two ago, but it seems to have settled out now.  I even managed to drink plenty of water today.  I’m hoping to walk again tomorrow and maybe start to get the beginnings of an actual daily habit going.  We’ll see.  But at least I’m feeling a bit better about it this week than I have in the past.  Maybe a little more motivated somehow, that’s good.

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Back to the circuit

So last Friday I decided it was time to get back to walking. My physical therapist told me that at this point everything was up to my own tolerance.

My husband, my best friend, and I all took a walk around the lake that I live next to. I need to check on the length of the walk again, but I think it’s about a mile.

It was mostly non-eventful. My left knee (the one I had surgery one) wasn’t too bad, but the right knee ached a bit. Likely because I’ve been focusing on the left with my strength workouts and stuff. So time to start doing everything on both sides I guess.

It was also a bit muggy, so now it’s time to start grumping about the weather! I did finally get a pair of shorts that fits after having to return some. So now I need to make sure to put on sunscreen before I go out.

So slow progress this week, but progress.

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A month later

So I can’t believe it’s been a month since I last posted, but I think everybody could tell I was fed up with everything.

My knee still pops and crackles as I walk down steps. It still aches a bit, and I’m still not entirely sure it’s better than it was before.

My physical therapy exercises got easier, so they made them all more difficult last week and I spent a day unable to walk comfortably because my muscles hurt. But I need that kind of thing right now, it’s been too long that I’ve been letting myself be still because of weakness in my joints and muscles, so it’s time to work them and get better.

My last day of physical therapy is Wednesday, and I’ve been officially cleared to start taking walks again. I might not start this week because things have been crazy busy but it’ll be soon. I’m also thinking about taking up yoga. Have any hikers done yoga and know if it’s a good combination?

The sad thing is that starting the walking again is just going to remind me again that I need to buy a raincoat, it’s been very rainy here lately.

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Hobbling around

So it’s been a week since my arthroscopic knee surgery. The bruises are fading, and the swelling has thankfully gone down a lot already.

The surgery itself was mostly uneventful. The only problem was that after I woke up I couldn’t sleep, because I usually sleep on my side and I couldn’t. So it took more than 24 hours after I woke up from anesthesia for me to actually get any more sleep. I had my first physical therapy appointment about 48 hours after the surgery, and they took off the bandage so I got my first good look at everything. It wasn’t pretty, but it wasn’t too bad either.

Part of the issue before my appointment was that my crutches were all wrong, so they were almost impossible to walk with, which led to me mostly staying in one place. They were set really low, and I was hunching over to try to walk. I tried to fix them myself but it wasn’t much better until the PT fixed it.

Of course the first thing he did was tell me “okay, we’re going to put your leg flat on the bench.” I was absolutely convinced that I could not do it, that my knee would never actually manage that until it wasn’t as swollen. But about ten minutes later it was actually where it was supposed to be.

The part that disturbed me the most was that he asked me to tighten my quad muscle and it didn’t respond at all. I have this weird thing about when my body either does things I don’t tell it (shivering, reflex tests) or when it doesn’t do what I tell it (like in this case). So I was a little freaked out, but he said that it’s actually common after this kind of surgery and swelling. So they hooked up an electrical stimulation unit and I sat there with that on for ten minutes. I can’t say I liked it, but I didn’t dislike it either. It just kind of was.

Then I had to do a few exercises and they put my leg in a machine that pumped ice cold water through it, and it had pressure too. So that was kind of nice. The therapist definitely is not going to be the kind of coddle me or let me get away with anything, he’s going to push, which is what I need.

I’ve been keeping up with my exercises, mostly. Some days I don’t do as many sessions as I’m supposed to (by like, one set, not by a lot) but I at least get it done. My friends also don’t let me get away with much, so I actually ended up going out and walking around (on crutches) for three days in a row. I may have overdone it a bit because yesterday I’d decided to stop taking my pain medication because I thought it might be too much, and I ended up with a fever and nausea.

But the big thing is that today I decided to not use my crutches at all unless things got really bad. And I did it, no crutches at all since yesterday. On top of that, I actually started walking more or less like a normal person instead of shuffling and hopping around. It hurts to do it, but it hurts in a way that I think is probably good, rather than in a way that means I’m messing up my progress.

I can tell one of my big problems will be my calf muscles, because my exercises are designed to help work my calf and the on my left leg that muscle has ALWAYS been too tight and a big problem, so working it like this is making it hurt. But again, maybe it’s in a good way.

Tomorrow I go back to physical therapy again, and keep that up for about a month it looks like, before they re-evaluate and decide if I need more. Plus this week I go to the doctor for the general follow-up and maybe somebody will finally tell me what they actually did while they were poking around in there, since so far nobody has actually said what happened specifically.

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Just one more day

So tomorrow I’m going in to have my knee operated on, and Thursday I start physical therapy. So the tone of this blog will change a little bit to be about updates on my recovery and my progress towards my thru-hike. I still think I can do this, and I plan to tell my PT that it’s my goal and that I want to work towards that.

But the first step is recovery. Yay. Wish me luck!

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Surgery scheduled

So, I’ve scheduled my surgery to deal with my knee/shin/leg issue in March. I’ll probably not update this much until after that’s done, except maybe to discuss my plan for building back up from that.

They say the surgery is minimally invasive but involves some physical therapy, so I’ll be probably talking about that for a bit. But I want to get back on track with this, I’m tired of this knee issue putting me on the sidelines of everything.

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One step forward, two steps back…

So I finally talked to my doctor about my bad knee, and how it aches and swells when I walk a lot. She’s sending me to an orthopedic doctor because she can tell there is something wrong with it. So that appointment is week after next, and we’ll get that settled and work on strengthening it back up.

So of COURSE this is the perfect time for me to hurt my other leg. And I can’t figure out what I’ve done. Yesterday I got down onto my knees in the floor to play with the cat, and my left leg (without the bad knee) felt funny. I figured it was just my jeans pulling weird or something, it wasn’t pain, just weird.

Then today I was in the floor again while I was cleaning and it obviously is the muscle in my leg. My husband thinks I’ve pulled it, which makes no sense to me because I haven’t done anything that would pull it. But it hurts and I’m getting grumpy because every time I take a step to fix one thing, another thing goes wrong. I’m tired of my body being too broken to get anything done.

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