Resuming daily life
Week 6 – 12
December 2022 - January 2023
Welcome! In the previous part, I talked about the surgery and how (literally) the first steps were taken. After a month of hard training, it's time for an update. I also tried to get back to daily life.
WALKING, BIKING AND WORKING
Earlier I mentioned walking without crutches. That was partly true, because outdoors I had yet to een crutch with me for safety. The first time without them I still felt vulnerable. Luckily I made it home in one piece and they have been in the corner for good ever since. Then in week seven I got the green light to ride my bike outside. That freedom and convenience is so nice. However, it does not mean that everything immediately goes and can be done as you are used to. It remained paying attention and I tried to do as little as possible. Only later did I see that I averaged 474 steps a day in November and 2490 in December. So subconsciously you do more and more anyway. At the end of December, eight weeks post ok, there were a few spikes due to the holidays. Despite the parties I unfortunately had to skip this year, I got through the busy days fairly unscathed. More stiffness and feeling tired, but no fat knee.
These days were a test for myself how the knee was doing. As I told you before, I am a physical therapist myself and working was not possible. Until now I could fully focus on rehabilitation. Absolutely a luxury, but two months then take a long time. It was a relief that I was allowed to work a few hours again at the beginning of January. If all goes well I will build this up over the next few weeks. Hopefully this will not cause a reaction and I can continue to train without complaints. So still exciting and waiting.
TRAIN HARDER AND HARDER
Training is continuously getting heavier and more fun. Basic strength exercises (e.g. squats with dumbbell, deadlifts, leg curl) that I had started with the first six weeks are going with more weight. Meanwhile, split squats, step exercises and preparatory running forms, among others, have been added. The body is a master at finding the easiest way. For example, it is difficult to distribute your weight evenly. Best example is when I was allowed to row and double the pressure with my left-not-operated leg. That left leg, by the way, I am also training full force with already higher weights than before the surgery.
The next step was to move more weight to my operated leg with squats. Exactly eight weeks and 2522 squats on the counter the time had come. The first one-legged squat. Certainly did not deserve the beauty prize, but was successful so satisfied.
Furthermore, I started jumping forms. At the beginning I felt as if I was standing very crookedly. A lot of repetition to get the feeling and suspension back. Now I practice variations such as forward, sideways and on a trampoline. Last week I was allowed to 'jump' from my left to my right leg with the support of my hands.
Finally, I do a lot of stability exercises focusing on stretching the knee and the whole body. Like everything else, it's uncomfortable the first time and more natural by the second time. Each time I gain more confidence to perform it at higher speeds. Fear I haven't really experienced yet. Personally, I think because many of the current exercises I could also do before the surgery without the cruciate ligament. However, I am doing more and more new things. So possibly soon the mental part will be more challenged.
PROGRESS PHYSIO VS DAILY LIFE
Sports always give me energy and relaxation. I experience the same now. In a way even similar to field hockey. Perhaps this is the most enjoyable phase of rehabilitation. Physically I am making quick strides and that is a nice reward. Unfortunately, I notice that the knee does not progress at that fast pace during daily life. Some days are better than others. It is then frustrating that something as simple as walking feels uncomfortable while a jump exercise is not a problem. Especially after longer loads, the knee feels stiff, I walk with a bit of a limp and sometimes it snaps. No cause for concern, but a reminder that dosage is necessary. Hopefully I can tell next time that this will be more carefree.
Terugblikkend kan ik in 6 weken echt veel meer. Het is goed om jezelf daaraan te herinneren. Al met al ben ik heel blij met de vooruitgang. Op deze manier doorgaan en hard mijn best blijven doen is het belangrijkste.