If I Stumble They’re Gonna Eat Me Alive

May 26, 2009 § 3 Comments

My recovery is not going awesome. I am still not able to get a full bend or to fully straighten from my leg — I’m missing about 15 degrees of mobility in both directions. This fact that has my surgeon “concerned” and suspicious that I’ll need a second surgery to remove scar tissue. (I’ll know in a few weeks, after some more healing, a lot of anti-inflammatory medication, and another MRI.)

In the meantime, physical therapy, in particular, is not going awesome. There are apparently two schools of thought when it comes to regaining mobility after surgery:

1. Long, extended periods of stretching (10-20 minutes) with light weight.
2. Short, quick bursts of extreme pressure. This basically amounts to the PT trying to push or pull my leg into a fully straight position as hard as she possibly can, and is generally excruciatingly painful.

The PT I’m seeing is using a combination of both twice a week (and I spend an hour or longer do the stretches at home the other five days a week), and neither is particularly fun (nor do I really think either is particularly, you know, WORKING). At this morning’s session, she decided to mix things up — normally I start with the long, extended light-weight stretching — and go for the full-court-press first.

I have to admit, I screamed.

Normally I’m able to just writhe and grimace and ball my fists, but today I wasn’t ready for it, and I screamed. (The last time I was there, the PT told me how she tore her ACL in high school and used to cry at every single therapy appointment. Till now, I have been too proud to let myself cry on the table, but maybe I need to start crying mercy.)

Anyway. I screamed. I am relieved that it was a just a gutteral, angry, animal scream and not an expletive, because there was a sweet, grandmotherly woman at the table across from me having her shoulder iced. While I was panting for breath, she looked over at my PT with tears in her eyes and said, “Is that really necessary? You’re obviously hurting her.” I wanted to get off the table and hug her as hard as I could (without hurting her shoulder). Mercy, there was my mercy.

The PT smiled gently, ignored her and tried it again. Twice.


On a related note, these five songs have been on repeat in my head for the past three weeks. They seem fitting for some kind of I’m-feeling-sorry-for-myself knee surgery mix.

Help I’m Alive – Metric
Mr. Pitiful – Matt Costa
Could Be So Happy – Heartless Bastards
Be OK – Ingrid Michaelson
The Way We Get By – Spoon



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