Tag Archives: ACL recovery

ACL recovery emails! Weeks 13, and 15! I skipped 14.

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Continuing on the theme of compiling and writing out my emailed ACL recovery updates…
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ACL Update – Week 13
Sent, 30-May-2017
I can jog!
Last week, I got cleared to not only jog, but start doing short jumps (forward, backward, and side to side.  No bouldering or jumping off buildings just yet).  So, on Saturday, Sarah and I went out into town and bought me my first ever pair of running shoes.  Then, on Sunday and Monday, we did jogging adventures!
Recovery is going really well, now.  My knee still hurts, and I definitely jog with a noticeable limp, but it’s getting better very quickly.  My legs are, unsurprisingly, almost constantly sore / tired… but that’s good.  The knee hasn’t slipped or been painful throughout the process, which is really what matters in the end.
Tomorrow I’ve got an appointment with Dr. Burgoyne here in Hood River… it’ll probably be more of the same, but we’ll see what he tells me.  I’m hoping it’ll be positive, and more of a “patching up loose ends” situation.
Happy Memorial Day to everyone!
– Ben
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ACL Update – Week 15
Sent, 11-June-2017

Hi all!  I am tired!  Sarah is tired, and Ollie is (somehow) tired as well.  Why, you may ask?

Well, because Physical Therapy has kicked up another two notches.  The important two, even: rock climbing and hiking!
Yesterday was momentus, my first adventure to the climbing gym post-injury!  Sarah and I went late morning, while the gym was as empty as it could be.  The goal was to stretch out, remember what climbing is like, and make sure that I felt confident enough to keep trying it.  No pushing myself, just enough to warm up the climbing muscles.
And they got warmed up!  I only climbed routes rated 5.6, the lowest that the gym has.  And I had some trouble with them… but nothing that wasn’t expected.  Just remembering the movements, and reminding myself (or, more often, Sarah reminding me) to use both legs to climb, and to not favor my left leg.  After a few routes I was feeling good… but definitely tired.  My legs just aren’t really used to that much stepping up.  They’ll have to remember, though, because I’m not planning on slowing down much 🙂
Today was another major milestone; doing a hike called Dog Mountain.  It’s about 8 miles round trip… pretty good, on its own.  But that’s not including the elevation gain – nearly 3,000 ft over the entire hike.  But the reward up top (at this time of the year) is worth it: massive fields of wildflowers, as far as the eye can see.
The hike up was good; It was tiring, but not actually that bad, truth be told.  The challenge came up on the descent… we made it, but my knee was definitely tired.  Not much joint pain, though, which makes me pretty happy and confident.  It was mostly muscle pain, which just means that I need to hike more!  Woo hiking more!
So, long story short – recovery is going well.  Really well.  It’s a lot of work, and a lot of time spent jogging and jumping rope (ew, I hate jumprope) and doing silly crab walks with a resistant band up and down the deck.  But, it’s paying off.
Now, We’re off to bed.  Tomorrow is my rest day… two days on, one day off.  And I’m looking forward to doing nearly nothing, playing video games, and sitting at my computer at work.

ACL Recovery: Weeks 10, 11 and 12!

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ACL Update – Week 10
Sent, 08-May-2017
The story is thus:

What I do know: I have a sunburn, and my knee seems to be doing well.

What I do not know: Whether I need surgery or not.

Last week, I kept pushing the leg and doing more with it – walking, taking hills and stairs, and generally trying to live life a little more normally.  I’ve started getting more steps in (walking >2 miles per day), and I’ve been doing all the physical therapy I can stand.  And speaking of standing, I’ve been using my standing desk at work pretty regularly, stretching and practicing balancing while working.
On Monday, we had an appt. with Dr. O’Shea, which didn’t go quite as well as I’d hoped.  I already wrote that whole email about it, but the short version is: He can’t say one way or the other.  The bone seemed healed, but the ACL was still stretched – 12mm, same as before.  But if it hasn’t given out yet…
I also had my PT appt, where I saw a new physical therapist because Ed is out hiking in Utah.  She’s a yogi, so a lot of my PT this week has been yoga-based… which was really positive.  Especially something she told me; she’s had injuries to both of her knees, and both show a displacement of 13mm… slightly more than mine.  And she plays soccer with them.
But the big news: This last weekend!
Sarah planned out and took us on adventures – We went camping, did some hiking, and then walked around on the beach today.  My leg’s been tired and kind of… loose?  Loose feeling?  I’m not sure how to describe it… but it hasn’t slipped or given out on me at all.  Instead, it’s held strong; strong against a ton of walking, elevation gain, ascending and descending the embankment between the car and the campsite, and wading through a fast-flowing stream.
I even took some hard data, using an awesome GPS watch that I got.  Back in Medway, when I was just starting to walk without crutches, I held 1.9mph average walking speed.  On Friday, I held 2.5mph.  On Saturday, 2.8mph.  I even jogged a tiny bit both days.
I’ve done a lot, worked my leg really hard, and it’s held true.  But it still feels kind of off… so tomorrow, I’ll call Dr. O’Shea, and let him know how it’s going.  On Tuesday, I’ll see Ed and see what he thinks.
Wish me luck.
– Ben
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ACL Update – Week 11
Sent, 14-May-2017

Another week, another hour of cardio at altitude! 12,000ft, this time. Mt. Hood!

This week has been tiring… But tiring in a good way! On Tuesday I had my PT appointment, and my new PT for this week can be summarized as “work out, then do some more work outs. Just leg day, though.  But like… Double leg day”. So I’ve been working it out a lot, steadily gaining strength and getting used to working the knee a bit harder.
I’ve been walking a lot too; as much or more than I did before the accident, honestly. It’s been tough to pull off while being at work, but the weather here has been nice, so I’m not complaining.  So far this week I’ve averaged 8,000+ steps a day, just under 4miles of walking.
In regard to surgery: I did talk to Dr. O’Shea, and he’s optimistic as well. He’s said that we should keep the scheduled surgery on the books until next week, but that I can cancel anytime. And that if nothing changes this weekend (fingers crossed!) We’ll cancel this surgery, and reschedule for next month (again, just in case).
Aside, it goes well. I’m moving around well and with confidence, have been driving the Mustang without any trouble, and have even started carrying some of the groceries (much to Sarah’s excitement!).
So, wish me luck in the gym! Roar! Protein shakes and hydration and bench pressing!
– Ben
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ACL Update – Week 12
Sent, 24-May-2017
Hi all!
So this has been a week full of walks, steps, and physical therapy.  We’ve gone hiking, I’ve started jumping rope, and my leg’s been sore basically 24/7.
That’s good, though.  It means that, on Tuesday, I was able to officially cancel my surgery, and could spend time with Bill & Greta when they came out to visit.  It means that, from Friday to Sunday, we were all able to go hiking together; from the beach to the gorge. I walked 5+ miles per day, without crutches or a cane or anything.  I was able to drive us all in the Mustang for a sightseeing tour on Sunday… I’m starting to live life again!
I still can’t climb, though.  I can’t run or bike, or join Sarah on her ascent of Mt. St. Helens tomorrow.  Soon, though.  Recovery is looking good, so maybe I’ll be up there again soon.
– Ben

My first hike!  Treking out and back on Eagle Creek.

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My first hike!  Treking out and back on Eagle Creek.
My first hike!  Treking out and back on Eagle Creek.
Friday, 02-June-2017
 It’s been a while since I broke my knee and damaged the ACL.
Honestly, that’s kind of long to say… let’s just start saying that I  broke my leg.  That’s quicker, and gives a pretty good overview of what happened.  Saves some time, you know?
And since life is being so busy and crazy, saving time is pretty good.  Why, you might ask?  Well, because I was cleared to start hiking again!!!
I’m not cleared to go too crazy though… so while I can go for a long-ish hike, I can’t go steep or treacherous, as far as terrain goes.  What to hike, what to hike…  Eagle Creek?  One of the most popular trails in the Gorge?  Simple, variable length, and full of people to come save me if I need to be carried out?  I think that fits the bill.
Parking would still be an issue though, since Eagle Creek is one of the most popular routes.  Sarah and I anticipated that though, so we headed out from Hood River early in the morning.  Technically we didn’t have to worry, since I’ve still got the handicapped sticker for the car… but I’d feel pretty weird parking in a handicapped spot, pulling out the backpack and hiking poles, and then charging in for a 7 mile hike.  Seems a bit disengenuous, you know?
So we

got up early, found a parking spot in a lovely bit of shade, and headed in.  Just Sarah and I, unfortunately… Ollie was dis-invited this time, since the trail has extremely steep sides (but a really nice trail), and I couldn’t hold the leash (broken, you know), and Sarah (very understandably) didn’t want to be dragged along by an over-energetic puppy the entire time.  Which meant that we could take our time, and set a pretty solid pace for ourselves as we traipsed into the woods.

The hike was kind of long and kind of boring.
I mean, I’d love to say that it was glorious, and full of birds and sunshine and donuts filled with spring cheer.  But, ya know, there’s a reason that I’m a rock climber, and not a hiker.  Hiking is kind of boring.  Even in the Columbia River Gorge, even walking along a cliffside above a river.  It’s good exercise though, so we stuck it out and enjoyed ourselves as best we could.
Both Sarah and I were a bit frayed from the week, so we split ways about halfway through, at Punchbowl Falls.  It’s a beautiful spot for lunch, so Sarah stayed and took a slow walk back while I pushed on ahead for a ways, trying to get my full goal of 7 miles in.  Which I did… but again, would’ve preferred to be climbing.
Then I turned around, hiked back, we met up, and headed back toward the house to the rescue of a very appreciative puppy.
What, too quick of an ending?  Well, the hike itself went really well: my knee held up really well, even with the descent into and ascent out of the Punchbowl.  Going down the trail was a bit challenging, but with Sarah helping out and my poles stabilizing me, there wasn’t really any issue.  The real challenge was pure endurance – I was so out of shape, that even this nearly-level trail was a solid challenge for me.  But that’s what we get in shape though, right?  Constant hiking, getting tired, and pushing ourselves?
It was a good push, and a very good start to my return to adventure in the great outdoors!