Tag Archives: recovery

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

Continuing on the theme of compiling and writing out my emailed ACL recovery updates…
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
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.

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

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!

ACL recovery: Weeks 4 and 5


Continuing on the theme of compiling and writing out my emailed ACL recovery updates…


ACL emails: Week 4

The stress keeps building… But thankfully we’ve got a lot of stuff to be working on, which is keeping us semi-sane and active.

This week was more Physical Therapy appointments and more fighting with Tufts – both came out with pretty good results. I’m still on crutches, and will be for the forseeable future, but my gait isn’t deteriorating too much, and my mobility is coming back up. I don’t have full active extension anymore, but I do have passive extension – which means that the joint itself is fine, it’s just that the muscles are being inhibited by the swelling. Which just means I need to work on reducing the swelling.

With insurance, I finally got in touch with the appeals department (after filing a greivance against our contact there… after filing it, she called me within a day! Funny how that works…). It’s not looking good, but it’s at least moving again.

On the surgery note; I’ve started getting quotes, and it’s not as bad as we expected. It’s still expensive, but not outside the realm of possibility. And the better doctor is actually much cheaper, so that gives better reason to go into Portland, instead of staying in Hood River.

On Hood River note – we’re hitting the gym pretty regularly! My upper body is getting the best workout, and I’ve started doing cardio on some arm-bike machines. I’m actually writing this email from 16,600 ft elevation (it’s equivalent) in an altitude room in Portland, which is giving me some pretty sweet cardio gains.


ACL emails: Week 5

I’m feeling good! I’m walking a lot better, and while I did have one day of some pretty bad pain (I think it was a big storm front coming in), I’ve been feeling a lot better over all.

Mobility is still a bit weak, but I’m more confident and walking (with crutches, of course) is getting more and more smooth. I’ve still got extension, and my flexion is slowly returning. I can’t really bend it all the way back still, but supposedly that’s a much easier movement to recover, unlike extension.

Things are going slowly… but hey. They’re going.