Want To Make Some New Friends? Have Yourself Some Surgery

As of today I am 2 weeks and 2 days removed from surgery, and I don’t think things could be going much better than they are. My leg strength is coming back at an alarming rate, I’m regaining range of motion, and I haven’t been in any pain whatsoever. I’m also getting around much better now. The other day I conquered the stairs without using my crutches, which was so exciting that I promptly laid down and watched 3 episodes of 30 Rock before taking a nap.

Yeah I made it! Now where's my bed?

Besides my sans-crutch trek up the stairs, I’ve also reached a few other milestones this week. For one, I am now back to taking standing showers. This is cool because I can once again wash my butt comfortably, but it’s also a little nerve-wracking because I still can’t put any weight on my right leg without the brace, so I remain upright by basically standing on one leg and hanging onto the towel bar for dear life. As I’ve said before, showers are pretty goddamn treacherous, and even more so when you’re essentially balancing on one leg. I’m just one slip away from turning that bathtub into a my own personal miniature half-pipe, and if I somehow manage to step on the soap then I’m gonna be in for quite a ride.

Basically a giant wooden bathtub with 2 sides missing

I also have taken the bandage-looking things off my incisions, and it actually doesn’t look that bad:

Lookin' good

Lookin' reeeeeal good

As you can see, the bruising is really starting to clear up, but it seems to be migrating down my leg into my ankle. Obviously, it doesn’t look great yet. But it’s definitely an improvement over how it looked last week:

Good lord...

One thing I have noticed since getting my surgery is that people are way friendlier to me now. I’m currently on leave from my job at the Bel Air Athletic Club, but I still go in a few times a week to do some weight training/check messages/annoy co-workers. Whenever I limp my way into the gym now I find myself in conversations with total strangers; most of whom I’ve seen nearly every day at work but have never had any real interaction with until now. Every single one of these conversations goes the same way, too. Somebody will come up to me and say “What did you do to your knee?” or something to that effect, then I’ll go into my spiel about how I tore my blah blah blah playing blah blah in blah etc, etc. Then they’ll cringe and respond with either “How long is your recovery?” or “Yeah, that reminds me of the time I tore my blah blah blah playing blah blah when I was blah.” Then we’ll go back and forth for a few minutes and then they’ll wish me good luck as I turn around and hobble my way back to whatever it is I was doing. While I do hate to tell the same story 20 times a day to 20 different people, it’s nice to hear some words of encouragement from people who’ve been through the whole surgery experience before. Plus, after hearing some of these people’s stories I know that things could definitely be a lot worse:

"Lieutenant Dan, you ain't got no legs"

About Andrew Sacks

I'm a 27-year-old former college baseball player, currently working as a strength and conditioning coach in Baltimore, MD.
This entry was posted in Knee injury, Recovery and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

3 Responses to Want To Make Some New Friends? Have Yourself Some Surgery

  1. Kathy says:

    I had ACL and slight meniscal repair surgery 8 days ago and am still on crutches and in discomfort, etc. I’m sitting here, scrolling through your blog, and I must say, you’re HILARIOUS! This actually kind of inspires me to have a more optimistic outlook on everything, haha.

  2. Andrew Sacks says:

    I’m glad you like the blog. It definitely helps to have a sense of humor about your situation. It makes the days go by a lot quicker, for sure.

  3. Leila says:

    Hi Andrew,
    I dislocated my right knee during basketball practice 4 months ago. I had an MRI 3 weeks later and found out I had tore my ACL and my lateral meniscus. I did a lot of research and apparently I’m lucky the other 3 ligaments were somewhat intact. Anyway, I’m now at my 10th week post-op and my recovery is going a lot slower than expected (still missing a couple degrees to full extension and flexion, well, I’m only at 115 degrees). The thing is, I have been doing all the exercises recommended by my physiotherapist (I see him 3 times a week) and my surgeon, pre and post-op. As a varsity athlete in my senior year, this whole situation can be very frustrating at times, especially because it’s an injury that should never have happened in the first place (there was a humidity problem in our gym and I slipped as I was sprinting to catch a pass). I thought I’d be fine but I’ve come to a point where I don’t even want to be around my team anymore (it’s nothing personal, it’s just that watching practice everyday makes it even harder). As one of my team’s captains, I’ve been trying to stay positive and be there for my teammates but really I’m tired of faking happiness (sorry for the negativity) and repeating my story over and over again (you know how this goes). I randomly found your blog today and honestly that just made my day. It’s good to realize how you turned your experience into a good one and I guess I will too once I start seeing the light at the end of the tunnel. After doing some research about this type of injury, I’ve decided to take 2 years off competitive sports to make sure all the tissue is completely healed and reduce the chances of hurting my “good” knee through overcompensation. Do you have any piece of advice/funny story for me with regards to recovery? I hope your recovery went well and that your knee is as close to 100% as it could possibly be. Thanks!

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