So today is the 4 week anniversary of my knee being sliced open and stuffed full of a dead guy’s body parts, which means that I get to do new stuff in physical therapy. This is good because I was getting extremely bored with doing the same things every single day. One thing I’m doing which is completely different is actually trying to bend my leg. I’m still not allowed to use my hamstrings, so I just have to pull on my foot with a towel until it bends about 75-80°.
I asked my physical therapist why it takes such a long time to be able to use your hamstrings, and she told me that it’s possible to tear out the PCL graft if you contract your hamstrings too forcefully. When I jokingly asked her if I should run a few sprints to test that theory she gave me a dead-serious, wide-eyed “no” in response. I don’t know if that graft is being held in place by chewing gum or what, but it’s a 3 month wait before any leg curl-type activities can be done.
In addition to the bending stuff, I’m also doing some hip adduction/abduction, calf raises, body weight “squats” (more like slight bends), and I’m starting to get used to walking without my humongous knee brace. Prior to yesterday, the only time I’ve not worn my knee brace is while sleeping or showering, so the fact that I walked around and did exercises without it on for about an hour straight was pretty exciting. The first few steps I took without it were a little squirrelly, and I felt a little like Bambi in the scene from that movie where he’s just learning to walk and he falls on his ass a bunch of times. Luckily, I didn’t have a bunch of woodland critters running haphazardly around my feet like Bambi did.
In other news, my new favorite thing to do at physical therapy is to mess with my therapist, Ginny. Over the course of our therapist/therapee relationship, I’ve pretended to scream in agony when she touches my knee, switched the E-Stim electrodes from my right knee to my left knee (to make her think that my left knee is the injured one) and then jerked my left knee way past 90° (which almost gave her a heart attack), and I constantly badger her with ridiculous questions about when I can start practicing my trampoline routine for the next Olympics.
Ginny’s a good sport, and she has a good sense of humor so she can usually laugh about these things after her blood pressure drops a few points. Yesterday, though, she finally decided to start firing back. This is a verbatim transcription of a conversation we had yesterday while I was practicing balancing on my right leg:
Ginny: Now…if you feel like you’re going to fall, just grab the bar there and put your left leg down.
Andrew: Oh, really? Are you sure you don’t want me to just fall down?
Ginny: I actually kind of wish you would fall down, since you’re being such a smartass about everything.
We have a real good time in therapy, Ginny and me. Her time for revenge will come, though, when it’s time for her to start bending my knee for me. This is about how I imagine that day is going to go: