By Erin Allen
Three weeks have passed since my ACL surgery Feb. 26. And, I've been sitting on this blog post for some time. As I've gotten more and more used to my current situation and road to recovery, I'm starting to really come to terms with everything and reflect accordingly.
Since surgery, I've reached a couple of milestones that could be considered significant when not being able to walk for several weeks.
I started physical therapy with Dr. Stephanie Roberts of Peak Physical Therapy. While mainly focusing on basic exercises to extend range of motion on my knee and build leg and quad strength, I feel like it gets a bit easier every time. And, that's huge for my confidence.
In addition to getting out for physical therapy, I've been out of the house on a number of occasions recreationally. While I get exhausted pretty easily, getting out and about has helped me feel a bit more normal. Having lunch and a beer, sitting at a restaurant and running a couple of errands (with help) feels somewhat freeing. I'm not letting this injury and recovery own me. I'm managing it and, in some cases, don't even think about it for periods of time relative to what I'm actually doing.
I had my first post-op appointment with my surgeon, Dr. Gareth Hammond. The sutures have been pulled out, and I'm showering like a normal person! Dr. Hammond did confirm that I can't bear weight for six weeks total -- not exactly the news I was hoping for, especially considering I've already tripped a few times and pressed on my leg. But, I'm getting better at the whole crutch thing, and the time really is going by quickly. As of this blog post, I have three more weeks to go before I can fully walk again.
Moving forward, I'll continue to share with anyone who is reading my major progresses and certainly any ups and downs. I think it's important to share what can be considered accomplishments in recovery -- like walking again, being able to go for a run or a hike and certainly when I can strap on skates.
My point is, I want to normalize this whole experience. While I know ACL surgery and recovery is pretty common, I know I always feel better when I have a picture painted of an experience. We always feel better when we know we aren't the only ones going through a thing -- whatever that "thing" is.
Also, as a woman, society often marginalizes pain where we are concerned. Like, "we hear you, but it's probably nothing to worry about." To be honest, who can say that didn't factor in to why it took about five months to diagnose my injury. So, I want to be heard now and, in anything I write, encourage other women to talk about their experiences -- even if it is seemingly mundane.