Tuesday, November 5, 2013

Reaching goals I never thought would happen

About 16 months ago I had a double knee surgery, I had an arthroscopy procedure on both of my knees. Growing up I was a sports nut, I loved it, I still do. But the years of wear & tear well into my early 20's started to cause me pain. I no longer could squat, lunge or RUN which just devastated me. I accepted this as some kind of ageing process, & was told it's just wear & tear on my knees. I eased up on how intense my workouts were to accommodate this, but the slight pain increased, & my knees started to grind. It got to a point all I did was walk, which I find boring, & even to bend down to pick up the kids toys, even kneeling down on them was casing pain. I had so much treatment, physiotherapy, acupuncture, & loads of osteo, as well as taking lots of fish oil & glucosamine, but nothing worked.

I gave in & just stopped moving a lot, which made me annoyed, body conscious, lethargic & tired. I function at my best when I exercise. Eventually my dad got me into his GP who was also one of the doctors for Essendon Football club (my team!!). I figured surely he could help, if he treated professional athletes daily. So I went along, he felt & heard how my knees would grind & said it wasn't good, & sent me to a knee specialist who performs knee surgery. Mind you this happened 3 days after I met him, no waiting I suppose when your doctor has all the right professional contacts. YAY! As nervous as I was, I went with an open mind to see what he had to say. At the end of the day it was my choice as to what treatment I chose to undertake. 

My doctors name was Nigel, he was around my age which I found comforting, & he was gentle & understanding of my frustration. He examined my knees & told me with the grinding sound they were making, & the pain I described he knew I need an arthroscopy procedure. Suddenly I felt brave & said yes to proceed. I was so sick of the pain, I just couldn't deal with it anymore, & feeling so incapable of moving freely. Not just yes, but YES to both knees at once. He said are you sure,? You wont be able to move around much, & the fact I have 2 kids concerned him. Thankfully my mum didn't work, so that wasn't a problem, she could help me for a few days until I got mobile.

A few days later, (yes this happened super quickly) I was at the hospital, gowned up & ready to go. I was nervous but had a strange faith in him. He seemed a genuine & caring man, no eagerness to just cut into my knees. The surgery was key hole, two incisions in both side of my knees. I understood the procedure like this; He went in there & ground off all of the rough edges that were grinding against each other to clean it up, & remove what didn't need to be in there. Your knee & knee cap he described should be smooth like wet ice, very slippery. Both of mine were the opposite, bumpy & rough from wear & tear.

Afterwards I woke feeling fine. My knees all bandaged & I had to walk straight away. Man was I scared. But I did it, as awkward as it was. Recovery has taken me a while, as he told me they were worse than he had predicted, so had to be a little more aggressive on the left knee (my most painful), than on the right. It took a good 6 weeks to be walking normally again, & several months before I could bend my knee completely, that meaning pulling my ankle to my bum & stretching. I had to increase the flexibility of the muscles around my knee. I have taken it slowly & progressed with caution. My goal was to start moving more, & building the muscles up again once everything had settled. I wanted to start running again outside, so prior to this I had using a treadmill so it would help with impact, as it was safe, & flat, I did lots of interval running. Twelve months to the day (early September) I started running outside again. It was hard, always is compared to the treadmill. I didn't care about that, I knew I'd get there, but for the first time in what feels like FOREVER there is no pain. Words can no describe how amazing this is.

So slowly I got back into it with a goal to run 5km. Always in the back of my mind, I have been waiting for them to hurt again, but so far so good nothing. I have kept to safe foot paths or the road, not footy ovals or grassland, as I am paranoid I will find a pot hole & something will happen. Today on this beautiful sunny Melbourne day, (also a public holiday Melbourne Cup), I ran 5km with only three 30 seconds breaks. Sometimes the hills kill me & I need to recover as I am worried the next breath won't come. My legs hurt & feel heavy, but it's a great & normal pain. I would never have ever thought I would be able to achieve this. I am so happy & look forward to doing some fun runs in the future.

It's got me thinking about how amazing the mind is when you really want something. I have pushed to get to this day. It's hard, & some days I didn't feel like it but I didn't it anyway. I am starting to think if I have achieved this, what else is possible?? Whether it be running or other goals in my life.

Doing a happy dance!!

I love hearing about people goals, let me know what you have achieved when you thought it was impossible.

1 comment:

Jane from Lil Pip said...

Congratulations. You have certainly inspired me to start running again (I have been a little lazy!). Watch this space.

Well done Kylie!