Thursday, January 28, 2010

More progress.

1. I can start taking walks on level surfaces, paying attention to my knee as I go.

2. For the first time in three weeks, my kneecap is not taped.

3. I am back in business professional clothes.

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Quick update.

1. I can climb stairs.

2. I can descend stairs.

3. This morning I learned how to get down on the floor.

4. No need for a cane or brace anymore, though my kneecap is still taped.

5 Physical therapy on Tuesdays and Thursdays. Trainer on Mondays and Wednesdays.

5. Our plumbing is back in service after a week with none. Thanks to the great team at Metropolitan Sewer.

Thursday, January 21, 2010

When last we spoke....

I was describing my program of physical therapy. I'm happy to report that it's still moving forward. And I've been able to be in the gym twice a week with my trainer as well, making good progress there. I've enjoyed the personal support and attention of a couple of old friends on weekends, very much appreciated through this rather bumpy ride.

I have mostly been in meetings or work in my office. I finished two very large work deliverables last Friday. Today I put on my fancy work clothes and went out to speak to a group of King County emergency managers. It felt good to be back in harness out in public.

Now I'm ramping up ASA sales and marketing efforts at what I hope is a reasonable pace. Even though I'm still slowed down a bit with the knee, I've been able to project manage the replacement of around 6' of our sewer line, which will occur over the next two days. I could have wished for better timing, but both of us have negotiated the inconvenience and pending costs very well.

That's it from here. Despite Supreme Court rulings and an upside down Senate race, I still say, "yes we can."

Thursday, January 14, 2010

I'm walking in May....

Penny has designed a 5k/10k walk/run on Mother's Day in May called "Inspiring Hope" to support the 2010 Kindred Spirits 3 Day Walk team. I plan for ASA to be a corporate supporter of the event, and to do the walk myself, based on current progress with my physical therapy.

For those who doubt the restorative powers of physical therapy on a bad knee like mine, you have only to watch me walk a week after my first PT session. I have six exercises now to perform at home every day, and a range more that I do with the therapist. This morning, for example, I had both massage of and under the kneecap as well as ultrasound. I rode a stationery bike for 6 minutes without tape on the knee; then used only the right leg to push away and come back to a stationery vertical piece (can't remember the name of the machine in the gym that does same thing) with a light load on. Because I was curious about stairs, we had me step up at both 2" and 4". I did just fine. Kate retaped the knee for me today. It gives me confidence that the kneecap won't dislocate out again, even as it makes me more prone to get the circulation going in the knee through walking. Together, Kate and I have juiced up the circulation and therefore the healing in that knee.

I see Dr. Daly on Monday, and it will be a full month after the first five dislocations on the 20th of December. I'm hoping he'll prescribe more PT, and am also interested in accupuncture once I have taken this as far as I can.

One thing is clear: though I am still being extremely careful and managing my personal risk, I will be able to walk 5k in May.

Monday, January 11, 2010

"The best way out is always through."

For the life of me, I can't remember who said that. Probably Emerson, but maybe Thoreau.

Three weeks after my injury, I am better though not healed. I am in the gym with my trainer two mornings a week for 45 minutes each, working on upper body and core strength. I am seeing a physical therapist at least once a week for my knee, also at that magical 7am time.

I am back in the groove at work, with some hard work on understanding that I have more than one deliverable to juggle if I am to enhance the momentum I have already built up.

I'm looking at three deadlines, all of them involving writing, which is a good thing. I most enjoy reading and writing of all things I do, and neither requires being in large crowds or negotiating disputes.

Best of all, I'm practicing personal risk management. As I feel more like my old self, I am trying to remain cautious and careful rather than become overconfident, especially where the knee is concerned. So, world, look out -- I'm coming through!

Sunday, January 10, 2010

"We are the mirror as well as the face in it." -- Rumi

It takes a lot longer to do anything when you have to be careful. This is tough for one who generally does what she wishes, with gusto. But being physically slower seems this round to have opened my mind, probably because there is time for thinking while you are resting and icing.

I learned Friday morning that a very old friend, a television/radio journalist who has lived all over the world, is now in an assisted care facility in Denver. She has early onset Alzeimer's Disease, and she is only 55 years old. Her husband, the CBS-TV journalist Barry Peterson, is finishing a book about her that will appear in June. He sent me the cover, which was the easiest way for him to tell me why she was in assisted living:

I cannot imagine a crueler fate, especially if you are as smart and passionate as Jan. We have kept in touch for years, usually via Christmas cards for years. Now I know why they stopped coming.

There's an example in almost everything you come to know. This one suggests to me that I should cherish and celebrate the magic of my life and my work on a more regular basis. No one knows what lies ahead. Live here. Live now.

Thursday, January 7, 2010

Now I have a plan.

I met with Kate, my physical therapist at Seattle Orthopedic Center, this morning. She's right up my alley. We started with the anatomy of the knee and good pictures and explanation of how it works. She listened, examined, and while doing so, indicated that she will look at the MRI report. There's so much arthritis of the patella that it's possible my pain and the 8 repetitions came from patellar subluxaton (dislocation of the kneecap sideways, out of its up and down track). The tear may have been there awhile, undetected, perhaps from my inglorious fall in 2008 or that year's 3 day walk, where I wore a brace the last day. Not clear if the MRI indicates if it's fresh or not.

Either way, my knee is now taped to hold the kneecap in place, and I am hoping not to have to wear either brace most of the time. Having the cane with me for extra help is still a good idea. I had a electrical stimulus treatment for the tissue under the kneecap and to the outside of it where I still feel tenderness. That should reduce the swelling that is still there.

Now that I have a plan for treatment, I don't feel so apprehensive. I feel like I can fix it.

Monday, January 4, 2010

Endorphins, awake!

I've not been sleeping well, busy running worst case scenarios about my knee.

So it was a real pleasure to return to the gym and my trainer this morning, two weeks after I wrenched the knee. Though I was in a full brace and using a cane, the upper body worked just fine, and we did about 40 minutes of work. It was such a release to be working in the gym that I am sure I'm getting this much work done today because of all the little endorphins now scurrying around in my system.

Then I had a good consult with Dr. Daly. The knee continues to improve, with only one little setback on the 30th. I can start on some leg lifts and physical therapy as well, and "as I am able" I can use the knee to climb stairs. On the trip back east in February, he left it up to me. He pointed out the knee could go out again here as well as out there; that there are wheelchairs to move in airports and trains if necessary. He offered to drain off any water on the knee before I left, if I decided to go.

In the meantime, I should continue to use the cane as I need it; and the soft brace for work, and the firm one in the gym. I'll start physical therapy this Thursday morning, and we'll see how it goes and what the therapist has to say.

As far as the trip goes, I have decided to postpone it until I have improved to a condition where I can walk without a cane or brace. Now that's what I'm always preaching in my line of work -- "risk mitigation."