Knee rehabilitation has been steady and managed to meet last week’s goals and then some. Physically and mentally am making progress and doing my best, within safe parameters, to stay fit(-ish), get stronger and rehabilitate the operated leg. Consulted with the Physio and levelled up my exercises, observed Friday class and had a few visits from BJJ friends all of which helped keep recovery moving in the right direction.
This week’s recovery got an extra boost from the people around me, not least my BJJ people, and I’m feeling very loved which definitely helps to keep the mind strong. Had lunch with Coach whose positive reinforcement and nurturing vibe is always a buoy; he brought flowers and a card signed by the Team. Was very touched by the obscene sketches of male genetalia as I’ve come to understand this is how some men emote and is a flattering assurance of my place in their ranks – HA! Indeed, all the well wishes and the simple ‘It sucks not to have you here’ meant a lot! I miss the Team terribly and look forward to seeing my people at next week’s Marc Walder Seminar, which I’ll be observing. Also met up with my training partner, Keelin, out of Roger Gracie Academy. She’s a pal, a training partner and has had her own serious knee issues to work through and while she’s had a lot on her plate this year she’s been a rock and a generous sounding board for me as far as jits and knees are concerned. The friendship and support heaped on me this week reinforced the fellowship aspect of BJJ and its central part in my love of the art.
I got back to class for the first time since the op on 30 Sept and observed our Ilford class where I had a very warm welcome. Took my grappling diary along and noted the techniques, offered a few pointers on the drills for some of the guys and watched the sparring. Was useful in a number of ways, not least just being around the jits and some of the Team. For me, the most important benefit was the help to my visualisation which several readers here and on Facebook have recommended. Woke up Saturday morning dreaming of the previous night’s techniques in my normal fashion and took a little time before I started the day to run them in my mind’s eye and ‘feel’ the movement.* Won’t suggest that seeing the jits in front of me wasn’t mouth-watering torture, but I’ll withstand the itch while I rehab as the benefit of being around it outweighs any feelings of frustration.
The Physio was pleased with my progress and prescribed additions to my list of ‘at home’ exercises, including some balance work and two-legged squats without weight. She also did some ‘release work’ massage, which really helps the hamstrings and inner thighs which get very tight. She rubbed out the keyhole scars too which felt majorly funky, but massages here is important for getting the nerves to regenerate properly and for reducing scar tissue. My extension is about 95% and flexion about 110%. The Physio reckons there is more bend there but swelling makes it awkward, so we’re not pushing more bend until the swelling recedes. I am to continue my gym work and I hit my 3 sessions goal this week and am rolling over that goal for Week 4. My upper body work is paying dividends and I’m up to 3 sets of 15 quality one-legged press-ups and escalated to 10 kilo dumbbells for my bicep curls (reps of 10, 6 and 5 – will take sometime to feel comfortable 3 sets of 10 at which point will boost it again). While the bike is still pretty uncomfortable due to the swelling in the leg, it is getting a little easier every time and the leg continues to gain mobility and have less pain, little by little.
- Wall sits – 3-5 reps, hold for 10-15 seconds, 3 times per day
- Bridge – 3-5 reps, hold for 10-15 seconds, 3 times per day
- Prone hamstring curl with flexed foot- 3-5 reps, 3 times per day
- Squats – two-legged, shoulder-width stance, 10 reps 3 times per day
- Balance – stand one-leg ‘little and often’, e.g. brushing teeth, waiting for a Tube, standing in queue
- Stationary bike – 15 minutes, 80-90 RPMs, 7:10 perceived exertion level
- Down stairs walking taking weight on operated leg on shallow steps without need for support
- 1st BJJ class observation
- Double digit dumbbells for bicep curls
- Sets of 15 press-ups (up from 10)
- Agreed date in 6 months for beginning drills with Coach (assuming cleared by Physio)
Every ACL op and recovery will be particular to the person. The thoughts and experiences recalled in this series of posts is in no way intended as medical advice or as a replacement for seeking medical attention for any injury. This information is presented merely as a record of one person’s experience with ACL operation and recovery.
*Don’t laugh at my definition of ‘normal’, you know you’re just as demented and obsessed – HAHA!
23 Oct 2011 @ 11:42 pm
Its amazing how a BJJ Team becomes more like an extended family. You are clearly beloved member there. Sounds like you are recovering like a champ! Hope everything continues to go smoothly!
24 Oct 2011 @ 1:44 pm
Absolutely like a family, Allie! Love them and so grateful for their kindness, respect and support. I’m working on it; can either fight or die and a warrior is as a warrior does as you well know! 😉
24 Oct 2011 @ 7:22 pm
This is really inspiring! Keep up all the efforts, I know it will pay off. My boyfriend’s in week 6 of recovery from ACL operation, and the first couple of weeks are definitely the hardest… and he’s not nearly as dedicated as you! LOL
Good luck for the rest of your recovery journey! 🙂
24 Oct 2011 @ 7:44 pm
Glad to see how fast you are healing, and how optimistic you are about the road ahead.
Also, nothing but respect to you (well, always, but also) in regards to being able to sit and observe a class. I could only do it a few times before I wanted to roll and drill again.
27 Oct 2011 @ 6:35 am
Your positive attitude is so inspiring! 🙂 Keep it up and I’m sure you’ll be back on the mats in no time.
and yes I agree, the teammates you train with eventually become family. In fact, I see them more than I see my actual friends!! BJJ family love. 🙂
27 Oct 2011 @ 6:51 am
Thanks SL! Working on it and focused on the best possible recovery. Just have to power through with that as my priority in the short term to ensure a longer term on the mats. Still waiting for the mind to crack – HAHA! To be honest, I think I’ll be okay in the mind for the rehab but will get a a bit down when I start back after a long absence and my timing is all shot to hell. Felt like I was finally getting somewhere when I had to break. I’ll regain it though! I think it also makes a massive difference that I can be in the gym for my rehab now, so I am active and able to maintain my weight; if I was totally sedentary and packing it on I would be getting pretty bummed!
Just like you say, spend more time with the team than my pals, don’t begrudge it, but have been making more time for friends while I don’t have the time-commitments of training which is an upside. 🙂
Thanks for your comment and message of support – really helps!
28 Oct 2011 @ 9:42 am
Omg that’s so true about the making more time with friends when the time-commitments of training are gone! I injured my ankle about 6 months ago and was off the mats for a good 2 weeks (nothing as crazy as your 36 but it felt like it!) and was like calling all my friends for dinner and stuff. I felt kinda bad because BJJ takes so much of my time and I hardly see my friends except during the weekends and even then it’s quite sporadic. =/
I’d say the ankle injury was perfectly timed (as weird as that sounds) because I got to reconnect with a lot of my friends plus I was getting burnt out from work so the reconnection helped a lot in that area. While BJJ is good and all but getting burnt out from work requires girl talk lol.
So you can always use that as a positive to your 36 weeks of rest 😉
ACL Operation Recovery: Week 4 of 36 | MegJitsu
30 Oct 2011 @ 3:47 pm
[…] though small, is apparent each day. Compromises were made on reaching all of Week 3′s recovery goals, but the bigger picture of recovery is moving in the right direction and the range of sanctioned […]