Monday, March 31, 2014

Three Months Post-Op

Today marks exactly three months since my double knee surgery. This will be my last post in which the focus is my knees, since, as time goes by, there is thankfully less and less to report.

My physical therapist at OHSU, Lindsay, has been really helpful over the past three months. She encourages me not to give up when it seems like I'm making little to no progress, and then pushes me to work harder. I usually leave my 45-minute appointments sweaty and worn out, even after a 10-minute icing session on the Game Ready machine.
In terms of exercises, the focus is still on strength-building of the core muscle groups in my upper legs and butt. What I do at home differs somewhat from when I'm at physical therapy but only because they have machines I use for leg extensions and lying squats. Otherwise I use my own weight and/or resistance bands to do bridges, clams, crab walking, one-legged squats, etc. I also use a foam roller or a rolling pin to do self-myofascial release (muscle massage).
I continue to enjoy my new Schwinn exercise bike. I can finally ride with resistance so I feel like I'm getting more of a workout as opposed to just spinning the wheels. I typically ride 6-7 miles in about 30 minutes and am sure that will improve as I get stronger. I'm looking forward to getting out on my real bike in another couple of months!
Unfortunately, I still have a lot of daily aches and pains, primarily in my right hip (the one I had surgically repaired in early 2013) and in my right shoulder (which was diagnosed with bursitis several years ago). Some of the pain is triggered by my work at Irvington House; I go up & down multiple flights of stairs and spend many hours every week scrubbing bathrooms, making beds, doing laundry, etc. But even when I do next-to-nothing, I still have a lot of achiness. Hopefully this will subside over time as it's just not fun to get up every day and not feel 100%!

My next follow-up appointment with my surgeon, Dr. Herzka, is next Thursday. Afterward, I will have my last physical therapy appointment for awhile, as I leave for vacation on April 23rd and won't be back for almost four weeks. I will continue to do my daily exercises while we're traveling and hopefully feel strong enough to go on some nice hikes and city walks. In the meantime, I've enjoyed venturing out on sunny days to take pictures of the beautiful spring blooms!

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