8 days into my ACL recovery it was time to visit my exercise physiologist (Tayla at Maximum Results). She measured my range of motion, 2 degrees extension and 67 degrees flexion. Tayla advised me to tie a plastic bag around my foot when I was doing heel glides to help me bend my knee further.
The next big hurdle was one I had chosen a month before surgery. There was a conference over East that I was determined to get to. It was on one of my favourite topics – the body brain connection, how it works and how as a Chiropractor I can support better connectivity for greater health outcomes. For those of you interested in neuroscience it included information on the vagus nerve, Heart Rate Variability as a measure of health, the trigeminal nucleus, the links between the upper neck, cranium and dura with function of these nerves and Stephen Porges Polyvagal Theory.
It was a huge effort to get there and back (I was on one crutch by then however still only comfortable when my knee was elevated) and well worth it. Dr Helen Sexton and Dr Brett Houlden were excellent presenters, and the material was very relevant to our practice members.
Mum travelled with me on this adventure. I was so grateful to have her company and support. She flew home from the East coast to New Zealand. It was a tearful farewell at the airport.
By the time I arrived home late that evening I was exhausted. What I am still learning is that healing from a procedure like this takes a lot of energy.
I returned from my trip east 2 weeks into ACL recovery. In the week following I alternated rest days at home with activities as varied as hosting a workshop on injury prevention and ageing well at a local business, taking a valued staff member and friend to hear Jo Whitton and Fouad Kassab talk about their journey involving healing using whole foods, and going for a drive down south.
On the ‘rest’ days I struggled. Brene Brown writes about ‘leaning into discomfort’, an apt description of this journey so far. It’s not so much physical pain, it’s the limitations in movement and changes to my lifestyle that have resulted from restricted movement causing discomfort in my heart and mind. I am endeavouring to follow Brene’s advice, to lean into this experience. It is tempting to busy myself in distractions rather than engage in this process.
Now it is 3 weeks into my recovery. I have been walking without crutches for a week. I am doing rehabilitation exercises daily. The loss of muscle in my affected thigh is visible which doesn’t please me. I can just get up and down steps in a semi normal fashion. I am grateful for the little things – I can shower and stand in front of the mirror to do my hair without pain.