Sunday, May 01, 2011


I was in reading my latest Clive Cussler novel and my leg hurt--I just couldn't get it comfortable. I've only recently taken my double-shot of percocet, so there was nothing that could be done other than bear it. I thought, though, that removing the leg immobilizer and loosening up the ace bandage might help, and it did, even if only just a tiny amount.

There it was, my knee, covered now only with a piece of gauze. I know it's too early--heck, I don't get the staples out for another week--but how bad is it, really? I'll try, let's just see how much it will bend. I'll only go a millimeter or two, I just want to know it works, you know?

What a strange sensation. It won't bend.

I can tell it's supposed to, but it doesn't. It's not rigid, but there's no flexibility there, either. Wherever the median is in those two statements, that's the murky reality in which my knee exists. If it were sentient I'd say it moved just enough to let me know that it knew it should, but no further. It felt like it would snap--instantly, violently, and painfully--if I dared any further. It felt like, it flexed like, a thin piece of plywood.

The staples come out in a week. I'm going to have to walk on it, and it's going to have to bend. But right now it won't bend. And it won't get bendier as time wearing the immobilizer goes on.

The only reality I have to face is that this is going to be a very long, painful recovery. The proof--a knee that would snap before it would bend--struck terror in me. I have to turn plywood into a knee.

This is not a movie. It's not a feel-good news story with a happy ending. This is my reality, for several months to come.

Update, 5/2/11: Added the lines about plywood, as that realization hit me this morning.


mrelliott said...

Hang in there Darren! The physical therapists who will guide your rehabilitation know what they're doing. Have faith!

Elaine said...

I know what you mean about the leg, on a smaller scale. Four years ago, a dog bite cut the tendon on one mfmy fingers 3/4 of the way through.

Listen to the drs and don't start trying to move your leg too soon. Tendons take a LONG time to heal. Once you start therapy, that's the time to start pushing. It takes a while, but its worth it.

I have almost full motion in my finger back now, thanks to an awesome therapist. Given that you use your leg more than you use your fingers, you'll probably do better than I did! Just make sure to give it time to heal.

If you need someone to talk/complain/commiserate with about it all, please feel free to write me. It's hard doing it sometimes when no one around understands ... and it helps having someone to talk to about it sometimes.

Steve USMA '85 said...

And I am worried whether I have to have ankle surgery before or after I run my triathlon at the end of the month. Hate to be in your position. Best of luck in your recovery. Again, follow the doctor's instructions to the letter.

MikeAT said...

mrellitt....the proper term is physical terrorist ;<)

KauaiMark said...

...makes ME queasy just reading this

Darren said...

I'm trying to get the story out there without being too graphic--which is why I'm not posting pictures.

Anonymous said...

I have had a couple of hand surgeries (and finally, a joint replacement), so I know the feelings you're talking about. As the others have said, you have to be patient. Believe me, you will get plenty of motion in that knee once the physical torturists ... uh, therapists, get ahold of you. (Kidding aside, be sure to do all of the homework they give you -- I would have had much better results if I had been more diligent with mine.)

I'll keep you in my prayers, both for the pain, and for your physical therapy.

Darren said...

Thank you, that's kind.