Saturday, October 2, 2010

Falling for Kathy Van Zeeland - Literally


 First of all... HAPPY BIRTHDAY, STACEY! I LOVE YOU, SIS!!!!   :-)

Ok, so I've spent the last day in a pity party. It's time to stand up and move on. Here's the situation.

I saw the doctor yesterday, got film, got examined (oops, flinch-kicked the doc, my bad), and got the news. The patellar tendon tear from 3 years ago is still an issue and I've got patellar tendonitis. The degenerative condition in my kneecaps, causing the underside to wear away at an accelerated rate is continuing to progress, but now instead of just wear, I also have pocks in the cap. And the final kick in the teeth... the situation I've been experiencing, particularly in my right knee, is "significant arthritis".

Immediate treatment: I have to take anti-inflammatories, which I will bolster with an increase in dietary anti-inflammatories. I have to ice my knee regularly. And I have a brace I've named The Beast - I feel positively bionic in this thing. It's huge, bulky, not comfortable and greatly reduces my mobility (more on that in a moment). Finally, my gym activities have been greatly curtailed. No lunges, squats, leg extensions or any movement that places my knee at a 90 degree angle. I was not banned from the stair-master or treadmill, though I also did not inform the doc that I use those machines. Lol. I go back on the 22nd to plot a plan of action.

Short term treatment - I can allow the doc to go in surgically and remove tissue and smooth down the underside of the patella (kneecap), though this is truly short term, as the condition will continue to deteriorate the cap, and the surgery will significantly limit my mobility. Not an option.  The doctor also strongly recommended I reduce my activity and exercise to nearly nothing. Also, not an option.

Short to Long term - full knee replacement. Eventually I will need this in both knees, though the one progressing the fastest (or deteriorating the fastest) is my right knee, and the growth of the arthritis' severity, according to the doctor, "doesn't look good". There's no indication as of right now, of how long I have until this will be necessary.

Immediate ramifications - I will not reach my goal by my 40th birthday. While I will have successfully reached my 2 year anniversary of maintaining my weight, I will not be where I wanted to be. And yes, being the uber-mature, calm and easy-going person that I am, I spent most of last night either crying or on the verge of tears and feeling very angry, fearful and sorry for myself. Happy effing 40th to me.

Enough of that.

Tab is already at work creating a leg-workout for me that will not further damage my knee, but allow me to continue training and moving forward. Have I mentioned lately how very much I appreciate Tab? I didn't ask her to do that. It hadn't even occurred to me yet, as I was still wallowing in my "I can't do this, I can't do that" mindset. Seriously, there was nothing anyone could say to make me feel better that could compete with her text: "No worries. I have a plan.  :-) "

Back in '07 when I blew out my  knee, after seeing the doc and getting his diagnosis, I drove straight to the gym and sought out Tab, who was my trainer at the time. I sobbed, sure that my journey, which I had just begun, was over. She hugged me and said, "No worries. I have a plan."  And a plan she did indeed come up with. She found creative ways to keep me moving forward while not using my leg. She was amazing. So, Tab, if you're reading this.... I am so grateful for you, and to you and  your "plans"!  :-)

Yes, I still want to cry. Yes, I'm still afraid. No, I'm not going to dwell on it. I'm going to move forward. I'm already learning lots of new stuff, and have plans (though still in their infancy) to combat the arthritis and the degenerative condition. Another thing I've learned is about my new brace. You see, I mentioned that it reduces mobility. It's actually supposed to help prevent me from bending to that 90 degree angle, though that didn't completely register when the tech was fitting me with it. Want to know how I figured out that little gem of knowledge? Well, after the doctor, I went to get fitted for The Beast, then met Tab at Fashion Square. I had to wear The Beast to begin breaking it in, so me and my newly bionic leg were tromping around throughout the mall. Tab and I came across an amazing shoe sale at Dillard's... I got two pairs of sketchers for $8 each (I love a good shoe sale!), then we headed over to the purse department.

Let me explain that one of my favorite purse designers (though I don't own any, lol) is Kathy Van Zeeland. So we're wandering around checking out the sale tables, when what do I behold but a lovely black, sparkly, darling Kathy on the bottom shelf! I must look! I must touch! I bend, squatting down quickly to grab up this little beauty,  and wobble... and wobble... and grab for the shelf... wobble again, and THUNK! I hit the ground. 

While I had bent to reach for the bag, my right leg wouldn't complete the bend, and I teetered to the left, struggled to balance, trying not to drop my bag with the 2 boxes of Sketchers, and my purse, then finally gave up and just hit the floor. I sat there and all I could do was laugh while the poor saleswoman asked frantically, "Is she ok?"   Tab, also laughing, assures her that I am indeed ok, while she quickly moves to my side... "Really," she says quietly, "are you ok?".  Assured that the greatest injury was to my pride, we both continue in our mirth while I (so much less than gracefully) finally regain my feet.

Thus I learned the inescapable truth that The Beast limits my mobility.

So today, I am resting. Icing off and on. I will do my baking, as soon as my daughter returns with my car so I can go get more flour (can't believe I didn't realize I was almost out!). And I will relax. What I will not do is feel sorry for myself anymore. Though when it comes time to knead the dough, I might feel sorry for the dough :-)

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