Doing it all the hard way...

Saturday, November 30, 2013

It is miserable outside; isn’t that wonderful?

 The richest man in the world.
After my visit with the orthopedic surgeon a couple weeks back I was optimistic that my recovery would not require surgery.  As I mentioned when last I blabbed about my knee it seems to have ups and downs.  After an extended string of downs and seeing no improvement for a long time I came to the depressing conclusion that my path to healing probably included surgery, accordingly I scheduled a MRI.

I met with the doctor yesterday and got the results of my MRI. After close examination of both my knee and the MRI of my knee it turns out that there is more going on than we first thought.  I won't jump into all the details, but there is a combo of MCL, PCL, Meniscus and Mystery Meat that have combined to slow Davo down. He was able to confirm that I wasn't a whiner and in fact something was indeed weird. No one thing is bad enough to warrant surgery but the combo will heal slower than we thought.  My goal is to be in shape in time for the road racing season and that looks to be intact.

Like a grey haired manager patting the outgoing pitcher on the butt, the doctor told me to buckle up, fake some patience and ride out my slow recovery.  I'll see him again in the new year, but for now I get to ride, I just shouldn't race (either with a number or in a throw down).

My rides of late aren’t fast or hard but I am not complaining.
 The Brotherhood of the Brown
Just as George Bailey kissed the loose newel cap (awesome word, look it up) that he had cursed only hours before, so too does Evo savor the cold gloriously miserable miles that he might have condemned had circumstances not been altered on a cold October night Thrilla.
We went far enough that even KB was eating

My knee has been healing slower than I expected and my return to riding is correspondingly gradual.  The path I am on is that as I am able to do more I increase my riding whilst still doing less than my maximum to avoid slowing the healing process. If you had trouble following that sentence fragment just imagine me chasing an imaginary line with the goal of getting as close as I can without touching it. I touched it a couple weeks ago and I felt like my knee had been slammed with a sledge hammer.  Aleve can only do so much.

My knee still feels weird and weak, and I am glad I now know why, but it does seem the improvement is painfully slow (deliberate word selection).  The most dangerous thing I do is strain it in my sleep by laying on my right (and historically favorite) side. I can walk straight and essentially forget about it.  Then I turn or lean wrong and I am reminded in no uncertain terms something isn’t right.  I can almost straighten it all the way, but my range of motion the other way has some real limitations (Meniscus and mystery meat).
Matthew is sooo into Miley Cyrus he can't stop watching her videos on his smart phone

Because we do not see things as they really are, but as we think they really are, I keep trying to put my injury and recovery in the context of my past experiences.  My recoveries from arthroscopic knee surgeries have been pretty straight forward. Once the swelling and other trauma of a (minimally) invasive surgery have subsided, I was pretty much on my way.  Based on my experience that transition was markedly sharp and this gradual healing is wearing on my patience. 

Because the healing is so slow, it catches me by surprise. Instead of looking for improvement I just assume it to be unchanged day to day and then when something does NOT hurt my reaction is along the lines of “Hmm, that didn’t hurt.  I must be healing”. 
Every cyclist with a bladder knows where I took this photo

Delving into why we value something more following the threat of losing it may be the subject of another post, but for now let’s just say that I am really enjoying being able to ride.

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