After 9am physical therapy this morning, I took the R train down to 95th street in Bay Ridge for a check-up with my doctor/surgeon/wizard. He seemed happy with his creation and decided I no longer have any use for the brace. This is good news because the brace represents extra weight and is very cumbersome to use. The physician's assistant said I could keep it if I wanted to, so in the backpack it went. I figured it could be a nice accessory to a half-assed Halloween costume. Alternatively, if I ever decide my life is going too well and I need to injure myself again, I'll be prepared. I also called the ortho-medical company that delivered my in-home rehab equipment back in August and scheduled a pick-up of the icing machine (that doubles as a beer cooler) and the large "continuous motion" machine that flexes my knee while I'm in a lying position. All things considered, life is slowly starting to return to normal.
It's still a bit difficult to get around, but things have come a long way since the first week or two after surgery. Back then, I couldn't go from my bedroom to the couch in the living room without breaking a sweat and losing my breath due to the pain it caused in my tibia and ankle (strangely). I can now bear weight on my left foot and get around the apartment using only one crutch, although I'm not sure if I'm supposed to really be doing that. I'm not a patient person when it comes to things like this, but I know not to do anything too stupid as to set myself back by causing further injury. I can take Walter out...together we make quite a sight hobbling up and down the street together. Dogs tend to take longer to do their business when they know you don't want to be walking them. Children don't know whether to stare at the strange limping man or the funny dog who prances when he walks.
The new instructions for my physical therapist include 1) flexing the knee well past the 90 degree mark and 2) strengthening my leg muscles. Hopefully in another couple of weeks, I'll be strong enough to walk without crutches or at least without a limp. I have trouble remembering what it's like to run down the stairs, work out at the gym, play basketball with the neighborhood kids, or take a run to the Brooklyn Bridge. The injury occurred in mid-July, which means it's been almost 2.5 months since I've done anything remotely active. It's maddening, but my goal is to be on a ski mountain by February. The sensations of free motion and the wind whipping across my face serve as more than enough motivation to take physical therapy as seriously as possible. One of the biggest things this experience has taught me is to never again take my health or active lifestyle for granted. All it takes is a simple act for it to be taken away, either temporarily or permanently.
So things have progressed well. I've gone from this sorry state...
...to this impressive state in only four weeks. Let's hear it for modern medicine!