DAY 10

Well I’ve made it a week and a half and since my last post have made tons of progress! I went back to Tria in Bloomington with my mom yesterday and had my 9 day post up check up. I went to physical therapy there so they could see the progress I’ve made with my PT, Trevor back home, and they were so astounded it made me excited! They couldn’t believe how well I could bend my knee, I’m now at 118 degrees which apparently for 9 days in is insane. As of last night I walked a tiny bit without the help of my brace or my crutches, and I can now fire my quads and do a baby leg lift all on my own! I cannot tell you how excited I was when I left my appointment! Cloud 9, ya’ll! Heaps and heaps of improvement on the daily. 

After my PT check in, I went to the clinic and had an x-ray done to insure my screws haven’t moved around, or as my dad says, “making sure you don’t have any screws loose”, pun definitely intended. I don’t, whew. Then I got my stitches/sutures taken out which was also exciting. I’ve developed a few blood postules on my knee but it’s only a couple so no worries. Everyone I know that’s had ACL surgery has some pretty noticeable scars, I’m kinda thinking mine are healing beautifully and they may not be too obvious. 

I’m still having some problems sleeping. In the past few days I cannot seem to get comfortable at night and it’s because I’ve stopped taking the pain pills. But I can’t seem to get through the night without one yet so I take them just to sleep. My doctor gave me a new prescription for more so I can continue sleeping without an ansy leg that keeps me wanting to twist and turn all night. And trust me, at this stage, sleeping good is such a god sent. I’m so sick of sleeping on my damn back which has caused some back problems encouraging me to move around a lot more, which isn’t a bad thing. Lots of ice on the knee constantly and extreme elevation for 20 minutes a few times a day. 

My aunts are coming to visit for the weekend which will be fun. Otherwise I have no other news to report! I’m gonna stick my head back into my book. 



movin’ and a groovin’

Well folks, it’s been an amazing 5 days! Pretty astounding how the body can recover and improve in just a 24 hour period. My PT appointment went well yesterday! My physical therapist will be Trevor with Select Therapy out of Baxter and Crosslake, MN. I will be going back and forth between the 2 locations weekly since Baxter has a bigger gym I may have to be there for certain things, especially after I hit the 6 week period and start getting worked pretty hard- like an actual physical trainer! I was thinking, “oh great, now I have 2 of them between Trevor and my mother it’s like a damn cheering squad!” But really, he’s awesome and I look forward to working with him for the next 6 months. He said I’m gonna be an easy one! That’s always good to hear! 

I can already get my 90 degree flexion going and I’m walking pretty normal but slowly. I still have to keep the knee immobilizer on for a few weeks until I can lift my leg on my own. Right now I need assistance to lift it or grab it myself. I guess this is pretty common with a patellar tendon graft, it can take up to a month before I can lift it on my own. But my quads are firing no problem which means they’re nice and strong so the rest will come. All this is fine and dandy in that department! 

I’ve been trying to ween myself off the pain pills which I’ve learned is a bit too soon. Typically I’m waking myself up every 4 hours to take 2 oxys, but I’ve been trying to take only one or substitute Tylenol and that’s not helping at all. I woke up last night in tears and really confused as to where I was. I didn’t even know I was back in the US and I couldn’t see in the dark which was pretty intense. Once I finally figured out where I was I got pretty scared and took another oxy so I could sleep through the night without such pain. Hopefully in the next few days I’ll be taking 50% less because those things are trouble and they already got me seeing things! Haha. 

Well that’s about it for now, I can take my first shower tomorrow morning! YES- most definitely going to be the best shower I’ve ever had in my life! Only about another month until I can take a bath! But that’s okay, baby steps!

I’ll leave you with some up to date photos of my progress and surroundings!

xxx, Lauryn Elizabeth

Look how much the swelling has gone down! Not so much seepage from the knee either!

Dad bought me these glorious zebra cushions for my crutches. Cruising in style! 

My bedside table- ice/compression knee machine, lotion, hand sanitizer, meds, water bottle, chapstick and I had orange juice for the first time today! 

Not for the squeemish! My battle scars looking pretty damn good if I must say so myself! My body, my temple.

My knee immobilizer and fat ankle! I have a love/hate relationship with this brilliant/evil device. Only a few more weeks till I’m moving without it and upgraded to a self fitting knee brace.

and we’re back at the beginning!

I finally felt as though I could write today. My head is a bit cloudy with the meds and even reading a book has been hard on my eyes so I thought I’d wait until I was feeling a bit better to try to put a cohesive blog together.

So the surgery went very well! I was so excited to hear that news! It took under 2 hours and I was out of there in no time, making it safely back to the hotel room until the spinal block wore off. That evening after sleeping all day Caitlin, Tera, Marty and Athena all came over to visit at the hotel. It was really nice to finally meet Athena and see some company but after about an hour my eyes were getting so heavy and I was beginning to feel exhausted again, so after they left I fell right asleep. Unfortunately, that evening at about 2 am I woke up in really intense pain, I was sobbing like a toddler. The amount of pain I was in at the time literally left me gasping for breath or forgetting to breathe all together. The spinal block had officially worn off and I had to wait 2 more hours until I could take more meds, so I essentially drifted in and out until 4 am and then promptly took my pills the minute I could. After that, instant relief! 

The day after surgery I had my first dressing change and PT appointment. I did these at Tria but from now on will be doing all my PT with Select Therapy up north 3 times a week. He had me doing leg lifts, assisted of course, because I cannot yet lift on my own. I also have to do leg slides with a towel, which hurts a bit but feels good in the end, and I can already walk a little bit on it. They encourage you to get up and get walking as soon as you can with torn ACLs, so with the help of my beautiful zebra crutches, I’m walking! Dad found me some decorative zebra padding to put on my crutches, pretty snazzy! Tomorrow I have my first PT appointment up north here and I’m really excited to meet the team that will be helping me for the next 6 months. It’s pretty exciting.

Right before being given the anesthesia, my nurses and doctors were awesome and kept me smiling! 

Immediately after being woken up post surgery and being reunited with my parents! The spinal block was in full effect and I was feeling pretty happy 🙂

24 hours after surgery during my first physical therapy appointment! Getting a super intense cold/compression around my knee for 20 minutes. 

a month of hard work and we’re almost ready for surgery!

So it’s been about a month since I’ve written and I feel like I’m in the final countdown with it being only 6 days left until my surgery. 6 DAYS!!! I’ve been so motivated and so excited and now the realization that I’m 6 days away is hitting me and I’m feeling a bit nervous. But I’m ready to get the show on the road and start the healing! Before I can get on with the surgery though, I’ve been preparing my body by working hard and eating right. 

For the past month I’ve been up north with my family focusing strictly on my recovery. I’ve had a lot of time to focus on myself, eat healthy, and prepare my body for this surgery. I’ve been riding the stationary bike about 12K a day along with a 30 minute knee strengthening yoga series and I’m moving around just like nothing ever happened. Of course I can still tell my knee isn’t nearly as strong or stable, I was encouraged by the doctors to start biking and swimming because the stronger the surrounding muscles around my knee are, the easier and quicker the recovery.

So they’ll be operating on my ACL, my lateral meniscus and possibly my MCL but the doctor said he’ll see when they go in for surgery how “messy” the MCL is. I’ve decided on a patellar graft for my knee reconstruction surgery. The two most common grafts you can get are from the patellar tendon or the hamstring. He recommended the patellar to me because most female athletes don’t have as strong of hamstrings, so the patellar tends to work better for women my age. Unfortunately, the downfall to the patellar is the recovery can be harder with more knee pain and it’s said that kneeling may be an issue for the rest of my life. But, having said that, the patellar is closer in size to the ACL and therefore stronger in the long run. I’m hoping I’ve made the right decision and won’t have to have a repeat surgery in the future. Fingers crossed! 

This week I’m trying to detox my body and get my immune system up. I’ve cut down on my smoking and I’m quiting after my surgery (hopefully for good, but if anything I’ll do the 5 weeks they recommend), eating lots of lean meats and nuts for the protein as well as getting my fare share of antioxidants to boost the immune system. Plenty of fluids is always a plus and I’m up to my head in vitamins! 

Let’s get the ball rolling, it’s gonna be a good week!