Preparing the Body

Exactly a week from now I will be sporting a brand new bionic knee and hopefully astonishing the nurses in the orthopaedic wing with my amazingness. That’s the plan anyway. I’m aware that the reality is probably closer to something else entirely, but I’m doing everything I can within my control to be a good “surgical candidate” as my grandfather used to say and not think about the negatives.

I have been trying to get the body ready by religiously doing my quadricep strengthening exercises; the physical therapist gave me a sheaf of them to do every day, each exercise illustrated by a senior citizen performing ridiculously easy exercises. It reminded me once again that I should be grateful for having maintained a reasonable level of fitness in spite of the knee pain. Because of this I decided to augment these with calf raises, squats and wall sits all of which are no impact but torturous to the legs. Impact of any kind is now out of the question and even my beloved Spin has had to be replaced by the recumbent bike; the knee now had a dull clunk during positions two and three and the swelling after a 55 minute class has, at times, precluded me from wearing jeans. Sigh. At least the recumbent bike provides me with the cardio I need, in spite of the fact that it’s dull.

Mentally preparing myself has been another story altogether, but exercise has gone a long way toward helping me put things in perspective and that little miracle drug continues to reap benefits whenever I go to the gym. It’s hard to watch people go into the workout studio for a class I used to take with abandon, but I have a lot of friends there who are rooting for me and want to see me recover. And a gym membership is kind of like having a PT facility available whenever you want it which I am planning to do as soon as I am able to drive.

Hopefully I can work out until the day before surgery. I want my doctor to have some good musculature to work with, and I’m going to need it for the arduous task of rehab. Bring it on.


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