It sucked and then I cried

“They” tell you it will be hard. “They” tell you it will be painful. “They” tell you a lot of things about recovering from ACL surgery, which has really not turned out to be all that true for me. After a wreck of a Monday, though, it turns out I don’t have any superpowers against bad days after all.

It started with a voice mail from my therapist. She called to tell me that the billing office thought I only had enough insurance benefits for one or two more appointments. This was a total shock, because I had confirmed with the insurance company before surgery that my PT benefits were not limited to a specific dollar amount or number of visits. My brain boiled while I tried to figure out whether the billing office or the insurance company was pulling my leg.

I’d also been struggling with the fact that my kneecap wasn’t tracking properly. It wasn’t all that bad, I thought, just annoying really. If it wasn’t in the right track, it hurt to bend my leg. So I didn’t. Fixing it was simply a matter of standing on my good leg and shaking out the bad leg or physically pushing my kneecap sideways with my hand until it went back into the track.

The accumulation of days of little out-of-track bends, though, had caused my knee to swell up until it hurt pretty much all the time. An ibuprofen might have helped, but it didn’t even occur to me to take one. Duh! By the time I got to the PT’s office in the evening, I didn’t want to bend the knee.

I sat down, and the therapy assistant asked me how I was doing. Because this is the one place I feel like total honesty about my knee is required, I responded, “Not very good today.” My therapist took me to a private room where the emotional rope tying me together unwound.

She massaged. I cried.

She didn’t say “I told you so.”  Instead, she told me how proud of me she was for how far I had come in just four weeks.

Right now, I’m a little scared. But I am doing it. Day after day. There is going to come a time, when I’m fully recovered, when I will have to tell you how great my knee feels. Right now, I don’t have to do that. I can tell you, though, that behind every great recovery is a PT who is a therapist first.

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