This past weekend was my 8th since microfracture surgery on my right knee. It will be a full 8 weeks this Wednesday. The weekend brought a number of good milestones.
The biggest milestone was holding my daughter for the first time in almost two months.
I’ve managed to hold both of my daughters while sitting down, but the crutches have prevented anything else. Over the past week, I’ve weened myself down to just one crutch freeing my right arm. In the house, I am pretty good without them at all. I do get tired, so I keep it close. Everyday, I need it less and less.
I’ve added riding my bicycle on the trainer and a few other strengthening exercises (with ankle weights) to my rehab regiment. I can feel the muscles and coordination coming back very well. It isn’t an overnight recovery, so I need to temper my enthusiasm. I do get sore and I have to work hard every day. That said I am feeling better all the time. I think my next recovery milestone will be in about two weeks. It seems like about a month after starting to walk again is when you have enough endurance and base muscle to begin really building your muscles back up.
There are a lot of mental wins along the way that help.
For a couple of days now, I have been happy that I can carry more things around (books, bags, food, etc.) in my crutch-less hand. If there is any weight to what I am carrying, I leverage the crutch even more. Just standing, I do ok. I built up to this over a couple of days.
During crutch weening, Katerina (our older daughter) got sick. This meant much less sleep Saturday night. My poor wife had even less than I did. Around noon, my wife needed a nap, so I did my best to watch the girls. Katerina fell asleep too, so it was just Sophia and I. I decided that we were going to try to pickup my prescription and possibly go to the grocery store. With the free hand, I have been able to hold the girls hands again. This has been nice too. Parking lots are not safe, so I knew I may need to carry her.
So, Sophia, Maverick and I loaded up into the minivan and headed to the store. The van is a good height and when I got her out of her seat, I was able to just hold her with my right arm. Using the crutch with my left arm (as I normally do), I was able to fairly easily carry her across the parking lot. Once inside, she walked and help my hand. This made me very happy. I’m not sure if it is just the parent in me, but I think it made her happy too! She got a lot of looks in the store, and I think she was proud to be holding my hand. She was beaming with a huge smile.
We had a good time. The grocery store is easier since I just hold onto the cart. Rusty, my physical therapist, said they often use shopping carts to help people start walking again; it is something we all know and are used to.
On the way home, Sophia fell asleep. Zoë was still asleep when we got home, so I had to carry Sophia in. It took a couple of trips, but I get her and the groceries back in. Sleeping in her bed, Sophia looked happy. That really made me feel good. She was happy, and I got to carry her for the first time in almost two months.
This morning I picked up Katerina, and she was pretty happy too. After all, Katerina once told someone that “daddy are for climbing on.”
The short time that I held the girls has reminded me of another area of rehab that slipped my mind. My poor arm was tired! I have to build up the kid carrying arms again. That doesn’t worry me; it is more than worth it.