What?!? New Content?

Hey ya’ll. Yeah, it’s me. It’s been a while since I’ve blabbed out my thoughts. I thought I would give you all a quick update. It’s been a few YEARS; and I’ve struggled mightily with my health and weight and all the things. I’m excited today because I feel like I’m in a new normal.. and while my knee is killing me.. and running is definitely not in my future; it’s been fun to get back into the weight room to start lifting again and to get going. Feeling really good about myself today.

More updates to come!

Going to start conservatively….

So, Michelle and I just had this text message exchange… and I’m not sure how I feel.  Bear with me while I work through how I’m feeling about it.

Let’s go back to the beginning of the year, when I started feeling my right knee pain and how it was really limiting what I could do and how I felt.   I put off going to the doc; because I felt like I just needed to rest it a bit; then I’d be back at it.  I took a couple of weeks off of pushing cardio hard to “let it rest”.  I came back and started running again; after a couple of weeks of 3 days per week running, I just couldn’t do it anymore due to pain; and had to stop.  It was at that point that I decided to get a referral to an Ortho doc.  I went in to see Dr. Nicholson in April; and he and his resident recommended an ultra conservative treatment, which I signed up for despite the fact that I thought it wasn’t the right course of action.  A steroid injection and PT.  The injection worked like magic on my other knee; so I thought I would give it a try on the right side.  The pain went away; no doubt about it for two whole weeks.   I took the time to give it a chance to work.   After those two weeks, I got on the elliptical; felt a familiar twinge in the right knee and haven’t touched  exercise equipment since.   I scheduled another appointment with Dr. Nicholson and he ordered an MRI.   On June 21st, I got a call from Lindsay the PA in Dr. Nicholson’s office to let me know that “Lol, you have no ACL in your right knee anymore; and this is more than Dr. Nicholson can do; so he wanted to refer me to Dr. Cole.” (emphasis mine, Lindsay was great and professional.. she would never have “LOL’d” at me).

So, today, when I went in with Michelle to meet Dr. Cole; I was really unsure of what to expect.  I had done my research into ACLR surgeries and recoveries and was ready for that discussion.   His recommendation is to go conservative.  He’s going to do a scope and clean things out and see if that alleviates the issue; rather than an ACLR with a big long recovery.  If I’m not having stability issues (which I admit, I’m not having major stability issues); then having that surgery off the bat isn’t worth the risk.

The struggle that I’m having is that its been nearly 8 months already.. and going conservative seems OK; but if it doesn’t fix it; and after another 3 months of PT and treatment it’s still not better and we end up doing the big ACLR anyway; I’ll have lost another YEAR toward reaching my goals.

So, in that respect, I’m a bit disappointed/doubtful that it will work.  So far, conservative treatments haven’t worked for me.  On the other hand, I know just how much work the recovery is from an ACL Repair; so I’m glad that a simple solution maybe, just maybe this time will work.

Also, I get it that he can’t promise that this will get me back to running and moving normally; but come on man, I’m coming to you because you are the best knee surgeon on the planet, give me something!  If it comes down to work that I can do; then he can take it to the bank that I’ll be back.   Beside, he’ll be just another doubter that I can prove wrong.

Let’s talk worst case.   Let’s say he gets in there and cleans it out and says “Aric, you’re good to go”.  I do PT like a robot; and am a machine.  I get back to it; and its still not right; or going out and/or causing pain.   When I’m there, then I can look at having the ACLR.   It wastes time.  That’s the biggest annoyance.  Doing a 1/2 Iron Triathlon before I’m 50 looks like a stretch goal now.. wait until I have another 8 months of rehab on top of it!

So… here we go again… again…

Well, here we are yet again.

My right knee ACL has failed (again) and something has to be done about it.   The past few months have been miserable because I can’t do any of the activities that make me who I am.  Consequently, I have put on weight; which is not good… I love to blame the fact that I can’t actually exercise, but in reality; its likely overeating as a reaction to both stress and depression.   That is something that I definitely will have to get a handle on.

I have an appointment with Dr. Brian Cole at Rush Orthopedics tomorrow mid-day, where I’m hoping that we get a plan of action for fixing this thing, so I can get back to what I love doing.   On the “bright side”, it seems that the most common treatment is Revision ACL.  Michelle shared with me some documents that describe the procedures (interestingly, one of the docs was written by Dr. Cole).   There is a 10% chance that I’ll need to have a 2-stage ACLR.. that means, open the knee, pull out the screws; fill in with bone graft.. heal for 6-8 weeks.. then go in and do the ACLR; which then means another 6 months before I’m back to sport!  That sounds horrible… twice the PT and twice the surgery for the same outcome!   Let’s hope that my first knee surgery was done properly (so that the screw holes align) AND that the holes themselves haven’t widened.

The first time I had my ACL repair; I took the time to write down my thoughts about the process and what I was going through.  That was long before the internet was huge; and I ended up having to write my own HTML to publish it.  It should be a lot easier now, right?

Uh oh.. here we go again!

Well, I have been pretty lucky so far.  I have had aches and pains all along, and have taken appropriate time off when needed and knowing when to slow down.  This time, I decided to play a little basketball with the other old guys at the gym.  Had a really sweet head fake and cross over.. pushed off my left leg to drive to the basket for an ez-pz layup… and went down like a sack of wheat.  I love talking about over coming obstacles and this is just another one.  Stay tuned!

Maybe its time to think about not playing basketball?
Maybe its time to think about not playing basketball?


Basketball again!

I have a deep love of all things hoop. I watch NBA, college, anything on tv around basketball.  In my younger days, I used to spend 4-5 nights a week hooping it up in one way or another….  then, I blew my knee out and went through several years of rehab.  It was really that time in my life that learned how to over-eat and over-indulge and over-sloth.  Once my spirit was crushed by knee injury; I just never went back to it.  And once you stop and stop for real, its really hard to go back.

With all this weight loss and renewed interest in my own fitness I set a short term goal of playing basketball again.  At Lextech, the guys that I work with have been playing every Tuesday.  I decided that this spring was going to be my grand comeback to the game that I love.  I’m in decent enough shape having started running and lifting weights; I just hadn’t had much opportunity to actually pick up a basketball to actually practice shooting.  I knew that I would be terrible; but the only way to start it to do it.

This past Tuesday, I met up with the guys and we played some 4 on 4 half court.  I was right…. I’ve become terrible.  I suppose with 10 years of sitting on the couch and not actually playing I expected it.  But let me tell you; I was so happy to be out there, taking a pass into the post and taking the worst, most off balance shot you had ever seen made me so happy that I could have cried.  No matter how bad I was and how slow I moved I knew that I was taking a step in the right direction.

Of course, all this joy of being able to play there are some really important lessons that I feel like I have to pass on to you, gentle reader:

  1. Don’t wear new basketball shoes for the first time going to play; your feet will hurt and bleed
  2. When you are old, like I am, make sure to ice your knee after playing
  3. Don’t wear socks that are too thick for the new, uncomfortable shoes you should have never put on in the first place
  4. Stock up on ibuprofen.  You will need it

All in all, I can’t wait until next week; when I’m sure I will be better than I was this week; and I cannot wait for the next game… bloody feet and all!  By the way, I won the MVP trophy for the week.  Apparently, I didn’t embarrass myself and played ok.   As a right of passage, all players on the Lextech Tuesday basketball night are given a nickname… I shall henceforth be known as “Orange Crush”  (thanks to the bright orange t-shirt I was wearing)