Archives for posts with tag: ACL

No, I haven’t become addicted to the Oxycodone that was provided post-surgery. Quite the opposite. I got off it as soon as I could but, man, the side effects. After talking with a nurse confirming the cause of some troubling abdominal discomfort Thursday morning, my mother spent the next five hours researching, making lists, shopping and looking up recipes on high fiber foods.

And y’all wonder why it took me 2.5 months to research my orthopedic doctor and ligament choice.

She fully takes the blame for that personality quirk. I never knew how bad it was until I witnessed it Thursday. Now, she can’t keep stop shoveling quinoa, hummus, vegetables and fruit down my throat. But I’m not complaining. It’s a tasty road to recovery (her chocolate chip cookies help too, now that I finally feel like eating them).

She’s been a saint the past week, dealing with my up-and-down moods and running to the store daily for stuff we need. I could not do this recovery without her. Thanks Mom!

And I’d be remiss if I didn’t thank all the fantastic support from friends, the tenant and Brian, all of whom have come over to visit, prep food, chat to take my mind off my discomfort and help with cleaning a flooded basement the day after surgery (Major shoutout to the tenant Casey, and Kevin and Maria for that one. And the plumber who showed up at 11:30 p.m.).

So it’s a week post-op. With the nerve block, opiods, Ibuprofen and Tylenol, pain management has not been a problem, even as I transitioned from narcotics to over-the-counter drugs. Leg’s been kept elevated, iced nearly around the clock and while I can put full weight on it (with my brace on), I’m keeping things pretty light and easy and stick close to the couch.

The five-day post-op visit with the surgeon, Dr. Green, was a success. He was excited to see I had full extension of the leg, minimal swelling and could make a muscle with my thigh and do leg lifts.

“You met all my initial goals, this is excellent,” he said. “My job is done. It’s up to you now. Get into physical therapy and start getting to work.”

I started that process today with Ryan, my physical therapist, who was amazed I had full extension of my knee one-week post op (“that’s fantastic,” he said, with a slight shake of his head, in disbelief) and then got to work with gentle exercises, most of which I’d been doing for two months before my operation to build the muscle and muscle memory (leg lifts, ankle circles, tightening of the quad, hamstring and glutes, among others). These are nothing new to me, just… now they’re a bit harder. Especially when trying to bend the knee.

I can get a 30-degree bend in the knee right now.

I remember how this went last time 17 years ago.

I have about 100 degrees to go.

* deep breath *

Here we go.

So, Life kinda got busy last week – evening meetings, an overnight work trip, field work, trivia night and planning a baby shower. I had a stash of Whole30 meals prepped for the week (cauliflower rice and spaghetti squash to be topped with minestrone soup or Italian meat sauce, plus the usual eggs for breakfast), which helped tremendously when it came to needing to grab-and-go for my busy week.

Aside from the first few days of lightheadedness and headaches, finding time to prep food and trying to find meat products without sugar in them, following the plan has been relatively easy.

Then came Week Two and social outings that involved eating out.

The biggest challenge was the dinner with coworkers on Tuesday evening. We went to Skagit Valley Brewery and I ordered a basic salad with veggies and oil and vinegar. At the last second I added chicken, even though it was seasoned, thinking I could scrape it off. It came out thinly sliced though and the seasoning was pretty caked on there. So I just cut off as best as I could and had a very lackluster meal. My water with TONS of lemons was good, but I wasn’t sure what upset my stomach that night – too much lemon or the chicken?

For breakfast the next morning, I thankfully found a diner where I just ordered tomatoes, chicken, eggs and fruit, all ala carte. And it was awesome.

Even though boss was buying lunch, it was Chipotle and to save myself the agony of deciding, I just skipped it and waited until we went our separate ways after lunch to gobble down the italian meat sauce and spaghetti squash I had packed away for this purpose.

The next big challenge was prepping for the woodlands-themed baby shower I was throwing. It was a small intimate affair with six people, so I made minestrone soup (non W30, but had my own leftovers) and chicken salad (totally W30 and amazing, including the homemade mayo, especially since I hate chicken salad and mayo) and bought croissants for the guests.

Desserts, homemade, were chocolate-covered pretzels topped with graham cracker crumbs dyed green (moss on logs), peanut butter balls dipped in chocolate (acorns/buckeyes) and chocolate cupcakes with little owl faces (oreo cookies, candy corn and reese’s pieces).

While making everything, I quickly brushed aside the temptation to lick the chocolate off my fingers. The desire to eat this stuff burned the hardest on Saturday during the party, but it wasn’t agonizing. It’s just the way it was at the time and I knew I’d get to indulge in something just a delicious at a later date. No big deal. (I just didn’t realize it’d be so soon. Keep reading.)

Actually, I think I wanted the cheese and hummus and crackers more than anything.

So, second big challenge – baking chocolatey goods – accepted, taken, and conquered.

The third big challenge was having to prep food for a hike for a search mission, which are usually very long days of climbing/scrambling/bushwhacking through hard terrain. I debating bringing my old food of gels, bars and tortilla wraps (light and easy), but folks on the Whole30 forum kinda convinced me that I could do it right. So, I loaded up my pack with lettuce wraps of chicken, mayo and avocado, roasted some thinly sliced yams and made “chips” (which would have been fantastic if i hadn’t burned most of them), plus nuts, apples, left over chicken, an avocado and 8 LARA bars (which, are OK). But, as you’ll read later, that was all for naught.

Aside from the cooking and eating, the physical/emotional results from eating like this for two weeks have been … minimal. I think the biggest thing I’ve noticed is my energy levels (which most people would say are regularly high) have evened out. Or rather, it doesn’t take as long to feel alert in the morning and I’m (appropriately) crashing at the same time every night for bed. My afternoon crashes are minimal and the cravings to snack in the afternoons are minimal too. I probably snack mostly because I’m bored, which are then just almonds and apples.

My skin and dark circles under the eyes were pretty clear the first week but that all went to hell last week with the stress of the busy week, less than 8 hours of sleep a night and the monthly hormonal spike.

So, two more weeks, not a problem, right?

No. I go on a search mission on Sunday, slip on a wet rock, twist my knee and tear my ACL.

Monday night, after a long day of two doctors, one MRI, two meetings with folks about scheduling surgery and insurance/claims paperwork, my emotions couldn’t take it anymore.

I wanted to drink a goddamn beer – the strongest IPA I could find – a big fat burger topped with caramelized onions and bacon and bleu cheese and sweet potato fries. And a goddamn chocolate cupcake to top it off. With friends.

SO I did. And of all those things… I’d say the beer and the burger and fries were the most delicious. The cupcake was good too, but it didn’t quite give me the satisfaction that I thought it would. Actually, the whole thing (except for my first few sips of beer) didn’t give me as much satisfaction as I thought. Kinda. I don’t know. I think the fries and bleu cheese were on par with the beer too. I was sad when the fries were gone.

But it also proved that again, as I’ve figured, I’m more of a savory food type than a sweet tooth type.

I will admit, I weighed myself before I went out. My first weigh-in was in the morning on Oct. 2 and I was at 128 lbs. Last night’s weight-in was at 5:30 p.m. and I was at 125 lbs. I’d say give or take a pound b/c of my heavy lunch and hormones, my true weight was probably about 123. So, five pounds lost? Although a picture of me last weekend shows otherwise, I can tell in my face and in my belly. Quads slimmed down too.

So, now, where do I go from here?

Technically, I have to start over again with Day 1 if I want to truly complete a program and then do a proper re-introduction. “Detox” from my binge yesterday. Frankly, it wouldn’t be hard since I have a fridge STUFFED with Whole30 food right now. And eating Whole30 style, when on my own, at my house, is NOT that hard.

The most challenging is eating out and at Brian’s – although he’s been so sweet and trying to help me – he’s not doing the W30 but I think he’s enjoying the challenge of trying to figure out what I can and can’t eat and is fascinated by it. Or not (it annoys him he can’t cook us sausage) and he’s just really THAT nice. He did make me a veggie, yam and steak dinner though, just for me, the night of my injury. He even shaved the zukes and squash to make them “noodles” and honestly, they were amazing. Perfect comfort food, like egg noodles. I kinda cried while eating, it was so kind of him to do this.

I could do another three weeks, until my surgery… or just go back to a much healthier Paleo diet, just saying no to cheese and bread when eating out but allow myself a beer and see how I feel overall. I’ve thought about doing another W30 in January, when I’ll be more mobile and can cook on my own but it will be after the holidays, so I can enjoy pecan pie and pistachio jam bars.

And especially since I won’t be doing ANY vigorous workouts the next six-nine months, I’ll REALLY need to watch what I eat to fight the 35-Year-Old-Metabolism.

I should probably actually read “It Starts With Food” too.