Not Everything Goes Smoothly - 4th Feb. 2013
Life Is A Bumpy Ride
Following my short trip to Dublin, I also had a holiday to Bulgaria booked, obviously banking on the fact I would be able to at least walk unaided by July, luckily I was able to and my holiday wasn't put in jeopardy, although thinking about it now, I should have booked the extra leg room for both journey's, saying that I had no idea what stage my recovery would be at by then so I wasn't to know. I continued with the gym work, spin classes 3/4/5 times a week and the usual stretches and exercises, no weights just yet as my leg still wasn't strong enough, well it may have been strong enough technically but it physically didn't feel up to it.
I always had aims in my head for what I wanted to do, where I wanted to be in a certain amount of time, these changed depending on what the physio and specialist told me, but I always seemed to be on schedule or sometimes even ahead of schedule, some of that down to the fact that I was quite fit when I sustained the injury and also my determination to get through it, as my specialist said, some people don't always do what they're told, usually the older people who have no aim, where as I had an aim and a goal, I wanted to play football again so I wasn't going to let myself or anyone else down and nothing would be a distraction, even doing stretches and exercises in the pool on holiday and this was a lads holiday, not one for fitness or well being, if you know what I mean.
6am Beach Jog....Well Nearly A Jog Anyway.....
My general aim was to be able to get my right leg straight, as it was currently at a constant angle due to the tightening of my hamstring post-op. This was frustrating, I would feel like I had made significant progress by reducing the angle by a degree or two but obviously while sleeping I wasn't exercising so I would lose some progress, most times it felt like 1 step forward and 2 steps back, but sometimes the discomfort kept me awake, which may sound bad but it was generally better as I felt I could keep up my progress, after all I put this at the top of my list of priorities, ahead of sleep anyway!
My holiday was somewhat a risk according to my Dad, he didn't seem to happy with the fact I'd booked one without really knowing when I would be comfortable walking etc but I'd done my research and if everything went smoothly I would be able to as it was 6 months after the operation and luckily I was right. The heat seemed to help as well as having my leg in water for about quarter of the holiday, in the pool and in the sea, and the heat seemed to naturally ease my muscles, running would have been helpful too but I was still only allowed light jogs of around 5-5.5 mph on a treadmill so risking an outdoor run wasn't worth it, after all, holiday's are supposed to take your mind off the things going on at home right?
Scar Remained Quite Visible, 6 Months After The Operation
When I arrived home, I continued with the gym work and less frequent trips to the physio as I was more or less left to my own devices to go and improve my muscular strength and further improve the angle of my knee with exercise and stretches. There did however seem to be some kind of problem, well I thought there was anyway. There seemed to be a prevention of me further decreasing the angle my knee was at. One of my exercises involved sitting on my backside on a mat and then pressing down just above my knee so it was pressured into the ground and then using my fingers to gauge how much improvement I'd made by judging the amount of gap that was left under my knee (when pressed onto/towards the floor).
This seemed to stop at a certain point and no matter how much I worked on it, even altering exercises, changing them around, getting other people to apply pressure rather than myself, something didn't seem right. I questioned this with my physio, although she said it would be tightness in my calf muscle, so I was given further exercises now for my calf too!
It was soon to be found that it was something much more than a tight muscle and my aim of returning to football for pre-season was taken away, no football in the whole of 2011 was looking likely, what a horrible thought........