Rain, snow, ice, sleet, puddles, steps, sidewalks, cobblestones. These are all things that have put an undeniable fear in me. Welcome to life on crutches. And it gets better - I am on crutches and not able to put any weight on my right leg for fear of ruining the intricate surgery my doctor recently performed to regrow the cartilage in my knee.
This is not my first adventure on these stilt-like walking apparatuses. I have been on them several times before for this same knee, but my previous adventures where no where near as daring as this one. Non-weight bearing for eight weeks is a challenge, and even more so for someone who tends to be very physically active. I am used to waking up around 4:45am and hitting the gym to teach bootcamp classes and workout with my trainer. That will not be happening for a while...That being said, I do not see my situation as an excuse to sit on my ass, feel sorry for myself, and let things go.
I have learned that simply getting around is a workout in itself. Walking (hopping) around brings up my heart rate to almost the same level as power walking on an incline, and holding up my body on crutches throughout the day is a serious upper body exercise. Hands, forearms, shoulders, and triceps cry out to me at the end of everyday in ways that have never happened before. They all contract to steady my body as I move forward, sideways, and backwards in a delicate and slow balancing act just so that my right leg will not make any contact with the floor at any point in time. These muscles contract even more in anticipation of stairs or ice outside, and exhaustion sets in once the danger passes.
Physical therapy, physical activity, and physical exhaustion are regular parts of my daily routine, however perhaps the most important in understanding that part of my leg's healing process is rest. Simple rest. The pure act of healing is to be underestimate for the weeks to come.