If I gave one worthwhile suggestion in my previous Disabled List entry it was this: find a way to be on skis post-injury, pre-surgery. I did just that this past Sunday when I rode at Angel Fire Resort in NM. I headed up to AF with a couple of pals with the intention of just cruising a few groomers in order to beat back my obnoxious ski cravings. I convinced myself in the car that simply sitting on the chairlift with headphones on and straight-lining flattish runs would be a nice little treat before the cutting—and, right up until I found myself at the top of the most meticulously maintained baby shred park known to man—it was. Needless to say, I unleashed my entire trick catalog on a number of ride-on, buried features. It took roughly two runs. While I probably looked ridiculous and gapertastic trying to spin onto ride-on flat boxes, I had an absolute blast. It was warm, sunny, dead, and most importantly…free (titans of ski media don’t pay for lift tickets). It was exactly what I needed to reconnect with why I love skiing so much. To be honest, nearly a year of living ski-free with NS as my only real source of, ahem, “ski culture”, I was growing more and more cynical by the article. You probably noticed.
So, Tuesday the Doc finally fixed me up.
I wasn’t all that nervous going into surgery as it’s such a commonplace procedure, but I didn’t really know what to expect immediately after. I did, however, manage to cut myself shaving my leg…I learned at the hospital that such a tiny bumble could have postponed my surgery for fear of infection. Good start…luckily it as all uphill from there. Truth be told, the whole experience has pretty much been a breeze so far; thanks in no small part to my lovely nurse, Brenna Aileen, who’s doting has been glorious. The whole procedure took a little over 3 hours as I was slow waking up out of anesthesia. By lunchtime, I was being loaded up into the backseat of my Jeep with a lap full of instructions and meds. Obviously, the instructions spent another 24 hours in the backseat while the meds came with me upon arrival. The worst part thus far is undoubtedly the anesthesia hangover. Miserable. Running out of Percocet Saturday night is a close runner-up.
The overall pain level has been much less than I expected. I’d say it’s been comparable to the dull ache I used to feel after throwing too many pitches; it’s deep and substantial, but muted somehow. I guess for me all of the “resting”, elevating, and icing has been more of an issue than the pain. As much as I like to do nothing, having no options blows. In addition to all of the resting, I have to have my leg in a motorized knee bending thingy for “8-10 hrs.” (read: 4 hrs.) a day.
By the time my first PT appointment rolled around Friday morning, I was just desperate to get off of my couch. Ironically, my appointment was with the very same therapist I stood up in ’08 after I tore my MCL only to bump into him on the Taos Ski Shuttle. Oops. The session went swimmingly, and I left feeling encouraged as the therapist was blown away by my range of motion and the lack of bruising and swelling. Unfortunately, I don’t think this stint in rehab is going to end with me back on skis in 6 weeks. I’m presently staring at a sheet of exercises that I’m not very likely to do. I’m not advocating ignoring doctor’s orders, but come on….stretch my toes with a towel?
Anyway, I’m up and about, bearing weight, and I even managed to bathe today for the first time in 5 days. I really just wanted to post a quick little update to hopefully alleviate the fears of any fellow skiers who are a step or two behind me in this whole process. It’s really not that bad, and I’m confident that I’ll be ready to click in next season.
Anybody with questions, suggestions, etc., throw ‘em up. Please dedicate a run to me. Actually, the first person to take take a shred pic with a “Free Casual” tee gets my unused anti-nausea suppositories.