Fitness

January 16 is 20 weeks since total knee replacement surgery and Sam is checking in

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Or five months if you’re one of those people who hate talking in terms of number of weeks.

I last checked in at 16 weeks.

How’s it going, you might ask. Everyone does.

It’s still very much a mixed bag. I have great days and I have days of pain and limited mobility. The good news is that the good days are getting better. The bad days are often about my right knee the one that’s waiting for surgery, not the one that’s recovering from surgery.

What’s new?

Well, I’m back in the gym for strength training and I’m doing personal training at both the university gym and at Movati. It feels good to be getting stronger again.

Between all the personal training and all the physio, recovery is still feeling like a full-time job, or at least a very demanding hobby. I see the physiotherapist at the clinic twice a week. I have personal training once or twice a week. I also have exercises to do at home everyday.

Hotel gym

Walking any distance is still tough, especially on snow and ice. I’m still using my cane which helps.

And cycling on the trainer continues. I’m finally able to do some group rides on Zwift and that’s helping me keep at it for longer.

I remember when I first got on the trainer and my goal was a complete rotation of the pedals. I started by pedaling backwards which was easier. Once I could get the pedals all the way around with the seat raised, I worked on getting my seat back to its regular height. That helped with knee flexion. And then it was 5 km, and then 10 km, and then Saturday, for the first time I made it 20 km with the Thundering Turtles.

Here’s Sam’s first 20 km since total knee replacement surgery

I do have a new snazzy custom brace for my right knee so that it can keep up with the left. Well, at least it won’t hold me back. That’s the idea. Luckily I don’t have to wear that on the bike.

Sam in black leggings with new knee brace

I actually had to break my shopping fast to buy some new leggings to wear under the brace. The last time I was regularly wearing a brace was summer and the capri length leggings worked just fine. They’re not so great in Canadian winter.

Oh, and finally I’m getting enough sleep. I’m being woken up less often with knee pain and when I am woken up I’m able to get back to sleep.

Check it out!

Sam’s sleep

What’s next?

I’m hoping and praying that I can ride my actual road bike outside in Arizona next week. I mean, I’m bringing my bike and I’ve been riding on the trainer so I’m hoping I can actually remember how to ride a real bike outside.

Cacti

I’m seeing the surgeon in February to talk about dates for my right knee surgery. Aside from all the usual wait list concerns the other issue is checking up on my left knee to see how it’s coming along.

While it’s still very much a team effort, thanks to all the friends and family helping out, I’m also getting more independent again. I took the train solo to Montreal recently. I’m driving lots, which is unusual for me. It’s off to the gym and off to physio. Here’s hoping I can bike there in the spring.

The independence feels like me, but the driving not so much.

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