It’s Saturday with little on the docket for the weekend. Knee workout, weed the backyard and maybe finish that quilt and start that dress. (OH and I was just informed we’re having Easter dinner tomorrow. I can’t remember the last time I had Easter dinner. I’m just in charge of bringing the candied pecans for the salad.)

But first – the workout. Get it out of the way. As I laid in bed going over the day in my head, I took a small sigh.

I’m kinda getting tired of my “workout.” It’s nice that I can do it at the gym and feel like a real person again, but …. eh…. I’m getting bored. It takes an hour. I have to do it every single day. The full workout at least once, then a shorter version too, so I’m doing exercises twice a day. My PT and I change up the exercises when I get bored of them and we just put together a new program the other day.

None of it is cardio intensive right now, but I’m slowly getting there. I think that may be what’s making me a bit restless.

Also, I’m actually jealous of the people who take the Zumba classes. I despise those classes but oh how I wish I could move like them without any consequences.

Then I remembered my PT and PTA and I talked about yoga. They said I could pretty much try whatever exercise I wanted (within reason of course) and just listen to my knee and body and see what happens. And what’s great about yoga is that I can modify any of the poses.

So, when I showed up at the gym, I wandered over to the printed schedules of classes.

There was a yoga class at 10:15. It was 10:14. 

“I can totally do this,” I thought.

During the next 75 minutes, I discovered that Child’s Pose was out of the question (which I knew), Tabletop was only tolerable for so long as I didn’t want to put any weight on my operative (left) knee while kneeling (it was bad enough kneeling on my right, which is still sensitive from that operation years ago). Pigeon on awesome on my right knee but out of the question on my left knee.

But everything else – balance poses, warrior poses, core work – not a problem. And I could tell how it would definitely help my weak spots (hamstrings and hips) that are giving me trouble with my PT exercises.

Plus yoga overall just feels really, really GOOD.

So…. I think I just doubled my workouts on Monday/Wednesday/Saturdays.

***

I realized the other day I haven’t updated the blog with a progress report on the knee. I’ve been doing it more on Facebook after each physical therapy appointment whenever I make significant progress. The only significant things to announce on a weekly basis are when I can perform a new action (cycling, go up and down stairs like a normal person) and an increase in the degrees of my knee bend.

So, to recap from the last 9 weeks:

I last measured at 105 degrees in my knee bend on March 30, through passive movement (PT bending my knee while I relax). I measured 96 degrees with active movement on March 20 (Me bending on my own but with the support of a yoga strap). I was at 30 degrees right out of surgery.

I still have to wear the brace, but it can only bend up to 70 degrees right now. I hope it gets extended to 90 on Monday. It’s a pain to wear because it slips down my leg if I wear certain pants or tights, so I’m pretty much regulated to those brown shorts that don’t slip. The brace is supposed to provide support when I’m standing or walking extensively, which I’m not doing much of these days (or so I think anyway). I went about 10 days without it though recently and realized I was paying the price with a swollen and sore knee, so back on it went.

My home/gym exercise program changes every few weeks but I’m now up to an hour “workout” a day:

-10 minutes in hot tub to work on scar tissue and knots in knee

-10-15 minutes on bike – During Week 8, I was finally able to make a full revolution. However, it wasn’t a natural movement or rather, the foot wasn’t in the natural position when cycling (pushing with the ball of the foot). When I push with the ball of my foot, the knee is tight and slightly painful at the severest angle and I tend to hitch my hip when I make the circle but it’s getting better.

10-15 minutes on treadmill – I’ve never been so thankful for treadmills. I walk at up to 2.8 mph for 10-15 minutes (until my knee gets tired) then turn around, increase the elevation by 3 percent, slow down the pace and walk backwards for 5 minutes.

Then there are the standing, floor and ball exercises.

Overall, it takes me a little over an hour to do the entire program.

So far, PT has discovered that my hips and hamstrings are pretty weak so there is a lot of balance and bridge work. So, I was pretty happy to discover my yoga capabilities this morning.

On top of the workout, I’m icing 2-3x a day, getting a scar tissue massage 1x a week, see PT 2x a week, and constantly bending and extending it when I’m sitting at work.

I see Dr. Green in two weeks, at my 12-week appointment. At the six-week appointment in early March, he said I needed to get on the bike more, get that full revolution established, and that my goal now is to get up to 45 minutes of high intensity cycling. Also, get full extension in the knee (apparently I was 2-5 degrees short at six weeks).

So… steady progress. I haven’t plateaued at any point during the knee bending but it definitely slowed down after I hit the high 80s/low 90s mark, which PT said would happen. I’ll be interested to see what where I am on Monday.

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