In three weeks, it will be one year since my ACL reconstruction.
Please note: gloomy post to follow.
I want to “let it go” but I am not ready. The injury and subsequent recovery is a pervasive part of my daily life. I had hoped that at a year I would be done with it. It sounded so simple “Get it fixed”. I have had other surgeries. I had my gall bladder removed eight years ago and I do not think about it. The lack of a gall bladder has not changed my life.
I have been spending some time reading the Kneeguru bulletin board. They call themselves Kneegeeks. I found some long-time ACLr’s because I want to know what is next. Some state that their knee has never been the same while others say their knee is better than before. It is too soon for me to decide which category I fall in. There are so many stories of multiple injuries and surgeries. Many of their stories have a common thread … the return to the sport or activity they love.
When I first told my daughter about the ACL surgery, she was nervous about it. She wanted to go to the hospital with me and stay home from school. I told her that I wanted her to go to school and I promised that I would call her at school from the recovery room. I kept telling her “Don’t worry, it is just my knee. They will fix it and I will be fine.” The more I read, the more I realize that the knee is a complex but delicate joint. I will not use the phrase “it is just my knee” ever again.
Karate has changed, perhaps forever. I am much more introspective. It has become less about my physical ability and more about the search for deeper understanding. I have been focusing on weapons and open hand bunkai. I am grateful that I can continue practicing and teaching. I want the students to know that it is about the journey. I want them to enjoy their time in the dojo. I want them to take their time and not feel rushed because there is so much to learn.
The road to recovery has been a long one. I know that my new ACL is strong. I know how hard I worked to get here. I know that I will continue to work on strength and conditioning. Knee braces, glucosamine, leg lifts and lunges are all part of my daily life.
As I approach the one-year mark, I am not ready to “let it go”. I want my knee to be better than it was before.