I have completely blown my ACL, nada, zip, zilch, no ligament left. As well my Medial Meniscus is torn. I am relieved I have a full diagnosis, but it doesn't make it better.
My lack of ACL isn't bothering me that much, besides feeling unstable and the hyper-extending there isn't a lot of pain from it, some swelling after alot of exercise and some knee cap pain, which is from the Femur and Tibia not aligning properly, and rubbing on the knee cap (Patella Fermoral Syndrome - which I've been having treated in Physio for 4 months), then it gets stiff and swells. I did injure it 10 years ago playing Rugby. At that time the Ortho. specialist figured it was partially torn. Now it is totally gone. The ACL is required to stabilize the front and backward motion of the knee - sudden stops etc. as well as pivoting, the Meniscus is a cushion and shock absorber ... see where this is going ...
The most painful part is my Meniscus, I am in some amount of pain all the time, I've just gotten used to it. It won't heal on its own - it is cartilage, and it is just hanging there in the knee joint. So as I do more it gets inflamed, then is swells, then it hurts, then I ice, repeat as necessary - a couple times a day when I'm on my leg a lot, a glass of red wine helps at night too. I am at the Gym 3 times a week and now I will will be kicking it up a notch again. My physiotherapist wants me even stronger - call it Pre-hab. Bring it on.
I get a super-mega-custom-knee-brace made today. Designed to keep my leg aligned and act as my ACL should. Then I start a regim of getting used to wearing it at the Gym - doing ladder work, cutting, pivoting, treadmill, biking, free running etc. more strengthening and agility. I need to trust it. I have Regionals and Nationals this summer, and well, I am going to run. I've thought about pulling out, and a part of me still wants too, but Gyp is in her prime, and Kaleb isn't getting any younger. I need to do this, I need to prove it to myself. I'm done with the "why me", I just have to move forward.
The part that scares the shit out of me is Surgery. I can't even get my blood taken without 2 nurses holding me down. And I turn white when I step in a Hospital. The Meniscus repair will put me out for a couple months with physio, but a complete ACL reconstruction with the Meniscus repair will put me out for up to 9 months with intense Physio. My surgeon said no running whatsoever for probably 4 months, no sudden stops, pivoting for up to a year, a strict Physio regim up to a year if I really want to be 100%. For the complete reconstruction, 2 Hamstring tendons are grafted to my Tibia and Femur, holes drilled in the bones and the tendon tied through like a shoelace to mimic the ACL. Sounds fun eh? Not.
I love dog training, and I love Agility. There isn't a dog sport I love more. And it is a major part of my life. I've tried to love other dog sports, but I love this one the most. I have a lot of running years left in me and I want to run, and I want to run fast. I've been a competitive runner off and on since I was 11 years old, it is just sort of important to me to continue doing it. I guess I like to be a part of the race.
The thought of not being active, being so vulnerable, having people do things for me, not driving, being on crutches, not being able to get in the shower by myself, not running, not teaching, not walking the dogs, not working out, not training my dogs, not doing Agility with my guys for a minimum of 6 months scares me to death, so does the fact that I will be immobile. And what if something screws up. I thought the last 4 months were hard. That was nothing. Perhaps there is a pot of gold at the end of the rainbow, or maybe a puppy?
I am doing my best to stay positive and convincing my self I can get through Regionals, then Nationals, but a part of me just wants to hide and cry and eat ice cream. If you happen to see me burst out into tears, I'm sorry, on a very rare occasion, I do enjoy a pity party for myself. But if my past life experience has taught me anything, I rarely give up, and if I want something I need to keep my head up, and I fight for it. Hopefully this journey will be no different.