Sunday, December 23, 2007

Key ACL Recovery Suggestions

As I think back on recovering from ACL surgery, some specific suggestions occur to me.

1. Showering: Get a plastic lawn chair, put it in the shower, and shower sitting down. This is really important. If you shower standing up, you risk slipping and wrecking your brand new ACL.

2. Vicodin: People at my work joked that I would be hallucinating on Vicodin. I wasn't; instead, the big side effect was that I was (there's no delicate way to put this) constipated, big time. Every body is different, but what my PTs and doctor suggested, and what worked for me, was drinking prune juice. It tastes awful, and sometimes it takes a couple of doses, but it's worth it. I just threw the prune juice out last week, I hadn't used it since, but for a week or so it was truly my friend!

3. Friends: Put your pride aside and tell your friends you need them to visit. If you attend a religious institution, tell the people there you need visitors--that's one of the things those institutions are set up to do (in my case it was a Unitarian Universalist congregation). When my wife had to go back to work after taking some time off to care for me, friends came by to help me with things like getting into and out of the continuous passive motion machine (which may not be used much anymore, from what I hear, but I did find it helpful), or refilling ice for my knee. And they just talked. It did my spirit so much good to have friends drop by. I still want to hug them every time I see them.

4. Exercise: As a martial athlete, when your body says you can start, begin doing push-ups, crunches and other exercises that won't strain your knee. You'll feel good about yourself when you can start working out again, even on a limited scale. The key phrase is "when your body says you can start."


Blackbeltmama said...

The chair did wonders; so did the juice. Thank you.

I used the CPM in the hospital but I don't have one at home. I'm knocking on the 90 degree flexion mark now so I don't think I need it. Tomorrow is one week post-op. I'm hoping for a magical all better feeling. ;-)

BobSpar said...

I'm so glad you're doing better!