Injury Series: Life After Injury

I guess it has been a while since I posted about my knee injury and recovery. In fact I think the last post was over 3 months ago and was about me being back on skates with the target of being fit to play a game in July.

 

Well since that post in April I have played 2 games – the first and the test was played at the end of May against Manchester Roller Derby.

Roller Derby

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This game highlighted I can play roller derby again – at least my knee appears to be holding up. It did highlight that physical challenges aren’t always the issue. Mentally I was not prepared. I felt aggressive, and not in the positive roller derby way. I panicked in the last jam and sat myself off in case I got injured and did not complete the full game. I didn’t want to jam – it absolutely filled me full of fear. My roller derby mojo had gone.

Between then and the second game there was plenty of practice time. So next was Sheffield Steel Roller Girls, which we won! And actually I felt 100 times better. I blocked for most of the game, which I always feel stronger doing – but I jammed and felt strong too.

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So I guess what I am trying to say that life after injury, is not bad. There is hope, you can regain your previous capabilities and it does require work – I don’t think the physio ever stops. I still have to keep my knee strong, and when I did have a couple of weeks off I could really tell the difference. But hope! Yay!

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Photos courtesy of Peter Worth.

 

 

Back to Black, and blue… And wheels.

£190 lighter and my hopes are real. My last post about my injury was about my intention to seek a second opinion with regards to my ol’ knee due to numerous physiotherapists being in shock about my stable knee and supposed secondary injury. I paid the money and saw a private consultant for a second opinion.

I don’t think I’ve ever felt so anxious the morning of my appointment. It was in Nottingham about an hour from where I live and the whole journey, with a lovely teammate, I felt sick, distracted and tearful. My mind wouldn’t let me think anything but the worst was to come – I would need an operation – I shouldn’t be on skates now and it was going to be a long recovery.

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That was not the outcome of my appointment and a couple of weeks later I have done my ‘return to skater’ safety assessment and working towards scrimmaging and bouting. I’m in shock to say the least. The consultant who I paid to see, Mr Hahn, was unsure (and I saw my radiology report) as to what had been operated on in the first place, due to the report saying there was nothing but swelling. He also pulled my knee in practically all directions to test its stability, to which he could find no cause for concern.

In fact the outcome of the appointment was not to have the second operation unless my knee started to give out. In which case I could then elect to have the op.

What does this mean? It means I’ve spent just over two weeks paranoid about my knee, but I’m finally starting to come out of it. Paranoid in the hyper aware state of joint swelling, anything that made me aware of my knee moving, regardless of whether there was pain or not, and constantly feeling like I’m running on borrowed time.

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My physiotherapist, again private, and part of the Custom Fitness teams has said July is an achievable date to be fit to play the game again. I have some pretty intensive exercises and about 2 stone (I’ve gained weight for the first time ever) to shift before then.

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#gettingstronger

 

To all those going through injury, have hope!

Toni May xx | TwitterBloglovin’

 

The Second Opinion: Meniscus and ACL Injury

How many posts have I started with I’m injured *whinge*? I’m starting to not feel it anymore. In fact 16-weeks post operation and I can honestly say I haven’t felt injured for nearly a month. Positive steps I’m sure you are thinking but this 16-weeks have been a lengthy limbo period between operations and have led to further injury dilemmas.

My progression – I’ll admit I am biased – has been incredible. I was still anticipating to feel held back and sore at this stage. To my feel my leg is a dead limb like something from a zombie movie. But in fact the more I move it the stronger and better my knee feels. This may seem obvious. But it was implied, or more understood by me, that my knee was replaced with glass after my first operation – it was to be rested and barely used. My adopted mentality on this, until recently, appears to have actually slowed my progression. Of course rest is required, but I still have swelling, which I’ve been told is a directly linked to not using the knee.

It is the increase in activity, the 4 month limbo period and the lack of information I have on my situation that has caused the my need for a second opinion on my ACL. Since my very first (paid) physiotherapy appointment I have been told I show no positive signs for anterior cruciate ligament damage. Since this first appointment my meniscus repair has happened and an ACL tear has been shown and 3 further physiotherapists, both NHS and private have also confirmed no positive signs of ACL damage. While my surgeon is the only person to have seen inside the knee, a full rupture has not been confirmed. I also have a very stable knee. (The tape in the picture below was a test, and is being lessened each time!)

ACL and Meniscus

ACL and Meniscus

Be it pure blind hope – although as long as my knee works I am happy for whatever actions – or the tolls of being injured and time spent waiting but I think I need a second opinion. Can my knee be rehabbed to strength? Or do I need to operation to function – especially in roller derby?

 

Injury Timeline

09/11 – Injury
25/11 – MRI
26/11 – Operation
19/12 – Driving
04/01 – Walking without crutches.
10/01 – NHS physio, signed off for minor squats, swimming, cycling and more.
15/01 – Swam for the first time.
16/01 – First PT session.
18/01 – Jogged for the first time (for about 15 seconds).
19/01 – Did my teams off skates, all but the running.
21/01 – First exercise class.
18/02 – Put skates on in my house.
22/02 – Skated for three hours.
08/03 – Did laterals on skates and actually a tiny tiny tiny bit of contact.
18/03 – Jumped (an actual jump!)
19/03 – Jogged during a warm up at off skates.
21/03 – First modified strongman class.

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Toni May xx | TwitterBloglovin’