Throughout the course of this “healing” period, I was subjected to what I came to call “Physical Abuse Therapy”. This, I am told, is the key to returning to a normal way of life AND regaining the strength in my knee/leg that will enable to carry on (both meanings) with my life as well. I was all it was supposed to be and more.
During the 8 weeks and 3 sessions per week that I would attend my therapy at Benchmark Physical Abuse Therapy in Shallotte, North Carolina, the staff was wonderful and the abuser that attended to me was tremendously knowledgeable, encouraging and supportive during the entire flogging I would receive each time I walked through the door. These beatings would enable me to get closer and closer to being able to function like a normal nincompoop, than I was prior to the slicing and dicing my left knee would be victim to in the months prior.
Each session would begin innocently enough at first, 5 to 10 minutes on the stepper and then to the table where my personal abuser would bend parts of me that would object to said bending. Lift this, bend that, hold this and slide that 20 times would be the additional orders I were to comply with. With each session, these painful routines would get easier and I even found myself pushing my limits to get more done. 20? HA! I’ll give you 30.
After the beating on the table concluded, I would be ushered to a, well…. I called it the dance studio bar. The only thing missing was a floor to ceiling mirror and leg warmers. Here, I would lift myself on my toes, balance myself on what could be best described as a thick semi-solid jello mold that wanted to toss you on your ass should you get cocky. Then do a series of squats to the count of 20 or 30 depending upon the mood of the abuser. The fun then accelerated to steps. First a small 4″ step, then a 6″ step then a 9″ step. With each I had to step and lift myself on my healing leg, which would later object to these maneuvers.
Once the abuse in the dance studio was complete, I’d be instructed to go to the stationary bike where I would attempt to spin my leg completely around or at least rock it back and forth for 5 minutes. Eventually after 2 or 3 sessions of this I was able to spin like a normal cyclist. Small victories at this point. At the completion of that I would be put on the leg press. This is where my legs would not be pressed into cookie shapes but where I would sit in a seat and push myself away from a vertical board that my feet would be on. At first the weight was 75 pounds with both feet and 50 pounds with the healing leg. Then it advanced to 100 pounds for two and 75 for one. If it were possible to put a microphone to my knee, screaming would be heard to the decibels of a 747 at takeoff.
To close out the entire ensemble of torture, my captures would sit me in a chair and wrap my leg in a cold ice pack and a compression pad that would inflate to put pressure around the knee and ice pack. I would endure this pleasant sensation for 15 minutes. During this period I would check email, hit Facebook and Instagram and call my wife or brother to come pick me up in 20 minutes.
With the conclusion of these sessions each day I found myself able to go up and down stairs much more easily, sleeping became easier, walking became easier, getting up from a chair, while still difficult, was getting easier. I was finally able to get back on my bicycle and ride it, on the indoor trainer of course, for 30 minutes at a time every few days. On the days in between, my knee would swell to 2 times it’s normal size in protest of the brutality it was getting both from me and from those at the physical abuse center. I would sit on the sofa at night with a huge ice pack on my knee while I watched whatever we were binge-watching that week. Then as I would fall asleep during one of these episodes, I would drag myself to bed and toss and turn for 7 hours until the next morning when my annoying electronic friend would rear its ugly head.
And for 8 weeks that’s how it would go. Feel good, abuse, soreness, pain, ice, sleep, repeat.
At the 8 week point and my 8-week post op visit with the surgeon, he told mem it looks great and I could stop with the physical abuse therapy. But stay loose, keep moving, ice and heat, rest, elevate it and I could do tile if I felt so inclined. Then he told me, the numbness will continue for a while and don’t expect to be 100% for at least 6-months.