Our society puts a premium on pushing physical boundaries. We’ve all grown up with it:
Push through the pain.
No pain, no gain.
What doesn’t kill you makes you stronger.
At some point though, we need to listen to our bodies. We need to hear when it is telling us that we’re pushing too hard, that its time to step back. We need to adapt, so that we can overcome the pain and get back to doing what we love.
For the last year, I have been struggling with knee pain. This pain pops up whenever I run or cycle, even rearing its head in the pool. It’s cut backpacking trips short. It’s had me on the couch icing my knee twice daily for several weeks at a time. You all know how much I hate sitting still, so taking time off of my workout routine was really driving me crazy.
After many PT sessions and visits to 3 different doctors, we finally have a diagnosis and an action plan. In both of my knees, I have a misalignment of the patellar tendon, commonly known as Runners Knee. What this means it that my patella doesn’t sit properly in my femoral head, so that I have bone-on-bone contact between my patella and femur. It has gotten severe enough that it is causing swelling in the plica bands in both of my knees. I know, it even sounds painful! Unfortunately for me, when PT stops working, the only option left is surgery. This surgery is a doozy – they will break a piece of my tibia (where the patellar tendon connects) and move it, so that everything is in alignment. It will fix the anatomical cause of my pain, meaning that once healed I should never have pain from this again.
This surgery is scheduled for 1 week from tomorrow.
So for the next 6 weeks, I’ll be walking around in one of those bionic knee braces. It will take 6-9 months for me to return to full strength. And they can only do 1 knee at a time, the second knee will be done next year.
I’ll probably spend the 3 weeks off work daydreaming about adventures I want to take in the future, after this year and a half of knee surgeries is finished. This also means that our MST thru-hike has finally been rescheduled… for spring 2018. I hate to push it back that far, but its finally time to listen to what my body needs. I am not signing off the blog though, don’t worry. We’ll keep posting our preparations and mini-adventures!