Tomorrow is nine weeks since I ruptured my right quad tendon and Wednesday will be 8 weeks since the surgery to fix it. I had no idea how much effort it would take to even begin to get back to normal – and I have a long way to go until that happens. Usually, when you have surgery, you are on the mend and things get quickly better from there.
But that’s hardly the case here. You see, I have to go to physical therapy twice a week and have seven different exercises that I have to do at home – with 30 repetitions each – three times day… oh, and I have to do them for both legs! Since my right leg is so weak, my left knee is handling far more than its fair share and so I have to increase the strength in my left knee to be able to handle the extra workload it is doing during the healing process. It’s no picnic – it’s very hard work – and from what I am told, I could be in physical therapy until late this fall!
And then there is the constant change in routine – adding a little weight on my ankles here and there to help the strengthening process. And what they call “heel slides” – that means laying on your back and sliding your heel along the floor to stretch the muscle and increase the range of motion. After surgery, it takes several weeks for the initial swelling to go down and then the real work begins. The doctor expects an increase of 15 degrees in my range of motion each week and so far, I have been able to do that.
When I am back to full mobility, I should be able to have about 135 degrees range of motion, but I haven’t been able to get there yet. They are, however, thrilled with my progress so far. Last Friday, measuring day, I was able to bend my knee 119 degrees – a new personal best since I have had to recalibrate myself post accident.
During this whole “adventure” I have learned more about the human body and how it moves than I ever knew before. Why can’t muscles just attach to bones? Why do we even need tendons? Well, doctors and PT staff have taught me that muscles narrow near their ends and could easily tear if they connected directly to bones. That’s where the tendons come in – making the transition from muscle to bone stronger and more reliable.
I don’t have all the answers or knowledge about the mechanics of knees and tendons, etc. but I do know that I have a new appreciation for the skill of the surgeons and the other professionals who have helped me recover. I am amazed at the complexity of the human body – even something as supposedly simple as my knee. I can’t even begin to fathom how God put together our entire bodies.
The verse for this evening is one that I have heard many times – but also one that has taken on new meaning for me the past several months. The apostle Paul wrote two letters to the church at Corinth and our verse is an excerpt from the first letter. Paul tells us, in 1 Corinthians 6:19-20, “Do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit, who is in you, whom you have received from God? You are not your own; you were bought at a price. Therefore honor God with your body.”
My encouragement tonight is that God designed us as marvelous creatures – in His own image. My prayer is that we will all take care of our bodies and our minds to glorify God and His Son, Jesus in all that we do. Have a great day in the Lord, grace and peace…