Proof of the rack. Here I am, as of last Wednesday (October 24, 2012), on the diabolical stretch machine at the physical therapist's office. Weight on my right knee: 20 lbs; left knee: 25 lbs. I haven't been able to increase the weight for quite a while, but I do feel a slight softening, a little less pain over the 10 minutes I am stretched. I am thinking of adding just a teeny weeny bit next time.
It has been over a year since my second surgery. Being in therapy this long is NOT typical. Most people are out completely within about three months. So please do not take my experience as an example of typical. Further, everything works well except for one thing: the extension. Getting the knee straight is the whole point of my being there. Yes, I also have hip pain but that is a separate situation.
In some ways it seems like I have gone backwards lately. I have had a lot of restless leg issues, in one leg or another and sometimes both, making getting to sleep very difficult. Many nights I am restlessly trying to get some sleep unti as late as three or even four in the morning. No longer the morning person, me. My hip has also made a lot of everyday activities difficult. I give in to it too easily. I start to do something around the house and the pain makes me want to sit down. I sit down. Getting up again isn't fun. I need to turn this around, just get out and do. Get out, get up, get around.
Related to the pain is the eating. Clearly I have been gorging. It is hard to stop. Overeating is the story of my life, nothing new. I have managed to control it at times but am not doing so well right now. Nobody needs to tell me that extra weight puts more strain on the joints. I do know this.
But hey! I have a nice haircut. It makes me feel more "professional", in a way, more "legitimate". I can't quite explain this feeling. But I'll take it. I am also getting out with various groups of photographers more often, always a challenge. There is a lot of walking, standing, and hauling involved in photography, although one pro told our club that he never goes far for a good photo. He finds them not far from his car! Not a bad example for someone like me, who gets a little afraid of doing lengthy hikes to get to the right place. It really helps to be learning, to be working on getting that photo, on doing better this time than the last.
Food: for those of you who have been suggesting various diets or supplements and possible allergic reactions, believe me I have been there. I make no bones of my not being a fan of supplements. Don't get me started on that. But I have also done elimination diets to determine if there are certain foods that increase inflammation. So far I have not found any that made any significant difference. I continue to eat a vegan diet, but unfortunately I do have these long-term issues with food, and unfortunately there are many foods that are vegan and not healthy. At least I am avoiding animal proteins. Give me that.