Rehabbing the Knee

Some have expressed surprise at my planning a spring hike this year, so soon after my second knee replacement. (4&1/2 months) I did not schedule a spring hike after my first knee replacement. Perhaps that was more wise. But maybe not – time will tell.

Once upon a time I heard a Doc say it was impossible to tell the length of time necessary to recover from a total knee replacement. Perhaps someone could recover in two months. I thought then, well, that someone should be me.

Nope. It does take more time than two months.

But rehabbing a knee sometimes runs contrary to popular wisdom. Sitting and standing are both the worst things for me and my knee. The knee wants to keep moving or it stiffens up and hurts. Repetitive motion is the key.

Yes, one does have to work to retrain muscles and nerves. They don’t just automatically heal up and work as before. A knee replacement is a lot of trauma and cells don’t remember their function automatically. Retraining is not just a matter of time. It is also a matter of work.

But yes, of course, one can overdo it. Too much work at any given stage can set the knee back in recovery. It is a fine line to find the maximum work for optimum recovery in the shortest time without doing too much and setting back recovery.

I think my knee is doing very well for 4 months and one week post-pop. I will get one more week before setting foot on trail for my spring hike.This hike is not steep with lots of elevation gain and loss. But it is a lot of miles per day. Too much? Or just the amount of repetitive motion I need? Time will tell. I survived the plane ride across the country. (Remember, sitting is the worst thing, not moving.)

Now I am chasing grandchildren for a different kind of therapy and the knee continues it’s rehab.

A note to those who are following me on this website: Once I am on trail I will be writing on Trailjournals.com and will not post on this website until sometime after June 4. To follow me, just go to Trailjournals.com and post Medicare Pastor on line for hiker name. Click American Discovery Trail 2019 for my daily posts if you would like to read them.

Triple Crown Presentation

Coming up fast for those in the Seattle/Lynnwood area: This Sunday, March 3, I am giving a presentation about hiking the Triple Crown at Trinity Lutheran Church, 6215 196th St SW, Lynnwood, WA 98036. It is a potluck beginning at 11:45 and ending at approximately 2:00. It will have oodles of pictures for those who have missed having any in the book. All are welcome.

Reminder and New Podcast

Reminder to those in the greater Tacoma area: Book signing this Sunday, February 24, at Resurrection Lutheran Church, 4301 Browns Point Blvd NE, Tacoma, WA between 2:00 and 3:30. Refreshments will be served, many pictures shared, books available for purchase and a question and answer session with Mary. Should be fun!

And a new podcast is out – this one with Wanderers:life on the Road with Jarrod Ross. http://www.fulltimewanderers.com/podcast Each podcast is different as each person who interviews me is different. Both podcasts I have now done have been fun for me and I hope you enjoy them too.

 

Book Signing

Another book signing is coming up Sunday, February 24, at Resurrection Lutheran Church, 4301 Browns Point Blvd NE, Tacoma, WA, from 2:00 to 3:30. Refreshments will be served. Some of Mary’s pictures of her trips on Triple Crown Trails will be on a powerpoint to view. And she will host a question and answer session after personalizing your copies of Old Lady on the Trail.

Podcast, Progress and Proselyte

Podcast

I was interviewed by Hike Like  Woman back in November. The podcast was released and available a few days ago. You can go to Itunes and look up Hike Like  Woman. Hike Like  Woman, by the way, is one of the many hiking groups I have discovered online. It has chapters in several states and an Adventure Book Club too, which is featuring Old Lady on the Trail along with another book as their books to read and then discuss online in February. I hope you will enjoy the podcast as well as the book.

An online magazine called Healthy Aging has also picked me up and published an article about Old Lady on the Trail for subscribers in their winter edition. In the spring the article will be available on their website.

Another podcast also will be available sometime in February. I will post information when I have the details. Podcasts are fun. I get to talk about trails I have traveled, one of my favorite subjects.

Progress

The other note of progress about the book is that it has passed the 4,000 copy mark. Amazing!

Personal progress is happening also. I can now walk 2 miles twice a day, and they are even at a half way decent speed for two months post knee replacement – 24-26 minute miles. The new knee likes movement. It still doesn’t like being still. When sitting or standing or lying down, in virtually any position assumed for more than 10 minutes, the knee concludes it should never move again. I swear it talks to me, “What? Why do you want to bend (or straighten)? You left me here in this position. Isn’t that permanent?” “NO! Resting/sitting/standing is not meant to be permanent.” We have an on-going argument I hope to win sometime.

Proselyte

No, this is not about religion. But I needed another P word for the title and proselyte was the only one that came to mind. Well, it is a story about someone getting the walking religion.

A few weeks ago while beginning my quest to add blocks to my walking ability and progressing from walker to cane, I met a newish neighbor at the end of the block. Having become a walking publicity machine for my book, I told her I had written Old Lady on the Trail. She ordered it. I saw her again on one of my daily walks. She raved about the book. Cool! I, of course, love raves about my book. She said she wished she could walk like I could and see the things I had seen, especially the flowers. But, she said, of course she couldn’t walk that well anymore. (She is older than me but I really don’t know her age.)

I said, I didn’t know, but maybe she could walk somewhere to see the flowers. “Really?” she responded. What would I suggest she should do? I suggested she start walking to the end of the block and back and slowly add a little bit more every few days.

The result is that I have a new sometime walking partner in my neighborhood. (I have another sometime walking partner – a neighbor and long time friend who had a knee replacement a couple weeks before mine.)

My new walking partner walks with a rolling walker and brings her dog on a leash. She has impressed me with her dedication to this new enterprise. Her pace has picked up and she has added blocks to the first two she started with. She also joined weight watchers and informed me today that she has lost 4 lbs. She is now up to 1.2 miles. Her walker has a seat and she rests part way, but she keeps adding blocks. And she told me this is all because she read my book and met me.

I can walk faster than she can but I am quite happy to walk with her (also with my other friend) when either or both are available. I get enough times when neither of them can walk with me to indulge in walking as fast as I can and as far as I can to push my rehab limits. And I can always walk farther than they want to but still enjoy their company until they have had enough.

I am thrilled with her progress, my walking proselyte. I am thrilled that reading my book and talking to me inspired her ambition. I am thrilled she has new ambitions and determination to be healthier. I hope to take her to Paradise on Mt Rainier this summer and take her on a path to see the flowers.