I’m going to come right out and admit that when my surgeon told me I could walk out of our appointment yesterday without my brace on, I looked at him like he was crazy. Walk? Without my brace (aka security blanket)? No can do, doc.

I love my surgeon and I trust him completely. But he had to shame me into LETTING GO OF THE BRACE. I did, finally. I walked out of his office feeling naked; not sure if my weenie left leg was up to this. I was encouraged when I did not collapse, flailing. I made it to my car. I went shopping, holding on to the cart like it was my own personal walker. I surveyed every inch of ground for potential slip & fall risk.

But by the time I made it to PT a couple hours later, I had gone from scared to ecstatic. My surgeon wasn’t playing a cruel trick on me. I was free!!

Physical therapy quickly reminded me that my work has just begun.

I had not really seen my legs without a brace on one of them. I don’t make a habit of standing in front of the mirror flexing my quad muscles. Really I don’t. In my mind, my left leg wasn’t that much smaller.

Anyone seen my real left leg?

Holy Cow is that MY LEG? Who the hell took the other half of it? Poor weenie leg. My other leg just laughs at it when it tries to flex.

Now I begin the process of rebuilding. I’m determined, but I also know it won’t happen overnight and that I have to be patient. That’s my strong suit (not). More importantly I have to be consistent.

Cleared to spin on my bike (it’s stationary currently, on my indoor trainer) I immediately bought a pair of flat pedals. I didn’t think clipping my foot in to a pedal was such a good idea right now. Knowing me, I would fall over and tear something else. I have enough flexion that I can just barely make a full pedal rotation. But it’s a start.

My physical therapy is now focused on building strength and mobility. It feels good to know that I can stop losing muscle and start gaining.

I’ll still be hand cycling through the fall; that’s the only way I can get the dog(s) out long and far enough. And even though I seem to have created some upper body issues (dumb de dumb dumb) from all my hand cycling, I’m getting that under control with the help of PT, chiropractor and massage therapist.

It takes a village.