Abt a torn ligament & folded meniscus... & e growing pangs of a 24 year old gal.

Wednesday, May 31, 2006


Ever since I re-learnt how to cycle again after 15 long years, I have been doing silly things with my bike~ such as riding to Orchard road without a helmet and only 3 times of practise! It's a wonder how my life is miraculously preserved although I remembered crashing into shrubs and bushes a few times and not having enough strength to peddle uphill (and not knowing how to switch my gear then).

But nevertheless, I did try my way on the stationary bike 19 days after my ACLr. Because I heard fantastic things about Cycling for Knee Rehabilitation. So I persuaded the OS I was ready. Got myself on the bike. I did not make it pass the first cycle. Knee got stuck. Turned around. Chatted to the guy beside me who had a meniscus repair who was basically doing 45 degree forward, 45 degree backward. Aw... but suddenly, knee just slipped and i made my first cycle very painfully, shifting my weight to my right side. It felt so wierd. But as i did a few more cycles, got a bit more confident and was doing about 29 rpm per minute... was very excited till my knee locked and yet I still pushed it forward involuntarily... I let out a YELP. It was a queer feeling of my knee being displaced in a rubbery jelly like way. But it din't feel so painful after all. Anyway, felt a great sense of accomplishment~ having completed 2.5km. Butt was real sore after all that shifting from side to side.

Made a few friends in my PT sessions, and on kneegeeks forum. During this time, you really treasure any kind of interaction you can get.
Tried walking without crutches, but felt very wobbly and twangy sensations just shot down at the areas where it was drilled. I guess in the meantime, wud just strengthen my quads till my OS gives the official green light next wednesday to be off my crutches!

Monday, May 22, 2006

2 weeks countup from OP!

2 weeks from Operation. Swelling has gone down... but so has my thigh muscles ... knee cap looks sunken in too...

The following is a test shot of the MARCO mode on my Nikon 7900.

The wound where the scope went in (& pumped my knee with saline) has blistered quite a bit. Heck!

... Previous knee pics

Where was I ...
2 weeks ago:: Sitting in bed after my OP waiting for my OS...
2 months ago:: somewhere in office planning for my badminton game the next day (to get myself injured!!!)
1 yr ago:: in Idemitsu office in Chiba creating some IT solutions
2 yrs ago:: Bumming at home after a TW competition looking for a job...
3 yrs ago:: Working in HP completing creating some IT process system
4 yrs ago:: in Uni, preparing for a 6 months exchange program to Melbourne
5 yrs ago:: hmmm. Can't remember. Did I get my peabrain working then? I must have been underaged then!

Saturday, May 20, 2006

Quarter life crisis

I always thought it was wierd to experience a 'mid-life' crisis kind of nagginess when I have barely lived for a quarter century. Not till I chanced on this term - Quarter Life Crisis ... and I marvel at how wikipedia has grown to even come up with a comprehensive and pretty objective collection of prolly the most cliched and frequently asked question on the Meaning of LIFE

Earlier this evening, National Geographic was screening a documentary on some mummies which were discovered in China which were buried deep underground around 100BC. The amazing thing is that they were well preserved for 2000 over years, the moistness of their skin, the laxity of their limbs and their intestines were all well preserved. This allowed the archaelogists to even test for their blood type and check for the kinds of food they were last eating before they died!

How were they preserved?
Wrapped tightly in 20 layers of silk, filling the coffin with some mildly acidic, high zinc content liquid, sealing it airtight in 5 layers of coffin. Burying it 50 feet underground, coating the coffin with tar, and next with waterproof material, heaping 50 feet of earth over the burial site.
It was literally vacuum sealing and freezing the corpse.

It is amazing to observe that over the millennium and across various independently developed civilizations, the concept of immortality is priceless and highly esteemed, somewhat to the extent of a blinded obsession. This leads me back to the same question.

~For what is your life?
It is even a vapour, that appeareth for a little time, and then vanisheth away.~

Thursday, May 18, 2006

A WALK through Life

Walking. I never knew walking could be so tiring. Especially with 2 crutches. I am on my 10th day of my ACL Reconstruction. Went back to my OS yesterday. He gave me the thumbs up and said my knee was looking GREAT! Whatever. Anyway, any encouragement makes me feel good now. But still I was only to bear 20% of my weight on my left leg.
So yesterday, I decided to walk. First from the lobby to my clinic, then to the rehab centre then back to another carpark lobby. Gosh. It may have been 600m in all... But I had to stop a few times, hands were aching from supporting the 80% of my body weight when my left leg was down... and my strides were so small (maybe 30cm) ,,, that means 2x more strides over the same distance.
Last week in rehab, an old lady fell asleep after taking 5 steps on her 4 legged crutch. Well. It's that tiring. Anyway, I am officially back to work now (from home) ... emails and deadlines have come in.

Tuesday, May 16, 2006

My knee pics

A Sunflower from my church friends on my first day of OP. AW. It always feel good to be cheered up.
:) :) :)

My humps & lumps
If you noticed, my knee cap on my left knee is sunken and there's a huge bump on my thigh right after my knee cap... ewww.

Anterior view ...
This is really strange. I have positioned my feet on par. But my knee caps just wouldn't meet. Why does my left knee look so swollen and rounded...???

Holes & Bandages
Well, this is the 1st day after my OS ;P dressed my wound. There's a lot of plastic on the top, which make my skin rather irritated. Trust me. It's 7 days after now and it is not a pretty sight. Dried blood, clots, rash, lumps ... hmmm. Excited to have it cleaned out tomorrow and have the stitches taken out...

Where was I a year ago

I was here at Yokohama pan-pacific hotel WOWing almost everything I saw... gosh. I still remember happily blogging my land of pachinkos and animes a year a ago...
How ones experiences can change so vastly over a year... But nonetheless, I CHERISH my travelling days (not that I don't cherish my 'grounded' days) but I always feel soooo alive when I am in a new land, culture, sights and smells. Well, 頑張って!!! I do hope I recover quickly and completely to resume my happy days of travel where i am excitedly trying to document every new sight, sound and smell again. ^,^v

Day 2~Peak of Pain

I thought I coped pretty well with the pain asking only for an additional traumadol last night at 4am. By mid day, I had my boss, Rao, over to visit me, with Kumar (heehee, pple I love to tease). Well, Rao was hopeful to meet my mom to 'SCARE' her a bit knowing how protective and conservatively finicky she can be... but it was good fun explaining the nuts and bolts of my operation including which bloody plasters were involved in the intrusions, drillings and manipulations. AH, i feel like an engineer who knows my stuff once more.
By 6pm, I was in pain, throbbing and severe aching pain. I had decided to be off my traumadol and only taken panadine as the former made me really giddy. And I didnt want to be giddy during my Physio... My temperature was rising. And i sat on my bed, bad leg dangling off the bed, staring at the chicken cutlet and corn soup before me, and THROB THROB THROB. I asked the nurse for my painkillers soon. But they told me it just wasn't time for the pills to be served yet. So I waited. THROB THROB THROB. The pain was not only on my leg, but was giving me a headache and fever.
6.30pm: I reminded a trainee nurse that it was time for the painkillers... she promised to go look into it for me.
6.40pm: Saw the table trolley coming around. THRob THroB ThROb. Temperature 38.2deg
6.50pm: Gulped down 2 panadine tablets.
Lay on bed.
7.30pm: The painkillers finally kicked in. Fever was still high.
8.30pm: Nurse went around to measure temperature. 38.5deg.
Dan smsed me and told me to take some alcohol. Fancy some humour from a hearty 58 year old American. I think i must have recited the formulas of alcohol for him.
11.30pm: Woke up with my face smacked in my pillow. Pillow was wet with my saliva.
12.05am: Asked the nurses to turn of my light
2.30am: Felt cold and pulled the blanket right to my chin and mummified myself.
7.30am: TADA>>> felt a pat on my shoulder. Struggled to get up and saw my Knight in Shining Amour (none other than my OS) striding gallantly towards me... (well, I need a good sense of humour to keep me entertained at this moment in time... Well Well)
My knight in shining armour took my bloody bandages off and cleaned and plastered my wound, assured me that I was on my road to a great recovery with his physio team taking care of me... and told me that I am good to go :D
There was I, happily discharged on the 3rd day after my OP.

Monday, May 15, 2006

Day of OP~1 week ago

The last verse of encouragement that I had before I was knocked out 1 week ago (8th May 06; 1215hr) was from my godsis that God has the sovereignty and authority to heal.
Pretty much at peace with the OP... had it all sorted out emotionally internally, but a little irked that mom was trying to tell every single nurse who was willing to listen what a troublesome, naughty and horrible gal i was. Anyway, anyway. I am 24 and it pains to see my 28 year old bro wrestling with my mom as she attempts to use her last bits of respect she still commands to clip his wings down to her nest. Just before I was wheeled in the theatre, a Malay nurse jokingly told me, "You mom complained that you are a very naughty gal..." Instinctively, I just smiled sheepishly and said "Mom's like that"...We both giggled to that...
Not that I agree to that. But I am so used to that, I think I learn not to react. People who have had a fair share of contact with me have a fair understanding to the type of person i am.
The OP theatre was Bright White, like a room straight out of the X-files. My surgeon had scribbled his name on my left leg and assured me. It was 10 minutes before they knocked me out... so I had a fair amount of time looking around the theatre, chatting with my anathestist, with around 8 people doing many different things to me (eg: placing the ECG probes on me, cleaning my leg, injecting some antibiotics and so on, OS was tying my bacon bit~allograft and commenting how pretty it looked ...) and that anathestist said in Mandarin... "Time to sleep gal" ... and he injected in something painful and forced me to breathe through the oxygen mask deeply... I counted with my fingers... by the 7th count, i was out.

It must have been 2 hours later, I woke up with a frozen leg and pins and needles all over. It itched and hurt. I dragged myself up and wriggled myself. Later that afternoon, my OS came to visit me with shots of my arthoscopy. It looked bloody. And I was pleased the pain wasn't that bad (I had a much worse stomachache 3 weeks back. Trust me). It was just a nagging achey feeling. Nothing too acute. Mark and Humin came to visit me with flowers. Mom spent her time chatting with new friends in the ward and telling my life story all over again. I pulled out my book by Keeping the heart by John Flavel and started reading.

That night was a pretty traumatic and agonising night. Not because of the pain. But I was woken up at least 30 times that whole night by the 3 patients sleeping opposite me. 1st patient was a 80+ year old Chinese woman who was so in pain, she needed a drip painkiller, yet she resisted the nurse as she tried to inject the probe in... eventually, she railed some vulgarities at the nurse and i could hear the nurse trying to keep her composure saying "Aunty, you are old and I respect you, but can you please not be so rude..." ... the 2nd patient, in her 20s wheeled out for a midnight OP to get her dog bitten wound stitched back. The 3rd patient, a diabetic who fell off her wheelchair had sustained many broken bones (pelvic, femur, tibia, left hand...) was whining "SAKIT, SAKIT" (pain in malay) incessantly. It was heart-wrenching to hear all these. I plugged in to my ipod and tried listening to hymns and read my book. I managed no more than half a page in 1 hour.
That night, I slept a total of less than 2 hours.

Wednesday, May 03, 2006

Last OS appt b4 surgery.

Seen my OS today... signed my Operation docs... he mentioned that my DEXA was pretty low, but not osteoporotic yet... so he would be doing his best to prevent any tibia or femoral fracture in the drilling... plus up-ing my calcium supplementsWas pretty assured after talking to him... but inside I am screaming "I am SCARED" after looking at all the pics and doing endless nights of research on the process and possible complications... and thinking of having to go through all the pain, swelling and numbness all over again (Had a meniscus repair 1 mth back)... he casually mentioned that i was a chicken today... FINE. I admit I actually broke into tears after my meniscus op in the operating theatre and shocked my OS a lil! **That was because I actually fell in my toilet the day of my operation on my butt and was emotionally shaken** It's the fear of falling. and falling when you are injured and have very little sense of balance!** Anyway, anyway, going to chill before my OP a little and brace myself for the pain and the immobility after the OP...