Because of my positive visit to the orthopedic doctor last week, I decided to stop wearing my brace completely, as of last Friday. Things have gone pretty well! I'm nervous about tripping or bumping into other people, but I figure I have to get over that fear sometime! I'm experiencing a lot of pain and soreness, which is to be expected, since I'm now bending my knee with every step. I went from 6 weeks of no bending, to constant bending. It's quite a change! I still have trouble with incline variations, and I will be forced to continue tackling stairs by putting both feet on each step and pushing up with my left only, for a while longer. But, every day I will get a little stronger.
This morning I had my first physical therapy appointment. I started off on a stationary bike with both feet on the pedals, but only pushing them up and down half-way, like a semi-circle. I never did a full rotation. Then I moved over to a table where I laid down with a cushion under my knee and the therapist attached two sensors to my thigh that would make my muscle twitch intermittently. Each time it stimulated the muscle, I had to push my knee down into the cushion. It felt weird, but it didn't really hurt. After that, I went over to a leg press that had all the weight removed from it. On a normal leg press, my body would be stationary and I'd push the weight away from me with outstretched legs, and then back towards me with bent legs. On this one, however, when I pushed, my body moved back away from the weight plate. I still ended up with outstretched legs and then bent legs, but there was basically no resistance. I did that for a little while, and it wasn't too stressful either. After that, the therapist gave me information on exercises I need to do at home. I'll be going back for another session later this week, and then twice a week for the next three weeks. I'm excited about getting back to normalcy, even if I am only on the first of many, many stages to come.