Week 11 (Feb 26 – March 3rd)
It was finally here. This week I was going to find out if I would actually get to keep my travel plans. We had our fingers crossed for a March 13 departure back to Los Angeles, contingent on whether or not I finally get the green light to drive and manage life on my own back home. I was feeling pretty confident that that was going to be the case, but I’ve learned to be cautiously optimistic and always ready for things to unfold a little slower than planned. Which I have slowly but surely learned to do.
I think in all of this, I’ve probably lost a bit of independence. And that is something I definitely was not lacking before I came back to Iowa. I mean I went from having lived on my own in the middle of DTLA, to having to have my own mother shower me for the first week or two for crying out loud. That is a pretty big slice of humble pie if you ask me. I am the worst at asking people for help, so in some ways, I’m glad this recovery has taught me how to lean on people a little bit more. But I would be lying if I said I wasn’t a little nervous that I have forgotten to be independent or even more than that, to trust myself to be physically capable of being on my own.
I was about to put it to the test this week. I started off with one of my most challenging PT sessions to date. It’s been so great to start to ease back into more dance-like movements or things that I know are going to help me get there. Today’s new exercise was the agility ladder! I used to help coach at F45 and am very familiar with these, although last time I demoed these I was much faster. It is a different story these days. I have a really difficult time staying supported in a slightly bent, athletic stance still. So challenging myself to move from side to side and two legs to one while doing the Ickey shuffle, was exactly that- challenging. It took a lottttt of brain power and kind of ended up looking more like I was trying to chacha my way through the ladder…..but hey, ya gotta start somewhere. Doing this drill gave me a glimmer of hope for whats to come in the weeks ahead.
Tour de Iowa
That weekend I had the privilege of judging the Center Stage dance invitational in Grinnell, IA. I saw so many faces I knew and met a few new ones as well. Socialization was a lot more manageable this time around since I was a lot more mobile than the last time I judged. Hell, I could even help hand out awards this time. Even still, I wore my brace just as a precautionary measure since I was in a new space and I didn’t want to chance jeopardizing my potential clearance from the doctor coming up on Monday. It’s been really amazing for me to have opportunities to be in the mix of dance-related things during my time at home. It always reminds me how much I love it and gives me a greater appreciation for the human body. How amazing is it that these dancers are able to do what they do. It has also been rewarding for me to have the platform to speak on knee health and injury prevention as I judge as well. It is so important to treat your body with care and love, we only get one!
Since I’ve been quarantined for the last 90ish days I haven’t really gotten a chance to enjoy to pleasures of being back home. Seeing friends, hitting up old hang out spots, seeing my entire extended family, etc. Instead it has consisted of lots of writing, studying for my NASM CPT test, Netflixing and a fair share of talking to my dog. I was been fortunate to have some time prior to my surgery and a few visits sprinkled in there, but other than that, my socialization meter has been at about a -3. Now that I’m a little more mobile, and so close to my hometown with the completion being in Grinnell, I finally got to reunite with my best friend since 2nd grade. That meant I would be going to a bar without my parents for the first time since surgery. I never thought I would be scared or hesitant to walk over the the bar at 24, but I found myself not wanting to head that direction unless I could do the buddy system. That way, at least if I slipped and fell I could take her down with me. Thankfully, my fears were a gross overreaction and we had the best time catching up and reminiscing about the old days. Although it would have been quite a sight to see had we both taken a tumble.
After that we did the tour de friends and family in that area. My grandparents were back from there annual winter trip, I saw most of my extended family and then we stayed at our family friends house. I went to bed that evening feeling so fulfilled and so…normal for the first time in a long time. Not every conversation revolved around my knee and I LOVED that. I’t s been the focal point of my life for several months now and I am feeling like that piece of this process is coming to an end. And that is a pretty great feeling.
THE FINAL FOLLOW-UP
Before I knew it, it was Monday morning. D DAY WAS HERE. But before I *hopefully* received the good news, I had the pleasure of walking down the stairs of Wells Fargo area one step at a time and traffic jamming the entire stairway. Very nice!!!! For some reason, going down the stairs normally is still tricky for me. I think it’s more of a trust thing than a physical thing, but I was NOT about to slide down the arena stairs on my ass in front of everyone there to watch girls state basketball and the dance teams performing there. Instead I turned around and loudly said “Sorry I am injured!!!!” Did I do nothing but draw more attention to the situation? Absolutely.
In the waiting room at Iowa Ortho, I was a bit of a nervous wreck. I didn’t expect him to say anything negative, but I wanted to be ready if he did. As I’ve mentioned in previous posts, I have lost my balance and taken a cute little tumble to the ground a few times. Never anything major or detrimental, but when you’re sitting there waiting to go into the most appointment of your recovery, it’s hard not to let your mind wander a bit. What if I tore my ACL or messed up my meniscus and that’s what actually causes some of the discomfort I feel?? What if I’m way behind where he wants me to be? I literally had no clue, but I was trying to hang on to the confidence I felt earlier in the week before I got to the office. Lucky I had my mom there to talk me down out of the tree.
I had come a longgg way since the last time I saw him about 4 weeks ago. He came in so happy to see me sitting with my leg planted on the ground comfortably past that 90 degree mark that I just couldn’t seem to get to last time. He said things were looking fantastic and just how he expected them to be. I let him know that I had been hopping on the elliptical, bike and treadmill at a controlled pace at the gym and he was cool with that. He did say that he still worries about me overdoing it a bit, but that patience is going to be important as I head back to Los Angeles. Especially since my life there before was SO active whether it be high intensity workouts or dancing. Speaking of going back home….HE GAVE ME THE GREEN LIGHT TO GET MY FANNY BACK TO LOS ANGELES!!!!!! That meant that I could lock in my Friday the 13th plans and finally head HOME. It also meant that I would finally get to drive my new car that I had only gotten to be a passenger in. And let me tell ya, I was sweating the whole time. Looks like crazy drive Holly will be taking a back seat to grandma driver holly for a little while. Which is something I’m sure most of my friends are excited about.
Wow. I really never thought this day would come. It was been such a long time coming and through all of the challenging times, long days and crying spells, I have found strength, resilience and the ability to slow the f down every once in a while. It’s going to take some adjusting when I leave my family and try and find a new normal in Los Angeles. But I am so excited to take everything I have learned through this back to California with me.
THIS GIRL IS GOING HOMEEEEE!
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