Today I decided it was time for a shower. Even though I'm not going anywhere, lying on the couch can be a surprisingly stinky pastime. The decision to bathe gave me an opportunity to remove my dressing and see what was happening underneath the gauze. As it turns out, not a lot. Arthroscopy really is an incredible technique, because as the photo shows, the only evidence that just three days ago a surgeon was poking around inside my knee and removing sizable chunks of cartilaginous tissue, is two little stitches. Taking away the dressing did, however, reveal that there is some swelling, so that helped me make another decision: to not go to the Laneway Music Festival today. I was on the fence, but standing or even sitting around in the heat for a good number of hours was bound to bring on more swelling, and as Ruth said, if my knee had blown up a bit, I'd have been cursing myself for putting the recovery back before it had even started properly.
Recovery from sports injuries is a frustrating and potentially depressing affair. There's not a lot you can do about the former but it's important to stave off the latter. I've been there and it ain't pretty. Try not to look too far ahead, just deal day to day, and talk to someone with a sympathetic ear, don't bottle it up. I'd also recommend doing whatever exercise you can. Yoga, for example. Don't laugh, but I did a spot of chair yoga today. It was no more than simple stretches and breathing exercises, but I felt invigorated afterwards.
A few years back I caught swine flu, walking pneumonia and strep throat all within three weeks of each other, a nasty triple whammy. After each bout I tried to come back too early and in the end my body said no in the form of a breakdown in my respiratory system. I could hardly walk, never mind ride, run or swim. The only cure was complete rest and ended up off the bike for close to two months, but yoga kept me sane. I'm not into the deep spiritual aspect of yoga but I recognize there's definitely more to it than stretching. It doesn't fire huge doses of endorphins around our body like an intense bike ride or run will do, but it kickstarts the system and relaxes the mind at the same time.
If you've read any of my previous posts on this blog, you'll know I've been counting my calories. A cyclist's worse nightmare is weight gain. So already I've become quite obsessive about it and have enjoyed looking up the various foods I love and working out how much I can have to fit in with the plan. Who knew a tiny wee 250g piece of salmon was laden with 500 calories? I've normally got a huge appetite but I've consumed a deficit of at least 300 calories for the past three days (I'm seemingly "allowed" 2,100 a day), and I awoke this morning definitely feeling and looking slimmer. The scales said so too, all of 200g lighter!! One friend suggested that I include my weight every day on the blog, so that's why it's there at the top :-)