Tomorrow is the BIG day! I am getting the plate removed from my left leg. I can't wait!
I am going to keep the screw in my right knee because I don't even notice it's there, but my left leg has been flaring up like a grass fire since the games. It has been causing me lots of discomfort and annoyance since Beijing. It's probably because I am not taking any anti-inflammatory meds and I haven't been as strictly focused on a gymnastic goal. Before Beijing, pain was not an option. Competing at the Olympics was all that mattered. I knew that I was going to experience discomfort and I just accepted it because I had to. Now, I have a little more freedom and time and I want that sucker out! I want to be able to lift my heel to my arse without feeling an extreme burning sensation across the front of my leg. I want to be able to do a hardcore workout and not have my leg swell up to twice it's size around the plate area.
My bones are completely healed so there should be no complications with the surgery and recovery. In fact, and I found this out in March when I was really struggling with the burning when I ran, I could have had the plate removed before the games. I chose not to because I couldn't afford any time away from the gym for recovery. Now though, I can take my time and rehab myself back to full strength with no imminent deadlines looming. I have actually set some recovery goals to help with my motivation. I want my legs to be stronger than they were before the accident. I want to have quads that are rock solid and defined. To be honest, I never achieved that in my initial recovery. My left leg is still much skinnier than the right, it's still slightly atrophied and all I can blame is the plate inhibiting my potential to put on muscle mass. I just couldn't push myself to that point of "burning muscle growth" because I had another kind of burn. It was nervy, excruciating and limiting.
So tomorrow is the day. I am excited, but quite nervous too. Surgery is a big deal. I am hopeful that I don't feel like dying again! My mom and dad are going to be my trusted assistants...Love them to death. I have to be put under and then the actual procedure itself takes less than an hour. Tonight I have to prep my leg, remove all the hair with a stinky depilatory cream and then not eat from midnight until the time of my surgery. I'm sure I won't sleep well as the memories of my last experience under the knife will most likely rush into mind and soul. It's hard to believe that this injury is finally coming full circle.
I also asked Dr.Mohtadi if I can keep the plate. Hopefully he remembers! I will post a pic of it if I do get my hands on it. I am trying to think of a good preservation idea. I might get a small shadow box to put the plate in and put it up in my office. I guess I could also put it in a zip lock baggy and keep it in my glove box! Whatever I choose to do, I think it's important to have constant reminders of our strength, courage and determination surrounding us. It's our journeys, our fight and the obstacles that we have overcome in the past that make us who we are today.