Post hop update

Following a request, I’ll give a bit of an update since last… November when she passed her hop test.

It’s been ups and downs.

Getting back to training was very very difficult. We’re dealing with a kid who is at the limit for gymnastics, on a strength to weight ratio measure, and one who is VERY lazy. And one who had a partner in crime, a very lazy teammate who wanted to goof off during workouts. Add in one very very important fact: nobody seems to have a good protocol on how to rehab a gymnast from hop test to competitive shape. There was plenty of information for soccer players, and volleyball players, and football players. Not so much gymnasts. So we floundered, and we didn’t know how badly until…

One afternoon I got an email from the coach saying AC was goofing off and what did she want out of this and they were sick of it, etc. This was about an hour before workout. I called dh and we decided we’d meet with the coaches after workout that evening.

AC went to gym, and without waiting to hear from us, the coach started chewing her out. And she got angry, and they had a big blow up fight, he kicked her off the team, she said he couldn’t kick her off, because she was quitting.

Yeah, no. We weren’t about to let that stand, because it was a lot of words in anger. So we talked a bit with that coach, but more with the other coach, C.

And we all finally realised that we were all floundering, and why.

While the other coach went to Hawaii for a week (thank the gods…), C came up with a training plan for AC, with milestones she needed to meet before she could compete. Concrete steps she could take. She handed that piece of paper to AC, and AC clutched and did not let go until she had every single step mastered.

The other girl, who was goofing off? Quit.

The competition season is very short this very, and it was very front loaded. Because of a fuck up on the booster club part, AC wasn’t signed up for any of the initial meets anyhow, and she and her coaches decided she’d skip her first scheduled one.

Then… catastrophe. She slipped on ice at school and her knee started to hurt.

We let it go for a few days, then called Children’s for an appointment.

The relief when they said it was an irritated tubercule was immense. (Really: inflamed adductor tubercule).

She competed last Sunday. It went… well, hard to say. Last time she’d competed, she placed, she was on track to place at State etc.

This time? Her scores were low, she didn’t do well.


She was there. She competed. She managed to get herself from a sobbing mass on the couch, post-surgery, back to being able to compete. We are so so proud of her.

She can do better, and hopefully will. As I said above, she’s a very big kid, and her gymnastics is based on power and grace.  Her problem right now is she is still afraid to put all that power into her moves, so she is holding back. We’re all hoping that now that she knows she can, she can!

We don’t even know if she’ll manage to get to State this year. She needs 2 32 all arounds. She got those on meets 1 and 2 last year. I don’t know if she can do it this year, to be honest. (I think she can, but it might be mama-pride talking) Which will mean another year at this level, when all her teammates will probably move up. But she got back. This, I think, will be important for the rest of her life, no matter how she does this season and any hypothetical future ones.

I cannot say how freaking proud I am of that child. She has a force of will that amazes me.

By nwhiker

Hop test: passed!!!!!

Got to the PT place at the hospital this morning. It was rough because we were up until 2am or so last night. The concert, which was fabulous, ran long.

She had to do all sorts of different hops. Tuck jumps. In an out of a square, in four directions, on both feet. Down a hop line. Three bounds. Biggest leap and balance. Down a hop line, crossing the line each time. Knee dips. Standing up from a low seat, one legged. Etc.

She passed all the tests except for one part of one (didn’t get to tabletop on her tuck jumps, bad gymnast!), but was really strong in most of them, so it was an easy pass, most people don’t pass them all.

We then saw the surgeon, who congratulated her, told her to go back easy, it should take about a month to be fully back, and let us go! Follow up in one year. Oh. He also said the knee looked good, and when she thanked him, he told her that he’d had the easy part, she’d done the rough stuff.

Yay! I’m SO thrilled for her.

I’ve got brownies in the oven, I’ll frost them with green, but not mint flavoured, frosting, and I have little gummy frogs to put on top of each square.

By nwhiker

3 Month follow up

This week -a bit late- was her three month follow up visit.

How it went depends on who you ask.

I didn’t go, since it happened when I was at school, but David was with her. Dr S is pleased with her progress, cleared her to light hiking, biking, and jogging, with ok to run next month. Like she EVER wants to run.

She’s scheduled for the hop test in November.

Pretty much on par for the course, though most of the PTs seem to think she’s much further ahead than expected.

Then you have Anne-Chloe’s perspective on it. She’s devastated. I think she really thought he was going to let her take the hop test NOW so she could get back to gym TOMORROW and get back to NORMAL.

It really does grate on her, this forced immobility. And being lazy, like many kids, she doesn’t see the point in movement that is not gymnastics. Sigh.

A bit of a meltdown on Monday, then. What worries me is that I don’t know what we’re going to do when PT pretty much discharges her in a month or so, and she’s still two months from being able to do anything.

We go in to get her custom brace fitted next week.

The one thing the surgeon was not pleased with are her scars. The scar tissue inside doesn’t appear to be too awful, from what they can tell, but externally, they’re raised, red, kelloided, and ugly.

Oh. The other thing that he wasn’t happy with is that she sits on her heels during her routine. She does dance-throughs of her floor routine on a regular basis, the full thing, just running through where the tumbling would be, and she has a whole on-the-floor pass which is very pretty and involves her sitting on her heels. That’s out. For now. And she and David, I think, declined to mention the switch leaps, and handstands.

By nwhiker

Two month post-op update

She’s just a few days past 2 months post op.

If she weren’t an athlete, PT would be discharging her now. But since she is, they’ll continue to work with her to get her back to gymnastics-ready, not just real life ready. The PT has said that she has to keep reminding herself that AC is just 2 months post-op.

So she’s doing well.

She continues to push limits. Not terrible ones, and she is careful, but she is desperate to get back to flying, ya know?

Apparently the PT ok’ed the cartwheeling, so I’ll shut up there.

She still limps a bit, but, again according to the PT, it’s mental, nothing physical. Her brain is still protecting her poor knee.

The external scars are very ugly, I don’t know why. Large, ropy, red. Poor kid.

We have an appointment for mid-August to fit her for the custom brace that will be on her knee during all gymnastics for a year.

I haven’t totted up all the numbers completely, but I think we’re pretty close to 40k, all paid for by our insurance. Scary, eh? 21k was the surgery itself, there was 5k or so for the imagine, then the ER visit, and all the PT, and various appointments. The brace will cost 1k. Scary numbers. We’re very privileged.


By nwhiker

Cartwheels, really?

I am just going to have to ask her not to tell me about what she’s doing. Because fifty -50- cartwheels on the floor? Why? WHY?

By nwhiker

Bye bye brace!

Her brace, that loathed piece of equipment, is gone! Yay!

And it’s doubly gone because we recycled it with them, Dr S goes to Central America every year and takes stuff like that with him. (And at our next appointment we’ll be dropping off the two immobilisers and the boot we have too… I should email the nurse to ask if they want more donations, because most gymnastics families have a slew of crap like that…)

But yeah, she’s out of it!

She has a much smaller, flexible neoprene sleeve type thing which she will wear for the next few months until she is fitted for a custom device that she’ll wear for all sports for a year. We’ll have to glue jewels on it to match her leo! (Just kidding.)

A good appointment, all in all, He seemed very pleased with everything. Surprised at the tingling in her foot when she pikes because that is the sciatic nerve (we knew that) and he wasn’t near that. So hopefully no nerve damage and just sequela from the awkward positions recovery forced her into. Next up is building back her quad strength. Stationary bike, which she can do at school or at home with my bike on the bike trainer, and jogging in chest high water.)

She’ll be good for easy hiking towards the end of the summer. We’d been planning a vacation in late August to Yellowstone, and she’ll definitely be able to do boardwalks etc there, and probably some of the easier hikes, so good stuff in that regard! She can start stationary biking soon, and biking on the trail soon after. Running as well, in a just a few months. She hates to run, so I’m thinking about challenging the kids to do the Couch-to-5k program, and running a 5k together. Anyhow.

And we didn’t have to admit that she’d been hiking this weekend, heh. She managed to keep goatheads and basalt dust out of the brace! ;>


By nwhiker

At least she wasn’t on the knee?

The eldest child won a handstand contest at gym last night.

Me: “Did they (meaning the PT) say you could do handstands?”

Child, eyes shining with a mirthful GOTCHA! look: “They didn’t say I couldn’t!”

By nwhiker

And another update

I dropped AC off at PT today and found out that the whole office is talking about how fast she’s making progress. Um… yay!?

She found out that they think they’ll release her in July. July. This has got to be a bad joke. She’s already standing on the leg, btw.

She’s had  plans of challenging the “hop test”, normally done at 6 months, by her one month followup. We all smiled and mentally patted her on the head. Now I fear she may attempt to talk the surgeon into it. If he suggests putting her in a full body cast for the rest of her recovery time, I may just support that.

By nwhiker

A quick update!

1. She’s doing pretty damn good. No pain in the actual knee, but some in the rest of her body from having to compensate.

2. She persuaded the PT to allow her to go on a backpacking trip. Oh, she won’t be carrying her gear, and it isn’t a long hike in, but still. She’ll be leading the trip, a middle school climbing trip, and I do SO hope they’re well aware of her limitations. But the PT ok’ed it, and I’ll bow to that, since the PT who did? Is pretty hard-assed about stuff like that. The PT’s conditions were 1/2 mile walk in boots at the local wildland park, and while it wasn’t at that park, AC pretty much blew that out of the water yesterday at Nisqually with a 3 mile walk.

3. Insomnia. The child is having a hard time sleeping. I don’t think she’s ever been this not-tired, to be honest. She’s so used to regular, sustained activity, and now she’s dealing with waking up in the middle of the night, and being unable to get back to sleep. I may have to take away the iTouch, even though it is her alarm: once she wakes up, she starts to play games, and that doesn’t help her get back to sleep.

4. Normal people and crutches: normal people use crutches to help them get around while one limb is out of commission. My daughter? Was caught using the crutches to support her weight, while she was starting to get into a pike… Hard to describe, but she was planning on her body being at a 90deg angle, her legs up in the air, while supporting all her weight on the crutches/her arms. When asked WTF she was doing, she responded that she was “maintaining” her press-to-handstand fitness. Yeah, no.

5. Normal people also don’t attempt to job in place with no brace on, months before the physical therapy schedule allows that. At this point, she is, iirc, cleared to jog in the water, not a dry land. She said it didn’t hurt. I was not impressed.

So there. She’s recovering, and it’s going to get harder and harder to hold her back. We’ve had some ups and downs, with some small bouts of depression, but she feels… confident right now, and I hope things continue to progress.

I love that kid so much, and I’m SO proud of her!

By nwhiker

ARGH! And follow up visit.

Non-compliant teens make me scream.

The damn brace needs to be on her damn leg all the time, unless she is in the shower, or actively doing her PT.

That isn’t complicated, is it?

So why the eff do I seem to be spending gobs of time yelling at her to get the damn brace on her damn leg?


In better news, she had her 6 day follow up today. It went well. She’s doing great, everything looks nice, if still a bit puffy. They were pleased with her mobility, and she’s at or ahead of where they want her, yay! She’s within 5deg of full extension on the knee already (she’s at full extension, actually, but since she hyperextends, she still needs to get <i>there</i>, I guess.), and I think almost at 90deg for bending so good stuff. But OMG is the screw in her knee big. I mean… Check this out!

Post surgery x-ray with screw

The next one is interesting because it shows the washer, the radio-opaque thing on top by her femur, that holds her new ACL in place. The surgeon was very pleased. I liked pleased surgeons!

By nwhiker