Friday, August 26, 2011

When Life Forces a Detour: What One Customer Discovered About Herself.

Hello Ms. Kelly,
This past January 2011, I slipped on some snow, fell to the ground and detached my left quadriceps tendon from my kneecap.  100% detached it!  I went into surgery and my tendon was sewn back onto my kneecap. I faced a month of healing and three months of physical therapy.  Thankfully, I no longer need a cane or crutches to walk. I now visit the gym regularly--something I haven't done in about 20 years. I continue to work toward maintaining the mobility I have by lifting weights to further strengthen my leg muscles, and I've also added full body weight training. I bought a pair of Junonia's swimcapris, which I LOVE, and I joined water aerobics classes.  I am now also signed up for swim classes, as learning to swim is one of my adult goals.  I look forward to having another low/no-impact mode of exercise under my belt!
That's my story in a nutshell. Thank you for Junonia- the clothes are very comfortable and they make me feel great in the gym and pool.
Francine H.
It all happened so fast. I fell on a Friday and needed an ambulance to take me to the emergency room, even though I only live a block away from the hospital! The orthopedist felt my left knee and immediately knew that I had detached my tendon, so she scheduled surgery for Monday.
Over the weekend, I went online and did as much research as I could. It was clear that there was no time for a second opinion, as the longer I waited to have the tendon repaired, the more the tendon and attached muscle would retract up my thigh. I could only move forward with whatever was going to happen.
Monday arrived and the surgery went well. I came home the same day with a leg immobilizer and spent the first month of recovery mostly bed-ridden. My partner Kalima set up the guest bedroom for me with everything in arms reach – even a little refrigerator. I basically lived in the room for a month and only left the house to visit the orthopedist.
Once the staples were removed from my incision site, I was able to shuffle along with crutches and go to physical therapy three times a week. I was also fitted with a bionic-looking brace to gradually allow for increased ability to flex my knee.
The next three months of physical therapy were absolute agony! I laid face-down on the treatment table and Diane, my physical therapist, took my calf and bent it upwards to flex my healing knee area. My muscles definitely resisted the retraining that Diane was trying to administer. I screamed and screamed! I received winces and pitiying glances from the other physical therapy patients; no one else seemed to struggle with the pain like I did! A friend told me, “Make sure you do everything the physical therapist tells you. You'll get the best results that way.” Twice a day, everyday, I did my physical therapy homework of stretching, leg lifts and bending. I was scared into compliance! If there was to be a problem with my knee, I decided that it would NOT be because I didn't follow through with all I was told to do.
In May, I graduated from physical therapy and my orthopedist cleared me to join the gym. My physical therapy office happened to be located inside a YMCA, so every time I went for my appointments, I saw inspiring people of all sizes, ethnicities and ages exercising and lifting weights. I already knew how to use the weight machines due to my physical therapy work, so I decided to join the Y and take advantage of everything I could. I seamlessly transitioned from scheduled physical therapy appointments to self-scheduled visits to the gym's exercise room.
I increased weights and reps on the machines; I moved up levels in all the weight training activities I’ve done. Everything is stronger. Exercise helped me learn to trust my body and my newly-repaired knee. I soon discovered the wide variety of classes that the Y offered, including water aerobics, so I went to to order some gear. I saw the swim capris; they were EXACTLY what I had been searching for! The swimwear at Junonia offered coverage and comfort that I never found anywhere else.
At first, my swim capris and I received some flack from the lifeguards because they hadn't seen anything like them before; they assumed I grabbed some exercise tights off the rack. Soon, other wateraerobicizers were asking me, “Where did you get your swim bottoms?” I began passing out the Junonia catalog.
The accident, surgery and recovery has been an expanding experience. Pre-accident, I wasn't in a good emotional place because my father died six months earlier. Surprisingly, my accident gave me a new focus. My partner told me, “You've transformed. I haven’t seen you this motivated for a long time!” I’ve had a lot of time to think in new directions. I started being more creative artistically. I’m now working on a career change. I’m feeling better about life overall. I know we are all only temporarily able-bodied, so I don’t take my mobility for granted anymore. I’m more aware of what I DO have- health, home, partnership, friends and family. I feel like the accident and the grief over my father’s death have combined to help me see things differently. I don’t have any inhibition about doing what I need to do for myself these days. I'm not waiting for someone else to approve.”
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