Monday, October 19, 2015

Pre Op Done!

I had my pre-op appointment this morning.  It was pretty uneventful.  

I was fitted for my literal crotch to ankle, knee brace.  It's the worst $700 contraption I have ever met. But, thank you insurance for covering the device that will both torture me and help me to heal properly.

I got instructions on how to wash my body.  You know, in case I have been doing it wrong the last 33 years of my life.

They called in all of my prescriptions, and gave me a general once over to make sure I am well enough to survive a surgery. (I am, Yay!) And of course let me know about all the glorious things that could go wrong including my death.  If you never hear from me again, that's prob what happened.

I am still ultra paranoid that I will somehow end up losing my leg... but fingers crossed I survive with my limbs intact, and I as rather fond of my legs.

T-Minus 13 days until Zombie Knee.

Monday, October 12, 2015

Knee Update

I have 20 days until my surgery.

My knee is for the most part okay.  The swelling is all gone, as is most of the pain.  So long as I wear my knee brace its almost fully functional.  As of a couple days ago I am able to completely straighten it.  I still can't put my heel to my butt, and I doubt I will be able to without surgery.  If I could, I could grapple... but alas, no.  

Most unfortunately though, everyone cares, and no one will even let me try! Because I might hurt myself or some such nonsense.  Pfft.

Without my brace my knee buckles fairly regularly, and lateral movements are real not great. It is, if nothing else, manageable for 20 more days.  Then it will be way worse! But for good reason.

I am going to get these, and only wear the right leg every time I grapple nogi. 

Zombie Knee Tights

Thursday, September 24, 2015

How not to make yourself feel better.

If you need surgery, and would like to make yourself feel worse, you should deff watch your surgical procedure on YouTube.

Friday, September 18, 2015

Surgical Consult

I had my surgical consult today.  It went well, as far as, this is an appointment in which a man tells me I have ruined my knee and need surgery goes.  

And it is, as I feared, worst case scenario.  Both my ACL and meniscus need to be completely reconstructed.  After he broke the news he asked me how much he wanted me to sugar coat what that meant..  I said not at all, and in hindsight, I maybe should have let him sugar coat it.  I probably would have cried less.

I have been a gigantic baby about this knee injury.  I think it is just coming at a bad time.  Not that there is ever a good time to cripple yourself, but I decided to do it in the middle of a really big life change so it is complicating that, and also forcing me to put a lot of things on hold I have already put off for way too long.  It's insanely frustrating.

Anyway, back to the subject at hand.

After he explained in detail how they go about fixing my knee, he explained that he thinks using a cadaver graft is the way to go.  Cadaver graft will be henceforth know as zombie knee.  He feels as though harvesting a replacement part from my body will only create a weak spot somewhere else, and being that I am an athlete and harder on my body that the average lady, he doesn't want to potentially create problems where I would otherwise not have them.
Zombie Knee

The only thing that kind of sucks about the zombie knee is that, that kind of surgery can only be done at a hospital and not the surgical center where he would normally do an ACL repair.  That is a problem because I could get in next week at the surgical center, and the next available slot at the hospital is November 2nd.

However, he said my knee is so inflamed and angry that he wouldn't be comfortable doing the surgery for another two weeks anyway.  So, in realty it means I am going to have to wait 3 weeks longer than I would otherwise I have to wait.  Boo.

Then he went on to explain that this surgery has an extremely painful recovery, six months of rehab, and because of how shredded my meniscus is, I will not be able to walk for the first 6 weeks after it is repaired.

I will not be able to WALK for SIX weeks.

No walking.  Six weeks.

I can't even wrap my head around that.

I don't know how I am supposed to function without being able to walk.  Nor can I imagine how fat I am going to get.  Ugh.

My pre op appointment is October 19th at 10am.

Sunday, September 13, 2015

Torn ACL and Meniscus

I haven't blogged in a while because, well, nothing interesting has been going on.

I still hate bottom half guard with the fire of a thousand suns,
  But I suck at it a little less, mostly thanks to a brown belt with the patients of a saint.

I was given my first stripe on my purple belt.

My women's class is still doing well.  My ladies are still kicking ass and taking names.  

Out side of BJJ my kids started school this year.  Kind of a big deal for us, as they have been homeschooled up until this point.  I struggled with the decision for about a year before I finally decided to put them in school, so seeing them do so well makes me extremely happy and is a huge relief.  They also started BJJ at the kids class at Fabio's.

Unfortunately though, I finally have something to blog about.

I tore my ACL and medial meniscus last week.

I was grappling Erica, another purple belt, who just happens to be my favorite training partner.  We were in a position we have been in 1000 times before, and I was trying to sweep her with a sweep I have done 10,000 times.  I've done it to 250 pound men and 60 pound kids... and never once did it ever feel like anything dangerous or risky.

But last Wednesday, I went for the sweep, and Erica dropped her hips to stuff the sweep, and my knee decided catastrophic failure was the best course of action.  


Upon my doctors first inspection of my knee, he said, "Oh wow.  This is bad."


A couple days later my MRI determined it was in fact, bad.

I have an appointment with an orthopedic surgeon on Friday.

Thus far I know that I do need surgery, but I don't yet know what kind of surgery.  I am hoping and praying I can get away with an endoscopic surgery as the recovery period for that kind of surgery would put me back on the mat in 4-6 weeks and I would be back to 100% in roughly 10-12 weeks.

The alternative would be reconstructive surgery.  I could maybe back on the mat in 10-12 weeks and it would be a full 6 MONTHS to get back to 100% function.  And from what I have read the rehab for reconstruction is brutal.

The thought of reconstructive surgery makes me want to cry.  I wont know until Friday, but I am trying to stay postive in the mean time.

Wednesday, April 9, 2014

Four Years

I have been training BJJ for four years now.  Four years today actually.  I am nerdy enough to have done the math from when I started, minus the long hiatus I took, to now.  

In four years I have won a some medals, earned my purple belt, and took over as head instructor of the women's class.

Those things make me really happy.  

But more than that I am happy I started training because of the people I have met, and the friends that I have made.

Looking forward to the rest of my hopefully very long BJJ journey.


Friday, February 28, 2014

Does BJJ really work for women?

A couple of months ago, I went to class.  Fabio has several classes most days, and I generally only go at night since I home school my kids, but every now and then I go to morning classes or afternoon classes. 

That day I went to a class I have only gone to a couple of times, and was approached by one of the newer guys, and he said, "I know you teach a women's class, and if you don't mind I want to watch you grapple today.  I have a wife and daughter, and I want them to learn BJJ too, but I don't understand how this will work for a woman.  No offense, but I don't understand how you could overpower a man."  ... or something to that effect.  

He was in no way being rude, or condescending, just honest.  And being that he is new, and had never grappled a woman, it's a legitimate concern.  

I however went into, oh my gosh, how I grapple today is going to form this man's opinion of ALL OF WOMEN'S BJJ EVERYWHERE FOREVER! panic mode. 

I immediately scanned the room.
No girls.
Mostly white belts.
Big ones.

More Panic.

Big white belt men generally give me the most 'trouble'.  When a guy uses just brute force and no technique I really have to work.  Technique is the only thing that I have to combat brute force.... and when you can mush my guard open with just your arms.  Ugh.

I have said before, that I don't grapple to win, I grapple to grapple.  But that morning, with the fate of all of women's BJJ in my hands, I started every grapple with the intent to prove to the world, or you know, just that one guy, that BJJ works for women too.  

And being that I am the instructor of a women's class, I felt extra compelled to prove myself, not just prove that BJJ works for women.

My first grapple was an older teenage boy, and I was so nervous I was starting to question whether or not I could take this kid.  So, I started to psych myself up, more so than when I am competing in the finals for gold.

The resulting grapple was probably a little more unpleasant for that innocent man-boy than it should have been.

I should probably have felt bad that I unleashed on that kid, but I didn't.  I smiled, thanked him for the grapple and walked back to the wall without making eye contact with the guy I knew was watching.  I wanted to look like I wasn't even trying, or that it didn't matter.

But in my head I was jumping up and down, See it works! It works!  Send your wife and daughter to my class!

But in reality, I just beat up a kid.  Oopsie.
(In my defense however, we go there to grapple, not hug, and I grappled him with my sanity in tact, I just took every opportunity I could to put him in a bad spot and submit him.  I unnecessarily unleashed my inner Leonidas on him.  But he went on to grapple another day unscathed.)

Next grapple.

Another white belt... but this was white belt with man strength.  A big giant man, with man strength.

I went straight back in to, omg, can I do this mode.

Turns out, I was worried for nothing.

Every grapple that morning I was able to remain dominate and submit my partner.  Except the grapple in which I grappled a 230 pound purple belt man.  I am pretty sure that grapple looked similar to this..

My last grapple of the morning was with the man in question.  I was not expecting to grapple him.  I had been feeling pretty confident, and proud of my self for repping BJJ decently for women everywhere. (Because, clearly that was what was going on.  lol)

He was very nice and complimentary though.  He said, he had watched me grapple all morning and was impressed, and he was pretty sure I was about to beat him up.

And I went into that grapple with every intent to show him just how effective BJJ was for women.  Or at least, as as effectively as I could.  There are plenty of other women who could prove that point SOO much better than I can.

Anyway, I submitted him several times, and afterward he seemed legitimately happy.  He said he was now excited for his daughter and wife to train, and how grappling me was completely different that anyone else he had ever grappled.  He said, no matter what he did he could shake me off, or get a decent hold on me.  And that made him happier about training BJJ in general because it does in fact work.

The point of all of that, was not to talk about how I beat up boys, or pat myself on the back, but to let anyone else who might be wondering, if BJJ is effective for women, it is.

That experience made me more confident in myself, and happier about teaching BJJ to other women. I hadn't ever really grappled a man with the intent to subdue him, or at least that had never consciously been my goal.

All of that being said, I want to add that I have been training BJJ for 3.5 years, and I believe it will take a couple of years for your average woman to be able to subdue and submit your average untrained man.  But, BJJ can be live savingly effective as early as six months into training.  Escapes and defense come first in the line of skills sets you find with BJJ.  And I always, always, always tell my girls, if God forbid, they were to find themselves in a situation where they have to fight for their lives, to fight to escape, not fight to win.  Get them off of you and get away.  And BJJ can absolutely teach you how to do that.



BJJ works for women.

The end!