Reflection on PVNS

The snow has finally hit! It looks like winter out there... brr... I am not a huge fan of winter, but this too shall pass... Today's post is sparked by an email from a fellow PVNS sufferer... I have been emailing back and forth with someone in the UK who was supposed to have surgery this week, but it had to be rescheduled.

I am so glad that she wrote to me... her story is perhaps most similar to mine, compared to others who I have heard from. She told me that today she passed up the opportunity to have dinner with coworkers because she knew there would be no place to elevate her leg. I remember those days... refusing offers to go to people's houses because it would require walking up stairs or because I knew I would have to be standing around instead of sitting. Her emails have reminded me of just how much my life was impacted by pvns... so much of my daily life was difficult because of it.

I am very fortunate that I have recovered as well as I have. I can say that physically, my knee is great and I have been told I have no limitations. Ironically this week I had put on my calendar a reminder, to call my pvns doctor in Boston to see when my appointment is this summer... so pvns has been on my mind a lot. Additionally a friend of mine was talking to me about my gym routine (or lack there of lately) and asked about my limitations due to my knee.... my response was immediate because I have said it before... I don't have any limitations... this person then asked me about specific things I do at the gym with weight training, how much weight I can leg press, bench press etc. Through that conversation I started thinking about where I was physically, before pvns entered my life...

I was about 100 pounds lighter than I am now...after having lost that 100 pounds before pvns arrived... my surgery was 3.5 years ago... so why have I not lost the weight again? Well... there have been some emotional roller coasters... losing my grandmother and mother to cancer... through which I did do some activities... I have walked 2 half marathons, to prove to myself and the rest of the world that my body is not broken...and I have done a lot of zumba... and my back seems to have been in a funk for a while now... but... when I think about it.. I think that PVNS is still in my head... I haven't gotten over it yet, on a psychological level. The fear that it will return is still very real. I do not push myself as hard as I could push myself because I worry that perhaps if I do too much something is going to trigger the return of a disease that consumed my life, pvns.

Because there is no known cause for pvns, the chances of me doing something to trigger it's return are non existent... and my thinking is a little ridiculous. There is a 50% recurrence rate, but in those cases it seems that the surgeons have not been as aggressive as mine was... the kind of surgery I had has the best results... and it hasn't come back in three years... so... there is a lot to be happy about, to feel confident about... yet.. it's in the back of my head a lot. I have managed to get to the gym three times since Saturday. I would have gone today but the roads are really too bad for that. On Monday night I used the leg press machine and remember setting the weight at a level where I could easily do it.. I still do the weight training machines one leg at a time... which I did following surgery because my left leg was so much weaker after surgery. I know I could have done more weight, but didn't. I did what was easy, do-able...

Having battled weight long enough and taken enough classes, I know that if I want results, weight loss and muscle tone, I need to step it up... Of course I need to do so slowly and make sure my body can handle what I put on it... but I think I am ready to start challenging myself a little more than I have been. I said good-bye to pvns in July 2007 when I had my surgery.... at least physically... and I have managed to forget that I had pvns... well maybe not forget, but put it in the back of my mind at least... but it has managed to still get to me.

I think being more conscious of it will help me... help me find the balance between pushing myself and being smart about it. I really want to take this time to get healthy... I have a lot of good things going on and a lot to look forward to.. including looking for a new job... I will be graduating with my masters in May and will be looking for a new job... and I want to be feeling good, feeling like I have my health in a good place when I make that transition.

Thank you, Abi, for your emails this week. I know that you are suffering with pvns, and know, all too intimately, how you are feeling. I just looked down at my scars... and it is amazing how much they have faded... but they are still there... a reminder of something I endured... and am still conquering.

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