As a VERY quick recap, earlier this year I fell off my son's BMX bike....and trashed my left knee. Shredded the cartilage and sheared my anterior cruciate ligament, so a proper job . I had keyhole surgery at the start of September to trim the ripped cartilage and haul out all the detached bits, and was facing the prospect of having an ACL reconstruction using a section of one of my hamstrings....According to the Surgeon "It was a real mess in there..."
Fast-forward slightly to mid-Sept: a post-op review, and the Consultant said that he was pleased with my progress - I had been doing all my physio like a good lad - and that if I were sensible, I could go shooting and stalking this season (...and a mate did point out that if I were anything like sensible, then I "wouldn't be sat in his f*****g office in the first place having fallen off a f*****g child's bike!!").So what did I do? Booked a day on the hill, obviously! Firstly, to give me summat to look forward to, but also to make sure that I didn't lose focus on maintaining my physio regime - I knew that my legs needed to be in reasonable fettle, especially my left knee given that "bits of it on the inside are hanging on by a shred" (thanks Surgeon!)
Last Thursday found me heading up the motorway, rifle and gear stowed, and with equal measures of excitement and trepidation.....I was obviously hoping that my knee would hold out, but I hadn't really thought through a plan just in case it gave way at the top of a big hill. The stalker reassured me by saying that if he could drag a red stag out, he could drag me out - and he'd even try and avoid the rocks on the way down so I didn't tw*t my head!! With my mind put at ease (), off we went....with some emergency super-duper strength painkillers squirrelled away, just in case......
I'll let the pics do most of the talking, but suffice to say that I had two on the floor after around 45 minutes, a couple of occasions when I had to haul my left leg out of gloopy mud by heaving on the top of my gaiter rather than twisting it out, some very slow and very careful descents and ascents when it got rather steep, and then a 3rd down after an arduous 45 minute uphill stalk, culminating in a successful 150yd shot.....and best of all, my knee was fine!!
If anyone glimpsed a big-eared buffoon grinning like a Cheshire cat whilst driving home last Thursday, that was me! (In all seriousness, I could have had a blank day and it wouldn't have mattered, I was just delighted that my knee was ok.....back in the game!!)
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