Friday, June 7, 2013

Post #1 Day #18

Today is the 18th day of recovery since my surgery. I count the day of the surgery, since that was the most brutal, horrible day yet. 

Since this is my first post, I guess I will explain myself to people who might have stumbled upon this, or just don't know exactly what happened. 

April 20th, I was in my second tournament with my AAU team. We were in Illinois, and starting our first game of the tournament. I was one of the starters of the game, and we did well to get our team going. When my sub came, I was instantly anxious to get back in. We were ahead, but not by much. When I go back into the game, there is probably 10 minutes left in the first half. We do a few plays, we play a little defense. I don't remember much about that. I just remember standing at the elbow, looking up at my teammate's shot and seeing an opening to get the rebound. No one else was around. I sprinted to the block, jumped up, and before I even came down I was turning back towards the basket. That was my fatal mistake. My feet and legs were still pointed towards the sideline. The rest of my body was twisting backwards. Snap. I felt something. I had no idea what it was, but I knew I couldn't stand. I fell to the floor dropping the ball. I grabbed my knee and screamed - although there was no pain. Just a burning sensation (and obvious weakness). I looked up at the ref who was standing by me, waiting to see if I was faking. I screamed for help, and the game stopped. 

I was sure I just hyperextended my knee. I could still walk a little bit. Could I stand on one leg? No. My coach was smart enough not to put me back in the rest of the game. Something was seriously wrong. 
Going to the local hospital once the game was finished, and we won, all they could do was take an x-ray and send me home in an immobilizer. I couldn't believe it. My dad and I drove over 9 hours to get to this tournament, and we're leaving in less than a day. But I needed and MRI so no feelings like that would keep me there. 

I got home late that same night. But I wasn't too nervous about the next day, because I didn't even think it was anything serious. But I was sadly mistaken.

ACL. The three deadly letters. 9 months the doctor said. 9 months. I was able to keep it together up until that point. I started shaking and sobbing. I did the math, that would put me back on the court in January. Maybe. I could see all my dreams of playing in college start to slip from my fingers. This was my summer I cried. This was the summer I was going to make myself the best player and person I could have been. 

But that had to wait. After a few days, I was finally able to pull myself together and I went to see my physical therapist to prep my leg for surgery. Quickly, I was convinced my recovery would be a lot less than 9 months. 6 months from surgery they said. You should be able to play before Christmas. 

But wait. That doesn't just happen on it's own. It takes serious dedication to get to that. It takes pushing your leg as much as you can, but knowing the limit before pushing it too far too fast. 

I finally started getting my confidence back. Now it's June 7th, and I'm down to one crutch (on my opposite side, to keep me from creating a limp). And bending my knee to over 80 degrees. It doesn't sound like much, but it's the best I can do right now, while still living a life outside of recovery. 

So my parents, and my physical therapist told me I should start a blog. To log my recovery and anything else. To help keep me sane during this, and to show to others who might go through the same thing in the future. I would like to become a coach after college, and I know that ACL tears will continue to happen. I don't want people to hear the first diagnosis of 9 or 10 months and quit. You can't quit. You started it, and now you have to finish it. You have to conquer this stupid thing and suck it up. 

Although those are tough words coming from me, who cried almost every day straight for about a week. I'm not saying I have all the answers - far from it. I don't even think I have any answers. And to what questions even? But that's the story. Now, let's move on. 

1 comment:

  1. Keep on writing so you can look back on t his and say "see how far I have come". Pretty soon you will be at 120 degree bend if you keep up the rehab. I am reliving my knee surgeries though your words.Love you, Granny Chris