Monday, July 19, 2010

and so it begins. or ends?

on tuesday, july 6, 2010, I was at scrimmage practice for roller derby. we had a bout on saturday (my first real bout!) and it was a mandatory practice. it was running from 7:30p-9:30p. at 9:20p, I fell. and not just your run-of-the-mill-oh-gee-I-have-an-ouchie-on-my-bum type fall. My left foot caught on another skater (who was stationary at the time), my right foot kept moving (it was on wheels, after all), and my knees just buckled inward. in my right knee, I felt a pop. in my head, I heard, "fuck." [editor's note: it's ok. I still cringe when I run through the event in my mind. which I do. a lot. I think, what should I have done differently? I think, if I had worked harder the three weeks prior to that point, could this have been avoided? I think, what does this mean? but I digress.]

at 9:25p, I was laying on my back, knee pulled into my chest, scared to move it. it was a strange sensation. I didn't feel... pain. it was more the knowledge that something was seriously fucked up. I hadn't imagined that pop. it was real. but what happened? I have been playing organized sports for (24) years and have never had an injury. this was foreign to me. several other skaters were assisting me and eventually I had my leg straight, away from my chest, and I was off the track with the knee elevated, courtesy of my helmet. "oh, it's just a tweak, I'm sure. it'll just hurt for the next few weeks when you fall on your knees. just rest it and you'll be fine for saturday, but keep us posted."

at 9:45p, I was making my way home. my knee... I didn't know what to think. I just knew it hurt. and that I needed to get home and R.I.C.E. it.

on wednesday, july 7, I went to the walk-in clinic. when I'd woken up, my worst fears were confirmed. it was only getting worse. the "diagnosis" was "knee trauma with a possible ACL microtear" and I was told to go home and stay there for the next 48-72 hours. "if it still hurts on monday, come back in and we'll do some further testing on it." this was the realization that I would have to miss my first ever roller derby bout. I cried.

on monday, july 12, I went back to the walk-in clinic. I still couldn't fully straighten my leg and it hurt to walk on it (though I was using an ace bandage to help with the compression). I was using a cane to get around. I was told to stay home again for 24-48 hours, and that night, I went for an MRI.

on tuesday, july 13, I got the results from my MRI. I had a partial tear in the ACL and two partial tears of the MCL. I cried.

on thursday, july 15, I went to the orthopedic doctor. I spoke with the nurse practitioner. due to a mix-up with the radiologist's office, the CD with the MRI films weren't forwarded to the ortho's office. based on the written report, and my desire to continue to be active (even if derby isn't in my future), surgery was deemed the best option. however, the films may indicate a smaller tear than anticipated and thusly, no need for surgery. but we'll cross that bridge on friday at my follow-up appointment.

today is monday, july 19. I had my first physical therapy appointment. for the first time in almost two weeks, I was able to straighten out my leg to almost full extension. [editor's note: of course, not without a little bit of coaxing... I had heat on it for five minutes before.] after that, I bent my knee almost up to my chest. you know what that means? I can get better. did it hurt? fuck yes it did. was is worth it? absolutely.

I know that this is a long road. but I am prepared to tackle it. it's not always going to be easy, and I'm sure that das will want to kill me, or at least potentially cut off my leg, many times during this several month rehabilitation period. I'm sure that physical therapy will be harder some days than others. I know that I will be envious that other people can do things that I can't (yet).

and maybe people are right... and this IS life's way of saying to slow the fuck down.

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