You Can’t Always Get What You Want…

But if you try sometimes, you might find you get what you need.

November 26th, 2006. I was in the outpatient facility in my operation gowns and my hair french braided by my sister for the occasion. The IV in my hand poked and prodded at my vein with each motion I tried to make. I winced with each movement. Before I knew it, I was being led down the hallway into the operating room, and told to get myself up on the operating table. Not very accommodating, I thought. Once I woke up, I found myself the subject of my parent’s entertainment: put the kid’s glasses on crooked and snap some camera phone pictures of my droopy, anesthesia-stricken face. It’s all in good fun. 🙂

Physical therapy soon followed, and by March I was back behind the plate, catching for my school’s varsity softball team. We won leagues that year, but since then my health has deteriorated. Day in and day out I would experience my knee giving out and buckling on me, and I knew that my lifestyle was never going to be normal again. It took a lot of discomfort and daily knee dislocations and buckling to finally get an MRI on my knees shortly after finishing out the Spring 2010 semester.

So, here I am. I haven’t moved from this bed except to use the bathroom and I’ve finally figured out the perfect cocktail of painkillers and time to make recovery go as smoothly as possible. For 4 hours each day I have to strap myself into a machine that automatically bends my knee for me at a set degree (today was a pretty intense 40 degrees). This is to keep the joint lubricated, the blood flowing, and most of all to prevent scar tissue from building up. I also have a pad wrapped inside the bandages that is connected by a hose to an ice cooler. Ice water flows through the channels in the pad every 2 minutes or so to help cool the area. It stays on 20 hours per day and constantly needs more ice after an hour or two of running. Guess I have a hot knee!

It’s day three of recovery. Getting to the bathroom is getting a little easier each time; my brother and my mom have been helping me and I’m no longer in excruciating pain trying to crutch my way down the hallway. My dad is being so supportive too. He took Monday off to be with me for my surgery, and has been helping me every step of the way, even when he’s at work. I’m really itching to get out of this bed and I keep having dreams of walking again but soon enough I’ll be training for that marathon. Baby steps, baby steps….

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