On March 4th I injured my right knee playing outdoor soccer. I got shouldered while my foot was planted, and my tibia and femur twisted in two different directions. I heard the infamous pop and crunching and fell to the ground. Right away, I knew something was seriously wrong. I couldn't bear weight, or straighten/bend my leg. From the moment it happened, I prayed that I hadn't torn my ACL. I went to urgent care and they told me I probably just tore my meniscus and it would heal on its own. They gave me crutches and a knee brace and told me to go to physical therapy. The physical therapist gave me the same diagnoses but I knew they were both wrong. Weeks later, after countless calls, appointments, and lots of begging, I found a doctor who agreed to order me an MRI.
The MRI revealed that my ACL and my meniscus are torn and I have bone bruises on my tibia and femur from where they collided. Any athlete knows what a devastating injury this is. The ACL is an important ligament in the knee. During ACL reconstruction, I'll have a new ACL made out of my hamstring and drilled into my bones. Recovery is 9-12 months long after surgery. While trying to digest this news, it got worse. My surgeon told me his schedule is full and he can't do my surgery until the end of summer. Every other Kaiser surgeon said the same thing. They're all booked until summer/fall and there's nothing I can do about it. My entire life is on hold, and now I have to delay my already long recovery another 6+ months. I haven't been able to work since my injury and I'm ineligible for paid leave. I can't go to campus to take classes. It's debilitating. This injury is testing my physical limits, but my mental strength even more than that. My spirit is broken. Soccer means the world to me and it's indescribably taxing to have that and my physically active lifestyle taken from me. I know all of this sounds melodramatic. It's difficult to see what impact an injury can have on a persons mental health until you're experiencing it firsthand.
Right now, I'm desperately trying to find a way to get surgery ASAP. I'm trying to get a referral for outside services so I can get surgery at OHSU. This is my very last ray of hope, so I'm crossing my fingers it works out, but it's not looking good. I will post updates here. Please don't take it personally if I shy away from this topic. It's tough for me to talk about right now. If you know of any job openings that can accommodate someone who can only sit with a propped up leg, please let me know. Thank you for your compassion and understanding as I go through this challenging chapter of my life. I'm trying to stay optimistic and upbeat. I'm grateful this injury isn't life threatening and I'm excited to have surgery and start my recovery. Hopefully, I'll be back to hiking and playing soccer in 2018 or early 2019!