This time is going to be different. It's going to be easier and things are going to go smoother. As I gear up for my 5th knee surgey, I am obviously on the defense thinking the worst will probably happen. But Joel keeps reminding me to stay positive and not worry so much so this is one attempt at doing so. Writing this blog takes my mind of the inevitable and gives me something contrstructive to do. I enjoy writing and I've told my story a few times so why not once more, right?
Feb. 2009 - I was in my senior year of high school playing basketball and life was going alright. My parents and I werent7 always one the best of terms, but I am difficult so that shouldn't surprise you. We were playing Xavier on our home court. It was still the first half whe n I went up for a lay-up and came down on my knee wrong. I felt it right away. It's already been a few years and I was in shock so the exact details are unclear to me. What I can remember is that my dad was there and then pain was the worst I had fekt up until that point. I remember asking coach to put me in at the end of the game and I know I got suckers so that was a plus! Needless to say, this was the beginning of the end of my sports career.
My 1st surgery was Feb. 10th, 2009; four days before my 18th birthday. I texted people to come over for my birthday, but I was in bed before the party got started. I did receive lots of candy, though and it was nice to see everyone. I coached Saturday Morning Basketball at the time and one of my favorite players, Rainy, stopped by with her dad and brought me flowers. I still have all the get-well cards and have most of the thank yous filled out but that was as far as I got.
I had already signed a scholarship the previous November so I continued my plan of playing basketball and running track for Northern Michigan University. Calling my coach to tell him the news was pretty difficult, but he was understanding and had faith I could bounce back. So I started my freshman year and things were going great. I was out of Waupaca after a long summer with my parents and living the dream of sports and the typical freshman year. I had a great group of friends and I loved my sports teams. I felt a sense of belonging, like ni was exactly where I was supposed to be.
Nov. 2009 - I came home for Thanksgiving break and was helping the varsity basketball team practice. I came home after a good practice and my knee started hurting, badly. I was unable to walk and the pain was getting worse. After calling the doctor, it was determined that something was wrong but nothing could be done because of the holiday, so I was perscribed pain meds and sent back to school. It was a rough two weeks. The pain was manageable but it was hard to focus on school with the meds. I don't do well on pain meds. They affect my entire system. I don't eat, I can't sleep, I am not thinking straight. I was just ready to get the week over with.
Dec. 2009 - The 2nd surgery is done on December 23rd and it is rough. I don't fell right and the 10 day period from surgery to the post-op appointment was a long one. My older Nick brought me to my appointment; I remember he was hungover and looking a little tired from the night's festivities. So we get to my appointment and the doctor is doing the usual range of motion and it is hurting. He was happy with my limited motion and why I wasn't improving, so he drew blood and sent it off to get checked. Nick and I waited for what seemed like an eternity... finally, my doctor returned and told us I would be heading to Theda Clark for my third knee surgery because I had a Staph infection. Hearing that news was quite a blow. I was scared and didn't really understand what it meant. I was glad we found out what was wrong but it made me nervous.
Jan. 2010 - My 3rd surgery was done in Neenah at the hospital. I was immediately taken into surgery when I arrived. They asked if I wanted to wait for my mom to get there, since Nick had to drive home to give the car to my mom, but I said no. I just wanted it to be over with. My four day stay in the hospital was a blur. The family came and I had morphine so things were good, but I wanted to be home. I was home for three dYs then we t back for another post-op appointment. I was pretty sick at this point; lost a lot of weight, still not eating, not sleeping. Still unimpressed, blood was drawn and I was sent home. That night, unknown to me at the time, the doctor called my parents from his house phone and said that the infection had not decreased at all since the last surgery and I would need another. He said we would be having surgery the next day. This night was the first night I actually got a good night's rest. I woke up and they told me i would be going under again. At this point I cried my heart out. I didn't want another surgery but of course it was necessary.
This surgery had to be the worst. When they performed the previous operations, they put a femoral block in my leg. This means they paralyze the nerve that senses pain in the knee area. It is the best way to keep the pain at bay until the pain meds kick in. Well this surgery, they femoral block was forgotten. I came out of anesthesia screaming and crying the pain was so intense. My poor mom was the only one who was there that surgery and she had to get me into the truck and home. Over all my surgeries, my mom was just as distraught and unhealthly as I was, just in a different way. Our relationship over the past couple of years was not great. I made a lot of mistakes in my high school years and it had almost ruined my parents. So going through this difficult time with them was a challenge.
In the end, I got dropped from my scholarship, transferred to Oshkosh, changed my major and got back on track with my parents. And now almost 5 years later, I have a wonderful relationship with my mom and dad, will be graduating in December and am making a beautiful life with a wonderful boyfriend and two dogs.
Reflecting on the life changes since my first surgery are proof enough that things will be different. I'm going to try and stay positive and look on the bright side, focus on the good. The family and friends who surround me are my greatest support and I am blessed for the life I have.