Three Things I Know

Let’s be honest, most people have a vision of what college is going to be like, whether that be raging parties every weekend or saying goodbye to sleep in place of homework.  I knew I would not be saying hello to parties and I would not be saying goodbye to sleep, but I didn’t know much else.  There wasn’t an ideal freshman year I had in my mind before starting and I think that really helped me not be disappointed with mine.

There were simple things I knew would happen:

1. I would make friends

2. I would learn things

3. College would be like nothing I’d ever experienced.

But there were also a lot of complicated things I never could have predicted:

1. School would be the easiest part of my life

2. I would sustain an injury that challenged me more than anything previously had, but which would also inspire me to change my life

3. My father would die

That’s not to say that classes were easy. First semester Logic kicked my butt (though I ended up getting a B).  Even the classes I liked were a lot of work.  College is nice because you’re in the classroom for less cumulative hours than in high school, but you get more homework, which is fine, just time consuming.  You’ve gotta know how to budget your time.  So what I’m trying to say is that classes weren’t easy, but everything else was harder. My dad died 3 days before I was supposed to have surgery, 9 days before Christmas.  I’m not trying to illicit sympathy, I’m just trying to say that it was a lot all at once.

But I made it through.  And I am better for it and stronger for it.  This year I learned that upside down A’s exist in math(so do backward E’s), that abstractions are a no-no in fiction writing, and that Martin Luther talked a lot of trash. but I also learned that I can do anything.

I was on the Dean’s list both semesters. I got a poem and a short story published in my University’s literary magazine.  I won 3rd place in a short story writing contest. I ran a 5k.  And those are only my quantifiable accomplishments.  Did freshman year go as smoothly as I hoped?  Not even close.  But it set me up to handle any bumps I’ll face in the future and, somehow, it has given me a more positive outlook.  This year was a blessing in disguise (a really good disguise).

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My Surgery Struggle

Holy crap. It’s been five months since I had surgery. This post has been a long time coming, and so has the re-start of our blog.  We got a little busy there at the end of the year but now we’re back and we’re college sophomores!  Let’s kick it off!

Back in February of 2014 I was finishing my basketball season and I jumped up for a rebound and landed badly.  My left knee popped and felt all wrong. We went to the clinic and the doctor told us it was patellar tendonitis.  Looking back now, she should have ordered an MRI because:

a. popping is a huge indicator of ACL tears

b. an MRI is the only definite way to diagnose a tear

c. basketball is the highest risk sport for girls to tear their ACL

I did physical therapy for about two months and got back into sports where I found the popping had come back.  It would happen periodically, swell up, and then go away after a few days. There was nothing I could do. But on October 23rd it popped out again while I was at school.  Only this time I wasn’t playing a sport, it just buckled.  I started panicking because I knew this time was worse and I had to take the trains home.  It’s a wonder I made it without crutches.

Mom scheduled me an appointment at the sports clinic again and we saw the same doctor.  This time she ordered an MRI, but I didn’t get the results until after I was back at school.  Both my meniscus and ACL were torn, the kicker being that there was none of the regular bruising that comes with an ACL tear so they concluded I’d torn it months earlier.

While waiting to see the surgeon I slowly weened myself off the crutches because, let me tell you, they are a super b%^&$ on campus.  The surgeon explained that my meniscus was sandwiched between my knee bones and putting weight on it was doing more damage so crutches were a necessity.  There were two extra horrible things about that fact:

a. There’s nothing you can do to replace a meniscus if it’s shot

b. Why the heck did my first doctor not tell me that when she read the MRI?

I immediately got back on crutches (ugh) and scheduled surgery for November 23rd. Two days before the operation I found a sore on my leg that required antibiotics and which prohibited me from having the surgery for at least three weeks.

At that point I had to push it to December 19th and crutch around for the rest of the semester, which was really the worst part. So I finished my exams and sat at home, following all the pre-surgery instructions. When we still hadn’t gotten a call about my assigned time mom called and asked.  They said, “You’re not on the roster.”

To which my mother replied, “That’s a bunch of boo-hockey. Why not?”

Claiming we didn’t turn in the necessary forms, they omitted us from the schedule.  The screwy thing about that is how my mother specifically asked what we needed to do and the nurse said, “We can take care of it all.”

Being too late to argue about it, we just rescheduled. Again. At first they said I couldn’t come in until January 7th, which was a problem since I was supposed to be back at school by then, but mom managed to finagle them into December 29th (phew).  Even then I had to miss my first week of school, which put me pretty far behind.

But the 29th came and I FINALLY got surgery!

me

Now I have two screws in my leg. I spent a week in a machine that moved my knee for me and another month on crutches (totalling over 3 months in all). Now, entering into June, I’m five months post-surgery and going strong.  I’m still in physical therapy for another month or two, but I’m okay with that.  Rehab is a lot of work, but it’s taught me numerous valuable lessons and provided a starting line for some exciting personal developments.  What developments, you ask?  I’ll tell you next time.

Mich out.