Please, Anything but the ACL

I know it’s been awhile. Not only that but the last few posts I was trying to be better. Well, I’m writing again with a clenched heart.

The Story Begins

In 2012, my senior year, I tore my ACL. That was five years ago. It was repaired with half of my patella. If none of you are doctors and have had good knees, you probably don’t know what I’m talking about. In your knee there are two ligaments that criss-cross. The front one is your anterior cruciate ligament. The back on is the posterior cruciate ligament. Both are pretty important keeping your knee stable as well as flexible in movement. The ACL, since this is what I’m talking about in today’s lesson, is repaired three different ways: patella, hamstring or cadaver. The patella is the muscle connecting your knee cap to your fibula. It allows the knee cap to glide over the bones. This is what I chose to do for my knee. Hamstring is the back of your thing towards your butt. Cadaver is an ACL taken from a dead person, the lesser of the choices but still doable. Basically, the doc takes which ever part you choose and replaces it as an ACL. So not only is your ACL fixed but you could be taking out something else, like my patella.

This was me five years ago: a senior in high school just accepting a $10,000 soccer scholarship when I tore my ACL in a soccer game. On the bright side, I scored in the game, and we won! I was red-shirted my freshman year and was lucky enough to keep my scholarship. I remember step by step of an ACL tear like it was yesterday after today. So let’s fast forward to…

To October 2015

In an indoor game, when I was done with soccer competitively at least, I rammed knees with another player. I should mention that I play with co-ed, mostly men. Anyways, my knee swelled and I lost range of motion. My mom changed careers and was working to be a bus driver. We didn’t have insurance to pay for a doctor to look at me knee. So I still talked to my physical therapist from 2015 and actually I’ve played soccer with him. He had a look at my knee and knew something was up. He was pretty sure it was my meniscus which is the tissue that allows the knee smooth mobility, cartilage on bones basically. He got the swelling down with a compression sleeve and even got me to run again. This brings us to…

Two Weeks Ago

When during a nine hour shift, I came home with a balloon of a knee. Now, I stopped playing soccer and was only trying to get fit by running and weightlifting. Then on Saturday, my knee swelled up and I was limping. Who knew it could happen so fast?

Anyways, Right This Moment

I went to the doctor today and he thinks I tore my ACL again. For this whole week I have been worried about it being worse than it was. I was scared to have my ACL torn again. It’s a really big fear for me. If anyone who has had an ACL surgery, please, back me up. Now, I guess, I probably shouldn’t complain because it could be way worse but I don’t want to go through it again. Again! I don’t want to be alone in a room and not being able to walk. I don’t want to be put in that bending machine to get my knee to bend. I don’t want to relearn how to walk, run, jump, etc. I don’t want to be injured.

The MRI is on Thursday. Right now, that’s what’s keeping me from breaking down. It’s still possible to not be my ACL or if it is maybe it’s not that bad. Maybe it’s stitchable. What’s worse: limbing with a swollen knee that can’t be healed without surgery or taking apart of your leg to put in for the ACL with surgery and recovery lasting 6 months probably up to a year? I’m trying to not think about it.