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In the end, it was a long haul but, I am glad I did it. What happened was hard to imagine but it was real. I was not too excited to have it done but I needed it. Without it, I would probably not be able to do things I do now.
It was about 5:30 PM I was ready to play but not excited to run. I got in the passenger seat with my stick with woven with braids as my mom drove me to the field. I got out of the car running as fast as I could because I was late. I dropped my bag on the track, ran after my team as they were doing a lap around the field. As always I didn't have my shoes tied. I ran up to the group and, of course, they made fun of me.
"I can't tie my shoes for the life of me" I said back at all of them for the billionth time.
We finished the lap and stretched as usual. As our coach called us over to get our stuff I ran up to her.
“Can you tie my shoes?”
As usual, she gave me an eye roll and laughed.
"You really need to learn how to tie your shoes."
"You know I can, I just can never keep them tied," I say back with a small laugh.
She ties them as I put my mouth guard in and my goggles on. She finished tying and I grab my stick and join the shuttles. I start by catching, passing, running, then catching again, starting the cycle all over. Then it was time for the stick check. We held out sticks to the left side of our body, like soldiers ready for battle. We were lined up on the sideline by number as the refs went through every stick to make sure they were legal to play with. We final were ready for play. They set up the field and as usual 11 players on the plus the goalie, I was the middle defense. I go into posting. Stick up and a squat position ready to run. The ball was drawn and I ran for it. The game had begun and I was already ready to win.
I remember running up the side of the field, dodging someone. I planted my foot to do a spin move around them. A stupid mistake. I should have been on the ball of my foot. I heard a pop and the pain was almost unbearable. I was not able to breathe. I basically laid there in a ball, wanting to cry, but the tears would not come from my eyes. I looked at the group of players as well as the refs that gathered around me like a swarm of gnats. I just swore a bunch of words I don't remember. My Coach ran up to me pushing everyone else out of the way. I lay there as she squatted on the ground asking me what hurts.
"Help me! My knee!" I say as I grab her ankles,
trying to push the pain out of my head in focus on something else. She yells at someone to get the trainer but apparently, they are on the other field for a "more important game" as we like to call it. I laid there for, what feels like an eternity, as Tony, the trainer, comes and says I should probably just get up due to the fact I am very injury prone and I hurt myself probably every week at some point. My mom finally makes her way out on the field. She and Tony both help me off the field and take me to the training room. “I am supposed to straighten my leg,” I say to myself. That is what Tony told me to do. I sat there in extreme pain. I wait for Tony to come back and take me to the car or somewhere so I could get my leg checked. He finally comes back in and looks at me. He takes my knee in his hand and presses it all the way to the table. I cringed so hard and yelled,
"Stop, stop, stop."
He does. I finally get on the back of the cart (gator) that takes me back to my car. Luckily my dad is a doctor at Saint Joseph's hospital so we know most doctors there and we were able to get into seeing a specialist.
I remember sitting in the waiting room. My mom asking me
"Are you nervous?"
"No," I said back to her.
They call my name and I go back to take X-rays to make sure nothing is broken. Then I laid on a bed in one of the back rooms of the office. Waiting for the results. As Dr. Crissos comes to talk to me he tells me that I tore my ACL and that I would not be able to play sports for about 8 months. That was the first time I was able to let a tear out. That painful moment where my life felt like it was over. He told me that in order to confirm it was really torn, I would need to get an MRI. I was not excited at all. He also said if it was torn, which he thought it was from feeling the ligaments in my leg, that I was going to need surgery.
I remember being cold. I felt exposed under the little cloth that was covering my body. I saw the heart monitor as the put my IV in. it was not hooked up yet so I looked at my dad and said
"look I'm dead."
He laughed as I laid there preparing for my leg to be cut open and fixed.
"Just remember when you wake that it is summer, you will be 17 in a few months. You will be a senior in high school, and all you can do is lay on the dock in the sun and tan," my mom said.
They took me to the OR and laid me on a table. The table was small my legs hung off the table like I was laying on the end of the dock in the summer putting my feet in the water but not being able to reach because my legs were too short. I lay there feeling exposed with not clothing besides the thin cloth of the hospital gown on me.
"Do you like music?"
One of the nurses asked me in a sweet quiet voice, like if she were to say it any louder I would bolt out of the room like a frightened animal.
"Yes," I said as confidently as I could with out showing how my eyes were watering and that I was holding my tears from streaming down my face.They turned on the radio. We listen to as song I don't remember as the medicine was put into my veins that soaked it up like a sponge. The last thing I remember is looking up at the ceiling as I sang the song wondering when the surgery was going to start.