Game Changer

December 10, 2011
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My fifteen year old and under baseball game began at 3.30pm. I didn’t really want to go, but I went to make sure my team would have enough players. I was excited for the next day to come because I was going to Puerto Rico to visit my family and to attend my aunt’s college graduation. I was very happy because I don’t see my family in Puerto Rico very often or every year. Also it was a very special occasion; my aunt’s graduation. That’s a once and a lifetime thing to see, my aunt is only going to graduate once from college. I really couldn’t wait to see my grandma because I talk on the phone with her often and she’s really excited to see me. I was thinking of how it’s going to be when I get to Puerto Rico, but I got to the field and had to focus on the game.

I started warming up with my teammates before the game started. Ten minutes later we were first on the field as the game was started. I was playing at second base. Three outs later it was our turn at bat. I was just fine, but I was a little nervous because I didn’t want to strikeout with the bases loaded. I was batting fifth and my turn came up pretty fast, my team was doing well that inning. They were getting hit after hit and we were ready to score some runs. When it was my turn, I grabbed a helmet and strode up to the plate. The first pitch was a strike right down the middle of the plate. I was mad that I didn’t swing because I would’ve hit that pitch. That had me think that if the next one is close, I am going to get a hit to score the runner on third. I was determined. I dug in. I stared out at the pitcher. The pitch came. It was on the right corner, but still within my reach. I swung the bat. I heard that sweet metal sound. I looked to see where the ball was when my whole body collapsed. I felt my knee quickly pop out of place. I thought I have got to get it back. I moved my leg and it popped back in. I got back up slowly and thought why can’t I run? What’s wrong? I was thrown out very easily and the player on third didn’t score. I slowly walked to the bench thinking it was just something I can walk off. I didn’t know it was serious. I had coaches and parents asking if I was okay. I answered yes I’m fine. What I didn’t know was that I wasn’t.

When the inning ended I went back to second base. The inning started and I felt my knee hurting pretty bad. I was thinking please don’t hit it to me; please don’t hit it to me. At that point I realized that something was really wrong. So the first person gets a hit. He steals and I’m freaking out because I couldn’t get to the ball, so he got there safely. I was praying that the inning would hurry and be over. It felt like the time was going second by second in slow motion. Finally the inning was over and I couldn’t be happier to sit on the bench and look at me knee. When I lifted my pant, I saw something I was not prepared for. My knee looked like a basketball. It was really swollen.
“Oh my god; we have to go to the hospital”

My mom Came over and said “oh my god; we have to go to the hospital” .

Oh my god we have to get you to the hospital is not something you don’t want to hear just hours before your trip to see your family that you never get to see in Puerto Rico. I was happy to go to get treated, but scared about how they might fix my knee. Usually, for a fourteen year old the hospital is scary. I have never been injured like this, so I was at a new level of freaked out. I was praying that everything would check out fine with a minor tweak to fix it all.

I got in the car and we were off. About ten minutes later we arrived. My mom got me a wheel chair and she wheeled me into the hospital. When we got in There were a lot of people which made me think wow, we will be here for a long time. I checked in and got my wrist band, and sat we sat down. I just stayed seated in the wheel chair, because it was too painful to get out of it. I was there for one or two hours before they called my name. All that time I was thinking. It just had to be me. It just had to be exactly one day be for my trip. I sat there in silence. Every time I looked and felt the pain in my knee, I thought there’s no way I can go to Puerto Rico. I accepted the fact that I couldn’t go even before my parents had told me. As I realized I couldn’t go, I got depressed. This was supposed to be tae best summer, and so far it has turned into a bad nightmare. I was mad and sad at the same time. I was sad because I was going to miss my aunt’s graduation and mad because of how much pain I was in. When they called my name, I was relieved. As I went in the doctor’s office she asked me some questions and then asked. “How bad the is the pain.

Ten is like getting hit by a truck, so what number is your pain?” she asked.

I said, “About a four, if ten is a truck.”

The doctor said, “You are the first one to answer that question correctly because other people still say twenty when they know ten is a truck.”
I laughed when the doctor told me that. The doctor checked my knee for pulse and then wrapped it in ice. Then she asked, “How tall are you?”
My knee was in so much pain, I forgot how tall I was. I finally remembered and told her, “about 5”5.”

X-ray Time
After that I had to go back for my mom to do paper work. Then it was off to take an x-ray. Ten minutes later I was waiting in the x-ray room. I waited for a couple minutes until I heard Mariano Santiago. I went with the doctor and my parents stayed in the waiting room. When we got to the x-ray room, I had to get on the bed and take some x-rays. The first one was easy, but the other ones required me to move my leg and bend it a little. Bending my knee at this time seemed far from possible because of the intensity of my pain. In my head I thought is the doctor crazy, but I had to do it. Four x-rays later I was done, and ready to go home. I just wanted my knee to get better and hope everything will be alright. I sat in the back seat because I couldn’t bend my knee. As I got in and settled, we went to order some Chinese food because we were all hungry. Then finally I got home and went in my bed to eat and rest.

Once I got in my room my father came in with his phone, and handed it to me.

I said, “ hello.”

I heard my grandma speaking. I was happy that I could talk to her. She made me feel better. She was very sad and worried. We talked for about six minutes. She was just asking me questions like, “ tu estas vien?”

Yes I’m fine for now and hopefully everything checks out good. She was happy that I wasn’t too badly hurt and she was hoping for the best and prayed for me. After six minutes I gave the phone back to my dad, so I could rest. I was just thinking about how I was going to miss the graduation and not be able to see my family.

After a while I got over it and I wasn’t too sad. My hunger was chased away after a while because I was so terrified and the pain was so intense. X rays weren’t confirmed yet so I was scared that something bad happened; I tore my ACL or ripped a tendon. I was so scared because my neighbor plays baseball and he tore his ACL. He had to get surgery and be in bed for a long time. Also the pain is so bad that they gave him pills to basically sleep all day.

All this was just too much for me to handle. I just wanted to make sure that I would be fine. Well there’s always a next time! As I was sitting there I thought of every possible way to avoid the situation I was in. I thought if I never swung I would be fine, if I stroke out, if I never went to the game, if I got walked. I thought about ten ways I could avoid it but you can’t go back in time, but one thing was for sure. This was one of the longest days of my life!

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