Everyone faces challenges in life. It is up to that individual to let it be a learning experience or a stumbling block. This past year I was faced with a challenge that tested that very thing. I have always been an active kid since I was young. I played just about every sport and would spend long summer days outside with a ball. I picked up soccer and played for years until the summer before my sophomore year would change my life. School had just gotten out and I went to soccer practice as usual. We were scrimmaging the last part of practice and everything was going fine until the ball got intercepted up field, and I cut back to steal the ball for an easy goal. All of a sudden, I felt this sharp pain. The pain radiated up and down my hip causing it to be painful to walk. I went home and told my parents. They shrugged it off and told me that I just pulled a muscle and that it would get better. The next week went by and I did not feel any better than before. I felt like something was torn and not right. Summer seemed to drag on as I tried not to aggravate it by playing sports.
As school was starting up, I felt a little better. It never fully went away though. Every time I would sprint or stand too long, I could feel that sharp pain deep in my hip. I tried to ignore it and move on with my life. I decided to play tennis for my school take a break from playing soccer. As the year went on, I began to notice the once- small pain begin to bother me more and more. I finally told my parents and went to a few doctors and they all seemed to say the same thing. They said, “Go to physical therapy and take it easy.” I was getting nowhere. Things that were once painless to do became painful. After about a year and a half I was done explaining and finally convinced my parents that I would need to be seen again and that I needed to get an MRI. After getting the MRI, I got the results. The surgeon said that I had torn the labrum in my hip (the cartilage in the hip joint). He informed me that it would have torn all the way around if I had waited to see him any longer. He strongly suggested that I get surgery. The thought of having surgery made my stomach hurt. I thought to myself, what if I wouldn’t be able to walk anymore? What if I woke up during the surgery and panicked, making things worse? What if this won’t fix the problem? I tried not thinking too much about it.
Finally, the day came for me to walk in for surgery. They hooked me up to all of these machines and injected me with something that made me feel dizzy. The nurse said it was time and they wheeled me back to the operation room. My eyes began to get heavy and they slowly closed. The next thing I knew, the surgery was over. I had no idea what had happened. They helped move me into a wheel chair and my mom took me home. This started a long process to recovery. For the first week or two, I was stuck in bed with a brace, not able to move. I slowly graduated to crutches and began to go to physical therapy. This process took a lot of mental strength. I so badly wanted to just walk like a normal person instead of needing assistance for everything. Basic things like going up the stairs became a burden. After months, I was finally able to walk again. I felt like a small child learning to walk for the first time. Now, almost a year later, I haven’t recovered all the way, but I am almost to full recovery.
Life takes its turns and does not always go as expected. There will be ups and downs and can feel almost impossible to keep going. I chose to not feel sorry for myself and decided to do something. I fought through the pain. I learned how to get on my feet and walk again.