For anyone who’s been along for the ride from the very start, you may recall back in August reading about the unfortunate meeting of my knee and momentum’s sudden change. While I can recall the immediate pain of that moment and all the laments about fate sticking its thumb in my eye, I easily forget how close this trip came to never happening. For about a week, the entire endeavor hung in the balance. Thanks to a non-disastrous diagnosis and a lot of hard work at Athletico, I was hardly even limping when I rolled into South Bend.
This is a day I’ve been looking to with equal parts eagerness and dread for the last five months. I am not nervous about the procedure itself, for I have a capable and talented doctor ready to work his modern medicinal magic. However, the aftermath causes me great anxiety. I have no option but to deal with it. I have already put in countless hours of physical therapy every day since the injury occurred. The “kneehab” that lies ahead will be slower and surely more painful than the previous experience. It’s not something to be feared, but it is where the dread comes in. It is perhaps fitting that for the first time since mid-November, the knee has been hurting over the last few days. Maybe it knows what’s about to happen and is sounding its last yelp of independence.
Over the course of seventeen hard-hitting football games, I saw my fair share of injuries. Some of the players went down with bad knee sprains or perhaps worse. It’s so hard to tell when you’re watching a game live. Needless to say, I felt a sort of kinship with those kids in their moments of agony. They didn’t know of me, and had no idea the empathy I felt when they fell. But it was there nonetheless. I also had the good fortune of meeting dozens of regular Joes like me all across the country who’ve gone through this same experience and come out on the other side good as new. Today, I think of their encouragement more than anything else. While I know this will be painful, arduous, and perhaps even emotionally trying, I am sick of having a busted knee. I want to run again. Even a few steps would be exciting. This is the only way to do it.
I had the mixed fortune of stumbling across a video of one of these operations on Youtube. I provide the link here for those of you who are less squeamish. I really wish I would have waited to watch this until after I was finished. Click here if you’re up for it (not safe for lunchtime). Here’s a much longer one with way more information, and they actually digress to college football at some point.
Obviously the blog will take a hiatus for at least a week or two, but thanks to everyone who’s been wishing me luck lately. And thanks to all the folks, young and old who have shared their success stories with me. I’d like to claim that I’ll be thinking of you as they cut and yank and drill and fasten, but I clearly won’t be thinking of anything. That’s for the best, to be sure. With any luck, by next fall you can toss me a pass on a deep post pattern. I can’t wait.
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