I Know Some Pretty Amazing People....

I've never felt so down on my luck and yet absolutely lucky at the same time!

Once I learned about the ACL/MCL tear, my hubby alerted our closest pals and I must say, I was flattered by the outpouring of support. So many people said what a bummer it was, but if there was anything they could do to help, to let them know. Thank you ALL for your love and support -- I continue to be floored by how lucky I am to have such great people in my life. Oh, and careful what you offer -- we might just take you up on it!

And without further adieu -- some of my favorite reactions:

"It's like your knee said "Happy 30th Summer, I'm going to remind you how OLD you are getting" ;)" - Erin (HS girlfriend)  Note: I'm not 30... until July!! :)

"The only other people I hear of this happening to are NFL running backs! Good thing you are just as tough." -Jordan (brother)

"To my dearest Summer ...I just heard and send my deepest apologies as it’s a total bummer... (followed by a kick-ass poem complete with all the personalities from the soccer team we were playing with when I got injured...)" -Erin

[Insert picture of Ashley's cats here with a dry erase board which reads "We're sorry, feel better"] ""They don't understand the concept of a knee, but they still feel for you" -Ashley

"Let me know if there is anything you need...motrin, ice, Jack Daniels." -Kristina

"(Trying to come up with the bright side...) Attention! You'll get lots of attention. People will ask to help you. People will cook you food and maybe even clean your house. Attention can be fun!" -Molly

Thanks again for all the love (and the laughs!). I'll keep you posted!

I'm Baaaaaaaaaaaaack! And Not in a Good Way... [36 days pre-op]

When I went down with this injury, I knew it was bad. I expected the worst, hoped for the best and... Well... Ended up somewhere in between.

In my much-anticipated reunion with Dr. Shapiro I told him I was afraid for the "jiggle test" he'd do on my newly injured knee... I remember from last time that it was none-to-pleasant and the Doc promised he'd "be gentle" this time, though I assumed you can't exactly be gentle when you have to check for torn ligaments inside the knee.

To my surprise, he was more gentle. But unfortunately, this gentleness was a result of my knee being so loose that it didn't require much effort for him to know that both my ACL and MCL were torn. In hindsight, I wish the jiggle would have hurt just to prove the tendons were intact!!

The expected occurred... The tears came and I stammered about how I had a 9.5 mo old baby girl at home that I need to chase around and there wasn't a good time to be laid up due to surgery. Dr. Shapiro kindly handed me the generic box of tissues as I collected myself and tried to reassure me that I've been through this before and did very well -- so I can do it again. He encouraged me to schedule the surgery sooner-than-later because there was nothing to gain in putting it off.

Due to the MCL injury, surgery could not be scheduled for at least 4 weeks to give it time to heal (because apparently it's not a completely torn MCL, but a stretched or partially torn tendon that will, over the next 4 weeks, regain it's tightness/elasticity). We put July 17 on the books and in the meantime, scheduled my MRI for the next day to determine if there was additional damage.

Still, I was outfitted with a fancy leg brace that goes mid-shin to mid-thigh that will support my leg (keep it from the lateral slip that caused this in the first place) so that the MCL heals correctly and I don't do any further damage between now and surgery. I've never been one for accessories but am getting used to the brace now, after only 4 days of wearing it.

This morning I went over the MRI results with Dr. Shapiro and luckily we learned that there is no damage to the meniscus (which, actually is rare to not have damage, so this is good news) and aside from some bone bruising, the injury is exactly what Dr. Shapiro had expected.

Between now and surgery I will do some exercises at home to strengthen the muscles around the knee and maintain maximum range of motion (ROM) as the swelling subsides from the initial injury. I spoke with my good man, Drew (who was my best friend/worst enemy as my physical therapist last time) and told him to expect me back in mid-July.  After the initial, "What did you DO?!"  and exchange of pleasantries, I realized I'm still uneasy with my leg in his hands and that's going to be one disadvantage to the therapy after surgery this time -- I know what to expect, and I know at times it's going to hurt like hell.  Luckily I documented my previous recovery with this blog so I can follow along and try to keep pace with myself!

I also know in the end it will be worth it, because I have a baby girl I plan on chasing around for many years to come, and hopefully I won't have to hang up my own cleats / turf shoes / tennies just yet...!


ACL Tear... Take 2? [Say It Ain't So!] .. 3+ years post-LH-op

On Sunday I was playing outdoor co-ed soccer. We won our first game, which led to a second game since it's playoff time. Weather was windy, but beautiful, and we had a nice full team (which meant plenty of subs). My hubby and daughter were even there to spectate.

Around the middle of the second half we were down 2-0. Maybe more. We were probably not going to win this game, but we were having a good time anyway. The other team had 2 or 3 guys that consistently came up the middle of the field, had crisp passing and dribbling between them, and it often resulted in a shot on our goal, or a mad scramble by our defense.

I subbed in on defense (outside of my normal comfort zone of midfield) and was marking one of the guys with fancy footwork. He'd made his way by me a time or two, but I kept pressure on him when I could, to give our goalie a break if nothing else! My eyes were on the ball, I'm planting and cutting to keep up with him dribbling the ball this-way-and-that when....

CRUNCH. *I collapse*

I saw it happen. To be honest, I'm not sure where the ball started or ended up. Or if the other player and I even made contact or if it was just my planting and pushing that made this happen. But the upper and lower half of my right (non-reconstructed) leg seemed to move independently of each other, in a side-to-side direction.  No bones were sticking out, so that was good. No blood... also good. Kneecap looks to be in place, and I could move my toes, my ankle.. even bend and straighten my knee-- a little. But no one should have to watch their own leg appear to become dislocated momentarily. It's just scary, especially given my experience with the other knee!

So here I was, laying on the ground, gripping my right knee/leg. The tears didn't start to flow. Some primal groaning may have followed my collapse, but once that subsided, all I could think was... No, please no. Not again. Lord Almighty, we don't talk much, but please please please with a cherry on top, do NOT let this be a torn ACL. 

I can get over the fact that I would have surgery and rehab again. I know I'm capable and I bet my body is too. But now I have a 9.5 month old daughter who is just starting to get mobile and requires constant supervision. If I can't quickly react when she gets herself into a sticky situation, it puts her at risk, not just me. Putting her to bed or playing with her in our basement means carrying her up and down stairs and God forbid my knee were to buckle with her in my arms. These are the things I'm having a hard time accepting. Everyone knows it's not about me anymore!!

Whether it's a sprain, hyper extension or torn ligament, I've been vigilant about RICEing (Rest, Ice, Compress, Elevate) when I can. I'm walking at a snails pace to be sure I don't do any more damage, yet I'm still feeling the instability of my leg when I do certain movements. I do not recall such instability last time (when I was convinced it was NOT a torn ACL prior to having it checked out) so... as much as I try to keep my sunny disposition, I'm also sort of expecting the worst but hoping for the best.

So, tomorrow (6/6) I see my good man Dr. Jeff Shapiro bright and early and we'll see if he can put my mind at ease. If not, this poor blog may come right back to life.  I like blogging as much as the next girl, but I really was hoping I could stick to my yearly "everything is still fabulous" updates and leave the ACL surgery behind!!

Fingers crossed, y'all!