Journey of Hurdles
The ACL, or Anterior Cruciate Ligament, is an extremely important tendon in your knee that is needed to be able to put weight on your leg. It is common, now days, for women to tear their ACL’s playing soccer, but it is not common to tear three.
I was 14 years old and starting my freshman year of high school at Sentinel High in Missoula, Montana. It was a week after tryouts and to my surprise I had made the varsity soccer team. The first two games of the season I did great, with a goal and an assist, but the second half of the third game my knee “just gave out”. It was not very painful just a weird feeling more then anything. The team trainer made me sit out the rest of the game because we had a game the next day and I wanted to be healthy for that. The next morning during warm ups, I took my first shot and all of the sudden my left knee gives out and I hear a blood curdling pop and grind. This time it really hurt and I could not even put pressure on my left leg without it giving out. Luckily, our family friend, who is an orthopedic surgeon, was at the game. He then became my knee surgeon for the next three years.
The day after, I had an MRI, or Magnetic Resonance Image, scheduled to see exactly what had happened. Jeff Laporte, my knee doctor, comes in to the patient room and says the exact words “well Cal, looks like a very torn ACL.” My heart sank to the floor. The only thing I knew about this was when my mom had surgery she was in excruciating pain. I started crying not knowing what to think but Jeff calmed me down and the very next day got me in for surgery. Deathly afraid of needles, the nurse brought the IV in. I was so scared my veins were to small to fit the needle, so they gave me a pill to calm me down a little. After that I don’t remember anything except waking up from what I thought was “a ten minute nap”. The surgery wasn’t near as bad as I thought it’d be; I was able...
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