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Going Under the Knife

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A popular saying is that people don’t appreciate what they have until it’s gone. I never really thought about the saying, but after I tore the ACL in my left knee and realized I’d never play a high school sport again, I realized how true the saying is. I tore my  ACL in my last football game ever, and I’d never been seriously injured before so the experience was definitely a first for me. The play that injured me was an odd play as the ball carrier ran to one side of the field, broke a bunch of tackles, and cut back all the way to the other side of the field where I was standing ready to make the tackle. I grabbed him by the jersey, swung him around, threw him down, and my knee got caught in the turf field during the process. The feeling I felt after wasn’t really a painful feeling, but I knew something wasn’t right as my leg was completely numb.

After I went out for a couple of plays, I thought that I could go back in and play. I went in for one more play, and once I tried to run, my knee started popping, and I knew that I couldn’t go back in. I became very emotional knowing I wouldn’t be able to play with my friends again in our last game ever, but at least I could still watch the rest of the game. We ended up losing 28-7, and our trainer called a doctor to schedule an appointment for me the following Monday.

While I thought I would know what happened to my knee on that Monday, I actually didn’t know what happened until about three weeks later. The process is a lot longer than I realized as I went to a regular doctor first, then the next week I saw the same doctor, and finally a week later I got my MRI done. Again I expected to know what happened immediately after the MRI, but the results take a while to come back. I finally figured out that I tore my ACL, tore my medial and lateral meniscus, and severely bone bruised MCL. The doctor told me that was probably the worst case scenario for me so I wasn’t too excited about the news.

Immediately after I found out the news, I thought I would have surgery in the next couple days. The process of scheduling surgery is also longer than I thought, and I didn’t have my surgery for about three weeks after finding out my results. On December 5th I finally had my surgery. Before the surgery an anesthesiologist numbed my leg up and inserted a “pain ball” that I would need after the surgery. The ball was filled with medicine that was pumped into my leg to help with the pain that would occur after the surgery. The ball pumped 10 milligrams of medicine into my leg every hour, but I could turn the switch up for down to adjust the amount of medicine going into my leg depending on the pain. The ball lasted me about two days after surgery, and once it went it out, the pain became immensely worse.

After the anesthesiologist did that whole process, I could finally have surgery. I was pretty loopy because I had just taken a bunch of medication so I wasn’t nervous at all for the surgery. Before the surgery, my doctor put a mask on face and told me to take deep breaths, and within seconds I was knocked out cold. My surgery lasted about three hours, and once I woke up I could go home. After my surgery I wasn’t in much pain because my leg was still completely numb. On the ride home I had my mom stop at McDonald’s as I hadn’t eaten anything in nearly 24 hours. That meal was the best food of my life as I was starving and also pretty loopy which made the food taste 100 times better.

When I finally got home, I could barely move so I lay on the couch pretty much for a week. The only times I got up was when I showered and went to the bathroom. Everything I did I had to be helped, and I felt like a baby again. I couldn’t even get off the couch by myself as my mom had to help me up, and it became very frustrating as I wanted to do things by myself, but I physically couldn’t. Many discouraging times occurred soon after surgery. The two most discouraging moments were when I first saw my knee after surgery; and my knee looked like someone put a softball in it as it didn’t even look like a knee. The other time where I felt very discouraged was when I couldn’t put my socks on by myself. It’s such an easy task, but I couldn’t do it, and that really upset me.

However, as time went on, I started doing more and more things by myself. I started getting off the couch by myself and, slowly but surely I was able to walk again. Finally being able to walk again doesn’t sound real great, but after spending basically a whole week on the couch it felt incredible.

Now after going to therapy three times a week, I can ride a stationary bike. My therapist said I’m very close to being able to run again. It will take about four or five more months for my knee to fully heal but making progress makes the recovery process a little easier to deal with. While I’m a long way away from being completely healthy, I’m as confident as ever as I can do the most I have been able to do since my surgery, and I’m doing more and more each day.

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14 Comments

14 Responses to “Going Under the Knife”

  1. Olivia Salyers on January 15th, 2018 9:22 am

    Injuries like that seem like the end of the world, and It would be hard to not play high school sports again, but you did learn that life doesn’t always go your way. That’s awesome that you are so close to running again. Great article!

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  2. Holly Widner on January 15th, 2018 9:29 am

    My brother experienced the same surgery. I’m sorry about the fact that you had to go through this especially during your senior year. I liked how you went through each step of the surgery and explained them. Great article!

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  3. klewe90 on January 15th, 2018 9:53 am

    Watching that play during that last game was an emotional experience for everybody on the team. You were a great leader and watching you go out like that took a strong tole on all of us. I’m really sorry you had to go through this. This was a great story. I like how you described every step to where you are now. Great job!

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  4. Hayden Vest on January 15th, 2018 10:02 am

    Really great article! You tell the story very smoothly about what happened to you and it reads very easily. It’s terrible for that to happen to you right now, but it’s also good to see your recovery. Good job!

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  5. McKayla Ramsey on January 15th, 2018 12:45 pm

    You did a really good job of walking the reader through your emotional process during this difficult time. It’s too bad this happened during your senior year, but I’m glad you are healing even though the process might seem slow. Great article!

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  6. Caleb Johnson on January 15th, 2018 5:25 pm

    Glad you are finally able to do some things after those miserable few weeks where you couldn’t do anything. I couldn’t imagine how helpless you must have felt when you couldn’t put on your own socks. I think it’s great that you have such a positive outlook on your recovery. I also thought it was funny when you described McDonald’s as the best meal you had after surgery. Great Story!

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  7. Hannah Young on January 15th, 2018 7:56 pm

    Great article Mason! Seeing everything from the injury to the recovery firsthand I am proud of how far you have come. You really explained your emotions and frustrations throughout the whole article. You’ve made some huge improvements in a short amount of time. Great job all together Mason.

    [Reply]

  8. Brady Johnson on January 16th, 2018 11:46 am

    Nice Article! It was very upsetting to see you get injured and not be able to play in the last game of our career. Yet, I am glad to hear recovery is going well! I like how you explained your progression. Fantastic work!

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  9. bhamm56 on January 17th, 2018 8:17 am

    Great story Mason! I’m not sure if it came from the article, or being there, but I definitely felt some emotions when reading this article. I love you brother, and I know you’ll heal up stronger than before.

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  10. Mack Appleton on January 19th, 2018 1:46 pm

    I really liked how you described in detail what it was like to go through the period of immobility. Injuries like torn ligaments and broken bones in the legs involve a long, hard recovery. Seeing you go down during our last game reminded me of when Donivan during his senior year. Knowing what all he had to miss out on the rest of his senior year, I knew this year was going to be pretty rough for you too. I am glad you’re on your way to full recovery though. Great article Mason!

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  11. Ashli Key on January 21st, 2018 4:35 pm

    Great article Mason! I think you did a wonderful job at using emotion and describing many things throughout the journey. I could tell the injury was hard on you, but it is great to see you overcame it and are doing much better!

    [Reply]

  12. Ajack75 on January 23rd, 2018 9:12 am

    Really great article! I like how you described the process you’ve went through from the time the injury happened to now. It’s great that you’re making so much progress! Great job!

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  13. kkitchel23 on February 9th, 2018 2:30 pm

    Great article! You did an excellent job describing the entire process. I am very sorry that you had to experience this during your senior year, but it seems as if you are doing a great job overcoming this situation!

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  14. Gabe Eurit on February 14th, 2018 8:20 am

    Great article Mason! This was very heart touching. I cannot imagine how bad the feeling must have been for you. I know the pain is something you can set to the side, but not being able to play your last game with your friends had to be an awful experience. I understand how you felt as if you were a baby again after your surgery. I also had to have my mom help me with easy every day tasks after my surgery.

    [Reply]

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