Friday, April 7, 2017

Thursday 23 March – New knee, new me

Current location: Randwick
11.11am, In surgery. (Or getting prepped for surgery, I'm not entirely sure). I'm not sure if I'll be able to write this post without crying! It has been such a long build up for me to finally get this surgery, and it's a funny thing to be anticipating, because it's actually quite debilitating. 

Back on July 3 2016, I fully ruptured my left ACL. I didn't know until a week or two after I did it (I knew I had badly hurt my knee, but I wasn't sure how badly) but when I found out, I was devastated. Being a big netball nerd, I know how hard this injury is to come back from. I sat at my desk and cried and cried, and promised myself one day I would play netball again... but for a year or two before that, I knew I had a long road of recovery ahead. 

It sounds very dramatic for something that I know could be a lot worse, but for me, it meant the end of a lifestyle that makes me so happy. It's how I make friends, it's how I meet people, it's how I get rid of my energy, it's how I keep my mental health on the right track: sport for me is one of the most important things in my life. With ACL injuries, it's not just netball. For a long while, I can't run, jump, land, twist, change direction. My F45 Newton gym has been amazing since July 3 in helping me to adapt to what I can do until the surgery, which was amazing for me, as my wait for the operation ended up being more than 8 months (despite being on a 3-month emergency waitlist). 

Anyway, fast-forward a loooooong 8 months, and I couldn't believe that March 23 2017 had finally come around. I went to Prince of Wales hospital, where my amazing, amazing, amazing surgeon Dr David Broe (I cannot speak highly enough of this man; considering he is one of the best orthopedic surgeons in Australia, he is the most humble, gentle person) operated on my mushed-up knee. 

In fact, on that note, I have found pretty much every single medical professional that I've met since this 'journey' started, to be exceptional. Other than one surgeon, who was cold and very self-important (I was considering spending $15,000 with him!), I have been treated by the loveliest, kindest people who couldn't do enough for me – from my physio Sam at Erko Physio, to the nurses on the ward today, I think I've been very lucky. 

Anyway, back to today, surgery day. I went down for the surgery, laughed as I was given the general anaesthetic, then I woke up in the recovery ward feeling very, very sore. I immediately cried and asked for more pain relief (and also asked for my glasses and also apparently tried to rip by breathing tube out!). The rest of the afternoon is a bit of a blur – I was on a lot of painkillers and don't really know what was happening most of the time, but I remember the nurses being so lovely. I was able to go home that night, and so Andy took me home, made me Mexican dinner and basically waited on me hand and foot for the next week or two! 

For anyone about to have this surgery: don't be scared (especially if you have Dr Broe!). It's a full-on day, but it's a routine surgery, and the pain can be managed. The scary bit comes after, as you're looking at realistically a year of getting back to 'normal', but even that will have peaks and troughs, and I will be doing my best to focus on the positives. Everything from here on in is progress and improvement, and what more can you ask for than that? 

New knee, new me. 

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