When I was stretching last night the range of motion seemed a bit off around my knee and when I looked down I could swear that it was a little puffy. But maybe I was just paranoid. An old injury will do that to you. All that time I spent ignoring the red flags and signals that told me something was wrong with my knee taught me to be extra precautious now. I asked one of my training partners this morning if she thought my knee looked swollen before we worked out. Maybe a little, she said. So I went through my workout being totally conscious of whether or not I felt anything. I didn’t. But at the end of practice I still asked my coach…”Do you see anything different between both of my knees? He examined them for a second and said he didn’t really see anything. So I decided it was nothing and proclaimed myself a little anxious about anything and everything having to do with that darn knee. So then I lifted, and finished my work for the day. I hopped out of the shower and looked down at my knee once more and I didn’t need to ask anyone—the darn knee was swollen.
So I went over to see the doctor on-site. He’s not an orthopedic surgeon but he does have a specialty in sports medicine so I brought along my notes and post-op pictures from my surgery last year. I explained what happened then and what was done, how my knee didn’t really hurt now but it was still the same knee that is now swollen for some reason, and asked him his very doctor-ly opinion. And he gave it to me. I didn’t like what I heard. Not one bit. You see, I still have this hole in my cartilage and supposedly this small defect is not holding up well to the rigors of training. It’s not hurting yet, but the swelling is indicative of the fact that it’s not happy in there. I chose Option B when given the opportunity to fix my knee before the Trials because that was the only option that allowed me a chance to be ready on time. And now it seems that I might have chosen wrong. Well, not wrong per say because I would have chosen to have a chance 10 times out of 10. But now he is telling me in his doctor-ly opinion that it looks like I will need Option A after all if I plan on doing what I do for a living. (If interested, google Microfracture). And the healing time is not weeks…it is months. According to him, six of those bad boys.
I don’t know what this means. He’s not a specialist and next week I plan on talking to several of them. I want opinions from the best people I can find and I want them to tell me that the knee will be ok on it’s own. And I know that I shouldn’t be paranoid yet. But I am over here fighting tooth and nail trying to keep my calm and keep the worrying at a minimum. I know there is no use getting worked up for nothing. It’s possible it could be fixed with a bag of ice and a few Advil. Or not. And I am having a hard time getting the or not out of my head. I can’t quite explain the myriad of emotions and thoughts running through my brain and I probably shouldn’t even try because there is no use giving them life prematurely. But I have decided that I want this chance so very badly. It’s taken me a while to come to terms with that and admit that but now I have wholeheartedly accepted it. I want to train hard. I want to get sore and complain about how horrible ice baths are. I want to learn more than I ever have. I want to compete and finally be the athlete I’m supposed to be. So I’m just praying right now that I get that opportunity.