3 strikes, I'm out!

by Amy
(New York)

My name is Amy, I'm 17 years old and a senior in high school and i'm going for my third knee surgery Tuesday (3/29/11). When I was a 14 years old, my freshman year I was ecstatic to find out I made the JV basketball team. I was even more happy to see that I was a starter. However, half way through the season I tore my ACL, LCL and my meniscus in my left knee. The ball was going out of bounds so I dove to save it but I collided with two girls from the other team and my knee hyper extended. I was so upset that I couldn't finish the season and that I would miss the softball season for the school and my travel team. I had surgery to repair the ligaments and was released to play basketball my sophomore year. I played the whole basketball season but every time I hit the floor, I got shooting, sharp pains. My knee would swell up, I would ice it and be fine the next day. I was so excited to play softball again because I had miss the last season. I worked really hard to be able to come back and catch. In the very first game of the season, I was catching and didn't have time to but my brace on before I went up to bat. I got a great hit and was almost to third base when I got a really sharp pain in my knee. I decided to fight through it and continue to play. So, I went back out to catch and the pitcher throw a high pitch so I jumped up to get it. As soon as I jumped I got the same sharp pain and my knee swelled up. I sat out for a couple of weeks and then tried playing again. I played about three games and only had a little pain so I thought I was fine. Turns out I wasn't fine because after the next game my knee was extremely swollen and sore. We went back to the doctors and got another MRI. My doctor told me that I had to have another surgery. Once again I had to sit on the side lines and watch my team play. I have played softball since I was 4 years old and basketball since I was 7 years old and they are my life. It killed me to not be able to play. I would go to my older brother's baseball games and just start crying when the softball girls would walk by. After another surgery and recovery I was released to play softball and basketball again. I was now a junior and played the entire basketball season with no pain. I even made through almost all of the softball season with no pain. I thought

that all of my hard work payed off and my knee was finally back to 100%. A week before sectionals, I was playing first base and I slipped on the gravel and my knee gave out. Once again I was in a lot of pain and back on crutches. I had an MRI and my doctor said that everything looked normal and he didn't know why I was still having problems after two surgeries. Within a couple of weeks I was off of crutches and starting to feel better. I didn't play the rest of the season but I played over the summer for my travel team and it seemed to be better. I just iced it after the games and I was all good. I was even catching fours games in one day! This year I was a starter on the varsity basketball team and feeling better than ever. I was playing great and having the time of my life. That is until about 2 months ago, two weeks before the season was over. It was only like 30 seconds into the game, the other team was pressing us so I made a V-cut and went long. My teammate passed the ball to me and I was on a fast break but a girl for the other team was right next to me so I came to a jump stop to pass the ball across the court to my teammate. As soon as I landed I heard a pop and had a extreme pain. I instantly knew I had tore ligaments in my right knee this time. I got an MRI and sure enough I tore my ACL, Lateral Meniscus, Medial Meniscus, sprained my MCL and had a lot of bruising. I couldn't believe that my senior softball season was over before it even started. I have to miss the entire season but i'm still going to go to all of the practices and games. I'm not going to let this stop me, I have made it through twice and I'm going to make i through this time too. I don't think i'll be able to be a catcher any more but i'm defiantly going to still do what I love; play softball and basketball. My older brother just recently tore his ACL playing basketball too and will have to miss his baseball season at college this year. We will both keep each other positive and help each other get through this. My advice to anyone that is going through is to work hard and never give up because in the end it will make you a stronger person. I would not be the person I am today if I had not gone through all of this. My surgery is next week and i'm hoping everything will go good and this will be my last surgery!

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