by Bai

I guess I thought I should get my story out there. None of my friends really understand why I feel so upset and even not myself. . .

I've been playing soccer since I was five years old. I played in every season, almost every game and practice. Soccer came naturally to me.

I got to high school. In the spring, I sat out the last day of tryouts because my knee was hurt and my doctor had told me I needed to rest it. I got back in as soon as possible, on Monday. I was supposed to wear a brace, but never did because it made my calf numb. Eventually it only hurt when I sat for a long time.

I made JV. But I wanted more. So the fall of my sophomore year, I worked my butt off. I changed my position from a defender to a midfield, I got faster, stronger, and just better in general. I was happy. Soccer makes me happy.

It was the last game of the season (Saturday, November 6th). It was the second half. We were winning. We had to lend the other team some players, so I was playing against my friend Hanna.

I can still remember that day. At the beginning of the day it was grey, but it got sunnier. It was really cold out, though.

I don't really remember what happened. She was marking me, or maybe I was marking her. Next thing I knew, my knee hurt, and I was on the ground.

They had to carry me off the field, it hurt so bad. I went to the emergency room later that day when my mom got off work, because the doctors weren't opened and she was worried that I had broken it.

We got there, and they told me it must be a sprain, because there were no breaks in my bone in the X-RAY. They said that at the worst, I had torn my meniscus. They also said to follow up with the doctor if it didn't feel better by the end of the week.

They told me to use crutches, because it was hard to walk in the brace they gave me.

All that week, when people asked what happened, I told them that I had sprained my knee.

It wasn't better by the end of the week, so we followed up with my family doctor. She said I had probably just sprained it, but decided to get an MRI done just in case.

The night I got my MRI done, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 1 came out. It took forever for the MRI, and my knee was hurting so badly by just laying there.

Two weeks later, we got back my results, and it turned out that I had torn both of my menisci, and my ACL.

I went to see an orthopedic surgeon, and he told me I would not be able to play soccer with a torn ACL. He said it was best to proceed with a surgery. He sent me to
physical therapy for the whole month of December.

On January 13th, I had surgery. I woke up after the surgery with no pain, mostly because I was out of it from the anesthesia.

Later that day, at home, it hurt really bad. I would dread going to the bathroom. I mostly laid around and slept, trying to ignore the pain and avoid the tears.

I went back to the orthopedic surgeon a few days later, and he removed my stitches. He said I could take my brace off after I started PT. I started PT a week and a half after surgery.

From then on, I worked my butt off. I was missing the whole spring season, but became the team manager to show my commitment to the coaches and the team. I found out more about the inner workings of the coaches, and got to go to all of their games, even the ones out of town.

I hated, absolutely hated sitting on the bench, when half of them didn't care to ask why I wasn't playing, and the other half didn't understand it. I vowed to myself that next spring, I would come back with a vengeance. I would prove myself, and fight til the very end. I made a few friends with people I had never talked to before, and did have a few laughs along the way.

On July 6th (a Wednesday), I was released by the surgeon to play. I didn't play again until September, because that was when the season started.

The first practice was humiliating and painful. All of my muscles were sore for days and days. I broke down in tears that night, wondering if I could actually do it. I went to the next practice, expecting much the same thing.

But it got better. Each practice, my knee has gotten more stable and less painful. I always come home with it swollen, but that happens when I sit for too long, too.

One Friday, before my first game, I got in a car wreck with my best friend after a football game. They wouldn't let me play the next day. I only had a few bruises, though.

The next Saturday, there was standing water on the field. So they postponed the game.

The next Saturday, I finally got to play. It was the most dramatic game of my life. One red card, three yellow cards, and various fouls. We lost by two points. But I was happy, because I had played.

The next Saturday, we lost by three. I wasn't very happy anymore. I was playing as hard as I could, knee brace and all.

And then Monday (yesterday, actually), we had our makeup game. We lost by at least seven points. I'm sort of wondering if I'm not meant to play or something.

But I will keep playing. My knee will keep getting better. And I will come back with a vengeance, come spring.

Healing is gradual, and each day I continue to work my butt off, my knee heals a little bit more.

Thanks for reading.

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