a journey to healing part ii
norwich, vermont is a long 3 hour drive in a huge bus (2.5 hours if you're in a normal car). we (suffolk) would travel up every other year, and they would make the trip down to boston every other year. we also car-pooled with the men's team to save a trip. oh, and did i mention these games were always scheduled on a saturday because it took the entire day?
we all piled on the bus around 11am to get to norwich with plenty of time for the guys to get a warm up in before their 4pm kick-off. meanwhile, us ladies were freezing our butts off (mind you, it's the end of september in vermont) while we watched the guys game and mentally prepared for ours right after at 6pm. the game went into over-time, which cut into our warm-up time, so we ended up being rushed to stretch, get a few touches on the ball, and start the game.
20 minutes into it, i made a run up the left side of the field. i was a left full-back, or defender, and was running up to make a play. my teammate passed me the ball, i dribbled full speed for a few yards, and went to cross it to another teammate. as i planted my left foot, i felt my knee pop out to the left with a sharp pain and fell to the ground instantly. my first thought was "oh no, i just blew out my knee." the fear and uncertainty of what just happened had me more worked up and upset than the actual pain, which really wasn't that bad. all i knew was that i couldn't move my leg, and definitely couldn't put any weight on it. my teammates crowded around me and the norwich athletic trainers ran on the field to help me up and escort me off of the field.
once the trainers and i got to the bench, they asked how i was feeling as tears streamed down my face and i could barely catch my breath or stop shaking. i tried to calm down so that the trainers could check me out and to see how serious it was. they did the "acl test" to check my ligaments and they didn't seem too concerned, but it did start to swell a tiny bit. no bruising was a good sign. they wrapped a huge bag of ice to my knee and gave me some ibuprofen to prevent swelling and help with the pain. they also put my leg in a hip-to-ankle brace and handed me crutches as they helped me get to the suffolk bench. i was still trying to calm down and comfort myself with the fact that the trainers didn't seem concerned about my acl. unfortunately, i was out for the rest of the game.
the pain was tolerable enough to make it through the remaining 60 minutes, and i decided to take the bus back to boston with everyone instead of going to the hospital there in vermont. my parents weren't with me and i just wanted to get home. the game didn't end until 9pm and by the time we got back to boston it was after midnight. my roommate alicia, who was also on the team with me, helped get me back to our apartment in the north end.
the following morning, i crutched to suffolk's trainer in the athletic building and he had a visit with orthopedic doctors lined up for me across the street at MGH. i went to see the doctor and got an mri. all i could do after that was wait to hear back about the results. the swelling actually wasn't too bad, but the bruising had arrived. i also noticed that my left quad muscle seemed a tiny bit smaller than my right, which i thought was very strange, and i remember thinking "no, it can't be smaller, why would it be smaller?"
about a week later, i had just sat down in my market research class and within 15 minutes of the lecture, i got a call from a 617 number. hoping (and fearing) that it was the doctor, i stepped out to answer. "hi caley, we have the results of your mri. it looks like, unfortunately, you did tear your acl..."