a journey to healing part i

my journey started the summer leading up to my freshman year of college (2012). i was headed to endicott college in beverly, massachusetts and couldn't be more excited. i was in love with the school, and was beyond eager to leave my high school years behind me.

i made somewhat of a last-minute decision to try out for the women's soccer team, so i spent that summer training to get in the best possible shape that i could. i had missed the window to be recruited - because earlier in the year i didn't think i was cut out for college soccer - so i had to try out as a "walk on." this meant that, unless i was better than the girls that were recruited, it would be next to impossible to make the team. i didn't know any of this until after the fact, so i continued to work my butt off all summer and make the team.

about a month into the summer and my training, before packing my bags for endicott, i noticed some swelling in my left knee. i didn't remember bumping it, or falling, or any form of injury whatsoever, so i didn't think much of it at first. as it slowly progressed over the next week, i decided i should probably get it checked out. i continued to exercise and get in shape because the swelling was manageable and didn't really have an impact on my performance. after an x-ray and an mri, the doctor told me that i strained one of the ligaments in my knee and to simply buy a knee brace to wear while i played and exercised. so, that's exactly what i did.

after all of this, i did not end up making the team. although i was extremely upset at the time, i later realized that even if i had made the team, i wouldn't have seen the field the entire season because the roster was 30 girls long! sitting on the bench the whole season was worse (in my opinion) than not making the team at all. as much as i loved soccer, that would have completely ruined it for me. so, i went on exercising in the gym and building up my running. unfortunately, the swelling in my knee built up as well. 

i went back to the doctor in may of 2013 and they referred me to an orthopedic specialist to take a look. when i saw this new doctor, he asked me a bunch of questions about when the swelling started, had i injured myself in any way, etc. and agreed that the swelling was a bit strange because it seemed to have come up out of nowhere. he decided to aspirate (or drain the fluid from) my knee and the second he saw the fluid he told me it was inflamed. i obviously had no idea what that meant, but it didn't sound good. i was then told that the fluid was going to be sent to the lab for a bunch of tests but that he recommended a steroid shot into my joint to prevent further swelling and to calm the inflammation. so that's exactly what the doctor did. 

after that doctor's visit, my knee felt great and i was good as new. i transferred to suffolk university for my sophomore year that fall and earned my spot on the women's soccer team, starting and playing in every game - it was amazing! i couldn't have been happier to be back on the field playing my favorite sport. once the school year came to an end, i was motivated more than ever to keep my starting spot the following season. so what did i do? trained harder than i ever had before. and the hard worked paid off when the season came around. i was playing the best soccer of my entire life. 

for the 5th game of the season my junior year, we made the trek up to norwich, vermont...

 

Caley McCaslinComment