In August during a preseason practice I tore my ACL, MCL, and dislocated my knee causing two bone bruises. Right away my knee looked like a baseball and I was in excruciating pain. I was taken to the athletic training room where my trainer said “if it gets worse or if you think you need to go to the ER, call me” and right away I said “I want to go to the Er”. The biggest pain was texting my parents that I am in the ER. I went home the next day and got an MRI with my doctors at home and it was confirmed I need surgery. With my MCL they said they wouldn’t make the decision till the day of surgery. They made that choice since they wanted me doing a month of pre surgery rehab. I highly recommend doing this because once it's torn it's torn. You are allowed to do workouts and certain exercises that after surgery you won’t be able to do. This lets you continue to keep strength.
Now I wish someone gave me advice before I had surgery because man I was not prepared. I had surgery once but it was nothing like this. They put this needle in my leg to make my leg numb so the day of surgery I won’t be in a great deal of pain. Now I didn’t know my leg was going to feel parazlyed. So after surgery when I got home I slept for hours till I had to pee. Now the 1st mistake I made was laying on a low risen bed. I had to lift up instead of getting down. For my surgery they used both of my hamstrings so the pain was unbelieve. The second was I kept forgetting my leg was paralyzed and I kinda just slumped down. Please don’t lay down low to the ground after surgery. Gravity is very real! So starting higher up will be easier to get in and out of bed. Second thing, make sure a wall or crutch is there to grab because that leg was a wet noodle. I could not stand on it at all that day.
Another thing I wish I learned was how to pee. I know it sounds so silly but if your leg is angled down (since you're in a straight leg brace), you are trying hard not to let the stream go down. Later on I learned putting your leg up on your crutch to keep it straight helps you not pee on yourself. I know it is so silly but it really is a huge hack.
DO YOUR PT!!! Yes you will be on pain meds and all you want to do is lay down, eat ice cream and sleep but get up and move! I had PT the day after my surgery, so not even 24 hours after. I was crying and gripping the table like someone stabbed me. Trust me it sucks! But on day 4 I was biking! It was worth 10 minutes of pain bending my knee to be able to bike everyday at 6 weeks out. Do your Pt! After Day 1 of PT I was walking circles around my kitchen table. Every lap all I wanted to do was lay down and relax but I kept going. I did my PT around 3 times a day, now remember yours might be different so listen to your doctor but for me I needed to keep moving. Now your moving might just be leg lifts but make sure you do them. The boring stuff is what counts and makes you progress. I am 6 weeks out and still do my leg lifts but now I can add weight and do lunges because I walked around the kitchen table three times a day.
Make sure you get a PT you LOVE! My first day of flexing my quad my PT was jumping going “YES ATTA GIRL” that made me excited and proud. Going from D1 athlete running for 90 minutes twice a day to flexing my quad is hard but having my PT be excited made me excited and ready to do more quad flexes.
This goes into being excited for the little wins. It's hard going from the weight room doing heavy squats to barely squatting on the toilet. Take that win though! It is a day closer to your goal and it's a privilege. You're privileged to be squatting or to be moving. This injury has shown me to take nothing for granted. Now I still have my days. I get upset thinking how one day I was scoring my first semi pro goal, to struggling to get off the couch to pee. Now I am happy to do a squat with 5 pounds! That's an improvement and that's because I put the work in. Same with you! You're going to put the work in and you're going to get back to where you were. You can’t dwell on the past because you are too busy grinding out your leg lifts.
What I did to keep sane is to watch the game! Now I am a huge Juventus fan and I have always watched them (we do not talk about this season though). Being injured I have been able to watch more teams and see more styles of plays. I have also watched old games from before I was born. Watching soccer helps with your soccer IQ and helps you understand the positions. I have always preached to watching soccer but especially when injured because it really is all muscle memory. You will become the soccer player you were again and maybe even better. Another way to get involved is to coach! I train kids and honestly just motivates me to get back to it. I have such a passion and love for this sport that being able to pass it to others gets me excited!
I always see people talk about how they wish they had other hobbies than their sport. I totally disagree. This is a part of who I am and continuing to love this sport even though the injuries have created so many opportunities. I have been able to share my story on platforms like this and theaclclub. I want to thank you for reading this because seeing people going through what I am going through helps me get through the days. I truly want to be there for each and every lady baller reading this. You reaching out with questions, funny stories like how you finally figured out to shower (I still haven’t gotten that one down), how excited you are the first time you walk without crutches, needing advice, or even want to relate to the struggle of peeing (which was the hardest for me) helps me and this is how I cope with my injury. Once again thank you and please continue to reach out :)
-Much Love from a lady baller to another