Two months and two weeks ago, I got surgery to repair a torn ACL. It was an injury I carried for almost a year because I did not want to miss my first year of college. I originally wanted the surgery before my first semester, but that was unrealistic. I then tried to get surgery during Christmas break, but that also was not enough time. The last thing I needed was to go back to North Philadelphia in January, four weeks post surgery, and end up falling and re-tearing my ACL.
Even though this definitely was not my ideal summer, I realized I needed to come back home one last time. I always love coming home to visit my parents, but it was frustrating not having really any friends in the area. My best friend lives all the way in Memphis, and my other friends are relatively close to Philadelphia. I felt like I grew distant from them just because I couldn't just hop in my car and drive. This past summer made me realize my life is not here anymore, and that's okay. My life is really in North Philadelphia.
So to my physical therapist, I really do owe you the world. You encouraged me through every session that I was getting stronger to get out of here. You reminded me that we all have setbacks, and this was just the challenge I was meant to overcome.
The moment you helped get all my bandages off a week after my surgery, I was already bending my knee. You saw my determination to get stronger and kept pushing me to go a harder weight or try something new. You were my biggest advocate in my recovery, besides my mother who basically waited on me hand and foot.
I even was able to lose my brace and crutches about three weeks after surgery, which we were all surprised. Of course, they sometimes ride backseat in my car in case of emergencies, but they are only there in case. I am not bound to them.
There were even a few sessions we just talked about what was frustrating me. Yes, I was too optimistic at times I thought I could run a little on the treadmill. I was frustrated that I felt stuck because I still couldn't do that much physically with how weak my knee can be if I walk a lot. I was even more frustrated I gained so much weight because I had to drop my workout routine after I tore my ACL.
However, you reassured me I would be back to where I was in no time, but I cannot rush the process. I had to trust the process.
You offered I could come in during Thanksgiving and Christmas break, and that was when we would begin running and other agility exercises. For now though, I was only to focus being able to walk around campus in the fall.
As I approach my final session of the summer, I can only say how blessed I am. You listened to when I was struggling and did not downplay the pain I sometimes felt. You encouraged me that greatness really doesn't quit. Also that life does get hard, but it's suppose to be hard.
There were times where the exercises were definitely tough and I walked out of PT feeling more beat up then stronger. However, it is all worth it.
Even though I am not technically done with PT, I know this is only the halfway point of my recovery. I was definitely frustrated with my injury, but it doesn't define me. I am not weak just because I had to get knee surgery. It actually made me stronger.