Sunday, 19 February 2012

Where It All Began

This blog will detail my recovery, I hope, from an anterior cruciate ligament tear. These happen to a lot of people from pro sports people to weekend players like me.

Before the recovery begins let's just go back to the beginning.

On the first day the lord not that beginning.

My ACL was torn on the 27th July 2011. I was playing football at Paddington Rec., west London. The game had been going well, I'd scored from a 40 yard free kick, no really I had, and then it all went wrong.

I play centre half and I was ushering the ball out for a goal kick when the opposition's centre forward tried to get to it. He was lazy, stupid and reckless and so rather than trying to go round me to get the ball, he came straight through the back of me, via my left knee.

I collapsed in pain, the ref didn't give a free kick and the game continued. I got up and gingerly got through the rest of the first half. For the record, we were one nil up. I felt a bit sore but forgot all about it as we changed ends.

Two minutes into the second half I was jogging backwards to the edge of the box when I suddenly went down. No one was near me and my first thought, because it hurt so much, was that I would never walk again. As I lay on the ground I begged people not to touch me, the pain was worse than anything I have ever experienced.

After a few minutes it subsided and I was helped off the pitch. I got some ice and even managed to cycle home. It began to swell a bit, but not much.

The next morning I went to A+E ready to hear the worst.

To my amazement, even though I was convinced it was an ACL tear, the nurse said it was merely soft tissue damage. Her advice was to rest it, let the swelling go down, and then slowly start exercising again. I should have insisted on an MRI there and then but I was so relieved to hear the 'good news' that I didn't.

Five weeks later, I was ready to play again and 50 minutes into a 7 a side game, in which all had been well, I jumped to control the ball, again no-one else was near me, and when I landed the knee collapsed. The pain if anything was worse this time.

At A+E I assumed they'd book an MRI but again, after the usual physical manipulation they said it was just soft tissue damage. Rest, let swelling go down and start again. I was surprised and went to my GP and a physio to get 2nd and 3rd opinions. They agreed with A+E, no MRI needed. I should have insisted.

Another eight weeks later, I managed to book an MRI by getting a private doctor to insist.

The MRI, on the 15th November 2011, showed an ACL tear, and a meniscus tear.

I was vindicated but felt depressed it had taken this long to get the news.

And so with a diagnosis, finally, the actual recovery could begin. I hope you find it interesting.

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