Posted on July 25 2016
Well, where to start, I guess no better place than the day of the injury.
Thanks to some great teammates I was helped off the field and immediately used the very effective R.I.C.E technique to control the swelling.
Rest Ice Compression Elevate
I lay on the side of the pitch for the rest of the game feeling faint and in a lot of pain. The guys at the opposition club were very helpful and made sure that I was looked after. One of the boys from the club dropped me home and from there it was a lengthy stay on the sofa with my leg up and plenty of ice.
I took the next day off work and thanks to some great housemates I was on a set of crutches that morning and my knee all bandaged up. Before I had crutches and the bandage on it took me 20 mins to go and take a piss and with the toilet only being 10 meters away that’s not a position that anyone wants to be in.
So off to the Doctors that day as well and $62 later, like a lot of people who go to the GP, I was left furious and very frustrated. Having had an almost identical injury situation sometime before I was somewhat familiar to the procedures and tests for a knee injury, so when the GP just prodded my knee twice with his finger and told me to come back another day I was understandably aggrieved. So then back to the sofa, my best friend for the next few days.
As with a lot of bad news people handle it in many different ways. For me, on came the intense eating. As I said in my previous blog I used training and sport to help stay mentally healthy but with that now out of the window I turned to my second favorite stress reliever, food. Many can relate to this, I’m sure, and after a Pizza, a whole garlic bread, 2 sausage rolls, 2 croissants, and a litre of OJ later I was feeling not much better and just as down. It was then I made the conscious decision to get the better of this injury and take it in its stride because after all being miserable was not going to change anything. So here it is:
“I’m injured! Let’s plan for recovery and focus on things I can do and not things I can’t.”
The next day, Tuesday, I was back to the gym and determined to stay active and not stay sitting around doing nothing, as after all I have a business to run. That day I also headed off to the hospital. With not being satisfied with the first GP’s idea to wait it out I headed over to the Emergency department to get checked out. After a short wait I was in to see a physio. Here she did numerous stress and movement tests on my knee and although some of the movements were very painful at least I had my first diagnosis of a possible torn MCL tear (medial cruciate ligament) and ACL tear (anterior cruciate ligament). Although the news was somewhat devastating, after the huge cracking/snapping sound I heard when my leg twisted it was what I had been expecting but at least I could now focus on recovery and what came next. X-rays showed no major bone damage to there was one positive for the day.
Next stop was the MRI to check for ligament and tendon damage. Luckily I was referred to a fantastic Dr, who even after the referral from the hospital performed some further tests. He then referred me for an MRI. The MRI experience was well extremely disappointing. I mean in all honesty if I were to run a medical practice of any capacity my first priority would be patient care. That way no matter how much pain or discomfort a client was in they would always feel like they are in the best hands. I’m not going to name the clinic in question but I was quoted $355 for an MRI which I thought was pretty reasonable. I was then made to wait two and a half hours for my appointment and upon return was then told I had to pay $1155. How anyone can make a patient feel any worthless I can’t imagine as with anyone I’m sure you would want to get the issue sorted as soon as possible and not be messed around. I made a complaint to their head office and within the hour I received a phone call back with an apology and the initial offer of $355. By that time I had already made another appointment and managed to get it done for $299. My biggest peeve is how can you be so wrong and then just write off over $800. It makes no sense and not think that some people would actually be charged this and be none the wiser. It just shows how much money is raped from people on a daily basis because of ill health.
Then came the nervy wait to get my results. To say stress and anxiety set in over the weekend was an understatement. Friday was ok as I was back at the gym and a cheeky Friday night date on the sofa with pizza, beers and a movie kept the monsters at bay. Saturday however soon got the better of me. I was still hobbling around on crutches and getting pretty tired of being very immobile. After the gym I went straight to the shops and got enough food to power me through the weekend. Let’s say that didn’t last the weekend at all. After eating it all in less than two hours on came overthinking, boredom and straight up feeling sorry for myself. By Sunday it felt as though the world was falling in around me. I canceled breakfast with friends and lay in bed till around 2 got up and went straight to the sofa and barely moved from there until I went to bed. Sunday was game day and all I could think about is that I wasn’t playing and of course being in a mellow dramatic state came to a conclusion that I would never play again, I would never train again and that even trying was a waste of time.
All I can say is thank the world that I have a job I love. Up before the sun rose I was back in my element again training my clients and pushing them as hard as I pushed myself, giving them some of my best work. It didn’t take me long to realize that I was being a complete tool over the weekend and I couldn’t let myself get like that again. So back came the relentless training for myself. Obviously my leg was out of action so upper body and rehab was going to be me for the next few months. I came to terms with it and soon realized after a few days the more I moved and the more the blood got pumping that my knee started to get better a lot quicker.
Tuesday was results day! An inconclusive MRI showed that I had a tear in my Lateral Meniscus and unfortunately it was unable to show that damage to my ACL so another wait and see. Some good new though was that being fit, healthy and active made me a perfect candidate for early surgery, which was music to my ears. I was off crutches, training hard and well on the road to recovery.
As I have learnt in the past, the mind is more powerful than you can ever imagine. You always have a choice, destiny is not written for you, it is not decided for you, you can choose positivity or you can choose to let the world swallow you whole. Once you make that choice to be positive the turnaround in your feelings and everything else around you changes a lot quicker than you think. Having suffered from depression in my past, something I will disclose later in my blog, I know firsthand the way it can swallow you and make it feel impossible to ever reach the surface. You feel low, trapped and everything around you feels bad. You make bad decisions, bad choices and you turn to bad short term ideas to try and feel a glimmer of hope. For something like this and the distance I’ve travelled it was a lot easier to snap myself out of a hole that could have only gotten deeper but for many this isn’t the case. Many people suffer day in and day out from depression and to see them face to face you may not even be able to tell the struggle they live with. My biggest advice to anyone and the first step in an amazing journey out of depression is to admit to yourself that you don’t want to be in this situation and then that you can get help. For me I chose a complete stranger to help me. I had the amazing support of many friends but at the time I didn’t want to feel judged or pity. Talking to a stranger was an eye opener and they gave me their open and honest opinion. No sugar coating, they just simply told me that all wounds heal and that so longs as every day I made a conscious effort to want get better I would. I now sit here proud to be able to get myself out of sticky situation like this one and to also be able to share my new found energy and passion with all my clients and everyone I meet on a daily basis. There is always help and plenty of people to talk to. At my gym and place of work Onyx 24/7 we have done charity work with and supported the work of a company called Beyond Blue and more recently I have been doing my own work with a Fantastic mind power coach George Helou. There is always a way and if anyone reading this blog ever needs any support please feel free to send me a message and I will do my best to put you in the right direction.
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