Yesterday, I was having one of my weekly chats with my teammate, Kelly McBroom, when she mentioned the fact that she was starting a blog! After a few minutes of discourse on the subject it was decided...we'd create blogs! Of course, Kelly started the trend (she is a wiz kid with computers and figuring out how to use them!) and I am quickly following suit! What better way to describe my many misadventures to everyone!
I do mean MIS adventures! I am currently sitting at home 6 days out of a full ACL reconstruction! On October 10th, 2008 I was training on the beautiful Pitztal Glacier in Austria when I unfortunately crashed! I subsequently was flown in a helicopter from the glacier to the Zams hospital (on Morphine...quite a pleasant trip I must say) where I was diagnosed with a torn ACL. I flew back to Calgary two days later, where I had an MRI to fully diagnose the damage and to work with our team physio Kent Kobelka. There I was told I had sustained a fully torn ACL, a small tear in my lateral meniscus, a bad bone bruise with a a very small fracture/indent on the bottom of my femur and maybe some articulate cartilage damage!
I couldn't believe how much damage had been inflicted by such a unimpressive fall! So, after coming home from Calgary I spent the first two weeks working through all the stagtes of grief...DENIAL, ANGER, FRUSTRATION- How could this have happened to me? Why? How can I possibly recover from missing an ENTIRE season? What does this mean for my Olympic dreams?...then ACCEPTANCE, "SORTING OUT THE MESS", MOVING FORWARD-What can I do to minimize the impact of this setback? How much activity can I do? How can I keep myself busy?
I think I can safely say that the first few weeks after coming home where the hardest of my life. I still have a hard time occasionally dealing with what a huge blow this was. I was completely ripped from my familiar surrounding. My teamates, coaches, physio and tech staff have been my constant companions for the past few years of my life. When your on a ski team you see them every day all day. They witness your triumphs, failures and life in between. They know if you talk in your sleep, brush your teeth with your right hand and can't stand mushrooms or rap music. It's like having 7 sisters and about 5 parents. This being said, I think it is easy to see how when you are suddenly removed it feels as if the world has caved in!
I think I can also say that I learned some of the most important and hard lessons of my life in those same few weeks. Think positive, do the work and stay busy-that has been my motto for this experience. When I feel down I recite all the names of my teamates, past and present, who have either had this same injury or an season ending one. I have been working with my sports psychologist, Dave Freeze, which has been monumental. We don't need to even meet very often for him to have a huge effect on what I am doing. I met with him in my first week home and only once since but I can say that without him I would be lost! He is able to put ideas in my head and then the only work I have to do is to follow them.
After two months of a seemingly endless tunnel I had surgery on December 11th, 2008. My surgeon Dr. Outerbridge was able to repair my meniscus with a stitch, instead of cutting out the damaged part, was able to use my hamstring to create a new ACL and assessed the bottom of my femur,which had healed!
So now I am in the first week post surgery...finally regaining my mental facilities after 5 head spinning, ADD-ish, forgetful, sleepy, and very sore days! Christmas shopping has commenced, albeit in a wheelchair, malls are currently above my braced-up knees capacity, physio has begun in infinitily small amounts and snow is still falling all around my home. Life goes on.
I am really looking forward to the next few weeks. I can't wait to be able to walk ( Jan. 11th), open christmas presents, experience New Years (I have been away skiing for the past four) and fully commit to the challenge ahead! I plan to be on snow...in a sit-ski in the near future ( I couldn't ACTUALLY stay away for a full season)!
This experience has given me the ability to see how great my life is, how much I love skiing and how badly I can't what to get back to it! Everything is a new learning experience and a weapon in my arsenal for my return, even this blog. Thank you for letting my share my experience with you...it feels a bit like a cleanse being able to write this all down. This is giving me closure to move on! Great! I wish everyone a merry christmas and please remember how lucky you are to be able to carry things in both hands and walk and talk at the same time! I can't wait!...(grumble grumble....darn crutches)