Well….first week of surgery….
(January 5, 2014)–In my 15 years of playing and competing in high-level competitive tennis this is my first serious injury. (I have been relatively lucky). I was training for my first full year of playing as a professional tennis player this Winter break, when I felt some serious pain in my hip. Of course, being the stubborn headed person I am, I was thinking it was just really sore, or a minor strain at the worst so I kept trying to play through it. As a few weeks passed, tournaments grew closer; I knew I probably should take care of this by at least going to see a doctor. While I was in Boca for a camp, I was convinced to the local ER to get an X-ray….came back fine. A few days later went for an MRI and a few days after that, got a phone call that I had a torn labrum along with a few other issues in my hip that required surgery. Getting the news really shocked me because I was going in thinking maybe just some tendonitis. Here I was all ready to play tournaments and get my career started, and now I was told I can not play tennis or do any physical activity for me seemed like an eternity.
After talking to my coaches, emailing my sponsor ADNA and filling them in on what was happening with my career, I was ready to take the next step on getting this injury taken care of!
I asked many questions, of course the main one was how long until I can play again. When it all was said and done, the final answer was 4-6 months as a guideline until I can start playing full-go no restrictions. Lets just say I have had better days, but I was ready to have this procedure and make the progress to getting back where I left off!
I could not be more thankful for the support I have received from all my close friends, and everyone involved in my tennis for helping me along the way. ADNA has been nothing but supportive and had full belief I would make a speedy recovery. My coaches, family, and close friends will never know how much they are appreciated and I know they will be here for me every step of the way!
(January 9, 2014) –Fast forward to a couple days later….After a lot of communication with doctors, parents, friends, coaches, I decided to have the surgery out in Vail, CO with a hip specialist. I flew out there with my dad for a week, and was planning for the surgery to happen on January 14, 201.
(January 14, 2014) A few hours after surgery. as I sit in my hotel bed, not feeling any pain what so ever, I look up at my leg in some sort of high-tech machine white calf pumps on each leg to prevent blood clots, I have no idea what time it is, what is going on, who is looking down at me, all I know is that I am STARVING, and I NEED FOOD! My dad is at my bedside with a few nurses going over my 8 bottles of medicine I will be on, how long they are keeping pain meds in me, how long I need these fancy crutches for etc, and all I know is that I want some dinner. As time passes, I get my delicious hospital food that I ordered and was in and out of sleep all night. The doctor comes into my room to tell me how well surgery went, and in about a few hours I am going to be in some pain.
3:35 am- The nurses are back …and I am in some serious pain!! Need to try and sleep this off.
6:45 am- Time to TACKLE THE DAY! My dad is picking me up at 7:15 to take me downstairs to start my road to recovery!
7:15-9:15- REHAB. I won’t bore you with all the rehab I just did, but the 20 minutes on the bike with NO resistance..(so basically the bike is not even on) felt like I was on an incline of 10 and pedaling at a speed of 20….it was a rough bike ride. Time to go back to the hotel, put my leg up in this CPM machine and PASS OUT! Rehab again later today and the rest of this week.
(January 18, 2014) Its time to go homeeeee!!! I have never been more excited to get out of a hotel room, leave the amazing room service I was spoiled with for a week, leave the brutal cold weather, and get back to Gainesville. Little every day things like getting into a car, getting up to get food, rolling around in bed, putting on shoes and socks, was all either very difficult to do by myself, or non existent at the moment. Thank god for Poppa Embree who was helping me with everything you could imagine.
10:00am – Traveling with crutches, 2 machines, 2 bags, and a backpack is not ideal considering I can only carry my crutches (so its worse for pops) and in no way easy to do in an airport. Good news though….I get to board with everyone who “needs extra time on the jetway.” Never thought I would say that at 23, but it happened!! I will put in my headphones, watch some Prison Break, and hopefully wake up when we are in Florida.
9:45 pm- WE MADE IT! Having my hip sit like that was not a great feeling, but now I can look forward to my own bed and some sleep!
(January 20, 2014) MONDAY!! Rehab sets in again with my trainers and PT here in Gainesville. Instead of playing tennis twice a day, I am doing rehab twice a day…a nice little change up for a few months right?? What I am most excited for is my swimming rehab that I get to do twice a day….not only does it feel like I can use my hip with no pain, but I get to “workout” and be a little bit active!!
(January 22, 2014) Long days ahead of me, rehab twice a day, plus finishing up my internship here in Gainesville to graduate….everything does happen for a reason so as bad and unfortunate as this injury is, trying to look at the positive it happened at an okay time. I get to lift some upper body weights today; it is now the little things that I probably get overly excited about. Just to be in a gym, and still be able to do something satisfies me a little bit. My mom also left today, so now I am really on my own. Takes me an extra three minutes to do something, but hey as long as I get there I am happy!
(January 24, 2014) Wake up call this week is 6:45 am, in time for some SWIMEX therapy on campus. I am so thankful for my trainer Kelly, and PT Susan taking great care of me while I am here. I just finished getting my Nemo like swim on, now in time for my internship, then back to rehab at 3 pm. Also another positive is that I was given a handicap pass that allows me to park very close, which I know seems like not a big deal but helps tremendously!
I am excited to announce my college coach, Roland Thornqvist asked me to be the Volunteer Assistant while I am rehabbing and recovering here in Gainesville and I could not be more excited to have some extra time with the team. It will also keep me busy, and get my mind off some things, also make the time pass until I can get back on the court again!
—Well it has been about 12 days, I am off all my meds except two, I can get around on my own a little bit better, thanks to my friends and everyone here for helping, each week is getting better and better in PT. Considering I could not walk on crutches without pain, I can ride the bike (still when the bike is literally off) with no pain, and be able to swim with the help of some floaties is all progress to me! This is all a process and a very slow one. It helps me work on my patience skills, and I can’t wait to tackle my rehab next week in hope to be feeling better by the end of week 2! I will keep you all posted =)
Being injured really puts things in perspective and humbles you a little bit. You have to keep having a positive outlook on the cards you are dealt, and I promise I will be back stronger than ever come summer or fall.