Posted by: craig | April 28, 2008

Day 1 - the injury

My ATR story is to many a familiar one.

 I grew up a basketball nut.  Lived it, ate it, slept it.  However, after college, I realized that I wasn’t having as much fun with the game.  I continued to play for the next 5-10 years, but struggled with a chicken / egg problem: I didn’t want to play as much because my level of play was lower than I thought it should be, but I wasn’t able to perform at a higher level because I didn’t play often enough.  Around the age of 32, after the birth of my second child, I basically gave up the game completely.

 Fast forward to January of 2008.  My oldest son is now 7 1/2, and really starting to enjoy basketball.  Frequently, we would go to a nearby basketball court and play.  These were the moments that I dreamt of when I became a parent.  Suddenly, I felt a desire to get back into the game.  In March, I joined a friend’s rec league team, and, though my skills weren’t where they were 15 years ago, I had a great time.  I also began playing regular pick-up games again.  What a blast!

 April 12, 2008 was when everything changed.  I met for our regular 7:30am game.  I’ve always been good at stretching before the game, and today was no exception.  I kept an eye on the clock while I played, as my son had a 11:00am Little League game, and I was the team manager.  I planned on leaving the gym by 9:45 at the latest.  It was getting close to my cut off time, but we were short of players, so I continued to play.  Around 9:40, with the game nearly over, I caught a pass near the free-throw line, and in one-motion, I put the ball on the floor to drive and POP!  I was on the ground looking behind me to see who had tripped over my right leg.  When there was nobody behind me, I immediately knew what was wrong.

Somehow, I was able to drive home, about 3 miles away.  After 20 minutes of icing, we loaded the baseball gear into my wife’s car, and headed off to the game.  I made it through the whole game with ice on-and-off in 20 minute steps.  After the game I went to a nearby medical clinic.  The doctor examined my achilles and proclaimed that he was fairly certain it was ruptured, but I needed to go see an Orthopedist, so he wanted me to go to the emergency room.  As he was going to get the nurse to wheel me out, he said one of the most memorable lines, “Make your self comfortable while you wait for the nurse, because it is going to be a long time before you are comfortable again.”

My wife and kids were very patient as we left the medical clinic and headed over to the hospital.  Fortunately, I didn’t have to wait in the emergency room for long.  Maybe 10 minutes before heading in back.  Basically, the same experience as the medical clinic.  “We don’t have an orthopedist on hand, but it looks like you have a rupture.”  The doctor in the emergency room splinted my ankle and gave me some crutches (I had thrown my last pair away less than a year ago).

 I slept alright that night, all things considered.

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