It finally happened. I finally had the surgery after weeks of postponement. Everything seemed so God-ordained, down to my actual surgeon laying hands on my knee and praying for me right before the procedure began.

For those that don’t know what’s been going on the past ~2 years, let me catch you up to speed: in late 2021, I initially injured my knee while running during one of my practices. Then five days later, I was involved in a car accident where my old car got completely totaled. My MRI back in Georgia showed that I had a moderate to severe knee contusion, so the next step was to immediately throw me into physical therapy to see if my knee would heal itself. A few weeks of physical therapy turned into several months which turned into slightly under a year before I found myself moving to Texas. Once I got settled in Texas, I decided to go get a second (which turned into a third) opinion from another doctor- that new opinion/MRI showed that I actually had a fracture of my femoral condyle of my knee. Something far greater than just a knee contusion.

We had a “mini” procedure called a knee scope back in December 2022, right before Christmas time when I was finally settled in Texas. That knee scope removed some of the bad cartilage I had floating around in my knee but didn’t solve the full issue. My second surgery was initially planned for early February with doctor #1, but he canceled at the last minute “due to my age and activity level” and wanted to see if a more conservative approach, such as using crutches for the next six weeks, would help my condition. I didn’t fully understand his decision, so I went to go get a third opinion from another doctor- this would be the doctor that successfully completed my surgery just last week. God also spoke to me on why He allowed the surgery to be postponed… in a nutshell, I was too hyper-focused on the outcome and almost made the surgery itself my “savior.” Although this was a massive decision, God didn’t want me to forget that it’s Him that ultimately saves me and heals me. I shouldn’t have to look at an opportunity as a saving grace that’s higher than Him ever.

This third opinion doctor mentioned that crutches this late in the game wouldn’t help or hurt my injury and that we had two options- either to continue on with physical therapy or to pull the plug on the surgery. Now, I can be a pretty indecisive person. I even tried to make my surgeon tell me which decision he thought I should make, but he was pretty 50/50 on the issue and wanted me to make the decision ultimately. As a natural worrier, I worried if either decision would be right for me as this was going to be a big surgery that could have an impact on my return to the sport in the future. I prayed about it, I cried about it, I reasoned about it with friends. But ultimately I chose to pull the plug on the surgery for one main reason – ‘I can’t sprint with a “pothole” in a critical condition of my knee.’

My doctor left me with that quote during one of our last appointments and it cycled through my headspace for days. Physical therapy obviously only helped to an extent as my knee was still unstable and weak after all this time. Surgery was a big jump but I think I hesitated on it for so long because of the risk. The risk of making the wrong decision and the risk of messing up my knee even further. But then I kept going back to the central thought of how I can’t run with a pothole (a part of my knee where I had cartilage missing). Surgery was the only way to see if I can get back to “normal” in due time.

This Friday will make it one week since I’ve had the procedure. I’m on crutches for the next ~6 weeks and then my actual recovery will just depend on how my body responds- probably 6-9 months or so. But it’ll probably take close to one full year before I’m up and training again like normal. The time off that I’ve had so far has been great. It’s really been teaching me to show myself grace and to slow down as I don’t have to be on any type of working schedule for the next several weeks. I have my mom with me for the first week and then my dad with me for the second week, and man, have I needed the extra support that’s come from them. I’m very blessed to have both parents in my life and for them to take the time and finances out of their schedule to come fly to see their child post-op.

By the grace of God, my pain has been little to none thus far. I’ve just had some discomfort with my knee brace and sleeping position every now and then as I’m not used to sleeping on my back as often. I’ve joked with my mom how my leg looks pregnant with how swollen my calf muscle and foot has become but that’s all normal post-op.

The real test begins next week when I resume physical therapy. Will it be painful? Will I progress like normal? A lot of questions swarm through my head as the main reason why I opted to have the surgery is due to how badly I want to make a return to track and field. But I know I have a long road to go down and rushing through it will only produce setbacks. I love my team, my surgeon and my physical therapist, and know they have my best interest in hand with how I want to get back to the competitive stage in the future. But for now, I have to enjoy this stillness, this pause, that I have in life as I would normally be stressed out with work and have no energy to type all of this out mid-week.

Regardless of how things turn out, I think I’ll look back on this decision years down the road and won’t regret it. Here’s to a peace-filled, speedy recovery.

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