Since the 3rd grade I’ve had knee problems. My diagnosis? An unstable kneecap. Nothing fancy like Tibia Shifting or Meniscal Lateral Movement, I simply had an unstable kneecap. This meant that my knee cap could pop out of its socket whenever it felt like it, and it did. It all started in the 3rd grade when I was on the dance team. I was rehearsing at my coach’s house with two other dance-mates of mine. I went to go for a spin and BOOM! There it went. Everything fell silent and I of course fell to the ground. Next all I heard, outside of me screaming, was “Alexis, are you ok?” “Alexis, what happened?” It was said so much that it sounded as if it was on a record player. That pain was excruciating and my scream was unbearable. After that day though, it became normal for my kneecap to dislocate. Sometimes partially, most of the time fully. In 5th grade I fell in love with the game of basketball and it got worse. It followed me all the way into high school.
You would think someone that has had multiple, painful occurrences like me would eventually go to a doctor, well I did. But not one doctor wanted to operate on me because I was “too young”. I’m not going to name any names (Dr. Ellis, Dr. Bauscher, and Dr. Jacks) but to me that was bullshit. They basically told me you’re just going to have to go through this until you’re 18. I needed someone new, someone that could tell me what I wanted to hear. That’s when I met Dr. Carter.
He worked at Norton Orthopedic Specialists and told everything I wanted to hear in one sentence. “We’re going to have to do surgery, when do you want to do it?” So I said, “Tomorrow?” Of course that didn’t happen, but it at least I knew it would be soon. So he told me what he was going to do, which was a Tibial Tubercle Osteotomy with a MPFL Reconstruction. This was to be done at 6 in the morning. That part got me a little bit. I had about 5 seconds of paralysis, but I eventually came to. I was right about it being soon. As soon as February 15, 2012.
The night before. There were so many emotions flowing through my body and so many thoughts dancing in my head. Anxiety, denial, excitement, impatience just to name a few out of like five thousand. I had this huge packet that had instructions for me to follow on it. It said things like I couldn’t eat after 12 and I had to take a shower the night before with this yellowish soap that acted as colored water because it didn’t create bubbles or anything, it was just there. All I could think about in that shower was what kind of soap doesn’t fizz up? After my shower the instruction said to go lay clean sheets on the bed, put clean pajamas on, and then without actually saying it, it said take my ass to bed. So, I didn’t. I’m such a rebel. I also ate until 11:59 just to be a smartass. I’m such a rebel. When I finally layed down I unexpectedly slept like a baby, after 5 hours of just sitting there thinking. Thinking about what life would be like if something goes wrong? You really thought it was going to be that easy to go to sleep?
After getting about 1 hour of sleep, my mom awoke me at 4 to continue on with the instructions from the 10 page instruction packet. I had to take a second shower with that awful soap and then get dressed to go to the hospital. I barely blinked on our way there. My mom didn’t say a word either, we just rode in silence. No radio, no phone calls, nothing. Just complete and utter silence.
When we got there I had to check in with a lady at the front desk. She asked for so much information you would have thought I had never scheduled for a surgery ahead of time. She asked for my age, my name, my SSN, my blood type, if I peed that morning, if I had any pets, if my pets were sleep, if I loved goats. Well maybe not the goat part, or the pet part but it…