Updated: Apr 26, 2018
The time has come. I can finally be done with the colostomy bag. I had planned the surgery around spring break so that I would not miss much more school. The intention was that I would be back to being healthy in time for track season, and I would be healthy enough to go after the school record for shot put and try to make states. The surgery went as planned and I came out seemingly unscathed. However, over the next several hours, which led to days, it became abundantly clear that something had gone wrong. My legs were in severe pain, but the surgery wasn't on my legs, how could it be?Initially, I had been told that it was nothing more than gas from the surgery, and it would pass. After a day or so my right leg was feeling much better but, my left leg was very warm, and swollen.
My mother was able to speak with a different doctor and have him check my leg. Once he ran a short pressure test it was evident that there was something serious going on. It was determined that I had compartment syndrome due to pressure in my leg. They were going to have to go in and, attempt to relieve the pressure before it was too late. Unfortunately, it was too late.
In the early morning hours an emergency page was sent out to the doctor. I was crashing in the ICU. My body had gone into shock, and my leg was dying. I remember hearing them talking around me, the frantic whispers, would they be able to save the leg? Would I pull through? I remember the moment when I heard the words that I may
never be able to play sports again, and I may not have a leg when this is all said and done. I said my goodbyes and I love yous as they rolled me into surgery. The white lights all shining down on me. Nothing but eyes looking down on me. No faces, just mumbled talk. A gently voice says its all going to be ok, just take a deep breath.
Hours later I came to, felt for my leg, it was still there. I thought for a moment that this was all just a nightmare, but reality sunk back in. My leg was bundled up, there were IV's coming out of everywhere. Everything was/is just a blur. I couldn't handle it at that moment, so I laid silent with my eyes closed. Later, I would find out that my heart had briefly paused during the whole ordeal. For the second time in 5 months, I had come close to the edge.
What was I going to do? I was a 17 year old that loved sports, everything about them. I was going to have to buck up and get over it. Over the next few weeks, I had tons of visitors pass through. I felt so loved. i don't remember too many times my mother and father weren't beside me. My brother decked the walls out with St.Pauly Girl posters, and banners galore, posters from friends at school, and one of those big mouth bass mounts sat in the corner. Oh man what a circus, it was awesome. Kept the hospital staff on their toe's thats for sure.
I spent the next eight months learning how to walk on my leg. There was no muscle left on the outside of my leg, the neves, tendons and ligaments either non-existent or not working anymore. My leg was junk.
All of that being said, I want to take a moment and thank everyone that kept me going back then. I could never express how much I have held you all close to my heart for helping me back then & many of you still now.
To the doctor who both saved my leg and my life... without you I wouldn't be here. For all the time you have dedicated to helping people and for the sacrifices you have made, thank you. Without your time and sacrifice I would not be writing this now. You provided me the opportunity to live life. Thank you