A Torn ACL and All I Got Was This Lousy Story

Like all my major injuries, the story that goes along with it sucks.

I was getting kids off a lift and when I turned to help the one on my left, the other one’s ski went under mine and swiped my leg out from underneath me. I felt a little silly about the entire thing until I found three other instructors who did the same thing the same way. I will say this for myself, I got those kids down the mountain and none of them had any idea I was injured. I did, however, ignore all requests to cut through trees and hit bumps. For one run, I was the boring instructor.

I ignored all requests to cut through trees and hit bumps. For one run, I was the boring instructor.

Luckily it was the end of the day and I was able to drive myself to the doctor down the road. With little swelling and not a lot pain, I figured I’d get off easy with a few weeks off and a charge to take it easy. (Aside: Can someone tell the government about copy machines? Because I had to fill out the same information three different times.) The doctor poked and prodded me, asking if it hurt, and I proudly said no.

When he told me I tore my ACL and would need surgery is when the tears fell. (Another aside: There’s no shame in a skier crying when she’s told her season is over.) It took three doctors, a physical therapist, and, honestly, them cutting into my knee and taking pictures of the empty hole for me to believe it. When I told the nurse I wasn’t in that much pain, she said, “Maybe you have a high tolerance for pain.” But I assured her that doesn’t sound like me.

They didn’t even do an MRI because a doctor in a ski town has seen a torn ACL a time or two and can feel it out.

While I didn’t have a lot of pain, I did have a knee that couldn’t support me well, didn’t hardly bend, and wouldn’t straighten. The injury came with the tell-tale pop that I felt more than heard. The fact that I wasn’t in a whole lot of pain was both a blessing and a curse. It meant that I hadn’t torn the meniscus along with it but I had torn the ACL completely from the bone. (Weird medical fact: The ACL doesn’t have pain receptors.)

However, next week is surgery and I’m told that’ll hurt a little.

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