Living with bad knees

Emily Byrum, Photo Editor

It all started last year. In October I had a minor knee surgery just to find out I would need a more invasive one later on, we just didn’t know how much later.

I was put on the transplant list for an Osteochondral Allograft which is where they use cadaver cartilage and transplant it into a person who needs it. To determine if the donor was a good fit for me, they had to look at my CT scan and see if it would fit, they also had to make sure the donor’s cartilage was viable and had no diseases.

For what felt like an eternity, we waited and waited for that call. On Monday August 12th, my mom got the call that changed my life. We went out to dinner that night and she gave me a card, and inside that card there was 2 pieces of paper. The top one said “Open 1st”, so I opened that, and my face lit up, it was a picture of knee cartilage, that’s when I knew I was having my surgery. The next paper said “Open 2nd”, and it was my hospital paper with my surgery date and information on what I needed to do to prepare for surgery.

The next day I went to school and I told my counselor, and my teachers that I would be out for at least a couple weeks due to having surgery. All of my teachers were very supportive and said that they would work with me and I would be able to work from home.

When I come to school, I come in my wheelchair because I am non-weight bearing on my left leg. I am hoping that I will be walking by October, which is the very earliest my surgeon will release me. I also use crutches when I am at home or getting in and out of stores and restaurants.

While at school, I receive nothing but support from my teachers, classmates, and random peers and staff in the halls. Everyone likes to make sure I am okay, and I have even had people stop me in the halls to make sure I didn’t need any help.

I am now almost a month post op, and I still don’t attend school on a regular basis. I come to 4B when I can, but it is really hard to juggle everything. I have to make sure I have a ride to school and a ride home from school. I also have to work around my physical therapy appointments.

When I go out in public, I get some weird looks from both kids and adults. I think my favorite moment was at therapy last week when this little boy looked at my leg and then at his mom and said “Mommy look at that woman’s knee”, his mom responded with “ Honey, she had knee surgery, which means therapy is going to hurt today”. Yes, indeed therapy did hurt that day, but I push through because I know it is going to help.

Have you ever had surgery?

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