July 15, 2010

Self-Imposed Torture

Sometimes, when I want to torture myself, get all teared up and feel particularly sorry for myself, I go back and read what I wrote when I announced to the blog world that I was finally a black belt. I feel so far from the person I was on that day, just a little over a year ago. It feels like I'll never be back there sometimes.

I'm having surgery again in less than a week to remove the tibia screw and repair the atrophied tissue in my leg. Although my insurance will pay for the surgery itself, they won't pay for a crucial piece of the puzzle, the alloderm that the doctor plans on using to create tissue between my skin and bone, tissue that disappeared after a cortisone shot about 25 months ago. The alloderm is the most expensive part of the surgery.

In October, it will be three years since the initial injury to my knee. In my head, I know that there are people out there dealing with many things worse than my stupid knee. There are people with cancer, and people with injuries that have taken away their ability to ever walk. I feel silly feeling so sorry for myself, but it's no lie that my life has not been the same since the injury. It's hard not to feel a little bit sorry for myself.

It's especially hard when, through no fault of your own, you're stuck with a protruding screw (a problem less than 3% of patients deal with) and tissue atrophy from a cortisone shot (something less than 1% of people experience). I have bad luck sometimes. I accept that. But this is some seriously craptastic luck.

I've had people tell me to get a lawyer for years. Maybe it's the fault of the screw manufacturer. Maybe I never should have received that cortisone shot. I did everything I was supposed to do, and still I'm facing another surgery. I don't know how I feel about trying to blame someone else for this situation, but I'm positive it's in no way my fault. It's hard not to blame someone else. I didn't do this to myself and I don't deserve this.

Throughout the years of this injury, I've had many highs and lows. Today was definitely a low and I told Mr. BBM tonight that I've crawled back into that mental dark hole in the ground and am staying there for the time being. Let him deal with the insurance company. Right now, I'm useless, reduced to a heap of tears with even the hint of an annoyed sigh on the other end of the phone. That's not normally me, but it's me for now.

I miss my family at the dojo so incredibly much and being around them this past weekend, to watch some of my friends test, and for womens self defense training, can only be described as bittersweet. Everyone wants to know why I'm not in my gi, and I'm starting to feel like a broken record when it comes to my knee.

I'm not a complainer. I'm not someone who thrives on attention from injuries. I'd rather blend into the background and just learn something new or have a mental break-through on a kata. I'm hoping that next week I'll be on my way to being myself again. Without karate, I'm just not me.

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