05 January 2008

Remembering, Reuniting with Crutches

Take a seat for a second, I want to share with you what I learned in the scriptures. December 12, I was in the emergency room with a knee injury. One-hour prior I was playing co-ed soccer and turned too sharp and tore some ligaments. I heard the popping noise as I fell to the ground. It was interesting because I couldn’t seem to jump up as fast as I have always done, in fact the only other time I couldn’t get up was when I dislocated my left ankle playing soccer May 2004.

So here I was again being carried off the field. A couple minutes passed, I watched the game considering “walking it off” and getting back in but it just didn’t feel right. I figured I’d better head home and get it checked out. So I drove home as the pain increased, I grabbed a book of Mormon for the waiting room and my dad. This felt too familiar but this time I was more emotionally prepared.

The doctor that examined me took note of my own diagnosis and started to bend my knee, which honestly wasn’t that painful at which point I am sure the doctor was considering me some kind of “can’t hack it girl”, I guess medical terminology for that word would be a hypochondriac. I had more degrees of mobility than the normal ER knee injury. I don’t know the sign and symptoms of a torn ACL but I just decided that is what I had done. So they schedule an MRI for the next day.

The procedure takes close to 35 minutes, so the technician offered me headphone connected to the radio and that seemed to make me more nervous than the MRI results. A few days later I met with my sports doctor who was actually in Switzerland with the U.S. ski team. Even without him there I felt safe. His nurse assistant came in and read over the results of the MRI at which point she turned away from the computer toward me and with the saddest eyes said “I am so sorry” Which basically means I tore everything. Tears filled my eyes as that vocalized truth was confirmed to my own personal thoughts and feelings. She sent for another doctor to discuss options or surgery and review in more depth the results.

He was great and was very informative. I asked him about people that return to sports without surgery. He said that they is a strong small percent (33%) that amazingly bounce back with no problem, the other 33 % percent may have trouble walking without surgery and the last 33% are just able to mend and go back to sports.

He started to stretch and move my knee. He was examining for swollenness, pain, rang of immobility and wasn’t finding any of those things. He would occasionally ask “Are you sure this doesn’t hurt?”

After 5 minutes he declared “ this is odd because all the signs of a torn ACL are not found in your symptoms except the MRI. You didn’t tear your ACL 5 days ago; you only tore your meniscus 5 days ago. You must have had to have torn it long ago and because you didn’t have an ACL 5 days ago that is why you tore your unsupported ligaments. Tell me Jenny, it’s probably been awhile since you played soccer, how often did you play soccer in the mission field?”

“Almost every Wednesday, or P-day” I replied. He continued by telling me it was an accident waiting to happen. He couldn’t believe I didn’t tear my ACL on my mission. It seemed immediately the tears that once filled my eyes were now seaming down my face. 2 percent because of surgery and the other 98% because of Doctrine and Covenants section 82 verse 10: I, the Lord, am abound when ye do what I say; but when ye do not what I say, ye have no promise.

I pictured President Buttars testifying that to me at that moment and also as I reflected on three different occasions why I was so tempted to participant in a proselyte game. I am sure sister Edmunds or Sister Reid could attest to the times I verbally said “I wish I could play” If I would have disregarded that rule, I would not have been bound to the Lord. I wouldn’t of even have been bound to my mission President. The white handbook is the term and agreements I signed to when I sent my acceptance letter to President Hinckley. That is a higher law of God’s commandments to keep us safe and when we are obedient to those, the Lord is bound to us, by his own words that are flooding the earth. It is simply another occasion for the Lord to open the windows of heaven, the personal blessings or tender mercies if you will, are apparent in obedience. In my case, the blessing was the fulfillment of a full-time mission for the Lord. D&C 82:10 has brought me a step closer to my Father in Heaven even if it consists of reconstructive surgery.