What started off as a usual adult volleyball tournament ended as an unforgettable tournament for me.
I’ve heard of athletes telling stories of out-of-body experiences when they’ve excelled at an athletic skill during competition, or the feeling of time standing still; like when a football player runs for a 100-yard touchdown— it’s almost as if he sees himself from the bleachers, or has a bird’s eye view of the moment and he can hit pause to relish the victory of that achievement.
** This post is about Kimberly’s experience with Orthopedic & Sports Medicine Specialists and was sponsored by them.**
My very own out-of-body experience happened during this unforgettable volleyball tournament, as a 32-year-old player. While turning towards a pass from my teammate that I was intending to shoot-set to my left side hitter, I felt someone throw a bowling ball at the back of my leg, down near my heel. I was so confused; why would someone want to distract me from the set?
Time stood still after the thump from the bowling ball sound ricocheted around my body and head. The volleyball my teammate sent me floated by, and went straight into the net, then plunked onto the court. As I turned to see who had played the terrible joke of bringing a bowling ball to a volleyball tournament, I began experiencing a terrible fire-hot sensation in my lower leg…and, of course (you know this already), there was no bowling ball to be seen anywhere.
Coming back from that out-of-body experience to the present, I realized something was definitely not right. I sat down in the middle of the court, and simply said to my onlooking teammates, “I think I just broke myself.” Boy did I ever. I ruptured my Achilles tendon— I hadn’t jumped sky high or landed with immense force; I simply moved towards a pass from a teammate and my Achilles tendon snapped in two.
Luckily, there was an athletic trainer at the tournament who recommended I call Orthopedic & Sports Medicine Specialists immediately to get my injury looked at. Aside from a few sprained ankles, I’d never had any major injuries before, so when I met with Dr. Enright at OSMS, he assured me that with surgery, and some physical therapy, I’d be back to playing volleyball again in no time.
When I met with Dr. Enright for my consult, he laid out my options for recovery, allowing me time to ask questions, and he didn’t pressure me to take one direction over the other. I remember feeling really comfortable with his expertise and I was extremely grateful that I went to OSMS, because Dr. Enright talked with me about my lifestyle and how the injury could impact my activity levels (and for how long), depending on how I wanted to proceed.
In the end, I opted for a surgical repair of my Achilles tendon. It wasn’t an easy recovery, but never did I feel surprised by anything I experienced during my recovery. The team at OSMS was so helpful, and I felt so well prepared by them, that when I pressed on, healing just like I was told I would, it was such a relief that I was referred there, to begin with. I didn’t have to bounce around to different buildings; everything was taken care of right at OSMS.
My many check-up and follow-up care appointments were always informative and positive— it felt like I had a personal cheering section when I graduated to a lower lift in my boot (that’s shop talk for Achilles repair people, lol). Going to those appointments was such a motivational experience, and the team at OSMS helped me see that while my injury put a few things in my life on hold, that’s all it was— it was temporary. Injuries are awful, don’t get me wrong, but the biggest battle oftentimes is the battle going on in one’s mind. The team at OSMS addressed this, and their positivity was contagious.
Now, many years later, when you see me on the volleyball court, you’ll see a tattoo over my surgery scar. I decided to decorate the scar to represent something that was both painful and beautiful at the same time. Opting for the surgery was the best choice for me, and I am lucky to have experienced it at OSMS with Dr. Enright and his team. The pain was temporary, the memory of it all is forever and I don’t regret a thing. I feel as though I’ve made a full recovery and haven’t looked back since.
If you injure yourself and need help quickly, OSMS also has an Acute Injury Clinic where you can go without an appointment.