6 months to the day of B’s MPFL reconstruction surgery, she officially was cleared to return to the game she loves so much. Last Tuesday was B’s big Ortho appointment for her final surgical follow-up at the IWK. Her surgeon was very impressed by her recovery and by her determination. Her right knee is tracking perfectly and her strength has improved significantly since her last appointment in August. He had no problem with giving her the green light, although he did have an issue with how tall she is getting. 5″8 at 14. He has been “fixing” her since she was 6 and she seems to grow a foot taller every time he sees her. She’s grown so much over the summer that she needed much larger shin pads and her old chest protector fit like a sports bra. She will still have ongoing physiotherapy and will continue to go every three weeks to the IWK for therapy plus her daily exercises continue at home for the not so near future. She still has a lot of work to do to get her quad functioning optimally. In other news, x-rays showed that she does not in fact have scoliosis, The doctors are puzzled as to why she has a positive result with the Adam’s forward bend test and the other screening factors they use for scoliosis. We do know that her hips are very weak and her core is having a hard time holding her top half upward, so for now, they are deeming it a side effect of her hyper-mobility and are incorporating core strengthening into her physio to see if that helps line things up. When we left the appointment, I don’t think I could wipe her ear to ear grin off if I tried.
Since being cleared, she has been to numerous practices, played 2 league games and has done really well. During her first game she got her first assist of the season, well, technically it was two but apparently when she hit the puck it bounced off the goalie before her teammate scored, so it didn’t count as an assist although in the mom’s rules of hockey, it totally counted! She has also finally been able to participate with her high school team just 1 practice so far and 1 game yesterday, I know she has a lot of pride playing for her school. She didn’t think that would ever be a possibility. I told B before the game to be cautious, after all , her high school team is a lot different than her league, In the league, she is a Bantam A, meaning the girls on her team are 13-14 yrs old only and for the most part are equal in skill level. Her high school team is a lot different, where the girls are anywhere from 14-17 and the skill level is mixed. B’s team has girls that play midget triple A to girls who have never played before and everything in between.. and where B is the tallest on her league team, 17 year old girls can be huge in full gear! Do you think my fragile post op child listened to her mom? not in the very least! My child went from racing to the boards battling for the puck to being right in front of the net being shoved from the Defense and loved every moment of it despite my poor nerves. Her team lost her first game, but honestly, it was wonderful to watch. The girls from both teams were pretty evenly matched, there was no dirty plays, no aggressiveness that seems to be at play during her league games, the refs were fair, (only 1 minor tripping penalty for the other team) and the girls seemed to be having fun playing the game. The girls battled to the end but with a few lucky bounces the other team was victorious, yet, both teams left the dressing room smiling and laughing. B’s high school coach greeted and congratulated each girl on a great game as they left. Win or lose this is really what this whole hockey thing should be about.
We are now in the thick of hockey season. Cold weather, cold suppers and colder rinks are our daily routine. Now that B is fully back on the ice, we are all in hockey mode although two hockey teams this year is a lot of adjustment. B seems to be keeping things in stride but I’m having a more difficult time keeping up. I’m pooped already! I find it is always a huge deal for me to adjust to the cold after a warm summer but the rinks are crazy cold and it really hurts! Driving to and from practice or a game takes a lot out of me lately and I really don’t have a lot of time to recover before I have to go again. I’ll survive. I always do and as long as my bendy little B is happy and healthy playing her game I’ll be arriving at the rink with a smile.