So a few days has passed since my visit to the doctors and I’ve received a lot of encouragement from friends and team mates. To be honest, when I blogged about the verdict on my knee and the operation, I have to be honest and say that I knew to anticipate it and knew in the back of my mind that the knee would need surgery to repair the damage.

The only reason why I was slightly bummed out by it was simply because I know I will miss some games in the cup and I’ve worked hard to get myself in shape. The team also looks good and composed and we’ve had a series of good training sessions, so from that point of view, it’s tough to sit out.

However, I know that the operation will fix a problem that has hampered my performance for the past three years. I guess you could say that I’m going through some sort of analysis or stages of things. Alcoholics have their steps to recovery and if I go by their scale, I’m now on step called anger.

Why am I angry? I’m angered by the treatment that I have received up until now. From the early onset when I described my symptoms and the pain that I felt, the doctor I’m seeing now has been able to tell me what the likely cause is and treat it properly.

When I first sustained the injury I was taken to the Bristol A&E (Emergency department for any Americans) where the knee was examined and X-rayed. Despite being in so much pain that I was on gas and morphine at the time and not being able to bear weight on the leg or bend it, as the X-ray didn’t show a break or a fracture, I was sent home with a shrug of the shoulders and given a diagnosis of ‘ligaments’ and told to stay off the leg for 6 weeks.

Despite having a good remainder of the season that year, I never fully recovered. The season after that was plagued by the injury and every stride that I took felt like someone was twisting a knife in the knee.

However, training hard for last season I was able to regain some form and felt that the knee had finally settled.

Between these seasons, particularly the 08 summer cup, I went to see a ‘specialist’ at an NHS clinic where my knee was scanned but nothing was seen. Though it turned out that the ‘doctor’ was a physio therapist rather than an orthopaedic specialist. Don’t get me wrong, I have nothing but respect and admiration for physio therapists. They were able to provide some form of pain alleviation when I was at my worst and have treated many of my other ailments.

However, to make a long story short, the diagnosis that I got from the ‘doctors’ was that the pain was all in my head and I was imagining most of it. So in space of a year I had gone from having an injury to a crazy person. The treatment was a course of painkillers, which only got stronger and stronger as time went on. I’m honestly surprised that I have not gotten addicted to any of the medications I have been on, as most have warning labels stating that can cause addiction.

So the reason why I’m angry is that it seems that doing things through public healthcare is a nightmare, unless you have been involved in a serious accident or have another acute health problem. I have to admit that when I had to get my appendix removed, the service I got was first class.

But it is frustrating, when if your condition is not serious or has something to do with a joint, you are overlooked. Understandably joints are difficult to diagnose, the knee in particular, but if a patient keeps coming back frequently and with same symptoms you would expect that the problem would be properly looked into, but no.

I wonder how well I would’ve played and trained had the knee been treated properly the first time around, but because of it, I have lost three years of playing at my sharpest edge.

In either case, I’m happy that it is going to be treated and I look forward to hitting the ice once it has healed. Who knows, maybe it will re-invigorate my play like it Teemu Selanne’s after the lock out.

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