You are on page 1of 4

Michael Tripp FYC- Narrative Essay Gold Standard August 30, 2010 Walking through our campus, anyone that

has seen me would notice very few things. Maybe a passerby would notice that I had chosen to wear my flip flops that make too much noise or that I look sleepy from a lack of sleep from the weekend. Those few details can be seen in any college-aged teenager around the United States however. Now what if I had a permanent limp or were confined to a wheel chair? On September 17, 2007 being crippled started to become reality. On that fated night, I was on skates at the ice arena in my hometown of Rochester playing hockey. The game grew intense and heated as the last three minutes were winding down and the score remained tied. Adrenaline was pumping through my ice cold veins as I intercepted a pass off the other team and sprinted in a flurry toward the opposing team’s net. “No one could catch me. I am in better shape than anyone here”, I told myself. I was becoming an upcoming star in cross-country and track at the same time as playing hockey. The double practices everyday had built my endurance and speed to incredible levels. I was looking forward to college recruiting as coaches were already trying to contact me. That year was to be my year to shine and make something of myself. My potential was still untapped and with the amount of hard, grueling work I was already putting in that season, the results were to be unmatched for any sophomore in the nation. I was not on the map yet, but I was going to be. My body felt the strong resistance of the wind as the ice crunched under the blades of my skates and the net sped into clear view. Only one defender was left, and as I passed him, his knee crunched into my thigh. It felt like a small snag to me, the

adrenaline was too intense. I ripped the puck toward the corner of the net and it went in. As my teammates came to celebrate with me, I collapsed. That day the defender’s knee had broken my pad and sunk deep into the tissue of my right thigh in an illegal move to stop me. Arteries and other blood vessels alike had burst causing internal bleeding to seep blood into and between the muscles in my thigh region. In the coming days, the blood started to solidify and the muscles ceased to work as well. My right leg remained at a stand still ten degrees of flexibility. I refused to believe that something was wrong with me because I had so much to gain that year. So, I moved on with my life. It started with simply limping around school, and then it affected larger things. I dragged my leg all three miles of the cross-country races that year with pain on my face, unwilling to let my pride and my team down. Times grew slower drastically causing my hopes and aspirations to be crushed as the reality of the injury sunk in. How would it be to have to be crippled for the rest of your life? I do not think I would even be at this institution because of the depression I would have continued to experience. People face the challenge of being crippled everyday, but luckily I did not have to face this challenge, like many others now, because of the technology we have today. The hematoma I had could not be corrected by surgery. My physical therapist used ultrasound and electrodes at every session to try and break up the stagnant blood in my system. New advances in research technology by the way of enhanced x-rays, MRI’s, CAT scans, and other equipment improve our knowledge in how to deal with situations like mine and many others. The exercises I was told to do are a direct result of those technological advances. The stretch bands kept the resistance even with every

push. The self-weighted squat made sure that, if my right leg failed, my left one could support me. The science put into detecting which muscles were stressed or loosened with certain tugs or pulls on the body was behind each stretch I did. I could have confidence in what I was doing because technology was behind each part. Every second of my life for the next two months was spent on those simple exercises. In class I would find ways to utilize desks, walls, and books to stretch and repeat exercises. I had a new goal in life that I was going to achieve. My ambitions did not stop with simply recovering after learning my life lesson of appreciating my health and body. Now, I am fully active and even on the cross-country and track team here at Notre Dame. I cannot imagine being crippled and now technology has made it so I do not have to. Thousands of people share in the same thankfulness for the advances in medical technology that I do. Cancer survivors, amputees, the paralyzed, those with meningitis, and more can keep their dreams for the future alive because of medical advances. Medical research is now delving into experiments to regenerate body tissue as well as organs with stem cells. More “futuristic” technology seems to be coming out as well, such as mechanical voice boxes and very realistic prosthetic limbs. With each day, more information is being compounded on top of what is already known to transform what were once miracles into the ordinary. An ordinary, which those who have gone through the pain and mental stress of a serious injury or disease, can be appreciated beyond comprehension. Let us go back to September 17, 2007 and the weeks following. Suppose chemical impulses were never harnessed to break up the blood in my leg, even if the benefit was minute. Suppose MRI’s were never invented, so I was not allowed to even

know why my leg would not bend. Suppose health technology was primeval at best. My life would have taken a twist for the worst. My dreams would be crushed. Depression would sink into the depths of my being further with every passing day. Who I was, who I used to be, would be forgotten. I would not have gotten into this university or succeeded in high school. I could not have helped the many people that I have up to this point because the thing attached to my right hip holding me back Life would seem dull and pointless in contrast to what it had been for me. I do not know where I would have gone, or who I could have turned to for help. I would have never met the people I rely on for support today. I am certain that thousands of people who were in my position have thought that exact same thing I did when facing serious injuries. Thankfully, we do have technology to prevent and save those thousands from actually experiencing what their minds once thought they would. The true appreciation for health technology only comes from people that have been saved with it.