Column: Just one more step…


Band photo

Photo of Elise Guerra during a band competition

Elise Guerra, Feature Editor

Something’s not right.

I can feel my bones shrivel against one another as the cold breeze licks against my sun-kissed skin. I turn around and I watch the clock laugh in my face, slowly ticking down. Getting seconds closer to something that I know I’ll regret for the rest of the night.

As I walk onto the field, I start losing track of reality and listen to Can’t Hold Us play on repeat in my ears. Tears are hanging onto my chocolate colored lashes and my screams are scratching against my throat.

I hear the word “Set!” echo across the field and I fall down to my knees, but this wouldn’t be the first time. As the show continues, time slows down by hours and I slowly feel the limp getting stronger. My heels bang against the frozen turf at uneven times, my voice cracking each time I take a step on my left knee.

Tears are streaming down my face the entire show, and I feel the pain start to course up through my muscles. I’m in pain, but as they say, the show must always go on.

Nearly eight minutes pass, the show’s over and I’m leaned over into a lunge to the left. My knee is growling at me to get off the field. As I’m sniffling, I watch the faces in front of me quickly turn around, knowing exactly what’s going on.

“Get me off the field, get me off the field,” I yell over and over as I slowly sink to that same frozen turf. I feel my instrument get taken out of my hands and 9 faces are looking at me asking if I’m okay.

I feel warm hands wrap around my bicep, pulling me up from the pits of aching pain. I’m forced to walk against my will and I don’t even make it 10 yards before I start screaming again and fall down like an anchor in the ocean.

“Jump on my back.”

I can’t. I can’t walk. I can’t breathe. I can’t see. Just get me off the field, please.

My director demands that I lay down on the ground and as I fall flat, I feel my tears dance down my snowy white cheeks.
I’ve been to doctors multiple times, each time to be told “We don’t know what’s wrong with you.” Hearing those 7 words every single doctor’s appointment, your spirit slowly chips away more and more.

You convince yourself that you’ll never get better, how is a girl with internally rotated hips supposed to march right? Imagine living your entire life in pain, knee braces, ice, crutches, and never being able to figure out exactly why you are the way you are.
Teachers and directors thinking that I’m overdramatic at first but eventually coming to terms that sometimes my knees decide to fail me and watch me cry just one more football game.

Constantly getting asked the same question over and over, “What’s wrong with you?”

How am I supposed to know if a doctor doesn’t know either?