Life has a funny way of bringing everything you do to a screeching halt.
On Sunday, October 7, 2018, I was scheduled to work with my buddy Travis Knaggs and his moving company WeHaul Moving and Services. Travis is a fellow entrepreneur friend that I’ve known for a decade so when he decided to start his business, I was glad to help.
Sunday was an ordinary day of work. A simple job moving furniture from a house to a storage unit. Nothing hard about that. But when I started the job, about two hours into the job, my knee began to swell immensely.
Dude, you better be lucky you’ve got me on this job with you today. My knee feels like it’s gonna give out or something.
I didn’t know what was wrong with me but I know my body pretty damn well and I knew that this swelling in my left knee was abnormal. But I knew the type of pain that I could withstand. After we finished the job (about ten hours later) I came home hobbling. I could barely walk into my house. I had never felt this kind of pain in my life.
But I didn’t think much of it. I figured I must’ve tweaked something pretty damn bad.
Monday morning I woke up in excruciating pain. Icing and some Aleve pills that day didn’t ease the pain. I was in so much pain that I called on someone for crutches. By Tuesday, the pain had worsened. At this point I was at a level ten pain and I couldn’t understand why. I made a doctor’s appointment for Wednesday to see what the hell was going on with my knee. The pain was so intense that I couldn’t form a thought about anything other than that of pain.
My left knee had swelled up to the size of two 16” softballs. My left calf muscle was the size of an offensive lineman’s. My foot had swelled up to cartoon status. Once I was in the doctor's office they assumed I had Gout and wanted to send me to surgery to have the infection cleaned out. As well as their intentions sounded, I was not having surgery after no prior tests had been done on my knee. They drained fluid but at that point, they didn’t even have results as to what was wrong with me.
Even in my delirious state of pain, I asked the doctor (who was so sure of himself about his instant prognosis on my leg) on his assuring of me having Gout. His response was that of I’ve seen this enough times to know.
Sorry bud. You’re not cutting me open for surgery with that sort of answer.
So I asked to be sent home with some pain medication and a remedy to make this better.
So when I woke up Thursday morning, I felt slightly better. I finally got a decent night sleep but my leg wasn’t improving. The fact that I got sleep and wasn’t constantly thinking about my pain was a huge relief for me. But by Sunday, October 14, my situation had not changed when it came to the size of my leg and the amount of movement in my leg.
Yes, I’m popping pills and that takes away the pain but I still can’t walk and I’m beginning to worry about the size of my leg not going down. On Monday, I called in to the doctor to get the results from the fluid that was drained from my knee.
I was told to come in, get an X-Ray, get blood drawn and wait patiently. After the wait, I was told that by Dr. Halverson that I needed to go to the ER because I had an infection that was in my knee. Dr. Halverson explained it in great detail and made my decision an easy one. Once I got to the ER and was hooked up to IVs and such, I met another awesome doctor by the name of Dr. Schicker. He performed the first surgery to clean out my knee and then Dr. Cipriano completed the second surgery clean out.
These three doctors were AMAZING. I can’t say enough about them. They were thorough when it came to explaining things to me. They went over the procedure that was to occur and there weren’t any grey areas of confusion when it came to explanations from the doctor to the patient.
I was in the hospital for a solid week for a septic knee. Admitted on Mon, Oct 15 and released Mon, Oct 22. It was the longest week of my life.
The funniest thing about this whole situation is how fast my life came to a screeching halt because of this infection in my knee. I was going along working my business, working at the school for their after school program, I was helping Travis and his moving company, I was doing it all. Go, go, go. Do, do, do.
But this infection that stopped me in my tracks on Oct 7 was something that halted all of that. I was forced to stop working for Travis and the after school program. My production for my business temporarily went down because it’s a challenge getting things done when it took ten minutes just to walk from the living room to the kitchen.
Life halted my work. And there was nothing I could do about it.
I’ve realized that this was something that was supposed to happen to me. I had a conversation with God earlier in the year about me devoting too much of my time to other people and not enough to my business. While helping Travis this summer was a great experience for me along with it being great help for him, my business sputtered to get off the ground.
While it’s good that I was in the community and a part of the after school program at the local grade school, again, my business was taking a backseat to everyone else.
So now that I barely can walk and I’m strictly at home, I have nothing but time to work solely on my business. I seek the opportunity and I’m going to beast out with it.
This is the reason why having a strong mindset and the proper focus is imperative. Most people would look at my situation and have the “why me” attitude. Most people would have the victim mindset and their focus would be on the negative aspects of this situation. Of course what happened to me sucks but guess what, I’m too busy capitalizing on what doesn’t suck and that’s me making the best of a hard situation.
This is the stuff that most people cannot handle when they come into the field of entrepreneurialism. The unknown. The ugly. The stuff that makes people quit and say, I don’t want to do this anymore. I want the easy route.
My mindset prior to this incident had saved me from myself. Had I not had a winning mindset and wasn’t such a hard worker and goal oriented, I would've condemned this situation to a “why me”, pity party, victim situation.
My mindset was solid. I’m a winner. I’m tenacious and I don’t stop at anything. I’m relentless when it comes to succeeding and I’m hyper focused on how to succeed every damn day.
This life altering event is something that definitely slowed me down. But the key is that it hasn’t knocked me off the tracks.
And it never will.