Jacob Rice

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I never heard of Compartment Syndrome until my first cousin, Bailey Cartwright, was diagnosed with bilateral compartment syndrome in August of 2017. A year later I began training in the summer for my upcoming fitness tests for my Sophomore Soccer Season with Malone University. I started running multiple miles per day on the track, asphalt, and treadmill. I started to feel a pain in my legs near my calves and shins. I thought I was just getting shin splints from running a lot. I didn’t run in proper running shoes, so I thought getting a pair of running shoes would help. My mom bought me a pair of Brooks’ and about 2 weeks later the pain was getting worse. The day I figured it was not just shin splints is when I was running on the treadmill and my legs went completely numb. I thought how ironic would it be if my cousin and I both had compartment syndrome a year apart. I never would’ve thought I had compartment syndrome if it wasn’t for Bailey having it before. I told my girlfriend and my family that I thought I may have compartment syndrome and they thought I was overreacting just because Bailey had it. Well, one day before move in day I went to the doctor to get it checked and from there we set up an appointment for the pressure test the next day. While my team moved into to school, I had the pressure test. My numbers were already so high at rest, the doctors told me I needed surgery. Surgery was set up for a week later, so I went to preseason for 4 days before coming back home for surgery. I had surgery August 16, 2018 which was almost exactly a year (363 days) after Bailey’s...weird. (Oh yeah, it’s NOT genetic, as far as we know). Surgery went well, 2 incisions on both legs and I missed my sophomore season. After playing so much my freshman year this was toughest thing I had to go through, mentally. As an injured person, you feel that your role on the team becomes less significant. The coaches are more worried about the players who can perform and you are just along for the ride. I started to feel like I was more a team manager than a player on the team. I wouldn’t wish a season ending injury on anyone. My family and girlfriend gave me a lot of support for recovery. Some days were worse than others. Not being able to practice or play can really kill an athletes mindset. The injury can ruin a career if you don’t have the mindset to come back better than you left it. I am back to full training now, and at times I find my legs still bother me. I think it is something that I will deal with for the rest of my playing days. As for my scars, they tell a story of irony and struggle. The scars won’t leave a bad memory, but a memory of recovery and strength. This injury is just a bump in the road, not a dead end.  

Bailey Cartwright