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An update I didn’t want to write (UPDATED)

Update: After some choice words for the orthopedist’s office and some complaints to our insurance provider, they finally released the results of Andria’s MRI. She has been diagnosed with a torn ACL and is expected to be sidelined for nine-to-twelve months. She’s going to have a second opinion at some point, but it looks like she will have to undergo surgery in order to have any chance of fighting.

This is an update on my wife that I really did not want to have to write, but I feel like I owe it to everyone who reads this site to tell them what’s going on.

But Andria will not be fighting against Shannon Schade at Combat Sports Challenge 26 in St. George, Virginia this weekend due to a severe knee injury.

Andria actually suffered the knee injury on Monday, August 11, the same day we found out that Ed Hsu’s Combat in the Cage card for Saturday, August 16 in Newark, Delaware was being shut down by local politicians. She was pretty tired from having extended her training camp twice and really didn’t want to train that night but went anyway since we had learned that Brian Crenshaw was willing to host her match vs. Shannon on his Aug. 30 show.

While on the phone with a sponsor, I got a call from the gym that Andria had messed up her knee pretty bad. During a sprawl drill her knee stuck to the mat and she injured it so bad that she had to leave training early. When she came home she was upset and in a lot of pain. We knew then that there was a chance she might need to pull out of the fight, but we weren’t sure and with 19 days to go, we wanted to explore all the options we could.

We kept this a secret from virtually everyone because we could not take the risk of it getting back to her opponent and her opponent then gaining a strategic advantage. I feel bad about keeping the injury a secret from some people, but as a husband/manager I have to protect the best interests of my wife/fighter. Being a reporter, I know that it takes just one person to leak information that can wind up in the wrong hands. The only way to guarantee that nothing gets out is to become hyper-paranoid and not tell anyone. Because we believed she still had a good chance of fighting, we felt that keeping the information under wraps was the right course of action.

Andria went to her regular doctor and then a specialist and underwent X-rays and an MRI. The X-rays ruled out a fracture but thanks to the great state of healthcare, we were told that the MRI results would not be available to be read until Sept. 3. We were pretty upset about this considering that she had made an appointment with one orthopedist and everything was set until they waited two days before the appointment to tell us they didn’t accept our insurance. That was info we could have used when we scheduled the appointment.

We also made the appointment with the second orthopedist because a nurse there told us we’d have a followup appointment with the MRI results the Wednesday before the fight, meaning she might be able to get a cortisone shot. After she underwent the MRI she called back to officially schedule the reading and we were told that Sept. 3 was the earliest. So they essentially lied to us. We have to pay 20% of the MRI costs and I can tell you that if we knew Sept. 3 was the best they’d be able to do, we would have never made the apppointment with them. But if I start going off on thje start of the healthcare industry then this update will go past 10,000 words.

We knew that they would have the results before Sept. 3 and we asked them that if there was no way they could move up our appointment, could they at least give us a phone call or mail us the results? We were given a big fat no on both accounts. I just don’t understand why doctors overbook themselves with appointments and then adopt a policy that they have to tell you test results in person. We’re trying to get the results of an MRI, not an HIV test. It’s a damn joke.

Both doctors told Andria not to fight and her trainer wanted her to pull out. Andria would hear none of it. She took a week off from training, bought crutches and walked around on them to take pressure off her knee, she bought a brace and a bunch of other crap from the pharamacy; she iced it for a while, then started using heat, etc. She needed more time off but was told that in order to fight that she had to start training again to prove she was ready. Even though she wasn’t ready, she went back last Monday.

Andria not only went back but she resumed her old training schedule because she had to show her trainer that her knee wasn’t going to be an issue during the fight. She trained in the morning and she trained at night. The knee was sore but it was starting to heal. I was able to watch her train a few times and she looked good. Each day she was able to do a little more and I was 70% sure she’d be able to get to the fight. However, last Friday her knee started to hurt and I told her she needed to take a day off. She wanted to but was afraid that if she skipped practice that she’d be pulled from the fight. I felt she was going to need to nurse the knee in order to make it to the fight as opposed to pushing herself like she was doing.

While attempting a kick during Muay Thai practice on Friday her knee buckled and Andria fell to the mat and could not get up. She was in severe pain and visibly upset. She was in such pain that I had to take her to the emergency room. All they were willing to do was tell her to take some motrin for the swelling (which she was already doing) and they fitted her for an immobilizer. I don’t know what we were expecting, but when your wife is in severe pain and you’re about to be hit with 20% of the costs of the ER visit, you expect a little more. We told the ER doctor the situation and he told her there’s no way she should even be training, let alone fighting.

Based on the fact that we had multiple doctor recommendations not to fight and that Andria is unable to walk without an immobilizer, I had no choice but to contact our trainer, the promoter, and our sponsors and let them know that fighting on the 30th was going to be impossible.

To say we’ve had terrible luck this summer is an understatement. It’s like someone has a voodoo doll and is constantly putting needles in. I really don’t know what to say and we’re both devestated that Andria won’t be able to fight. I especially feel bad for Shannon Schade, who is healthy and ready to fight. I had heard that Shannon also lost out on a fight in June when her an opponent, who was in the reserves, was called back to active duty.

If Shannon or someone who knows her is reading this, I want her to know Andria did everything she could to fight and she probably caused additional damage to the knee by going back after only a week off. She knew that additional damage was a possibility but she assumed the risk because that’s how bad she wanted to fight. She still would like to get an opportunity to fight Shannon in the future.

I do want to thank this opportunity to thank everyone who has supported us. I wanted to thank everyone from Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu United who have asked how Andria was doing. I want to thank CSC promoter Brian Crenshaw and all the sponsors who were more concerned about Andria’s condition when I told them she wouldn’t be able to fight as opposed to anything else. I also wanted to thank all the people who have e-mailed me or left words of support in the comment threads that the proceeded updates on Andria.

A lot of people have told us to let them know as soon as Andria is ready to fight again and we really appreciate that. We will definitely let everyone know but right now, it could be a while. Andria is still unable to walk on her own power and we really feel she might have torn ligaments and could require surgery. It could be a few months before she is able to get back into the gym. We won’t know for sure though until we get the MRI results back. But Andria has no intentions of quitting and plans to fight as soon as she’s physically able.

Before I end this update, I really need to thank the awesome support we got from our sponsors. They put up with a lot of drama and never once complained. It’s my sincere hope that we get to work with everyone in the future. I want to thank Gary from Graffight, Angie from Aggressive Athletics, Jeremy from Pimpit, Dave from Punch Drunk Gamer, Tony from Toez Up, Athletic Body Care, and Jesus Didn’t Tap/ Obviously, all sponsorship funds will be returned but there were products sent that can’t be returned so it’s really important that I acknowledge their contributions and ask you guys to support them with your business, when possible.