Addy Sipkin – Elbow OCD Lesion

6 months ago, I found out that I was diagnosed with an elbow OCD lesion. To make matters worse, a surgery was necessary to repair the broken bone. The cause of all of this was my love for the game of basketball. Countless shots taken, simply to achieve one goal. A goal to be the starting point guard on a Division 1 college basketball team, and to be like my idol, Sue Bird. That very ambition is what made my diagnosis so challenging to digest. To hear that I would be out of the game I loved for what felt like an eternity, was one of the worst feelings of my life. A punch right to the gut, where the pain just wouldn’t leave my body, and it left me intensely down, not knowing when my time would come. One thing I wish I could tell my once saddened self, is how mentally strong that day would make me. Only a handful of weeks after surgery, I was back on my happy place, the court, to attempt to become ambidextrous, and to help coach my team to a championship. My spirits were slowly but surely turning back to my old self.

When I found out that I could begin to retrain my right hand, it seemed as if my world had opened about a thousand more doors. I was rusty, very very rusty. The amount of sweat and exhaustion needed to get me a fraction closer to my old self, seemed, well, impossible. But nothing is impossible if you really work at it. That’s what I said and continue to say to myself when fatigue strikes my mind. All I had to remember was the reward at the end of the race. I kept working to be better, and finally the improvement was showing.

Then it was time for the follow up appointment, where I would find out if my arm had or had not healed, and/or if I would be able to play my first game. “You’ve graduated.” The first words from Dr. Ahmad’s mouth after he examined my arm. The moment seemed surreal. A few moments later, I found myself crying in my dads arms, while he cried into mine. One of the best moments of my life. That moment has replayed in my brain, every day since. Now I can say that I’ve had my first surgery, my left hand has gotten a million times better, I’ve had some coaching experience, and most importantly my mindset is as if I am a totally different person. I now feel like I can handle just about any obstacle that gets in my way of success.