Open Letter : Dear Chondromalacia,

Dear Friends,

January has been a beautiful start of the year. I was very excited to finally launch an official blog to share my energy and experiences. I am overwhelmed by the warm reception of my post Last Flight Home and my musical debut Earthshaker.

After an almost 7 month absence I couldn’t be more eager to get back on court. My last official match was back in June when I won my first JC League Championships. January 26th marked my hopeful return to the tennis circuit.

Pacing aimlessly,

With my mind in unrest

Unsure of what may come.

What have I done to bring this down on me?

Helpless to make this undone*

I had many plans to compete in the US and Dubai over Fall/Winter however due to the injury and surgery I withdrew from the tour.  My knee showed signs of improvement since coming back home however it was not back to the level required to be able to handle the rigors of Bahrain’s hard courts.

warning: medical jargon ahead proceed with caution (preferably in a form of  a cup of coffee or Rose Tea)

I suffered a relapse last week and am now forced to confront the reality of the situation. During my medical examination I was diagnosed with two issues.

  1. Chondromalacia in both my medial patellar (Grade 3) and lateral tibial plateau, and
  2. Plica Syndrome.

Although I wish Chondromalacia was a superpower or the ability to pull off wearing bright green shoes in public, in reality it simply means that my knee cartilage is degenerating and Plica Syndrome is an irritation most likely due to my premature (6 month*) birth causing it to be underdeveloped. During the surgery the entire Plica was shaved off. *I was born three months early because I stopped paying womb rental (Thanks Mom.)

I previously aimed for the start of 2013 to be my return to the tennis circuit and also a new session of music recording. Due to the escalating circumstances I need to focus on healing first. In December and January I was training to get back on the tennis court, right now I’m training just to be able to walk straight again.

Checklist

  • Cane
  • Nike Sneakers
  • Limp
  • American Accent

Now all I need is to be sarcastic and rude and I’m officially the Bahraini Version of House M.D.

OK now that I’ve injected the post with humor (pun intended) I ask you to kindly play some sappy emo music or anything with classical undertones and read the following. If you can’t find anything click here 

This is a very difficult decision to make however I have decided to take an undetermined hiatus from tennis, the sport that breathed new life and helped define the person I am today (there is a crude joke in here somewhere). I will also be unable to track drums right now so part of the musical process will have to be on hold.I hope to get back into music production in April however no date is set for tennis.

I am taking each day as it comes and have to be very patient to rebuild and strengthen the muscles around the damaged area. As I write this the burning sensation courses underneath my knee cap making it impossible to ignore or downplay. Any sudden movements causes me to wake up at night and I’m just hoping that I wouldn’t have to go with an HCL needle in two weeks time if it refuses to calm down. I’m worried, scared and long for a normal day where I can walk,sit or lay down without the constant pain.

I am aware that many of you have been waiting for my new posts (many have hounded me about the Nokia 920 feature!) and I promise some inspiring and fun pieces are coming your way.

In February I am hoping to write a 3 part series briefly highlighting my weight loss, journey to the championships and also my humor-induced adventures during my surgery.

What I need from you are areas/topics you would like me to write about. There are many things that you experience during your daily lives and I would love to connect with my readers on a mutual level. Remember this blog is about the both of us!  Sound off on my twitter @nervebullet or in the comment box below.

Im in the 5th set. (7-6) (7-6) (6-7) (6-7) 0-5 0-40 down on championship point. The odds are against me. Will I overcome?     

Sincerely,

Mohammed

All that we suffer through leads to determination.

The trials we all go through gives us the strength to carry on.

Something within us burns, desire feeds the will to live.

A reason to believe I will see redemption.*

*Kilswitch Engage – In Due Time

Looking like Nadal minus the paycheck
Looking like Rafa Nadal minus the paycheck

This picture was taken during the post surgery physiotherapy session. I look like Rafa Nadal minus the paycheck. Hey maybe I can end up writing a break up song and call it ‘Chondromalacia’ after all?

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Last Flight Home

Wednesday 5th December 2012 8:58PM

Apart from the engine noise and growling stomach, the plane was silent. I welcomed the empty cabin, a polar opposite to the fully loaded flight from JFK.  They offered me legroom for my healing knee in exchange for blistering Dolby Digital surround sound. Unfortunately the soundtrack wasn’t what I expected and much worse then the instrumental version of ‘call me maybe’ during my 50-minute unanswered phone hold with Finish Line.  My row had 4 babies, two on each side, and 1 right behind me. My noise canceling headphones were chilling in the cargo below probably shielding my packed t-shirts from the cries above.

The baby to my right was an adorable 3-month-old girl named Hadiya, a beautiful name meaning Gift. Her mother asked to borrow my phone to call her husband. What was promised to be a short call took her over 7 minutes but I didn’t mind. I was occupied with the other infant dragging my shirtsleeve. I think he was admiring the quality of the material. If any of you meet a designer named Darren 20 years from now, called it!. The three other babies were going crazy. I never thought babies could sound like murder. I kept checking to see if the sound was actually referring to the dozen ‘dead baby’ jokes out there. Headache aside the experience was enjoyable and is a musical masterpiece in comparison to Justin Bieber*

*Someone should run him over with a bus. It would be ironic if it was a Bieber** bus. Now before you tell me I’m being harsh, his music does the similar thing to my ears so the bus driver would be doing me a favor. Does anyone have Emily Thorne’s number?

** Im Serious, This company exists http://www.biebertourways.com ***

 

*** See I told you so! Seats were comfy last time I was on 🙂

Just over a month ago I had to be escorted out of the airplane on a wheelchair. Equipped with clashing diagnoses I was plagued with the questions; what exactly is wrong with my knees? Is my tennis career over? How am I going to run around the park with my children in the future? My bootcamps, p90x, Zumba?.. okay maybe not Zumba.

I spent the Doha-Bahrain flight flickering between ‘Open’ the Agassi biography and deep thought about the journey I’m about to return from.

The surgery and therapy may have addressed the physical aliments, however I derived the mental and emotional strength through amazing support of my family and friends.

Semo, Meerz, James, Sarim, Nawaf K, Omar H, Imran & Zaynab, Ahmed,Khalifa,Mohammed, Abdullah, Reem,Sasperella, Bukhalid, Khalid, Hussain, Mazin, Haytham,DJ Outlaw, Fatima, Maya,Nayla,Polar Bear,Rashid,Salman, Atty, Ali, Shk. Khalid Al Khalifa, Sam & Mai.

Special thank you to bintalkuwait, bossykitchen and rthompson for spending every waking moment with me during the surgery and recovery period.

So there you have it. A list of people that mean the world to me. If you want to pull some Liam Niesen-isque “Taken” hostage situation then you know who to go for. Once I heal in about 6 months ill come after you. Until then please make sure my beloved hostage gets showered and offer them optimum nutrition. If you are planning on capturing my mother then make sure she gets Glucosamine for her knee and access to twitter.

My soul wakes up each day craving the adrenaline rush, the solitude, the people and the lessons. I humbly ask you to join me on this awesome trip, because I learn and grow from you. Everything I am and will ever be is through your sincere human interaction.

I end this year with gratitude and welcome the challenge and the energy required for the road ahead. I massage the part of my knee where the missing cartilage is and know things may not be the same. The cabin doors open and I could feel the gentle winter breeze welcoming me home.  I’ve longed for the people waiting at the arrival area, to return to this beautiful island I call home. I leave the empty cabin behind and join the rest of the passengers.

This blog is dedicated to you.

Brandon Boyd and I
Bumped into Brandon Boyd (Lead singer of Incubus) before boarding my flight at JFK. Very friendly and enjoyed the quick chat. Great way to end the trip with such an inspirational musician!