Crushing it on crutches with Ms. Carter


Linzey Rigsby, Photography Editor

All THS students know the vibrant woman who teaches on the main hall, Ms. Michelle Carter. From giving her students financial help to showing off her stylish ways, recently Ms. Carter’s topic of conservation has shifted to something more health-related. Ever since she was in the seventh grade, Carter has had issues with her knees, stating it was genetic and her knees dislocated from simple movements such as sitting down. 

She went to the doctor after noticing the problem with her knees was getting a little more intense. It was brought to her attention by her doctor that she had torn cartilage. While most people would get surgery after hearing this kind of news, Ms. Carter said that she chose to ignore it. This decision led to her knees worsening and needing a different kind of surgery known as a double knee replacement. 

The right knee was worked on first in June of 2022, and then the left knee’s surgery happened in August of 2022. Although her left was the knee that was giving her issues pre-surgery, she says that the right is now her troublesome knee that still continues to give her problems. When looking at an x-ray of Ms. Carter’s knees after her surgery, one will see how instead of a normal gray and black photograph, the knee replacement creates an image of an abnormal white shape between the two bones. This white shape is the metal cap that was put into her knee caps, which is called a prosthesis.

“I was naive and thought I would be back early. I asked Mr. Echols if I could come back to teach when I felt better, and he said if my doctor would let me. I thought I would be back within three weeks, and I was gone for four months; it was hard to come back because of my stamina,” Carter says.

She says that she is still currently recovering from her surgery, stating that she was told her recovery time will take up to a year. “I have to turn all night; I keep rolling over and over because I’m still healing,” she says.

“I’ve never taken medicine in my life. I had to set alarms to remind myself to take it, so that was a big change. I would still wake up every morning and post an announcement on Canvas, and I made lesson plans while sending notes to my substitute teacher, so I was still teaching but in spirit,” Carter says.

During her time off, Ms. Carter started learning Spanish through the educational app Duolingo. She also binge-watched all eight seasons of “Game of Thrones” while playing brain games on her phone.

If she were to give advice to someone who is going through what she has gone through, she’d say this: 

“Listen to your body. I knew I had knee issues and that surgery was imminent when I came here to work. I knew that my knee was already messed up, but I did not switch up my behavior. It led to surgery for both knees.”