Three weeks ago MadMax was up at our local ski resort and he did one more three-sixty on his last run of the day before heading home. He fell. He heard a pop. He couldn't put any weight on his left knee. He almost passed out from the pain when it happened, but he managed to ski down on one leg, and by the time he got home, the pain wasn't too bad.
Several medical consults later, the decision was unanimous: ice and ibuprofen, don't stress it too much, and it will heal up in a few weeks. The option for an MRI was left open, but it didn't seem necessary at the time.
But two weeks later, he was still limping heavily and he kept saying his knee didn't feel stable, in fact it felt less stable instead of more. If you're in the know about this stuff, you already know what's coming. We finally got an MRI last week, and his ACL is torn.
We went in for the follow-up appointment this morning to see if surgery was recommended. It was, and by the way, the surgeon has an opening in his schedule tomorrow (which will be today by the time you read this), and suddenly-- like getting caught in an avalanche that started with just a tiny crack-- we're on an inescapable route that started with a simple fall three weeks ago and will end up with school absences, intense rehab, probably not going on the band trip next week, and the end of his senior track&field season before it even started.
MadMax has been remarkably poised and stoic about the whole thing. He's already switched from being one of the standouts of this year's track team to being a coach and mentor to the younger kids. He missed the last days of the ski season without complaint. He's made a few rueful comments about wishing he hadn't taken that one last run, but really, the trick he did was one he'd done safely a dozen times before. It was just an accident. An accident that is now having huge consequences.
I've been outwardly calm, but inside I'm not nearly as calm as I probably appear. We have not had to deal with many health issues with our kids. I've only been to the emergency room once, and that was just a couple of years ago. We've had a few bouts of flu, the occasional allergy or sinus infection, some sprains and bumps--nothing that even comes close to qualifying as major.
So I am very nearly approaching panic. This is my baby, I want to tell them. You better fucking take good care of him or you will answer to ME. I want to grab the surgeon by the collar, get right up in his face and make sure they know who they're dealing with. Don't you mess with my kid.
Of course I won't. It's a little silly to be so panicky because the guy who is doing the surgery is somebody Dean has known and respected for years, he's successfully done ACL reconstructions a gazillion times, including his own kid's. But I can't help it. I want them to give me an iron-clad guarantee he's going to be all right. YOU PINKY SWEAR YOU'RE GOING TO DO YOUR FREAKING BEST. IF ONE SINGLE THING GOES WRONG, I'M HOLDING YOU PERSONALLY RESPONSIBLE.
So, yeah, in the face of my moment of panic, the post I was going to write is seeming pretty unimportant. If you're a praying person, please say a prayer for MadMax and his surgeon today. And also a smaller one for my sanity. :-)