Sun, Mar 3, 2013
I’m sitting in my hotel room in Tuscaloosa, Alabama watching my son, Stephen finally nod off to sleep. Yesterday, he had MPFL Reconstruction surgery on his knee and for the last 24 hours, we’ve been trying to manage his pain and find ways for him to be comfortable, It hasn’t been easy. We’re staying in a hotel room, a very nice hotel room, but we’re not home. Stephen lives on the second floor of a two story apartment complex so there was no way he could go back to his apartment. Even if we made a place for him on the sofa in his living room, there wouldn’t be a place for me and quite honestly, he needs my help. His roommates are great, but I can guarantee they would do what I’m doing.
Stephen’s knee problems began when he was a senior in high school. He was on the football team and during one of the practices early in the year, he had a player tackle him and the other player’s helmet went into his knee. This took Stephen out for the entire season. It was so sad watching him at each game standing on the sidelines for what should have been Stephen’s most exciting year. Their first game was played at Reliant Stadium in Houston and all Stephen could do was watch. It was sad but E.J. and I were at every game supporting Stephen and the rest of the team. Even though Stephen couldn’t play, he loved being part of the Kingwood Mustangs, and being from Texas, football reigns.
We went to several doctors in our area and they all simply recommended physical therapy. There was no talk of torn muscles or anything serious. Stephen went ahead with all the physical therapy recommendations as suggested and although he could walk, he could only run with a brace and always felt there was something more to his injury.
Last month, Stephen was playing ultimate frisbee near his apartment when he stumbled on the uneven ground. He knew he did something really bad to his knee and couldn’t walk. He went to the doctor in Tuscaloosa and the doctor simply recommended physical therapy. He knew that wasn’t going to work so I asked him to find out who the University of Alabama players go to when they’re injured. He asked a friend who happened to be a football player and he told Stephen of a doctor at Andrews Sports Medicine Center in Birmingham. Stephen made an appointment to see the doctor and after reading the MRI, the doctor highly recommended MPFL surgery. He told Stephen he had torn his ligaments years ago and there was nothing holding the knee in place. Wow, it infuriates me that an injury 4 years ago was not found until now.
The surgery went well and the doctor was pleased. Now comes the work. I’m so glad I’m able to be here with Stephen to help him right now. He’s in pain and I’m not sure what to do to make him comfortable, but I’m trying. This is the hardest day I’m told. I’m hopeful tomorrow brings a little less pain.