A few weeks ago, as Craig sat down in a folding chair in the Big Gym during one of his 6th grade PE classes he felt his knee lock, stretch and then POP. Since then, it has been locking and popping on a regular basis as well as pretty swollen. He had an appointment with his specialty knee doctor (the same doctor who has done his two previous knee surgeries) on Wednesday and this is the result:
- Torn meniscus which is an extremely difficult cartilage to surgically repair. Taking the meniscus out is the first part of the surgery.
- Replace the missing meniscus with cartilage from another area of his knee that he doesn't need. (I am a bit curious about this part of the procedure because I am generally under the impression that ALL cartilage is important. After all, isn't a LACK of strong cartilage how we got into this situation? Just my thought.)
- The third portion of the procedure will be an option for the surgeon once he gets into the knee and sees how bad the true damage is. If Craig's cartilage is really in bad shape, small fractures will be created in the surrounding bone to increase blood flow to the area, ultimately resulting in a growth in cartilage in his knee. If this procedure has to be done, Craig will be on crutches for four to six weeks.
Okay. So that's the technical part. It was really cute on Wednesday. I obviously didn't go to the doctor with him because A) he's a big boy and B) I had school. He called during my 4th period class and I excused myself to recieve his call. At that point all he could tell me was that the doctor had indeed confirmed that his knee was locking. Duh. Nine years of school for THAT prognosis? Thanks Doc. He also let me know that he had an MRI scheduled for 3:00 in the afternoon which would give the doctor a better view of what is causing this painful situation. I didn't hear back from him until 4:30 when he called and told me that YES - he was having surgery but that he was in a rainstorm and would have to tell me the details later. Ooookay. I headed up to school to open the gyms for his select basketball stuff because he was driving from Dallas (apparently in a rainstorm) and wouldn't be able to get to the gym in time to open it up and get out the balls. He arrived in the coaching office a few minutes after 6:00 and laid it all out for me...all the technical jargon I just spewed for you up above. But...here's the best part of the story.
When discussing with his doctor the best day to do his surgery, the immediate Thursday (March 26) was unfortunately out of the question because by the time the MRI had been read and Craig and his doctor had conferred, it would be too late to contact the surgical center. Okay. So the next available day was Tuesday, March 31st. Ooh. Craig shook his head in shame and admitted to the doctor. "Doc. If I have surgery on Tuesday, there's a good possibility that I won't have a fiance when it's all over and done." Hmm. Peculiar. "Why is that?" inquired the curious doctor. "Well...you see...that's the night of the Britney Spears concert that Laura has been looking forward to for three months. And...uh...I'm supposed to go with her." Oh. Well. Interesting. Craig's surgery has been scheduled for a week from today - Thursday, April 2nd. As funny as this story is, I am really touched that Craig indeed knows what Tuesday is and how important this concert is to me. Sure...it's just a semi-washed up and totally nutso pop star who is trying to pay off her legal bills with a world wide tour. But it's BRITNEY SPEARS! I have totally been her target demographic since the first strains of "Oh Baby Baby" hit the airwaves. This concert is on my bucket list and ain't no surgery messing with that. I'm just glad he was still thinking of me despite his aching body.
Craig had basketball practice for three hours that night and I opted to retrieve our crutches from the house for him to use during that time. I sped off to my volleyball league and played an outstanding round of volleyball - laying every hit and serve down on the court. I wish I could have stayed an extra hour and played because driving home with thoughts of Craig in surgery and all the possible outcomes clouded my high of playing well. I like to be prepared. I like to be in control. I have the neurotic tendency to contemplate and envision ALL the possible outcomes in Technicolor. I have an overactive imagination which tends to get the best of me in emotional situations such as this. I needed to be calmed down...and quickly. After Craig got home and ate dinner, we crawled into bed, shut off the tv and began googling. We googled every single part of his surgery so that I could fully understand what was going on. We usually do our best talking in bed right before we go to sleep and this was our opportunity for me to discuss all my unfounded fears as well as our plan of action (first part of the plan - both our mothers will sit with me in the waiting room) on the day of as well as during the recovery process. Again this only compounded my love for him and reassured me that he is the right guy for me - he knew exactly what I needed. I needed to hear and see exactly what was going to happen in order for me to feelc omfortable with this whole procedure.
So far, the plan is to have the surgery on Thursday and then set him up on the couch for a few days (and nights). We'll probably move him upstairs on Saturday so he can get a better night sleep as well as be closer to the bath and other necessary bathroom accessories. I'm planning on taking off both Thursday and Friday from work. I just don't feel comfortable with him being home alone just twenty four hours after major surgery. I'm glad that we're doing this on a Thursday because it's going to cut down on the number of days that he's going to have to take off work. He'll be sore and tired going back to work on Monday, but I think he and I both will be ready to get out of the house and get back to work.
In conclusion - start saying prayers on Thursday. Some for successful surgeries and others for a quick and relatively easy recovery. That's the other part of my worry - the recovery. BUT...that is a worry for another day. I'm going to get him through the surgery successfully and then start on the recovery.