Wednesday, February 11, 2015

The Gentleman with the Unheard of Strength

I want to tell you a story about a gentleman with unheard of strength. This fellow has spent several years of his life in a great deal of pain. Pain that no person should have to live with or work through. He has lived with this pain with a level of dignity and reserve that makes it where he deserves to have his story told. This guy puts his family first, way ahead of himself. This gentleman has given bone, sweat, and blood for his family. The least we should give him is respect and acknowledgement. Now, let’s go back about 3 years ago…

The Accident

 It's the fall of 2012. Said gentleman and his youngest son were at the skate park having some quality time together. At some time during the day this gentleman folded his right knee up and felt his outside ankle hit his hip. Could you imagine the instant pain? The screams his wife heard on the other end of the phone bordered homicidal. She had no idea what had happened and neither did he. What he did know was that his son was there with him. He didn't want to scare him. Given that fact the lad composed himself quickly and with no thought for himself. Instead of carrying on he cut off his tears and "made a game” of getting to a safe place until his wife got there. Upon arrival his wife could see the pain radiating from his eyes the moment she walked up. There was no mention of the pain from the strong fellow though. Not one complaint passed his lips, not one tear flowed from his eyes while his son could see. Instead he backed up his child as he told his mother how proud he was of himself for helping his daddy get to the car. Talk about one amazing man.

The Aftermath

 Ok, so... let’s fast forward a few days from the accident, to the orthopedic doctor's office. The guy and his wife sat there in shock and disbelief as his doctor tells them that the guy had in fact torn his ACL, as well as having torn his medial meniscus and lateral meniscus. They were completely taken aback in that moment. Of course they knew of these types of injuries and how devastating they can be, both on the patient and their pocketbook. Ultimately the doctor felt the best thing to do was put a brace on him and do physical therapy. They agreed...
Unfortunately a few months later the gentleman and his family moved across the country and had to wait for him to receive proper treatment. He rarely complained about it as the time went on, his wife never saw him cry in pain. Instead he hiked with his family. That’s an understatement honestly. He didn’t just hike; the man climbed 4 major mountains in Phoenix, AZ, walked all over southern Indiana, and went on adventures to Mt. Rainer and Mt. St. Helen’s with his family. They had 4 mile long family walks twice a week, every week, each spring and summer. He also moved his family in and out of 3 houses in 3 years, with only his wife’s help with two of them- this due to the job changes. Still no complaints from him, that is until one day 2 months ago when the gentleman called his wife from work in pain again.

The Surgery

Lack of ACL 

Knee incision after surgery
Knee incision after surgery
One week after the phone call from work they went to a new orthopedic doctor to see about getting surgery for the gentleman. When the doctor was able to get him into surgery the doctor found out that the gentleman’s injuries had worsened. His ACL had completely snapped  a while back and it had been so long since that there was no sign of it anymore, his meniscal tears were worse as well. They went in and cut out a piece of his hamstring. From that they created a new ACL and attached it. They then cleaned up the other tears and closed him up. The most interesting part was that the gentleman had worked so hard on his injured knee that he wore the knee bone away from it rubbing against the other bone (impound fracture). 

This is an inside view of his knee bone
His doctor told his wife that the impound fracture to his knee was the most impressive he had ever seen. How many people do you know that could tolerate that, without help, for that long? I didn’t think I knew any until now. This gentleman is simply remarkable. The surgery was hard on him, but if you don’t know him you’d never know it. He was operated on the afternoon of Thursday January 15th- he returned to work that following Monday. 4 days later! He has worked every day since, on crutches and on cane. Still few complaints to be heard from this extraordinary gentleman. Now all he talks about is how mad he is that the injury happened to begin with. It happen doing a trick he’s done a million times, he says. You have to admire his spirit.

After surgery
 This gentleman is about half way through his ACL reconstruction recovery now. His process has been grueling. He has had to relearn how to walk on his leg. He is being retaught how to walk up and down stairs, hop, and run as well. He has been told he will NEVER skateboard again, given his strength his wife doesn't believe that. On a lighter note: the gentleman reports that his physical therapist says that he is about 2 weeks ahead of where he should be. That doesn’t surprise me though. Said gentleman is determined to be recovered before summer. He wants to play with his children.

The gentleman I am talking about happens to be one of my heroes and one of my biggest supporters. I married him 13 years ago. It was the best decision I ever made. Chaz has always taken care of his family above all else. He has an almost unheard of work ethic and a devotion to the 4 of us that I have never seen. I am luckier than I could ever know to not only be married to one of the strongest men on earth but to be married to my best friend and one of my heroes as well.

Week 3 of recovery