Well it happened.
Everything you talk about when sending your kid away to school. The: “Worst case scenario, I can be on a plane and there in X number of hours”. He got hurt. Tore his ACL.
Yep, a major injury and I wasn’t there. I had to listen to him cry over the phone. I had to hear those dreaded words: “I wanna’ come home Ma”. And although all you want to do is run and rescue them, you can’t. You HAVE TO stay strong and think logically. Don’t panic. He’s panicking. His whole career is flashing before his eyes. He’s watching the “2 guy” take reps. He’s watching new recruits commit. This… this is a crash course in maturity. There is plenty of support around him and he is in the best place possible considering the circumstances. Now, you wait. You wait for the surgery to be scheduled. THIS. IS. TORTURE. He’s alone, he’s hurt and there is NOTHING you can do. Keep breathing. You have to hold it together. He’s going to need you for the surgery and the days after.
He will be surrounded by teammates and staff all there to hold up their end of the: “We’ll take care of him like one of our own” deal, they sold you during recruiting. Now you get to see what they’re really made of. Some of his teammates will be going through the same injury or different injuries and he’ll have people to lean on literally and figuratively. I advise you both schedule a time to talk to the sports psychologist on staff as soon as you can. This will help to put some perspective on things and give you both some coping skills.
Surgery Day will be tense for everyone. In our case, it was his first surgery ever. So, we were all very nervous and afraid of the unknown. Mom, you are the rock. Stay Calm. You get to test out your acting ability by putting on a brave face even though you both are scared to death. He’s going to be fine. If you’re like me you have thoroughly researched the doctor, the facility, his family, his life…. Seriously. I watched every YouTube video, read every study he published, and read every review. I knew so much by the time it came to the surgery I was finishing the doctor’s sentences. If I couldn’t control what was going on, I was going to arm myself with as much knowledge as possible. This proved helpful after surgery when he had questions, I was able to answer with facts of which the doctor backed up as well.
Post-Surgery is where he will need you the most. He will be immobile and sore. You get to take care of him again. Oh, how I missed him needing me. I secretly looked forward to getting to spend time with him. The first day or two were up and down. Days were good, nights were rough as he had to sleep in a brace, elevated, with ice. But days were chill. We watched a lot of TV and it was almost like old times. But it was so pitiful to watch your larger than life athlete be so helpless. Same for him, suddenly becoming so dependent on teammates. Although you both may question why this happened, it will all make sense one day. Remember, there are lessons in everything. He gets to learn how to ask for help, how to be gracious and appreciative, and finally, a greater appreciation for his abilities. Sit back and watch him grow, Momma.