Mark blew out both knees last week. He’s a full-time tennis teaching pro. Yes, that’s his real job.
Truth be told, I can’t believe something like this hasn’t happened before this. He really wasn’t doing anything nutty or risky. He’s pretty conservative because his joints have always ached. He dislocated both shoulders before he graduated from college. Plus, teaching on a hard surface 8-10 hours a day for 30 years might lead to some wear-and-tear.
Here’s how I react to crisis:
My brain goes into hyper-efficiency lock-down. Do the bare minimum. Prune the unimportant, take care of only what’s necessary. The kids are at an age where they’re pretty self-sufficient and can help each other get where they need to go. I also have lots of family and good friends around who can help. (S/O to my brother John who took care of details at home when it happened).
The other thing my brain does which makes me hopeful and positive is to think about how much worse things could have been. In a weird, backwards way, it helps me be grateful even in what seems like a catastrophe.
Here’s what I’m talking about:
- Mark had just returned from taking Luke to a tournament in Boston. He easily could have been walking fast or running for a flight and this could have happened. I can’t imagine how traumatized Luke would have been on top of managing this type of crisis long distance.
- I’m glad it happened at work because…worker’s comp.
- I’m grateful I don’t have the stress of managing a job outside the house on top of this.
- I’m grateful I didn’t get the car crash call or the heart-attack-on-the-court call.
- My mom can care for my aunt at her house while we get our bearings again. That means Mark has a hospital bed and a bathroom on the first floor because he won’t be able to bear weight on either leg for a while. My brain hasn’t quite caught up to that concept but we’ll deal with it.
- Mark ran up to our cabin by himself the weekend before this happened to take care of some things. It’s remote and even if he remembers to take his phone with him, reception is sketchy. The nearest neighbor is not visible through the woods. Shudder.
- Most surgeons haven’t seen a bilateral rupture of this type but it is repairable and they’re confident that he will be better than he ever was.
So, that’s how my brain works. You might think it’s pathetic denial but I’m sticking with it. It has given me a better outlook on what’s ahead.