A Mother’s Intuition

So, I want to talk a little about mother’s intuition.

I have always believed this is a “thing”. Wayyy back at the beginning of my nursing career I remember a very wise pediatrician once telling me “never never never ignore a other’s intuition”. Dr. Uy was a smart guy. Even when medical tests came up saying there was nothing wrong, he believed in the power of a mother’s “gut” and the sense that there was something that had perhaps not been found yet. Something that maybe could not yet be seen, but was there. And that leads me to the WHY reason I am writing this post.

My son Ty is 16. He is hands down one of the most athletic people I have ever met. The kid played in the state basketball tournament his freshman year, ran state track his freshman year, and played varsity football his sophomore year. He is poised to do the same this next year. That being said… the past 6 months he has been complaining of knee pain in his right knee.

It started out with high jumping… and then progressed with running. He would come home with a partially swollen right knee and he would sit and rub it all night after a practice. He would complain of it giving out and would say he felt a sharp pain in a very specific area on the outside of the knee when he pushed on it.

Mind you this kid is not a complainer. He has missed zero days of school and zero practices. He does not take medication, seldom complains of a single thing but he kept coming back to this knee pain. He would say “mom I just don’t get it… it hurts here” and point. Or “mom what can I do for the pain? What can I take?”

Sometimes being a nurse works against you. Not wanting my kid to be that “one whiny kid” I kept loading him up with Ibuprofen, telling him to ice his knee. That all came to a stop in December when he came crashing down at basketball from a rebound and could not get up again. Literally… could. not. walk.

I got a call from his trainer at school. I hear him say he thinks he tore his meniscus. I heard mention of crutches and icing and therapy. In my gut though… because of the history we had had and the months where I had put a band-aid over the issue I KNEW as a mother something was wrong. I KNEW that there had to be some underlying cause and we needed to get it addressed before he had more issues

I called the first ortho group I had heard raving reviews about. Not going to mention the practice, but I had heard wonderful things about their care. It was close to 2 hours from us, but I did not care. I made the first avail appointment a week late and we set off to get some answers. The physician rubbed me wrong from the get go. I had driven 2 hours to see this physician everyone raved about. My sons knee was obviously swollen and hot. He could not fully flex or extend the joint and he was in obvious pain. This physician we had heard so much about spent less than 5 minutes with us. His diagnosis? Meniscal tear. His recommended course of treatment? 3 weeks of physical therapy. I flat out asked for an MRI.

In my gut I knew his diagnosis was wrong. It didn’t make sense. Lesson number 1 to all physicians- know your patients. This was a STUDENT ATHLETE. No therapy could begin to touch what the kid did every day in practice. No therapy could emulate what those knees went through on a daily basis and no therapist could work a miracle on such a swollen joint. I flat out disagreed with EVRYTHING this guy was saying.

I did get the MRI ordered though… thank God. My son and I left there frustrated, my son was angry. “Its not going to work mom- I know my body, I take very good care of myself. Something is wrong”

Despite these same concerns voiced by me to the physician he did not even THINK to try a different course of treatment. He ignored the cardinal rule taught to me by that pediatrician so long ago… “Never never never ignore a mother’s intuition.” So begins the next part of my story!

I left that day feeling like there was most definitely something not being caught. I called another medical group in another town and made an appointment with a second orthopedic surgeon. Thank goodness I trusted my gut and did!

Ty was seen 2 weeks later (this was all happening over the holidays so that caused things to slow down a bit) and when we arrived at his second appointment he was in the SAME amount of pain with swelling to that joint. The second physician looked at his MRI and while he agreed with the first that there was a meniscal tear, he disagreed that therapy would solve the issue and scheduled an arthroscopic procedure. To make this long story shorter… Ty had surgery 2 weeks later and had a large rock hard cyst removed from his knee joint. It was compressed in the joint not allowing full range of motion and causing the joint to lock up from it being lodged where there should be free movement. Had he tried to have therapy for the next 3 weeks, the joint would have had a grinding from the rock impeding movement ad it would have caused more damage

Point is I KNEW in my gut something was wrong. We all know our kids …their tendencies, their intricacies. We know who complains and who is tough. We know in our gut when something is not right. We know who complains and who doesn’t. God gave us this powerful maternal instinct that cannot be man made, cannot be replicated and cannot be taught. We have to listen to that voice just as much as anyone else. I am SO glad I listened to my mother’s intuition. Don’t allow anyone to stop you from listening to yours. As my husband said, he would have believed the first doctor and moved on. He is glad I was willing to question his diagnosis and seek a second opinion. Don’t EVER EVER apologize for advocating for your child. This intuition is a gift and one we should learn to listen to more.



What I see when I look at my sons….

I post a lot about sports. Let’s face it, if you follow my Facebook or my Twitter page I post about sports on almost a daily basis. This is not because I’m overly athletic, this is because I have two sons that are overly athletic. I’m proud of them, I am proud of their hard work, I’m proud of their dedication.

Nate and I following his Homecoming game this past weekend. We lost…but he is still smiling.

My oldest has had one of the toughest football seasons of his football career. He is a high school junior. He started playing football as a flag football player when he was in kindergarten. He loves the sport. He played every year through flag football, little kid tackle football, and now in high school football. He has always been a lineman and has always played center.

This year in the first few weeks of football, he has lost most of his teammates to injuries. I’m talking most of his varsity teammates, not the freshman and sophomores, not the little guys, but the big guys who have been playing the sport as long as he has. Despite it all, he has continued to play. He played although he has lost every single game except one. He played although he came home with jammed fingers and bruises all over his arms, and an overwhelming and incredible sense of loss.

He has continued to get up early every morning to lift weights, and has gone to bed late at night after doing homework so he could get back at it in the morning and practice after school.

He has run miles when asked to… lifted pounds when he was asked to, hit his opponents harder when asked to hit harder and reassured those other teammates (those younger teammates) when he was asked to. He continues to prepare himself for his wrestling season while still trying his hardest to complete his football season. Despite all the pain, loss, and frustration, he.has.played.on.

Then I see my 8th grade son. The son who has always been watching son #1.  He has copied him, respected him, wanted to follow him. He has been in sports his whole life. He has played basketball, football, ran track and attempted baseball and wrestling. He made a traveling team in basketball last past year after trying out for the very first time.

I know everyone has an opinion on traveling teams, don’t get me started on that. What I see when I look at him is a child who pushes as hard as he can and pours his all in what he does……. to do the best that he can every.single.day. Without fail.

Tyler on a tip off- #15

He played last weekend in a basketball tournament for two days. He played the entire game of every game, he ran until he was dripping with sweat and it was running in his eyes. He was hit and pinched and kicked and everything in between trying to fight for that ball but he did not quit.

What do I see when I look at my boys? I see perseverance, dedication, hard work, commitment, pride. I see two people who will never give up no matter how hard they are asked to try. I see two people who are proud of themselves and their commitment. I see two people who acknowledge they’re worth is not in the win or the loss but in the effort.

I see two brothers so tight that when one is up the other is up and when one is down the other is down. I see two brothers who know the value of hard work and know the value in the effort they put into the game.

I see two teachers for my own life. I am learning more from watching them then they are learning from me. I see them modeling for me the value of hard work and seeing something through. I learned to commit myself more fully to everything I do because of how they commit themselves. I learned that my value does not come from others but from within myself.

I could not be more proud of my two sons. I could not be more proud of who they are becoming. I am watching them grow into outstanding young men.

For some, the value comes from whether or not a team makes playoffs. For some the value comes from whether or not they have a winning or losing record. For me though, value comes from the heart and the perseverance and the dedication put into the game.

I cannot stress enough to my children, their value as an adult will not be determined from the record they have now. Their value as an adult will come from the lessons they have learned in the process of playing. They have learned teamwork as well as commitment and this will take them far in life as they grow into responsible respectful adults.

Have my children experienced wins? Yes. Have they experienced losses? Yes. I literally would have it no other way. It is in both the ups and downs in life they have learned how to be successful.

So for me, I consider it a privilege to share a little about my sons. I consider myself so lucky to have been chosen by God to be their mom. How blessed I am.

Thanks for reading.