The moral to this whole surgery-thing is to listen to and believe your children. Back in June, when M hurt her knee, she said it felt as though her knee cap had slid out of joint, then popped back in and that's when the pain began. In my continuing effort to win the 'worst mother of the year' award, I didn't quite believe her, gave her some ice, and told her she probably just twisted it and it would get better.
Imagine my chagrin when the pediatric orthopedist was showing us the pictures he took of her knee during surgery (yes, we now have pictures of the underside of M's kneecap...I wonder how we should frame them?), and told us how she injured her knee. Yes, you guessed it, her kneecap had slid out of joint and when it popped back into to place it sheared off a 1.5 cm piece of cartilage from the end of her femur. The surgeon was able to remove the cartilage, and although she has some scarring where it was broken off, it shouldn't affect her. We are thankful it was in a part of her knee that is not weight bearing. If it had been, it would have had far more serious consequences.
M continues to recuperate nicely. Her knee is a little painful, but very manageable. She is able to move around pretty easily and has some crutches if she needs them. (TM and D are very jealous of the crutches.) We are also now the proud owners of the Polar 300. It is really just a cooler with a hose and a pump that circulates ice water through a tube to a wrap that goes around her knee. It is to help the swelling, though it is covered with warning labels that frostbite may occur if used improperly. Since I'm sure we paid the equivalent to at least a month's worth of groceries to own this glorious contraption, I've been trying to think of some practical use for it when M's knee is all healed. I'm not planning on anyone having anymore injuries, so its intended use is out. Any ideas?
So, having made it through M's surgery, I can go back to worrying about other things...the roof we can't afford to replace, IL's adoption laws and my realization that we may be done adopting unless we decide to move, the property tax bill that's coming (moving may not be such a bad idea), and so on. Perhaps the surgery was a nice mental break...it was at least a change.