Yesterday, I wrote about how excited my daughter, Megan, was have marching band season starting. She's pretty much been waiting for it to begin since it ended last fall, she loved it so much! She'd just been to band camp last week and had a wonderful time. She was chosen to play first bass, affectionately called "baby bass", because it is the smallest bass drum in the band. She'd learned most of their marching show and was over the moon about all the things the entire band accomplished during their three days of camp.
Then, yesterday afternoon happened.
I've written in earlier posts about Megan running a series of 5k races with her dad this summer. After the last race they ran in July, Megan came home limping and saying her knee was really hurting. After taking care of it for a few days, the pain only got worse, and she was asking to go to the doctor. For her to not only volunteer, but beg to go to the doctor, I knew this was seriously hurting her. She's a tough kid that pretty much powers through anything, and really, really, doesn't like having to see a doctor.
I called to make an appointment with an orthopedic surgeon. He started out with the usual x-rays, and just didn't see anything that should be causing her so much pain, so an MRI was done the next day to take a closer look. The doctor was speculating that she might have a small ACL tear, or more likely some tendonitis from all of her running. The doctor explained that "athletic kids" tend to have these types of injuries, but made it seem like it wouldn't really be that big of a deal. He thought she would probably be in for a knee brace and some physical therapy, but would be able to be in marching band.
Before the results of that MRI were in, Megan had left for band camp. I did talk to the directors and let them know that she was in the process of getting the knee checked out, so it would probably be better if she wasn't given a heavy instrument to march with. She had problems with her knee while she was there, but she'd been to see the camp nurse and was given ibuprofen, which helped and she wasn't bothered by pain after that. She felt like the "baby bass" wasn't too heavy, and the knee continued to be fairly comfortable.
Yesterday, we got the results of the MRI, and the news was worse than we expected. She actually has a stress fracture in the top of the tibia, and the bone is bleeding into the knee joint. Good news: No brace, no physical therapy. Bad news: No running, jumping, or marching for at least the next six weeks! Not taking it easy on the leg could mean more serious injury, or incorrect healing that could cause a lot more trouble. Megan had to give up her spot on the drumline, and that broke her heart. She loved her position and was crushed that she wouldn't be able to march!
When she broke the news to the band directors, they were as shocked as we were at the severity of Megan's injury. They thought she'd have to march with something lighter, like cymbals, but when I told them the doctor said no marching at all, they felt terrible for Megan (and they now have to find a replacement drummer). In the end, she was given a non marching part, playing the xylophone. It's a big part, and she will have to memorize it before they perform on August 31st, but she's up to the task. After many, many tears, she's getting more excited about the part she will be playing, and she's very thankful that she can continue with band and be a part of the show, even if she won't be marching.
She's already looking forward to next year, and being back on the drumline!