It’s 3:33 AM. My feet are freezing. I can’t put a blanket over myself because it is too painful to have any weight on my leg. Since my visit to the ER a few hours earlier I am now lying in bed with a full leg brace, not allowing me to bend my knee.
How do I get socks on?
I can’t reach that far down even after months of stretching and losing 30 lbs to get into the best shape of my life.
I crawl out of bed to the floor, dragging my body into the kitchen, and find two salad tongs in the drawer. Back to the bedroom, I grab the warmest foot apparel and begin the arduous task of putting a sock on.
Sweating, gritting, but determined, I talk softly to myself – here we go, you got this, come on baby – get the sock over my big toe, falls off, get it on the little toes, falls off, after a few minutes of moving around it somehow clings to all toes and charitably falls over the pad of my foot – I pull the wool comfort over my frozen size 12. I smile.
Climbing back into bed I look up at the ceiling fan considering my new situation, wondering what every day simplicities such as tying my shoes, going the bathroom, and sitting in a chair will look like from now on with a leg needing to stay straight for the next 3 months.
It’s grim, but I know there’s an answer to everything – the tongs just proved it.
I wish I had a better post to share this week, but this is my most current update.
The Promise to be vulnerable with my readers and friends is a very important part of living what I preach.
I haven’t missed a day working out for a year. I spend a lot of time at the fitness center and it’s my favorite daily promise.
I injured myself at the gym with a gruesome injury on Thursday, the kind that goes viral if you’re lucky enough (LOL) to get it on film.
My kneecap exploded off of my shin and zipped up my thigh, my quads pulling the patella up while the tibia looked up in horror. To see your kneecap 4 inches above where it’s supposed to be is quite tragic, as my friend called it, “A Revolting Situation.” It is a Patellar Tendon Tear, the equivalent of the infamous Achilles Heal injury that has sidelined some of the greatest jumpers in NBA history.
Yes, I was jumping. Yes, I still think I could be in the NBA. At 44 it’s officially time to hang up the HOKA’s (BTW: that is the perfect Dad joke…and, if you play basketball, you know that’s 1 Million percent the wrong shoe to wear playing basketball).
It’s the kind of brutal injury nightmare films are made of and people who happen to be watching begin running to trash cans to get rid of former meals.
One guy said it was the worst injury he’s ever seen and he served in the Army. As I was screaming he told me to take my mind off the pain to give him my hand as he broke my finger and smiled (I’m kidding, but anyone who knows that reference wins the obscure Army reference movies from the 90’s award).
I was with my two oldest sons, Redford and Romney. We didn’t know what to do, as the gym personnel called 911 my son Red instinctively grabbed my iPhone and started to record and document everything.
That’s my boy!
I’m proud he thought of the only thing he could do to be helpful, as he knew I’d want it captured to see back again, and really there was nothing anyone could do except get out of the way as I writhed in agony.
Somehow I realized I could stand, straighten my leg, which felt better, and drag my foot while walking backwards, thus essentially moonwalking out the front door to a confused group of EMT’s, firetruck and ambulance workers, before I collapsed outside to the ground, scraping my back on the stainless steel firetruck step, my leg buckling with a coil and kneecap trying to make it’s way to my nipple…
I’m scared. I’m bummed. I’m sad.
Surgery is scheduled right over a huge event I was supposed to do in Atlanta this week, the client had already paid a big deposit, we had worked so hard on this one to customize every entertainment slot I was so excited to do for a company I love…they insisted we reschedule for my long term health and appreciated my willingness to suffer it out and get on a plane to be there. What a great client.
They reminded me to keep The Promise to myself.
Luckily all of my events for the next 2 months are in my home state and I can drive.
Luckily, my Mom lives close by and came to my rescue, along with my siblings, while my wife was out of town, in the mountains with no cell or wifi, and didn’t find out until 24 hours after it happened.
Luckily, we have the top knee surgeon in the world who lives in hometown and has seen me perform. My Dad texted him and he fit me in immediately. I have a consultation Monday, surgery this week.
Luckily, I can still walk and made it to my son Royal’s football game today.
The Promise to find the good. The Promise to live what I teach. I wondered how I’d handle the last 48 hours since this happened, as I type this out at 11 PM Saturday night, but I can honestly say I just see it as a new way of learning empathy.
My Mother-in-Law had knee surgery on the same knee twice, and a liver replacement-donation miracle in between those procedures, all of which nearly killed her. I have greater feelings for what’s she gone through now and empathy for her suffering.
My dear friend, world-renowned speaker Chad Hymas, I have no idea how this paralyzed man has navigated the world in his wheelchair to inspire millions without a traveling companion. How on earth has he done this? I have infinitely more admiration for the man now, and I already revered him before.
Every person who suffers, such as my friend Denyse, or those coming down with COVID for Round 75, I mean, there’s a lot I know is happening all around me and I hardly think about because I’m so busy going so fast.
If anything, this was a divine kick to the knee, suggesting I slow down for a minute, and look around, feel something, appreciate little things like standing up.
This has completely knocked me out, but won’t keep me down. I anticipate some great insights and stories from this experience, and Promise to do my best to not have my blog only be about this now, but I may have some really funny stuff coming your way.
Here’s what I posted tonight on social media, after ensuring my wife knew what had happened, and then sharing with the world.
In posting this I’m not looking for sympathy, I’m wanting to let others know what happened so I can move along and get going on PT, and wow how fast this gets the word out. What I AM looking for are stories, inspiration, and comedy through all of it, because that is what moves me, and I will share as that comes.
That’s my Promise. And I also Promise to wake someone up next time my feet get cold, because as cool as my pulling the sock on with tongs story is, it’s just another example of me trying to do everything on my own, not inconvenience those waiting to help me, and I think it’s time I allow others the blessing of serving, which I find really tough to do.
But I Promise I’ll try.
Thank you for your kind messages and well wishes. I hope you have a great week and watch out for my new Knee-Note Speech (Yes!!!! hahahahah. Plenty more where that came from kids!).
~ Jason Hewlett
Husband, Father, Writer, Mentor, Hiker
- Speaker Hall of Fame * Award-Winning Entertainer * Promise Legacy Project Coach
- World’s Only Keynote Speaker utilizing entertainment, musical impressions, and comedy to Create Legendary Leadership through the Power of Commitment
- Author of “The Promise To The One”