My Broken Knee

My Visit to the ER

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…

 

My left kneecap in the wrong place

 

Ambulance Ride

 

Truth is:

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.

Daddy and Royal at football

~

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”

jasonhewlett.com

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24 thoughts on “My Broken Knee”

  1. Jason, it was good to see you for a moment as we arranged ourselves for a NSA chapter picture in Nashville. I fist saw you at an event Gerald Rogers put on many years ago. You had just come from a funeral and I was so impressed you could still have me in stitches when you were experiencing grief. Your a great example of keeping your promise even when your in pain and have a great excuse to not write for just one week. I wish you a speedy recovery and great inspiration as you figure out how to navigate the challenges of an injury.

  2. Oh my goodness! I pictured you just leaving NSA, Hope you had a meaningful time there.
    You will look for the lessons available to you which you will share with others because it is who you are.
    What is the exact time of surgery.
    You can count on prayers from MN.
    Many blessings and remember:
    “God is still writing your story.
    Quit trying to steal the pen.
    Trust the author.”

    1. What a marvelous quote you’ve shared. Thank you my friend. Surgery is scheduled for Tuesday in the AM, still awaiting exact time, but so thankful it’s sooner than later.

  3. As I woke up to 2 news stories this morning, yours and the news of a new grandson being born, I am wondering. Is it fair that I get to celebrate and you get to suffer. I love the previous comment. Good is writing our stories, don’t steal the pen. Someday we will understand it all. For now, just know there is more to the story. Hang in there my friend.

    1. Really amazing how we can be celebrating here and others mourning there. What a great thought and perspective. I’m very happy for you and your grandson, what an exciting time! Thus is life – to rejoice and to mourn and be thankful for all of it.

  4. Although I am sorry for this misfortune, and the pain it caused, it is already apparent you have a great attitude. With God’s healing help, and your determination, this will soon be like a bump in the road in the rear-view mirror of your life experiences.

    Best wishes for a complete and speedy recovery!

    1. Thank you so much Duane. It’s been an interesting experience. Grateful for what I am gleaning from this.

  5. Oh, Raptor Man — This is a real pain. I am so sorry!

    Perhaps the “why” of these things is in the sentence you wrote:

    “I have greater feelings for what [other’s have] gone through now and empathy for [their] suffering.”

    Perhaps this is a big part of the stuff of life, and is inherently a part of our promises made long ago when the world was new.

    Love,
    Thomas

    PS ~ And, yes, Chad puts on socks when he can’t put on socks but has to put on socks so he does anyway — and will his whole life!

    1. Yes sir, I believe this is a divine kick in the knee to help me with empathy of others and of self. I have certainly hurt myself for years by going too hard, too fast, too much.

  6. This story of the socks (although very Noble of you my brother and predictable behavior), is exactly why I begged you to let me know how I could help as I “slept” in your basement awaiting anxiously for a chance to assist that night. I should’ve slept at your doorstep with your dog Goldie so I could’ve heard/seen you crawling and I would’ve picked you up and put you back in bed and put the wool socks on myself!!! 😩🤦🏼‍♂️ I admire your never ending grit and Promise keeping my brother.

    1. My Brother, thank you for your comment and especially for your help the night we had this experience. More than anything I learned I need to ask for help, and I appreciate that you are there for me. This was a good learning lesson for me, and I am grateful you’re willing to do whatever it takes to keep The Promise.

  7. Sorry to here brother. Our prayers on the healing, and speedy recovery

    I keep saying I’m getting old which I am, so I always need to slow down a bit. I can’t bless lives of Gods children if I can’t get up

    God bless

  8. Man Jason, my heart goes out to you! I can’t even imagine the scenario of what happened. I dont even want to!
    One thing that I thought was pretty cool is you weren’t working out alone, but you were with your two son’s! Your a Family Man! that says a lot about who you are as a person.

    Stay positive, visualize yourself healing quickly. Begin with end in mind (You know who wrote that)

    1. Thank you Eddie! Great words and thoughts. Really appreciate the thoughts about my family, grateful they were there, it changed the dynamics of the whole situation.

  9. Oh man, that kneecap looks crazy – can’t even imagine how painful that was. I really hope that you’re back to full strength sooner than expected – the world needs you at full strength! Be well, my friend – positive, magical thoughts are being sent your way.

  10. As always, your ability (and willingness!) to make lemonade out of every catastrophe is an inspiration to all who know and love you.

    Alfred Lord Tennyson said, “My strength is as the strength of ten, because my heart is pure.” So is yours, dear boy. That’s why we all know “you got this.”

    Hugs and prayers, Evelyn

    1. What a beautiful comment as only a most prolific writer can pen. Thank you for this my friend. Please know I think of you so often and all you’ve been through and continue to press on in faith and power.

  11. When I read you were missing an event in Atlanta my heart sank because I was afraid it was the event I was going to. And yes. It was. I have heard you before and would have loved to have you there with us. But hopefully next year‼️‼️‼️ I told all my people what they were missing so they’re looking forward to it too. GET WELL. We need your message. ❤️

    1. Oh my goodness, what a small world! We had such a great show prepared with my interstitial pieces woven in…I’m sure it was wonderful without me, but yes, bummed I couldn’t make it. Thank you for the kind words and hoping we will see one another there next year!

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