Some of you know that Talia’s been having knee issues for a while . . . “growing pains, ” really, something to do with her bones growing more quickly than her muscles – especially pronounced during soccer season. But a couple of months ago, we finally got a diagnosis from the doctor: Osgood-Schlatters. And the bad news that came with it: Talia was to avoid all activities that caused pain – especially all high impact activities. Now, at this point, even walking was causing some amount of pain! And soccer, running and hiking – staples in our household at this time of year – are all high impact activities. Basically, we were asking our very active daughter to STOP – completely. As one of the many documents we read about Osgood-Schlatters said, “Parents find it a cruel irony that the most active kids are most likely to get OSD — and also the ones least likely to rest the affected area.”
We pulled Talia from soccer just before the season started. Pulled her from gym at school. We were thankful that swimming is considered low impact, so she could still participate in most of the activities of her junior lifesaving club.
But more distressing to Talia was the fact that she couldn’t run. “Will I be able to run the Calgary Marathon 10 K?” she asked even before we left the doctor’s office. She’d been registered since January. “Pray about it,” I answered. But the more I read about Osgood Schlatters, the more I realized that there was NO WAY that this issue would resolve itself that quickly. I was praying that she’d be able to participate again by September . . . knowing that even that would be a bit of a miracle. We got Talia a patellar strap and made sure she iced her knee regularly, and waited for her referral to the sports med doctor to go through . . . knowing that it could be a looooong wait.
Apparently Talia kept praying. The referral came through (amazingly so, since our doctor had told us she was trying a different sports med clinic, since she couldn’t get us into this one). The appointment was 5 days before the Calgary Marathon. “There’s no way,” we told Talia . . .
I went in to the appointment with the Sports Med Doctor with my mental list of questions . . . how long does she have to avoid high impact activities, how will we know when she can start again, etc. etc. I didn’t get to any of them. The doctor confirmed it was, indeed, Osgood Schlatters . . . and then asked if the patellar strap that Talia was wearing allowed her to play soccer. He said – numerous times – in response to my many questions – “she can do what she can do” . . . basically, she could participate in anything she wanted to, up to her pain tolerance. I made sure he knew she had a high pain tolerance!! But he said that, while the bump below her knee might get bigger (and it’s permanent), there wasn’t really any reason to keep her from participating – she’d likely be dealing with OSD for another few years, but would eventually grow out of it.
Of course, Talia was ecstatic. She figured that meant she could run the 10 K! Kevin & I weren’t so sure. This was completely opposite of everything we had read about OSD. And Talia hadn’t run at all for 6 weeks – really, had hardly even walked anywhere. Wouldn’t it be better if she WALKED with the TEAM EMI walkers? Maybe ran a little bit of the 5 K? This was crazy . . .
Long story short . . . God answers kids prayers about running, too. No, he didn’t miraculously heal Talia. But we finally gave in and allowed her to try to run the 10 K – with promises to slow down and walk if her knee was at all bugging her. She ran with one of the other TEAM EMI moms – finished in 1:08 – and her knee did just fine.
We’ve decided to still keep her out of soccer – since that seemed to aggravate the issue the most last year. But Talia is so happy to be “allowed” to run and hike and DO STUFF again. She’s still wearing her patellar strap all the time, and we’re trying to keep things toned down a bit (pray for wisdom for us!!). But we’re excited to see Talia’s faith grow as she sees God answer HER prayers (even when Mom says there’s no way 😉 ). And hey – we were talking about impossible prayers at Sunday School last week, and I got to share Talia’s story with my Sunday School kids . . . and they were excited to see that God doesn’t just answer impossible prayers in Bible Times, he does it for kids they know too.
So . . . keep praying those impossible prayers as you “run with endurance the race God has set before [you]” (Hebrews 12:1).