Wednesday, April 18, 2012

The Injury

Parenthood brings frightening moments that either scare you into paralysis, or make you scream like a banshee: a child running after a ball towards a busy street, a fevered forehead that burns to the touch, the surprising phone call from school to report an accident, the frantic search in the store for a wandering preschooler. Your heart stops and there is the real possibility that it may not beat again.

It was the first middle school Lacrosse game of the season. I was at a women’s conference in Chattanooga with fifteen other women from my church. That Saturday morning, I left the session early to travel back home for Chase’s game. My plan was to return to the conference after he played to glean more wisdom from Christian author, Kay Arthur, and her love for colored pencils.

Chase has true passion for the sport of lacrosse. It comes to our son naturally and it brings pure parental joy to watch him play. Although the sport is somewhat new to us, we understand most of the rules thanks to the purchase of the Lacrosse for Dummies book which makes us appear legitimate as we cheer from the bleachers.

With a few minutes left in the game, Chase sprinted down the field in anticipation of the pass that would allow him a shot at the goal. Catching the pass, he turned towards the net and shot, and then immediately was hit by an opposing player. Already off-balanced by the throw, Chase’s body was flung backwards, his helmet catching the brunt of the fall.

And then he was still.

There is very little to prepare you for the sight of a child lying listless. Sounds no longer exist and oxygen seems to be unavailable. Those first few seconds last longer than should be allowed, an excruciating moment unnaturally prolonged. Somehow I found myself standing, unaware that my spouse was already running towards the field.

As coaches and officials swarmed around our son, I could only see his motionless legs. My husband was kneeling beside Chase, and an illogical string of words reverberated inside of my head, “Please God, please no, please move, please God…”.

Finally, and mercifully, there was movement.

Once carried off of the field, Chase was examined by the team trainer. Classic symptoms of dizziness, nausea and head pain confirmed suspicions of a mild concussion. Later that day, he would have an MRI to ensure that his brain had not been further injured. It came back clear and I began to breathe normally again. For the rest of the weekend Chase would rest and engage in little activity and looked forward to returning to school and practice on Monday.

But Monday morning came, and Chase’s symptoms had worsened. My strong, twelve year old boy could not stand or walk on his own.

No comments: