Son #1 had another football game. He stood on the sidelines until three minutes before the half. He ran in for the play. He was able to get to the linebacker and made a tackle (he's 88)
He was down on the turf. And he stayed down and wasn't moving. And wasn't moving. And wasn't moving. The Chairman says to me, 'this isn't good'. Then 'this is really bad. Why isn't he moving at all?' I have no answers. The players go back to their sides. Crowded around our son are the referees, his head coach, and most importantly, an assistant coach that also happens to be the assistant fire chief and a full-time EMT. The carefully remove his shoes. He's still not moving. The Chairman jumps up and says, 'I'm going down to the field'. I sit there with a pit in my stomach. My baby boy is out there lying on the turf and isn't moving. I feel nauseous. Another mom says to me, 'I'd go down if I were you'. So I take off to the field. The ones leaning over are talking in hushed tones. Then there is crackling of radios and I hear an ambulance is being called. I feel like this is a very very bad dream. Our son. Our very dear son is lying there too still. I go up to him and as soon as he sees me there are tears. I have tears. I back off so they can keep talking to him.
I'm searching the Chairman's face for reassurance. He just says quietly, 'I think it'll be ok'. The head coach comes over and I look at this hulk of a man with tear-dimmed eyes of a mom beyond worry. He says also, 'I think he's going to be ok'.
The ambulance pulls in sirens and all. And off goes our son:
Teammates kneel in respect and clap softly as he's hauled away.
I ride up in the front of the ambulance as the three EMT's look over our son. I answer questions through the window. The Chairman is the ambulance chaser with the van. And off to the hospital we go. As I look through the window I see something! A foot moving. A hand moving. He's probably going to walk again!! My plans for remodeling the house to be wheelchair accessible won't be necessary! (I think far ahead like that.)
At the hospital they cut off his football gear. Soon he heads to the CT scanner and they eventually find nothing wrong with the bones or spine. The Chairman plays with the equipment in the ER.
After another hour or more, the ER doctor comes in with very important discharge information:
|Please note: sisters have to do the chores for the next 3 years...|
So the verdict was a neck sprain. The initial paralysis was due to a 'stinger' of the nervous system that causes the extremities to not work. In the blink of an eye.... life could have been forever altered for us. But this time it wasn't. We're very thankful for a son that walks. We're very thankful for going back to 'normal'. However, I was telling our MYP after we got home, 'no matter what happens the rest of the day or week or month for that matter, it is all good'. Scary experiences make you pause and consider just how very wonderful normal living is. That's the silver lining in this cloud.
Ed note: all photos taken on the football field are compliments of the team photographer.