Wednesday, October 2, 2013

For the Love of the Sport - Part Two

I just wrote about how I’ll let my son play football despite the possibility of injuries. I mean, I just wrote it! Literally one day after I wrote that blog post, my child was injured. It wasn’t my football-playing son who was injured, however. It was my cheerleading daughter. Last night, while at practice, she fell doing a basic stunt. Her team does some really crazy stunts that scare me, but last night it was just a very basic lift that went wrong. From a height of about 5-6 feet in the air, Lexi fell backwards. It happens so fast when a flyer falls. About all they can do is trust their bases and spotters to catch them. Last night, Lexi’s bases and back spotter failed to catch her or even cushion her blow. She hit the ground, landing on her shoulder which jammed into her neck with nothing but an inch of foam to help soften the impact.

She lay there, crying, struggling to breathe, moaning about the pain in her shoulder and her neck, then taking great gulps of air and crying that her neck hurt to breathe. Immediately her coaches held her head still and kept her stationary while trying to ascertain where her injury was, and how serious it was. Her right shoulder appeared a little deformed and swollen, but even more concerning was the pain in her neck.

I left the bleachers and made my way onto the field, not aware of how badly she was hurt at first. I mean, I’ve seen her fall dozens of times. In fact, she’d fallen several times earlier that night and each time, she stood up and got right back up in the stunt. When I reached her, I knew immediately how badly she was hurt.

After a few minutes that seemed like forever, the coaches (one of whom is a nurse), called the ambulance. Lexi’s neck pain was scary. Seriously scary. So scary, in fact, that I didn’t even notice the paramedics! Right away they put a collar around her neck to stabilize her head, and strapped her to a board before lifting her to the stretcher.

As the paramedics wheeled her across the field to the ambulance, Brooklyn and Clayton who were practicing right there ran over to see Lexi. That’s when I lost it. I’d been holding it together, keeping my head up for Lex, and silently praying, “Please don’t let her neck be broken. Please don’t let her neck be broken”, but when Brooklyn came over bawling her eyes out, I lost it. It was a heartbreaking scene, Brooklyn’s coach lifting her up so she could clutch at Lexi while crying frightened tears for her big sister.

In the end, after a CT of her neck and x-rays of her shoulder and clavicle, it was determined that Lexi’s spine is fine and her shoulder is a little separated, but it wasn’t a bad enough tear to show up on the x-ray. Her arm is in a sling, she has medicine for the pain, has a lot of neck pain, and will be out of cheer while she heals. The good news is that her injuries aren’t bad at all. The other good news is that this incident really made me feel like Florida is finally home. Friends gathered around the football field offering to take my younger kids home, offering to get my car for me, offering to do anything I needed at the moment. Texts poured in with messages of support, offers of help, and requests to be updated on Lexi’s status. In that instant, it felt like we had a network of family and friends. 

And for those of you wondering if I’ll allow Lexi to cheer again, the answer is yes. I’m not sure if she’ll want to go back to it, or if she’ll ever trust her bases and spotters to fly with them again, but if she does, I’ll support her. Consider this - in the end, Lexi wasn’t badly hurt. My friend’s 7-year-old daughter, however, was accidentally kicked in the head at school yesterday. She seemed fine and went about her day and went to cheer last night. In the middle of the night, she woke up vomiting. After a visit to the hospital, it was determined that she had a concussion. This is her second concussion. The first one was worse and it happened while playing on the playground during summer camp. Two major head injuries, both the result of non-sports related accidents. In the end, you just never know.


OneWritingMomma said...

Thank heavens she's not seriously hurt. I'm glad you realized all the support you have, in Florida and all over! Even little ole me in WI had my family praying for good news. Dawn, I do believe it's time for a break in all mishaps, illnesses, car issues, scary almost-snakes, and anything else coming your way! Sending a HUGE glass of virtual wine.

Alicia said...

So happy Lexi is ok. My son is big into every sport and yes I want to keep him in a bubble but if he can break his clavicle and still want to play once he's healed, well then who I am to stop him. Once the doctor released him that is.

ExtraordinaryMommy said...

Oh Dawn - I held my breath as I read this and teared up the entire time - I'm so thankful your girl is ok. Sending you all kinds of love. xoxo

Lisa @ Crazy Adventures in Parenting said...

Goodness, me. In all the years I cheered, I was always a spotter and I never EVER let a girl fall. We had a few near misses, and one time a girl completely missed the other girl, and came directly at me, and I caught her, single-handedly (which meant, we went to the ground). We both came up half-crying, half-hugging, and I kept telling her I'd never let her fall, and I meant it.

I really hope her cheer squad takes a more serious stance on stunts and does a better job at control. And I hope Lexi feels better soon xo

Notsopc said...

I had just read your first post and then saw about Lexi.. I am sure glad she is okay.. Phew how many gray hairs did you get with that one?

Liz@thisfullhouse said...

I was crying through this whole post, because a) poor Lexi b) poor you c) Brooklyn's coach. It makes my heart glad to know that you are finally feeling at home and have such fantastic support from your friends and neighbors. Glad Lexi is going to be okay. Love and miss you, my friend!

PamGram said...

So glad she's going to be alright. I held it together also until the part with Brooklyn and Clay came in. Having 5 kids of various ages,40--19,I know when 1 gets sick or injured how it affects the others.Bless their little hearts.It's going to be hard to separate them now,not that you want to...hugs to all.

Diana said...

I'm glad Lexi is going to be fine. I think you are doing the right thing in continuing to let your children pursue what interests them. At the same point, I am thankful that my boys have no interest in football (either type). I'm glad there were people to assist you and your other children as well. My boys like Scouts and camping - whole other issues there.

Kristin of course said...

Well said. 1st grader in my youngest's class fell of a non-motorized, basic Razr scooter and broke his ankle and leg in 2 spots. The kid is 4 feet tall and was 3 inches off the ground. It happens.

One of my daughter's friends was swinging on a regular swing and jumped out. She landed in a heap and declared her ankle was broken. Since she wasn't crying, we all told her to knock it off and go play. Which she did. Turns out her growth plate was broken.

My youngest has 2 scars on his forehead from falling whilst walking/running in the neighborhood. Not even a good story to back it up.

It does happen. And as for Jackson, if anyone has read your blog for a while, they'd know that football might very well be the best thing for that kid, emotionally and physically. Yes, it's worth it.

Angela said...

I'm so glad Lexi wasn't seriously injured. I applaud your single-handed, loving support of your children.

Anonymous said...

So glad she is ok. It is always scary when a flyer gets dropped. My daughter is a level 4 competitive cheerleader and as a backspot, got a concussion last week when her flyer whacked her with an elbow and another flyer fell back onto her, knocking her to the ground. I was really worried for days and it was just only a few days ago that she is back to normal. Whoever says this sport is not dangerous has never really watched these kids. I hope she will be able to return to cheerleading and learn to trust her bases and back spot again.

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