Monday, November 21, 2011


On this parenting journey, I've ridden in an ambulance with my semi-comatose daughter, had another child lose consciousness on the way to the hospital, dealt with swallowed coins, popcorn kernels in the ears of two children, three kid concussions, a broken toddler foot, ear-tube surgery, and delivered premature twins via emergency c-section.  Apparently, the universe thought I hadn't experienced enough parenting trauma. On Friday afternoon, Mitch called with the news that our oldest had somehow been hit in the head during his game at a soccer tournament outside of Sao Paulo, way on the other side of Brazil. The only information we had was that it was a head injury and he was on his way to the hospital, an hour away from the camp the kids were at. You haven't lived until your child is hurt in a developing country and you have no way of knowing if he's okay and no way to reach him or anybody who might know anything.  I died a thousand deaths, gathered up the kids and headed to the embassy. The next several hours were a blur. I do remember that there was some crazy hysterical lady there, who may or may not have been me. The embassy staff was amazing and helpful with translators and medical advice. I was able to speak to Jack at one point, finally, but he was slurring and not making much sense. That conversation terrified me. We heard conflicting reports about what had happened from different people: that he had been hit in the head by a soccer ball, that his head had been hit by another kid's head, and that he had hit his head on the ground during a celebratory tackle. It turned out that all three were true.We were in close contact with his school principal (who had ridden with him) once they reached the hospital, which was very helpful. The head CT came back normal, at which point I was finally able to breathe a little. They kept him for observation and he flew home on Saturday. The actual story of those three hits and the events leading up to the ambulance ride were worse than what I had even imagined had happened, making the fact that my child is now home and relatively in one piece somewhat of a miracle. After he woke up from his blackout ("I didn't lose consciousness, mom, I don't even remember anything but waking up on the field" Um. Okay, son.), he decided to go lie down. A few hours later, he woke up vomiting, seeing double, and unable to walk. I'm so glad I didn't know the details until he was home, breathing, flesh and blood.

It's a shame you can't really see the rainbow of colors under his eye.

Oh, and Jack's team took 3rd place in the tournament, but according to Jack, "Our school won for best injury. Represent!" Not sure what that means, but I'm 43 today, which means I'm officially too old to know what the hell these whippersnappers are talking about these days.


Nomads By Nature said...

Oh my word! My heart just about stopped while reading what you (and of course your son) just went through. Having a child competing in sports in distant places is common enough in the FS life, and the injuries are too - but horrible when they happen at the same time. Glad you had a lot of support and God Bless that coach who was right there with him the whole time. Enjoy your birthday with all kids safe at home!!!

Lisa said...

Being a mom is scary. I'm glad Jack is safe and sound at home and on the road to recovery. I'm sending you hugs.