Both boys’ teams won. Both boys played well.
We were playing Bartlett and the #16th play of the game (I know because I have watched the video over and over and over again, wishing for a different outcome), Tommy went to tackle the kid with the ball and it didn’t end well for Tommy. Tommy went down and I knew it was bad. I heard it. (I won’t discuss what I think happened after watching the video in slow motion because I am watching from the point of view as Tommy’s mom.)
My heart sank and Belle said, “Mom, go over there.” I have that really bad thing that when I am nervous, I am a tad mean and I turned to her and said, “Shut up!” I did not mean that and it was SO uncalled for but I thought if I didn’t go over there it wouldn’t be bad. He’d get up like he usually does. But I knew. I walked over and one of the Bartlett coaches saw me and my panicked face, told me to go on the field and proceeded to try to calm me down. I was okay. I wasn’t crying. He was moving. Having a hard time catching his breath but moving. Then they said, “Call an ambulance” and I lost it. It was precautionary, they said. Just to make sure.
I cannot even begin to describe how awesome the coaches, parents and kids are on our football team. A bonus of our kids being a part of the football culture is that the parents have an immediate “family” feeling and an immediate bond. We all live with this thought in the back of our heads that this can happen so we get it. I had the girls with me and immediately, the moms said, “Don’t worry. We got it.” They made sure my car got home because Leo and I took two cars and I was going in the ambulance with Tommy. The guys from the Bartlett organization were the nicest guys. Just so accommodating and sweet. They made sure I could stay with Tommy. I pulled it together while waiting for the ambulance. I’ll tell you, it was the longest 6 minutes of my life. I lost it again when they taped him to the stretcher.
The ambulance ride was Hell. He was in so much pain that they had to start an IV to give him pain meds. He was trying to get his helmet off because his head hurt. Once we got in a room and his helmet was off, he was much better so the questions began: “Did they score after I left?” “Did the guy get a penalty for that tackle?” “What’s the score now?” “How much time?” “Who has the ball now?” It killed him not be there.
All the tests came back normal. It was ruled a mild concussion, not because the tests showed that but because he had a headache.
He cried three times: Right after it happened, in the ambulance and when the doctor told him he was out for at least a week.
The ER doctor was very nice. He started telling me all the information on concussions. I listened and did feel a little on the defense about why I let my kids play and the answer is simple. It is who they are. I didn’t choose this for them. They chose it for themselves and the reality is that a kid could get just as hurt playing on a playground or playing in a friend’s basement or changing a shoe after stepping in dog crap from someone else’s dog. Gia doesn’t play any sports and has already been to the ER three times for head injuries.
I have to trust his coaches (which I do completely) and trust that all the players are going to play a clean game.
Today, Tommy is doing well but is sore without all of the pain meds that were pumped into him yesterday. He’s a fighter, that kid so I have no doubt he’ll be back to his old self soon. Coaches, good luck keeping him down at practices.