Monday, September 3, 2012

Hey, Coach! (Part 2 of 2)

Continued from an earlier blog.

I had blacked out after the collision at home plate. I woke up in my stepfather's car, sprawled across the back seat on my back. I was nauseous from the pain, and being unusual for me, the motion of the vehicle. It took all of my willpower not to vomit. I noticed my throbbing wrist was wrapped in gauze holding an ice pack in the back, splints on each side, A sling was tied at my shoulder holding my arm up so I couldn't bend my elbow.

My stepfather related the news about what happened after I lost consciousness.  The good news, the catcher dropped the ball, and apparently I somehow touched the plate with my injured hand. The bad news was the doctor who looked at my wrist the first time believed I tore some ligaments. This could be mean possible surgery for me.

I walked unaided into the ER of the hospital.  My stepfather and I sat at the registration desk. My mind was racing with thoughts that were for the most part were unpleasant. How bad was it? Will I play baseball again?  And if I could, how good will I be at it?  It is possible I may lose functionality in my hand where I can't grip anything properly?

My mom arrived. She was calm and collected as always. She sat next to me in the common area. She told me everything was going to be alright, and as always, I believed her. She brought me books to read instead of the magazines spewed everywhere, some so old they predated my birth.

Later, which seemed like eternity,  I was called into the ER. I had had an x-ray of the injured area. As I sat in my little cubicle, I saw a couple of doctors talking over the negative of my wrist through the opening of the curtain that was not completely closed. I was not feeling the pain as intensely as before. It was more of a dull ache, the wonderful medication the nurse gave me helped immensely.

Still I waited longer. My anxiety grew in intensity, despite the drugs in my system. I wanted to leave, and I was ready to run out the hospital to escape the incredible foreboding this place was instilling upon me. I got up from the bed I was sitting on, walked over to the curtain, and as I reached for it with my good hand, it suddenly burst open.

I jumped a bit, being startled from the ER doctor coming in with my parents.  Doc gently told me to sit back onto the bed. I did so, now knowing his professional judgement was now forthcoming.

The good news, nothing was broken. However, I had a third degree sprain.  The healing process and rehabilitation time for this type of injury could be up to three months.

My heart sank. My baseball season was over.

Over the next several days, a deep depression fell over me. I didn't really do much of anything. School, meals, and bed. That was it. I turned over the paper route I had over to my friend because I couldn't ride my bike, something I essentially needed to be able to do the route properly.

On the positive side, I wasn't the only person in my family that played baseball that spring. My little sister was playing with a Minor Little League which was only a 5 minute walk from our house.  Her and I would work on drills together in the back yard when neither of us had practice or a game.  Most of the time, we had conflicting schedules, so I was unable to get to see her play in an actual game.

My missing her games was about change, albeit, reluctantly.

It was 8 days after my injury.  It was on a Thursday,  I remember that because I was watching the sitcom "Cheers". (Ironically, I have a story about an experience from that show I will post another time.) My mom knocks on my bedroom door,  and after a moment enters.

We discussed how my wrist felt. We also talked about my mental well being. She spoke about baseball, which she knew little about except the fact I ate, slept, and breathed it. This segued into a problem she needed my help to solve.

The problem was my sister had a game Friday afternoon and my mom had to work later than her normal shift.  So, my stepdad, who would be home in time, could take her. That would leave me to watch my little brothers because they can't stay still during the game. (Most of  the parents of the players attended their kids game back then.).

So, I had this conundrum before me.  Do I take my sister to the her game and watch other kids play baseball, something I loved with a passion but I could no longer participate.  Or, do I stay home, babysit my brothers,  who like to annoy me, and risk doing something I would regret because of my present state of mind?

I decided on the former after much anguish.