I have some to realize, over the past few years of my life, that I handle myself well under pressure, in times of crisis, or emergency situations. I consider this to be one of my strengths, but I also find this a tad ironic because I am a
pretty very emotional person.
This strength of mine came into play on Tuesday night during volleyball practice. While running a few laps at practice, one of the girls clotheslined herself (across the bridge of her nose) on the rope that connects the volleyball net to the pole. Since the momentum of her body was traveling forward and the rope stopped the motion of her head/upper body, it created this slingshot effect catapulting her into the air. She came crashing down to the gym floor, hitting her head when she landed.
I missed seeing most of the action, except the landing, so I had originally thought that she had tripped over her feet while running (which is a completely normal and common thing for a growing 11 year old girl to do).
I ran and got ice for her head and for the rope burn that was forming on her nose and cheek, and we called mom. My player was conscious the whole time, eyes very clear, and talking…which were all positive signs immediately after she fell.
Then she started repeating herself and through talking to her she told us that she had no recollection of what had just happened or anything from earlier that day, which scared her and cause her to start freaking out and getting emotional (which we know from mom is a very common reaction for her whenever something happens…big or small). It was then that we knew something was wrong and this was more serious than we had originally thought.
I ended up calling 911 because with the repeating, the lack of remembering, not wanting to move her, and the fact that it was possibly a concussion, we figured this was the best thing to do.
She went to the ER, had some scans (which, thank the Lord, came back clear), and was released later that night.
It was one of the scarier moments I have experienced and the first time that someone else’s child has been hurt on my watch. To be sitting in the ER with an 11 year old and her mom, hearing her repeat the same questions/statements over and over (like it’s Groundhog Day), makes you feel like you have done something wrong and that there should have been something you could have done to prevent it.
Matt told me to “stop Monday morning quarterbacking it” and that it was a simple accident. Volleyball players have been running under the net for years. I know that all it was was an accident and that it could have happened to anyone at anytime playing any sport. She has recovered completely and was back at school on Thursday.
This was really the first (and small) taste of what, I am sure, parents feel like when their children are hurt. I feel the responsibility of keeping people safe everyday in the classroom, but this was different. I can only imagine how it will feel when it is my own child that is injured…I just hope that at that point I will be as cool, calm, and collected as I was for this.