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Saturday, April 17, 2010

Football, injuries and rehab

So, as I mentioned in my last post, my youngest son dislocated his shoulder at football last week. That’s Australian Rules Football. It was the last practice match before the season started, so he had to miss the first game this week much to his frustration. For those of you who haven’t heard of Australian Rules Football, visit this site:

It was a moment that every parent prays won’t happen. He was over the ball, fighting hard for it and someone from the opposition landed on his shoulder. The next I saw he was holding his arm and struggling from the ground, calling someone to come on and replace him. His shoulder looked awful. The top of his arm was sort of concave with the shoulder bone sticking out over it. Naturally it was his right arm. I felt sick. But I was also extremely proud of him. Even in immense pain he carried himself well.

Injuries on the football field are a nightmare for mothers, especially single mothers, in more ways than just the pain caused to their sons. The question always hovers over one, whether to run out on the field, or wait until they go to the rooms? Does one run out at all? Will running out to see how they are mean they are less of a “man” in their teammate’s eye? Do I? Don’t I?

After a few moments of quandary I went into the club rooms, only to be told I had to get the car and take him to hospital. Why they didn’t call an ambulance I don’t know. So I ran off to ask my friend (arrived from Sydney the night before) to wait with my son while I threw our chairs in the car and manoeuvred it through traffic to get closer to the change rooms. It seemed like an eternity for the football club’s physiotherapist and trainers to get my son into the car and another eternity for me to negotiate the traffic, attempting to miss bumps, until we go to Emergency at the local hospital.

I parked in the ambulance bay and found two nice paramedics who helped to get my son out of the car and into a wheelchair. Thank goodness my friend was there as she moved the car for me into a nearby car park. Thank goodness for the wonderful triage nurse who almost immediately got my son seen to. Thank goodness also for the excellent nurses who looked after him and the outstanding doctor who gently manipulated his shoulder back into place with the assistance of morphine and laughing gas.

Later on X-rays would show there were no bones broken or fractured. Our awesome naturopath came around with some cream and homepathics for him and the massage lady I took him to managed to realign him. The following week the physiotherapist would lift our hopes by saying he might be able to play again in four weeks (three now).

So now he has one more week in a sling (we hope). He goes to see the physiotherapist again in about ten days and we find out what he can and can’t do from there. I know he will do all he can to get it strong again so he can play. Meanwhile we went to watch his friends play, and lose, the first match of the season. I could tell he was frustrated on the sidelines, but he held himself well.

Am I looking forward to the day he runs out onto the field again? Of course I am. But of course there will also be some trepidation and my heart will be in my mouth every time someone comes near him.


  1. I had to turn away from the post for a minute.
    Very vivid.

    Glad to hear he's going to be alright. That sounds like the way the hockey teams/coaches handle stuff here.

  2. Hi Ca88andra, I'm glad your boy is on the road to recovery. My girls used to get injured doing gymnastics and it is a nightmare. They've fallen from horses too. They're grown up now, so the worries aren't quite the same :-)

  3. Now he has a story to tell. It's hard to watch them get hurt but you did all the right things. You didn't run out onto the field and embarrass him....which is what we want to do.

  4. Ardeth - I guess teams and coaches are pretty much the same everywhere.
    Leah - he is 17 so I guess I'm just the sort who worries no matter how old they are!
    Robyn - thank you!
    Susan - Ahhh he will have lots of stories I'm sure!


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