This is a sight no-one likes to see on a sporting field, especially when you’re a parent and the player lying on the ground grimacing in pain is your own child. Bloody hell.
The venue was the Junior Rugby State Champs in Orange, a lovely little town in western New South Wales, where we’d been enjoying some top notch rugby action over a perfectly clear winter’s weekend. Things were going exactly to plan for our boys so far; we were three wins from three games.
The whistle blew for our last game of the day – the semi final – and the pressure was on. Suddenly, as these things so often do, the day was turned on its head without any prior warning. One minute Son #2 had the ball and was running it up the field, the next he was on the ground and not able to get up. Oh God. As soon as I saw his face, I knew right away the ‘magic’ water wouldn’t be enough this time.
The ladies from St John Ambulance were fabulous, checking him over and administering the marvellously effective pain relief via the Green Stick of Good Drugs. What a revelation that was. Son #2 was ALL smiles. And then some. “How’s the pain now, mate?” they asked him a minute or two later. “Man, I can’t feel aaaaaaaaannnnyyyyything,” he giggled. Snort. “That’s fantastic,” the ladies said. “Keep sucking on that stick. Good boy.” Hell, yes, I thought. Stay pain free for as long as you can. And, can *I* have one? You know, just in case.
A short time later, he was off to the hospital via the ambulance with me following behind in the car. A first for both of us. Results from an X-ray ruled out the previously suspected tibia fracture – thank god – and we eventually left hospital a few hours later to make the long drive home, with crutches on the back seat and my boy’s leg in a zimmer splint.
Tomorrow we’re off for an MRI and next week we have an appointment with the orthopedic doctor for a chat, so fingers crossed it’s nothing too serious. Son #2 is keen to get back on the paddock, as you would expect. He confided to me on the drive home that he was scared his career was all but over when he couldn’t get up off the ground. A totally shattering thought for a boy who wants to pull on an All Blacks or Crusaders jumper in the future!
So that was my weekend. What did you do with yours? I do hope no ambulances were involved.
[Credit for all images to D Goddard]