Thanks for sticking with The Concussion Blog, I know it has been over a week (almost two) since I last posted. I am sure you don’t want to read a blabbering sob story, well you are going to get my story. When I began this blog I found it very “therapeutic” to write about what is going on, and over time you the reader have seemed to enjoy the content. I always have been very strident in making sure there was fresh information out there; if nothing else to write my feelings. Over the past 10 days or so I have missed the opportunity to “press” and express my opinion. Thanks to others out there you have been able to keep up with some current information, but I am back for the foreseeable future!… With the occasional hiatus…
Where have I been, that is simple, football two-a-days began on the 8th and that took a majority of my time however there was more, A LOT MORE, going on behind the scenes. It seemed I was in a groove after last weekend but my world shook with some inconvenient timing and predicaments.
Early last week I was in deep discussions with a new employer, as my current employer was and is making structural/contractual changes with athletic training (see money). I have stood my ground many times, usually with things I know and am 100% confident will be OK in the end (that one time I told a football referee where he could stick his flag for threatening me as I was rushing on the field for an injured player). The prospect of leaving a job that you have been in for 12 years and has high security for an unknown is tough on the mind, body and family. As I was saying early in the week the Thursday deadline was fast approaching, it amounted to stay with what you know and get reassigned from the high school you love and have poured your life into for the past five years. Or, stay with the high school and take a salary bath so you can love your job. I thought this type of decision would be easy, it was not, until I made the decision.
Along that time my oldest son was at football practice with me and horsing around and wouldn’t you know it, he fell and broke his wrist. I saw it happen, knew it instantly, and only had to figure out a way to calm him and mom on the ensuing phone call. As most seven year-old’s he bounced back quickly and got a sweet camo cast to show all his new friends when school starts.
The next day came some disturbing and tragic news, as a former athlete from my previous high school was pronounced dead, 25 years old. A great physical specimen, extraordinary athlete and good kid dies in the prime of his life. During his visitation today it was easy to see that he had so much more in store. I knew I was upset about the news but seeing him lay in state really shook me as I thought of my own kids and the current kids I work with.
As the week progressed it was high time to tend to this blog, there was much news out there and I had received an advance copy of Dr. Cantu’s book Concussions and Our Kids – which by the way is very good and easy to understand (more on that in a week or two). I also had planned to email and solicit more donations for my trip to Zürich (which I am still trying to do). There was a lot to be done on this front of my life, however athletic training (#2 on the priority list behind family) got in the way.
In practice on Wednesday night our staring middle linebacker broke his arm, although I cannot legally diagnose it was simple to see as the usual straight line of a forearm was now shaped like a ‘U’. After his ER visit that night I spent some of the next morning waiting in surgery prep with him, while his family got things squared away to take care of him. That is a part of my job that does not get paid but is extremely valuable, my 4 hours with him was enjoyable, as I made him smile and keep positive about a bad situation.
This brings us to Thursday, the decision day on my new job. But first I had practice to attend to (by the way we have had glorious weather around here) and make more phone calls about how big a pay cut was coming if I took a leap of faith. Once that was settled it was waiting time for the school board vote on a new athletic training contract. Two offers stood, one would be with me – if accepted and I agreed to stay – the other not with me. After the board meeting I found out it was a unanimous vote to keep me at all costs. What an honor and that sealed the decision. As I am now in transition from what was known to the unknowable with the constant of the place only second to my house and family, the high school. That night trying to write a letter explaining all my feelings was a joke to say the least. Leaving friends and the place the brought me to where I am can never be put in writing; struggling with that I typed three short sentences and handed that letter in the next day.
It seemed that life decided to blitz me from unexpected angles and not only did I avoid the rushers I delivered a strike to the waiting receiver. My only hope is that he can hit pay dirt for me, but no matter how the next two weeks, months or years go I will be proud of how my family and my mind handled this time.
What does this have to do with concussions, um, well, nothing for some, but to me it has everything to do with it. A fragile and sometimes frazzled mind can handle stress without cracking. All it takes is patience and faith in what you believe in. When the world feels like it is crumbling down around you find the positives and grasp them. Ultimately you will be OK and better off once the whirlwind has passed. What else you got for me life?
Now back to your regularly scheduled programming.