Balls, Boys, Battlefields…….and Broken Bones

This is NOT the actual xray - just a pretty picture from Google
This is NOT the actual x-ray – just a pretty fractured tibia from Google.

Bloody hell!  Talk about channeling the spirit of Nostradamus. If my blogs continue to predict the future I may have to divorce my husband and run off with John Edward!  As one of the Senior Colts pointed out on Saturday, as I was head down bum up mid immobilisation of a fractured tibia, “you’ve jinxed yourself!”. Thanks Sam – I wasn’t thinking that already…much. But on the good side (is it too soon?) at least this one didn’t get up and run off and not a ‘Fucktard’ in sight.

I wasn’t going to continue with the same small town topic but it seems that the universe would, given that it handed me a topic, prefer that I do. I don’t think I’ll make you laugh out loud this time, but then again the whole thing wasn’t very funny.  Hopefully I’ll leave you thinking.  So here’s some insights into the mind of the same seventy four (I’m working on it) kilogram, middle-aged , female footy trainer, as she deals with a ‘holy crap’ situation. I guess I want to share with you how my mind works when the shit hits the fan.  Looking in from the perimeter a spectator is often blessed with 20/20 vision, hindsight always grants perfect clarity but knee-deep in the poo things are different.

Again in the third person, because I’m a Virgo and symmetry calms me.

She still feels like she has lumbered onto the field but the space time continuum has been altered.  Crossing the twenty meter distance to the injured player is like running in a dream, there’s no traction, no forward motion.  The ground is still sodden, the clothes are still heavy, the bosom still heaves. She’s been an ambulance volunteer for nearly four years but when arriving on scene as an ambulance officer she has with her a plethora of equipment, she has oxygen, she has splints, she has sirens and flashing lights, she has….an ambulance.  But, more important than all the bells, the whistles, the equipment?   Drugs, she has drugs…she is ‘the pain relief’.  As an ambulance officer she, and her partner, would administer pain relief before attempting any movement or splinting, as a trainer she has no such luxury.   She kneels beside the injured play, his lower leg is quite obviously badly broken.  Next to her, her fellow trainer, who is also a trusted friend and ambulance officer is already speaking with 000.   She pre-apologises to the patient, grits her teeth, steadies her position and applies gentle traction.  The leg straightens, the bone is immobilised, the patient groans. Relief…as long as she doesn’t let go.  There are loads of people offering assistance.  There are loads of questions and even more opinions.  What she really wants is five minutes of absolute silence to run through all the options she has and to confer quietly with her fellow trainer.  Unfortunately emergency first response situations are not quiet, nor are they stress free so instead she does the best she can with what she knows.

What follows involves splinting, cutting away patella taping, checking the pedal pulse and waiting for an ambulance. All the while trying to keep a tiny, broken person calm, still and warm on a freezing ground without pain relief.

So the ambulance arrives and with it comes (insert hallelujah music here) the green whistle. The happenings over the past twenty minutes have looked like a strobe light was on.  For all of you who aren’t aware – those nice ‘ambo’ guys and girls in our rural areas are volunteers. Before they arrive, smartly dressed in uniform, looking 100% calm, controlled and efficient they were at work in their regular jobs. So when you phone 000 they were paged.  They phoned in, raced home, got changed, drove to the station (under normal speed restrictions of course), unlocked the keys, got into the ambulance, started it, logged into the on-board computer and made their way to the job. All that in 15-20 minutes. I’d say that was pretty impressive.

It wasn’t until the Wednesday when I went and visited the family (Kinder Suprise’s and Super Sour Warheads in hand) that I realised why this one was getting to me so much.  It was simple really. This broken little man is in my daughters class at school, his younger brother is in with my younger daughter.  I’ve been on more than one school camp with them, I’ve painted their faces, I’ve watched them at each assembly and loved them at every school concert.  I’ve had days with them on Long Beach. I’ve worked in the trash and treasure tent with their mum at school fete, served hot dogs with her on ‘milo day’, and spent more than one occasion drinking too much champagne with her.  This is why this time was different.  It’s not just because this is a person I know (living in a small town we all know everyone), but because this was a child I know and know pretty well.  It took me four days to realise that I’ve watched the majority of these Junior Colts grow up from when they were in Kindergarten and Child Care.  Some of them I’ve known since they were babies.  Most of them I’ve had in my care (or circling around the outside of my house on push bikes waiting for my daughter/s) at some point over the past twelve years.  If I continue as a trainer I’ll watch and treat them as they progress into Senior Colts and then grow into men.

It made me realise that even if we don’t notice it, it really does take a village to raise a child. If I am fortunate enough to only ever attend a million broken legs with these kids I’ll be a very happy girl.

So again.  Cheer, cheer the red and the white…onward to victory.  For George.

(published with approval from the family)

One Comment Add yours

  1. Lorna Johns says:

    Well Done Deb – love it…..and yes it does take a village to raise a child….and special people like you!


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