This is our stop…

Been a pretty hectic summer with a sophomore and 6th grader entering school this week.

Joaquin has moved beyond “fish status” and now on his 2nd day as a sophomore at Antonian College preparatory school. He is also now a member of JV football squad and even took his pictures (click here for images)  but that may change.

Yesterday I picked up Emmy from Volleyball tryouts at Blessed Sacrament Catholic school, then we swung around to Antonian to pick up Joaquin from football practice. As Emmy and I waited in the truck, we saw him down on the field but with his helmet off. He stood to the side with another player while the special teams group ran some drills. As soon as they broke practice I moved my truck over to the gym to wait for him.

After about 10mins, I received a phone call from Joaquin.

“Dad, are you here?”
“Yes Mijo, I’m by the gym.”
“Okay, I’ll come get you, the trainer wants to talk with you. I think I got another concussion.”

Again the bowling ball drops into my lap.

First thing out of my mouth was, “What happened? Are you okay?” All the while looking deep into his eyes to make sure he was all there. He said aside from a headache and red eyes he wasn’t feeling as bad as the last concussion he received earlier this year. With Emmy in tow we headed to the trainer’s office.

In the office, she explained what happened and let Joaquin recount his version as well. I wouldn’t sit, I was worried. Then she stated, “Tell them what you didn’t do Joaquin…”

“I didn’t ask for more air in my helmet….” he said while looking down at his feet.

This of course is vital if you’re getting the snot knocked out of you during drills. He eventually felt “woozy” which the coaches noticed and they sat him out for the rest of practice.

Fear suddenly manifested into anger and I inhaled sharply through my nostrils, looked at him, then asked, while turning to the trainer (in my opinion they are just as responsible), “Why didn’t you ask for more air?” He just shrugged his shoulders…typical response of a teenager.

The transition between fear and anger is short when dealing with emotions about someone you love so much.

Through clenched teeth, I exhaled but backed off, this was not the time to start with the parent vomit (see link) or get into it with the trainer. Right now I wanted to make sure my son was okay. Since he’d had a previous concussion (click here for story), we knew he’d be more susceptible to another one and I asked the trainer if this was normal? She shrugged, cocked her head to one side and made a face as is if she had swallowed something sour…”Not really…”

…steady…pull back on that anger…you’re lucky Momma Bear isn’t here…

“Well…he might not be playing football much longer…” I responded curtly.

To the trainer’s defense, she wrote everything down and confirmed the name of the sports doctor. I thanked her , shook her hand and we left. During the ride home, I kept talking to Joaquin to make sure he was okay. At home, he took a shower and seemed better afterwards but I told him not to mentally exert himself. No Xbox or texting. Rest….just like last time. When I mentioned to him he might have to quit football, my son (once again) pleasantly surprised me by responding…

“But Dad, I want to finish what I started…I don’t want to quit.”

After a sigh, I replied, “We’ll see after we take you to get checked out Mijo, then we’ll all decide. I still have to tell your Mom when she gets home.”

She took it just as well…

Liz scheduled the appointment with the same sports doctor that saw him last May when he received his first concussion. After the initial examination they decided to run more tests tomorrow. They will be running vestibular tests which run about 4-5 hours?

Vestibular testing – I had to look it up as well. Here is a link with a through explanation:

I know my son doesn’t want to quit but I can tell you right now…this looks to be where we get off for football. It’s been a fun and challenging time but to me, as a concerned parent, it’s just not worth the risk.  There are plenty of things for this  young man to tackle.

Thanks for letting me share, writing about it helps me cope,


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