I simply couldn't think of a better word to describe this post.
Peter had a wrestling tournament on Sunday in a town called Brawley, Ca. which is about 130 miles from Poway. We got up early and headed out for our 2.5 hour drive. It was a fun drive and we talked most of the way there. I was really enjoying spending time with just Peter and getting to chat with him. We got to the tournament and he weighed in and made the 100 pound novice group which he was very excited about. (Most weeks he has been wrestling at 105). (Weigh ins are at 10am and then they don't start wrestling until about 1p.) Then we went throught the drive thru at Carl's jr. to pick up some lunch. I asked the lady at the drive thru if there was a Target or Walmart around and she told me it was just down the street past 3 stoplights. So we headed over to Walmart and browsed there for a little while to waste some time before Peter had to wrestle.
We headed back to the high school where the tournament was located and I managed to get a great parking space right in front of the school. We went inside and found his coach and Peter went to warm up and I found a spot to sit in the bleachers. The meet started and Peter was the fourth person to wrestle in the first round. His first round was absolutely amazing, he wrestled better than I had ever seen him wrestle before. I was so proud of him and when the match was over he came up into the stands and I told him how proud of him I was.
We talked about his next round matchup against another kid who wrestles for Poway. Peter said he was pretty sure he could beat the guy, but I told him to just do his best. The second round match started and the other kid from Poway was a very tough competitor. During the first period of the match the kid was choking Peter and I yelled out from the stands and said "stop choking him". The kid glanced up at me and loosened his grip on Peter. Then the first period ended and Peter was down 0-5. Peter was doing a good job in the second period of fighting the kid off until the kid took him down and again got Peter in a choke hold. Peter screamed out in pain loud enough for me to hear him in the stands and the ref stopped the match. I ran down to the roped off area and was watching Peter. I noticed that he was having a lot of difficulty standing up and the coach was trying to help him off the mat, so I went out to the mat and helped get him to the wall and sat him down. The whole time he was holding his neck and crying hysterically. I told him to calm down and tell me where he hurt, but he couldn't get himself calmed down so I touched his neck lightly and he screamed again. We had him lay down and when he tried to straighten his legs he screamed again. One of the tournament officials came by and asked if I wanted someone to take a look at him to make sure he was okay and I said yes. A nurse came over and told Peter that she was going to check him over. As soon as she tried to lift his head a little he screamed really loud so she just stablized his neck with her hands and told me that someone needed to call an ambulance. I stood up and told the nearest person to me to call an ambulance and they went to call. In the meantime an off duty paramedic came over and asked if we could use some help and both the nurse and I said yes. He took Peter's vital signs and tried to assess him, but Peter was still too hysterical to answer any questions and so the guy said asked if an ambulance had been called, and I told him yes and he said good. He told me that when the paramedics came they would put Peter in a neck brace and strap him to a board and transport him to the ER. At this point Peter started screaming "I don't want to go, I don't want to go." The nurse and off duty paramedic were trying to calm him down and I was holding his hand trying to reassure him that he was okay. The paramedics got there and I backed away so that they could assess him and they put the C collar on him and strapped him on the board. Then they asked if I was riding with them or if I wanted to meet them at the hospital. I got directions from them and they told me that the hospital was up one block and across the street from Walmart. I got in my car and headed over there. i got there just as the ambulance did and I parked and ran in to the ER. By the time I got in the ER the paramedics had brought Peter in and he was calmed down considerably. They took us to a room and unstrapped him from the board. He immediately tried to start moving around and the doctor told him if he didn't lay still that he was going to stap him back to the board and he wasn't kidding. They took him to get a CT scan of his neck and thankfully it came back that nothing was fractured. He just has a bad strain and won't be able to do any sports for at least a week.
I am so very thankful that he is okay. I was so scared on the way to the hospital. I could only imagine the worst and I couldn't stand the thought of my active, tough son with a broken neck. I hope that I never have to go through that again. But the experience really helped me bring into focus what matters in my life. Some things are important and other things are just background noise. Give your little ones hugs and kisses and praise every chance you get. They are just so precious.