Month: September 2010
Face Meets Concrete
By Lisa Baniewicz
How did Saturdays get so busy? This past Saturday, I raced to get three children to their sporting events by 8:15am, picked up another child from a slumber party, and filled my car up with gas all before 8:45am. (So much for sleeping in.) Next stop, back to the football field followed by an all-day volleyball tournament.
Before I even got back to the football game to catch the kick-off, I saw I had two messages from my son’s coach. This is guaranteed to get any mom’s heart pumping, but I didn’t think much of it at the time. I thought his coach was calling to say my son split the seam on his football pants. Ever since he got them, he’s complained they’re too tight. I just thought I’d be bringing a new pair to the game. Unfortunately, I was being way too optimistic.
I called back only to find out he got hurt during the pre-game warm-ups. My son was trying to catch a pass and tripped over concrete steps that he didn’t see behind him. He landed face first into the concrete support wall and came to a screeching halt. His coach reassured me he didn’t think his nose was broken. At the same time, he was conferring this with another coach in the background while I was on hold. I was a little worried he was second-guessing his diagnosis. I remained calm nonetheless.
My only question to the coach was, “He wasn’t wearing his helmet?”
His response, “Oh no, it was just warm-ups.”
Granted I have never played football while being suited up in full pads, but I’ve also never played on a tackle football team either. Call me crazy, but I thought that’s what the helmets were for. Don’t baseball players wear their cups during warm-up drills? What about the catcher’s gear? Is football less dangerous? I decided to let it go. Maybe I signed a form, agreeing to this. Next time I’ll read the fine print.
When I arrived, I was greeted in the parking lot with an update by another player’s dad. He said, “Did you hear about your son. He’s really tough!” Trying to keep it light, I asked, “Did he at least catch the ball?” Sadly, he didn’t, but later during the reenactment, I could see that would have been nearly impossible.
Trying to not overreact (which is completely against my natural tendency), I decided not to run up and hug him or give him a big smooch. At age 12, he would have died of embarrassment. I just put my Dr. Mom hat on and did everything the doctor did during our last child’s head injury. I checked his pupils, talked to him to see if he was coherent, and asked him if he felt nauseous. Besides a bump the size of an egg on his forehead, he had a bloody, scraped nose and forehead. His eye was starting to turn black and swell closed. I agreed with the coach’s prognosis. His nose wasn’t broken. It’s actually always looked a little flat and wide. In a nutshell, he looked pretty much like what you’d expect to see when someone’s face meets concrete. He looked like he lost a fight with an Amazon. I got him more ice and took a seat in the bleachers.
His overly concerned, younger sisters complained that we had to stay for the game despite him being sidelined for injuries. (They’re so thoughtful at times.) I, on the other hand, was grateful the coaches put medical precautions first. As his mother, there was no way I was leaving; I wanted to keep an eye on him.
After a 24-0 victory, which my son had nothing to do with, we headed to his older sister’s volleyball tournament. During a time-out, she looked over from across the gym and mouthed, “What happened?” One word explained it all. I mouthed, “Football.” She shook her head in acknowledgement that there was no other explanation needed. Later that day, she told me she was really worried about her brother during the entire tournament. Of everything that happened that day, this surprised me most. I said, “Awe, you really do love your brother.” Sometimes it takes the bad to bring out the good.
Compliments of The Atchison Globe
Don’t Make Me Laugh
By Lisa Baniewicz
Sometimes the best medicine can be a woman’s worst enemy. After giving birth, laughter isn’t necessarily a good thing for a female’s bladder. For someone like myself who loves to laugh, this is a problem. Potty problems post-delivery start immediately after giving birth.
The first challenge is trying to pee after childbirth. To enlighten some men who leave the hospital the minute their child is born, there are some tasks the new mother has to accomplish before going home with their new bundle of joy. If a woman has had an epidural, usually the hardest hurdle is to successfully pee on command in a bedpan. For some reason this reminds me of potty training a puppy. It takes practice and basically the hospital rule is, “if you don’t pee, you don’t leave.”
According to the American Pregnancy Association, over 50 percent of women giving birth in hospitals use epidural anesthesia. That’s a lot of women trying to avoid some serious pain. Who can blame us? My fourth delivery I opted not to use any pain medication and my husband begged me to never do this again. In his words, he didn’t like seeing me in so much pain. That’s funny, at the same time I was thinking the complete opposite for him. I thought if he answered his freak’n cell phone one more time during my excruciating labor and delivery, I was going to kill him and smash his phone to bits.
Something a woman learns after the epidural, is that it can cause numbness below the waist for quite some time after childbirth. This poses a challenge performing any previously normal function in that vicinity.
After my third child was born, I didn’t think I’d ever go home. My nurse tried to help. She cleared everyone out of the room (thank goodness), and then put the bedpan in place. She kindly turned her back, and may even have left the room. (My memory evades me on that one.) Anyway, I was unsuccessful and the pressure only mounted. Finally… good news! Just like Cinderella’s fairy Godmother, she waved a magic wand, (also known as a bottle of peppermint oil) in front of my nose to trigger the urge and it worked! Who knew?
Before you run for a bag of mints, here’s the flip side. No one really talks about what happens the more children you birth. It’s the complete opposite problem. Its all systems go…and go…and go.
Somewhere between childbirths number three and five; my bladder has become my worst enemy. In other words, if I have to go, it’s like clearing the Red Sea to find the nearest restroom. When a mother feels the urge, which is constantly for me, there isn’t much time. Becoming somewhat of an expert regarding bathroom locations, I can tell a person the nearest (and cleanest) bathrooms between my home and various locations across the United States. I can’t find my way out of a paper bag, but I have special radar when it comes to restrooms. (We all have different gifts.)
Knowing I’m not alone in this dilemma is what gets me through. I have a friend who went into fits of hysteria watching her children tumble down a ski slope. She peed her pants twice. Belly laughing for an extended period of time is cause for new underwear. Problems also arise while sneezing. If a lady doesn’t have time to cross her legs, she’ll have to leave the premises. During road trips, we’re usually the first ones who need a potty break. And as my friends and I have discussed, there will be no trampolines, jump ropes, or jumping jacks in our future. Gravity is not our friend.
There is a solution for these embarrassing moments. Many women stock up on mini-pads and depends, coupon or not. Even at seven dollars a box, cost is never an issue. In the end, although laughter may be our worst enemy, these products have become our new best friend.
Compliments of The Atchison Globe