Sunday, July 10, 2011

Bloody baseball

Today was Jennifer’s last baseball game. Unfortunately for her, it was not a pleasant one.

During the early part of the game, Jennifer was upset because she hadn’t been able to hit the ball. She kept grumbling, “I suck.” I kept encouraging her to try her best and have confidence in herself. Eventually, her spirits lifted, and we both felt good about her hitting that ball.

Except that it never happened. The second time, she was at bat, I sat with my fingers crossed, hoping she will get just one hit. But then something else happened that made me forget all about her hitting the ball. The ball hit HER – right in the face!

When I saw that happen, I was stunned at first. I was sitting there thinking, Did that just really happen? Did the ball just hit her in the face? IN THE FACE!!!!????!!!!

I blinked, squinting to get a better look and trying to see past the umpire and coach who ran over to her. She was crying and taking off her glasses. And there was BLOOD! Blood came out of her nose. Blood dripped onto her shirt. (I later saw it was even on her glasses.)

I jumped off the bleacher and ran to the fence to get a better look. I was thinking, Oh my God! Oh my God! My heart was pounding. Parents were crowding around me at the fence, too.

The umpire and coach comforted and talked to Jennifer. She was crying pretty bad. The coach walked her off the field and over to the dugout.

I grabbed my purse and nearly knocked another mom over as I ran to the outside entrance to the dugout.

The assistant coach brought Jennifer out. Her nose was bleeding pretty bad. He sat her on the ground and examined her. A lady appeared next to Jennifer and started to talk to her, too, as well as examining the damage.

I stood there in shock, watching the whole thing. My heart was still pounding in my chest. Other parents came over to check on her, too.

I watched the lady help Jennifer. She sure seemed to know what she was doing! I kept asking “is her nose broke?” and they finally told me it wasn’t. (Thank God!)

I couldn’t believe there was all that blood. The whole thing was surreal. I couldn’t believe this had just happened.

Finally, the lady stood, turned around and started talking to me. I had to tell her I am deaf and to please speak slower. She explained that the ball hit Jennifer’s nose and upper lip at the same time. Her upper lip and cheekbones had swelling and Jennifer was in pain. She said I needed to give Jennifer Ibuprofen and it would help the swelling go down. She also told me to use hydrogen peroxide on her clothes to get the blood out.

I asked her if she was a nurse. She smiled and nodded. “Thank goodness!” I said. What a relief there was a nurse here to look at an injured child!!

She went between comforting and helping Jennifer to talking to me. Jennifer was obviously in shock and the nurse checked her to make sure she was coherent. One of the moms I know from last season let Jennifer sit in her chair and we kept giving her tissues to try to stop the bleeding. (The blood was on her hands, too.) Eventually, we took Jennifer to the bathroom so she could wash the blood off. The nurse was so helpful to Jennifer and she really was concerned about her. This woman was missing her son’s baseball game to care for another child. I could only thank my lucky stars for such a caring, helpful and kind person to be there when something like this happened.

We sat out the rest of the game. Even though Jennifer wanted to go home, we had to stay longer for the “award ceremony.” Each player got a medal (no trophies this year), and some kids got two. Jennifer was one of them. The coach had her up first and he congratulated her on playing so well. He was really nice to her and made her feel special. I thought that was nice of him to do that.

Before we left, the nurse, whose name is Kristen, wrote out several kinds of instructions for me for caring for Jennifer. She said to call Jen’s doctor if the bleeding didn’t stop. (It did, thankfully.) I thanked her for her help and she hugged us before we left. What a wonderful person!

At home, I gave Jennifer Ibuprofen and instructed her to take it easy on the couch. I also gave her an ice pack and we worked on using it on either side of her face to avoid swelling. Or even further swelling.

After we got home, I was still in shock over the whole thing. But then I got really angry. It was no fair this happened! Why couldn’t she have a great time? A nice game? No fair!

And Jennifer was mad, too. She said the boy who pitched the ball wasn’t even looking at where he was throwing it. I was mad because he didn’t apologize. I know it was an accident, but he still should’ve said he was sorry! He was the one who pitched the ball! He didn’t even check on her after the game. Grr.

Well, I got over my stewing. It’s like I told Jennifer, “At least your team kicked their butt."

And we did find one thing funny about this whole thing. Jennifer told me the catcher picked up the bloody baseball, looked at it with disgust and said, "Ew." We had a good laugh over that. She also told me that she wondered if her blood was still on home plate.

What a way to end her baseball season.

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