The other day I had an accident at the ballpark where one of my kids was umping.
Yes it was me the accident happened to, not a kid. I was merely chauffeuring my kid to his job, and I managed to hurt myself there. Sometimes, accidents happen to sports moms, too.
Allow me to explain, with a bit of a backstory first:
As a level 1 certified umpire my 13 year old teen can ump rookie, mosquito and peewee aged games as a part time job. What a great way for a baseball playing kid to earn some cash in pocket!
To umpire rookie games (age 7-9) is probably the easiest, since the kids are quite young and don’t pitch themselves just yet. There’s a pitching machine the coaches feed for the player at bat. This means there is neither a catcher, nor an umpire behind the plate.
However, a player is dressed in catcher protective gear and responsible for two things: to play that position (I.e. if a runner runs home and a fielder throws the ball to the catcher, the catcher can tag the runner out). And, even though catchers don’t catch balls from the pitching machine, they pick up the balls and place them in a bucket. The point is for the young player to get used to wearing the gear and to play the position.
All this is relevant to my accident story here, so bear with me.
So I’m standing behind the fence near the home plate. Some kids, probably loitering teens, must have goofed off on that diamond some time ago because the bottom part of the fence was upturned. Damaged.
Every time the pitching machine hurled a ball toward the player at bat, if the batter missed, the ball would roll under the broken fence out toward us (the viewer area) and away from the catcher who needed to collect it and put it back in the bucket.
Only non-baseball playing kids would think to vandalize a crucial fence like this. Or kids on drugs or drunk. Or stupid kids…
But I digress.
So my friend and I were standing behind that part of the broken fence and pushed the balls that rolled away back under it for the catcher.
Directly behind that fence was a huge steel box with a lid. In it they keep equipment that belongs to that diamond: bases, tees (for practicing), protective gear for umpires, etc.
So my friend and I rummaged through the box to see if we could find stuff to block the hole under the fence.
At one point I held on to the box with my left hand to balance myself while my friend closed the lid.
We both noticed my hand at the same time, but a cut had already occurred.
I carried some tissues in my jacket which I wrapped around the bleeding finger, and assured my friend I’m fine. Simultaneously I saw my partner had just arrived without the girl-child, and so I announced I would head home to her, leaving him to stay with our son.
By the time I got to the van, I was annoyed with myself.
Why don’t we have a first aid kit in the car?
And why, as a seasoned, experienced sports mom for how many freaking years, didn’t I carry some band-aids in my bag?
Not even a roll of hockey tape was found in the car. Hockey tape would have been very helpful to secure the bloody tissue around my finger while driving the 20+ minutes to get home.
I ended up using a hairband.
What am I, an amateur? 🙄
What’s worse, when I got home, all I wanted to do was wash and inspect the wound, disinfect it, and bandage it up properly. It was by now bleeding profusely and I didn’t like the look of the wound.
Hope I don’t need stitches, I was thinking.
The band-aid box we keep in a book case with glass doors was disorganized to the point where all the band-aids were mixed up, making it a challenge to find the right size.
All I could find was small, child-sized band-aids with silly pictures on them.
Not helpful at all.
At least the bottle of hydrogen peroxide was in the box.
I poured some on my wound after washing it with running water from the tab and looked for paper towels.
Not there. Someone used the last of it and didn’t replace it with a new one.
I reached for the tissue box.
Because of course it’s empty.
Finally I decided to get the hockey first aid kit. My partner is the trainer on our teen’s hockey team and they supplied him with a fully stocked first aid kit with regular, and large-sized band-aids. It was in the bag downstairs with the rest of the hockey equipment.
I managed to fix myself up enough to make it to the next day without losing my finger, at which point I decided to completely overhaul our first aid kits in our household. Not only that, I also made an additional one to keep in the car.
I bought a new container (from a scrap-booking store), printed off some first aid stickers, and re-organized the many bins and boxes of random first aid materials into a more logical, and most importantly, accessible fashion. I condensed everything into two boxes and designated the book case in the main part of the house, near the open concept kitchen, as the only place to keep the first aid kit. (The bathroom is too small, doesn’t have enough storage, and face it, most accidents at home happen near or in the kitchen).
Today, while typing this out, I’m reflecting on my luck that this type of accident didn’t happen to a child. Imagine driving home with a bleeding child and no band-aids? Shudder…
This was certainly a lesson to be more proactive about first aid. And not just for keeping one at home and in the car, but keeping it stocked with appropriate items. I’m not convinced my teenager would even allow us to place a Spiderman band-aid on any visible part of his body…even if it was necessary.
Does every family member know where the first aid kit is in their home? Do you even have an official one? What about the car? Or the vacation home?
PS, my finger is fine now although I really should have gotten at least two stitches. The swelling is still there, but I’m managing to type without pain. At least that.