Sunday, July 14, 2013

A Concussion & Sympathy Pains

My 3 oldest boys wrestled in a tournament this weekend.  Jackson started wrestling in January, but this was Tyson and Jordan's very first wrestling match of their lives.

My boys are not part of the wrestling clubs because most of their tournaments are on Sundays; and since we don't wrestle on Sundays, the boys were at a huge disadvantage for not having that experience.  They soon discovered that the majority of wrestlers at the summer tournaments were quite intense.  They wrestle all year long and even traveled from other states to come to this tournament.

This tournament was one of the few that would fall on a Saturday, so my boys really wanted a chance to compete!  They had been wrestling each other, working out with high schoolers, and training with Abe and the middle school coach.  They felt ready and psyched!

Tyson is 9 years old but had to wrestle a 12 year old!  His opponent had been wrestling for 4 years!

Jordan is 7 years old but had to wrestled a 10 year old!  His opponent had been wrestling for 6 years!

At such young ages, 3 years creates a big gap in ability and strength.

Both Tyson and Jordan wrestled from deep within their guts... they wrestled with passion and with drive.  They fought with all they had, but they had no idea how tough their opponents would be.  Tyson almost pinned his opponent once, but poor Tyson and Jordan were pinned 4 out of their 5 matches.  Both boys finished their matches with tears in their eyes.

These two boys took some time alone to ponder their defeats and returned begging for another chance.   Their loss was dramatic, but their drive to keep trying had not left them.

Jackson had the same drive; he also wrestled a kid older and more experienced than he was.

Jackson stepped onto the mat with confidence but faced a competitor like he had never seen before.  Jackson's opponent picked him up and threw him down on his head!  The referee looked extremely concerned at Jackson and asked him if he was ok.  Jackson lay there for a moment and then nodded his head.  Jackson rarely cries from pain; but with tears in his eyes, my brave little boy walked slowly to the middle of the mat to take more of a beating from his opponent.

Within a few seconds, the boy twisted Jackson's body and contorted it in such a way that his legs were over his head, and it looked as if Jackson's neck would snap.  He was pinned.

My heart broke for him, and Jackson came to me looking a bit dazed...

He said when the boy threw him down, he saw stars and blacked out for a few seconds.  He was still dizzy and nauseated, and only wanted to lie down and rest.  These were all clear signs for a mild concussion!

I prayed for my little Jackson while we waited for the medic to come.  At the same time that the medic performed tests on Jackson, my own head began to throb, and I felt more and more dizzy.  I felt like everything was closing in on me!!

I pushed my pains away and tried to only focus on Jackson.  The medic advised Jackson not to wrestle the rest of his matches.  He was definitely done for the day.

Abe drove us home; it was only an hour away.  I sat in the car and gave myself a deep neck rub.  I was trying to get my head ache to go away.  I couldn't believe my precious son was enduring a mild concussion, and I could hardly function because of my own head pain!  I ate lots of food and drank lots of water trying to fix what was happening to me.  Nothing helped.

After a few minutes on the road, I couldn't last any longer, I slumped into a deep sleep in the van.  I don't even know the last time I fell asleep in the van when it wasn't on a long trip across the country!  When we pulled in our driveway, Jackson was the only one who wasn't asleep!  How could that be?  How could he be doing so well... even better than the rest of us?

Once in the house, Abe placed his hands on Jackson's head and administered a sacred prayer called a priesthood blessing for Jackson's well-being.  I felt peace and gratitude knowing that God was with my husband and my little boy.

Jackson seemed to be functioning fairly well, so we sent  him to bed; I promised to check on him through the night.  We kissed all the children goodnight, and I wondered why my head was still throbbing so intensely.

I finally realized what was happening to me.  It wasn't my lack of food or sleep... I was feeling pain for Jackson.   Does that sound strange?  It might to someone who has never experienced such a thing, but it was real!

I believe God gave me a gift to be able to feel emotions very, very deeply.  I had felt sympathy pains before, but I couldn't believe how strong they came this time.

With the ability to feel deeply, comes a responsibility to learn how to release those feelings and pains to our Master of Compassion, Jesus Christ.

In my pondering, my eyes and my heart opened to the powerful, almighty ability of our God and Savior to feel everyone's pains!!  It's real!!  Our Savior really did and does love us so immensely, deeply, and powerfully that HE knows each of our pains... very, very personally.  HE is waiting for us to release those pains to HIM... whether they be pains from heartache and sadness or pains from sin... HE FEELS IT!!  In the Garden of Gethsemane, HIS taking of pain on our behalf was greater than anything I could ever imagine.

What a miracle to me to be given the gift of feeling the physical pains of my son.  What a miracle to me to have the priesthood power of healing dwell within the walls of our home.  What a miracle to me to have children who do not lose their drive to fight even when they're beaten down.  ...and what a miracle to all of us to have a Savior who loves us, hears us, and understands every bit of us so completely and so perfectly.  I love my Savior, Jesus Christ with all my heart.