Another Day on the Ice

April 8, 2011
It was just another Bruins game that my dad had gotten tickets for against the Montreal Canadians. It was an important game and every time I watch or hear hockey being mentioned throughout the day, I recall a memory. From the moment the puck dropped, the memory in my mind popped up like usual. These memories that pop up are called flashbacks. Whether we like it or not, these flashbacks happen all the time in our lives every day of our lives. Flashbacks for me occur a lot throughout the day when something I see reminds me of that terrible day. Sitting at this Bruins game watching them go up and down the ice, brought up this memory.

When I woke up that day, everything was normal. I did my stretches, ate a pasta meal, drank 3 glasses of water, taped up my stick and kicked the soccer ball around. It was an important day; I had a big hockey game that determined if we would make the playoffs. Heading to the rink, all my dad said to me was to, “keep my head up” in case of any hits coming my way because I have had multiple concussions before. In the locker room, everything felt the same kids were packing lips. Nothing had changed, and my game plan was to go out there and play how I play every other game of the season. Warm ups came and went, and before I knew it the game was starting. Hearing the blades chew up that fresh sheet of ice made me anxious to get out there and play. My turn to get out on the ice, I hop the boards and I can feel my flow flop with the wind from the rink as I skate up to my goalie. I receive the puck pass it to the left wing and head into the opponent’s zone. I go to the hash marks on the right side of the ice and put a shot on goal which found its way into the net. All the excitement got my heart pounding and I could hear a roar from the crowd because I scored only two minutes into the game. We won the faceoff and dumped the puck into the opponent’s zone. I went down to get the puck facing the boards and before I knew it there was a loud crack and I was out. I woke up with the sound of an ambulance spinning my mind going on and on. My first instinct I had was to move my legs, and I couldn’t. I tried to turn my neck, and I couldn’t. What once was a really good day just turned into a really bad one. My mother was sitting next to me holding my hands everything I saw was a blur. All I could hear the EMT saying was, “he may be paralyzed.” I could not talk because my mouth was strapped up. I felt like a pitbull with a muzzle on. I passed out for a second time and when I woke up, my family was surrounding me in the hospital room. The first thing I was told to do was to move my legs and when I finally could it was the happiest I have ever been in my life. I could not move my neck because of the massive, hideous neck brace I was sporting. I did not remember a thing that happened so when I asked my dad what did he said, “You got hit from behind face-first into the boards. Your helmet cracked in half because of how hard you were hit.” Shortly after the doctor came in with x-rays and said I had a fractured vertebrae and a third degree concussion (the worst is fourth). Hours went by and I was cleared to go home and recover. Every time I would get up from a chair, the world would start spinning and I would throw up along with a really bad headache. When I got home it felt like I hadn’t been there in ages, the day went by so slow and I had received news that we won the game and but I was mad because I was out for the rest of the year. My jersey was ripped in half by the EMT’s and it was sitting on my bed at home. With all my anger came a lot of happiness because things could’ve have been a lot worse and I could’ve ended up paralyzed. It was a miracle and I will never forget that day. I was definitely a miracle on ice.

By the time this flashback ended the third period was ready to begin. I went through the whole first two periods of an extreme rivalry without paying attention just so I could recall this memory. Every time I recall this time in my life it sends chills down my spine. When this finally cleared my mind, I could go and watch the third period peacefully.

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