“With Only 6 minutes and 32 Seconds Left” by #17

It was the middle of January, the 12th to be exact. My team and I were playing in Connecticut against the Northern Lights U14 team. The score was 3-1; we were winning. It was the third period and our goalie, Megan, made a save, so the whistle was blown. Everybody lined up and the ref blew the whistle again. I moved back right away to make a poke check against one of the girls on the other team. I hit the puck into the corner where Sammie picked it up. I heard a bang and the puck was given to the other team. The point defensemen took a shot and I blocked it.

Next thing I know, two girls are on me. We are all battling in front of the net for the puck. A girl from behind me then trips me; I fall to the ground, taking a girl about twice my size with me. She crashes down on my arm. A shot of pain races through my lower arm.

I get right up and head to the bench. I then sit down and take my glove off of my right hand. I slide up my jersey to reveal my right wrist which has no bruising and isn’t swollen at all. I take the next shift off until there are 3 minutes and 27 seconds left in the game. I go out and give it my all. My arm is completely numb now so I play like normal. Once I shoot the puck, I realize there is a problem…my arm had turned ice cold and I didn’t feel a thing. I rush off the ice as soon as I get a chance. I don’t cry at all which surprises me, but I do have a pretty high pain tolerance. When the end of the game comes, I slowly get up to shake hands with the other team. We had won the game, but I know something is wrong. Really wrong.

The next three days my wrist looked like my other. It seemed as if there was nothing wrong with it. On the fourth day after the game, my mom took me to the urgent care in Lee because it was still a little cold and numb. They took MANY X-rays, and the doctors concluded that I had a really bad sprained wrist, so they put me in a brace with a thumb-hold so I couldn’t move it. They also told me to follow up with a specialist.

A week after that I went to my orthopedist. They took even more X-rays. Dr. Bruno said I had a completely severed growth plate and six fractured bones in my hand and lower arm. I got put in a cast for a month, and when that came off it was still broken so I had another cast for half a month. Then I was in a brace for 1 month and physical therapy for three months.

That one fall ruined half of my hockey season. I fell behind and had to build my strength to shoot again. The one activity that I love more than life itself was taken away from me. One week without playing is too much for me to handle, but from January to June is way to0 much.

As soon as I could put my ¼” blades back on the ice, I did. I went to all the games when I was injured, I sat on the bench during practices, and once I got permission to get on the ice (but not play), I did. I went to every single practice and put my warm-up suit on with my skates and just got the feel of ice again.

Now, since that it all over with and I’m back on the ice, I feel so great again. I hit my ultimate lows when I couldn’t hear the blades scraping lines in the ice, the pucks creating scuff marks on the boards, and the sticks chipping the ice when we call for the puck. Hockey is the one activity that I haven’t gotten sick of, the one thing that I haven’t wanted not to do, and the one thing that I will always count on to make me happy, no matter what.