When I complain about headaches, my husband tells me all the time, “When you get out of bed, it’s feet first!”
Ba-dum-bum. I stole that from a Henny Youngman classic.
Things are going to be different in hockey this year. There has been so much chatter and twitter about concussions lately. It’s all the talk in hockey town these days. First, my daughter’s favourite Sidneyhas not been able to play hockey since January 2011 and his return to the NHL is still unknown (good thing she has a life size poster of him in her bedroom to tide her over). Several recent tragic deaths of NHLers, allegedly suicides, have raised awareness regarding the lingering effects of concussions and their link to mental illness. Finally, Hockey Canada has initiated a new head contact rule for minor hockey and every hockey association in Canada is initiated or expanding their non-checking divisions (checking starts at the Peewee level, ages 10-12, in my boys’ association for both competitive and recreational hockey, and does not exist at all in my daughter’s association).
I have 3 kids in hockey – I’m thankful they are goalies. Actually I am NOT thankful they are goalies as they’ve made my pure enjoyment of the game virtually impossible (see post) and my official induction to AA entirely likely. I can concede, however, that head shots are not typically directed at the goalie of the team – unless of course you’re my 15-year old son who insists on pointing out to every player he’s thwarted that their mother wears army boots … or something like that (my hearing’s not so good anymore).
Hockey Canada’s poster about their new head contact rule doesn’t make me happy though. This is the sign my husband usually gives me when I have my more than occasional perio-menopausal moments. Now I’m going to have to see that hand signal 10 times a game and it’s really going to confuse me! Did I forget something again? Why is that zebra on the ice giving me the What were you thinking?! sign? Who does he think he is? Only my husband can give me the What were you thinking?! sign! Maybe that zebra IS my husband (my vision’s not so good anymore)!
I have seen some hockey hits that make me feel truly nauseous (or was that the canteen coffee?). Though I approve Hockey Canada’s decision to implement this new rule (I know, like they care), the ripple effect will be go all the way to the local hospital emerg room. There will be decidedly few kids there due to concussions sustained in the wickedly violent game of hockey (which is good) but I’m not so sure my experiences in the emerg waiting room will be near as satisfying (which is bad).
Me: So… what are you here for?
Player: I got slammed into the boards from behind by some jerk on the other team.
Me: Oh, that’s a bummer [since I’m totally hip to the teenage lingo]. Gotta headache?
Player: Yeah, but we won the game so it’s ok. How ‘bout you?
Me: I knocked myself out on the upper bunk making my kid’s bed*.
So NOW, with fewer kids in the waiting rooms with concussions due to injuries sustained in hockey, the conversation in the waiting room of my recurrent hospital visits will be decidedly different:
Me: What are you here for?
The Drunk (not to be confused with me talking to myself): I banged my head on the street lamppost after I left the bar.
Me: Bummer, that sucks.
The Drunk: Yeah, but I don’t remember anything so it’s cool. How ‘bout you?
Me: My husband caught me banging my head against the wall again and brought me in.
The Drunk: Bummer, that sucks. I like that white jacket you’re wearing. Can I have it?
Me: Yeah, I don’t remember anything, so it’s cool. Am I wearing a white jacket? Oh! So I am. I guess we can share! What are you here for?
Things are going to be different in hockey this year.
* I didn’t pass out but this actually happened to me – I swear to God I’ve given myself a concussion! And that upper bunk has been there for 5 years! How do I keep forgetting it’s there??!!