Tuesday, 11 March 2014

Ben's Back .... Skiing

Posted by Rosie

Just over a year ago I received a phone call from Simon who was skiing in the Alps with Tom and Ben.  It is the sort of phone call no parent ever wants to receive.

"I am in Courcheval Medical Centre and errrmmm - Ben may have broken his back."

That was the point that the bottom dropped out of my world.  In the microseconds after he said that I was already planning who could care for the animals, whether I would be better driving, flying or taking the train to the hospital and would it be possible to convert our 200 year old farmhouse into a wheelchair friendly abode.  Because that is what your brain does when you hear that sort of a sentence.

"However," he carried on "it shouldn't be as bad as it sounds.  If it is broken it is only a hairline fracture and he'll be fine."

Brain - you can stand down for a while.

It turns out that he had indeed fractured 2 vertebrae in his middle back.  He had gone on to the side of the piste but where he had skied the day before quite safely but a mild spell overnight had melted the snow leaving a large hole that he skied into.  No-one knows exactly what happened but we suspect he went in head first and his legs went over his head putting too much strain on his spine. A freak accident that was no-one's fault.  And according to a friend who is a specialist in children's spines, it is VERY rare for them to fracture.

He returned home safely 2 days later, albeit sore and for the next 6 weeks was only allowed to sit for very short periods.  The rest of the time he had to stand or lie down.  Exercise of any sort was kept to a minimum.  Only after the 6 weeks and when he was given the all clear after a scan was he allowed to restart gentle activity.   He still wasn't allowed to join in with the roller-skating that the school had as their main PE activity in the summer term and trampolining was off  the agenda until the summer holidays.

Simon, Tom and Ben heading to the slopes - March 2014
Now I am glad to say he is none the worse for the injury.  And where is he as I type?  He's back in the Alps with Simon and Tom on their annual skiing holiday.  Should we have stopped him going in case he fell again and sustained another injury?  No, of course not. He wanted to go (although he did admit to being a bit nervous) and they are having a great time.  He will have learnt to read the slopes and weather conditions better and he may well be a better skier because of it.  As for me - I am also slightly nervous but I know I cannot stop him doing something that he (and Tom and Simon) absolutely adore.

If you want to see what other kids have been up to this week (hopefully no more injuries), click on the Let Kids be Kids Link below. 




18 comments :

  1. Not sure whom is braver - you or Ben! Fancy skiing again after that! Have to say, it has never appealed to me for precisely this reason :S

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    1. I'm not sure I had much say in his decision but I know he made the right one. I have skied but too many things hurt when I fall now!

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  2. Oh, my - a scary phone call indeed! Great that you didn't stop him, though very brave of you x

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    1. He was adamant he wanted to get back on the slopes - and is loving it!

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  3. Well done to Ben for getting back out there and having another go. I hope he enjoys it. I think it harder for the parents to watch though, but you can't wrap them up in cotton wool, children have to learn and experience things, so well done to you for letting him go skiing again.
    Thanks for linking #LetKidsBeKids

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    1. He is having a wonderful time - he gets to take his Bronze Star test today so I hope he passes! He certainly deserves to :)

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  4. Fair play on him for getting back out there! There's a certain air of fearlessness in children that not many of us have as adults x

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    1. You are right Annie - kids are often fearless but this injury could have so easily been a lot worse although to this day I am not sure he fully realises that.

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  5. I think your son is very brave and mature for going back and trying again. And I think you are very brave for letting him go x #LetKidsBeKids

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    1. He was brave and really there was no way I could stop him going.

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  6. Children are so robust, I cannot imagine your terror! x #LetKidsBeKids

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    1. The amount of "stuff" that went through my mind when I got that call was amazing but none of which I had to implement thank goodness because, like you say, kids are very robust.

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  7. I can just imagine the horror of that phone call! Glad he was ok though and has been back enjoying skiing again.

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    1. He's loving it and I am waiting to hear if he has passed his Bronze Star.

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  8. How scary. I remember the phone call when my little brother had a skiing accident 10 years ago... he has not been skiing since. Well done to Ben for going back on the slopes so soon. Had he not had the courage to do it now, he would probably never have put the skis on again. Mel

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    1. I hope your brother made a full recovery - do you think he will ever ski again?

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  9. brave boy, good on him :)

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    1. He can be stubborn about doing some things but I think he loves skiing too much not to give it a go again.

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