Location: Oregon, United States

Saturday, October 18, 2008


Let's just say we're rethinking our involvement in Mixed Martial Arts. At least I am. First, there was the incident with my knee (pop!pop!pop!), for which I accept at least half the blame. Then the other day, the group was doing "no contact or light contact sparring" without gear during the last five minutes of class. Stephen's hand met his partner's foot at just the right point of contact to cause a "boxer's fracture". Hmm. Is this just part of the sport or is there something wrong with this picture?

Stephen was an absolute trooper. He continued the exercise, just keeping his injured hand pulled back. He sat through the announcements and dismissal. He calmly asked the instructor if he had any ice and was given an ice pack. Then, as we were leaving, he looked at me and quietly said, "As soon as we get to the car, I'm crying my eyes out." He got in the car, curled up in a little ball, held his arm, and wept.

When we got home, I took a better look at it and did some quick triage on the internet. It was pretty clear that he needed to be seen so that an x-ray could be taken. So we left for the ER and underwent the obligatory sign in, triage, billing/HIPPA paperwork, waiting, watching other sick people and families, and finally being brought back to an exam area. There was an ornery, pitiful, toothless old guy on the other side of the curtain that had been there for three hours waiting for a room. He asked for food and they brought him a sandwich, which he couldn't chew. Then they brought him soup, which was evidently "stale and lukewarm". He asked for a phone so he could talk to his family, then complained about the wait and the food, and asked his family why they weren't speaking to one another, saying that if they weren't going to tell him, he might as well just die. Oh, brother. Shortly after that, they took him to his own room. Thanks be to the Almighty God of Room Vacancies.

The doctor came in with the x-rays and sat down to talk to us. Shortly after she arrived, before she had shown us the x-rays, a nurse delivered a cart to our area. Ah, the cart. That means we are going to DO SOMETHING. Sure enough, it was a fracture, so she explained that she would give him a shot of novocaine, manipulate the bone back into place, splint it, and set us up with an orthopedic doctor. Stephen has a thing about shots, so we had to talk him down off the rafters to get that over with, allowing him to inflict puncture wounds onto my hand while he squeezed it during the procedure. Then the bone was back in place, and we came home by about midnight.

So, yeah, I'm thinking about our involvement in Martial Arts. My primary concern is that, at this school, we have been allowed to make contact with one another as beginners. This is super-fun and has it's benefits. But do the benefits outweigh the now-obvious costs? Are injuries to be expected in this sport or could they be avoided if we waited until a higher belt level before making contact? Stephen just got his yellow belt, worked really hard to get there, and wants to stay. I understand that, but my "mom instinct" is seriously aroused. I found myself angry, frustrated, and frankly wanting a victim. RAHR!!! DON'T MESS WITH THE MOM!!! So maybe after I calm down a little bit I'll have a conversation with our instructor. Just give me a little time.


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