The Power of Breathing
Pause. Breathe… Repeat.
Two days ago my youngest son snapped his forearm in two during a middle school football game.
It was a mad rush off the field, having the on-site trainer make an assessment and being splinted up. Then it was an evening in the ER, with X-Rays, doctors, nurses, everyone focused on an arm that was so misshapen and swollen and making sure all ways okay.
At the center of all this, there was a young boy. My Son. His pain. His tears. He was in so much pain he could hardly breathe.
In the immediate moments afterwards, when we had just sat him down in the locker room, the school’s Athletic Director gave our son some good advice. “We’re working on figuring this out. Relax and Breathe. Deep breaths, now. In through your nose, and out your mouth.” This brought me to tears as I realized that none of us were breathing! The fear, adrenaline, and the concern for our son left my husband and I close to breathless.
As a mindfulness teacher, this immediately brought back my training; this was indeed a perfect time to become mindful. Not to focus on what might happen — will he be okay? Will he need surgery? What are we going to do?
Instead, we all started breathing. Deep breaths in through our nose and out our mouths. Our heart rates slowed and we became calmer. My son was still in a lot of pain, but could now talk and communicate with the trainer when she checked him out and administered emergency first aid. My husband and I were able to focus on what needed to be done, contacting our other sons and family and make plans to head to the ER.
The ER doctors and nurses put him back together again and put his arm in a temporary cast. He will see a specialist in a few days, and is now at home as comfortable as he can be, and getting a lot of love and care from all of us. Even now, we are working on our breathing.
The fear and the worry come creeping back… Will he need surgery? What if the bone pops out of place? What if we can’t manage his pain?
We will get through this. He will mend. He is healthy and happy, and as a family we will get through this. Breathe.