Wednesday, March 25, 2015

our nolan

He crawls onto his Dad's side of the bed and lays down next to me.  He sighs.  I quickly hit the pause button on the tv, not wanting to overstimulate him.  I watch the rise and fall of his chest as his eyes glisten with tears.  I fold my fingers over his hand, softly, murmuring, "oh buddy…"  He grips back, hard, strong.  A man's hands, with a young boy's heart. 

How was it that just hours earlier, we had arisen with hope on the horizon?   He had done better on the computerized concussion test, the night before.  He was showing some symptoms, but so many seemed better.  This day he would physically get to ride the exercise bike, and push his heart rate up, to see how he would do.  

Then he finished school, and waited for his Dad to come.  They would hear the results offered by the Concussion Specialist, the Dr. at the Orthopedic Clinic, overseeing Nolan's care.  

How do you prepare for that news?  Where the rug feels like its being ripped out from underneath you, and you reel back, not sure you are hearing what is said.  Based on some of the previous test results, some further testing was indicated. So when asked to close his eyes and balance on his feet, Nolan wobbled right away, as they suspected.  His eyes fluttered and couldn't stay still.  Almost instantly he was dizzy, and had a headache.  

When asked to follow a finger slowly moving in front of him, Nolan's eyes shifted up and down, twitching and unable to focus with any coordination.  It was all, everyone involved, needed to see.

Even Nolan.

He was unable to perform, the most basic tasks.  

He was told he had to go back to shut down mode.  Quiet, dark rooms.  No computers, no phones, no tv.  Limited school.  Nothing- which meant everything all at once.

Because it meant,  no hockey.  And hockey is everything to this man-sized boy. 

Oh my hockey-mom heart was broken for this boy. 

Our puck-moving, ice-loving, team- belonging, goal-scoring, State- Champion-dreaming, hockey-loving, son, has played his last game of his Moorhead Youth Hockey Career.

He may at least be able to attend and watch the VFW State Tournament games with his team mates this weekend, from the bench,  but we will have to monitor him for symptoms of too much stimulation.  His brain simply can't filter out noise, lights, and sensory input in general.  

We will re-test next week.  


We're trying to build him up.  To piece him together.  To help him move forward.  

I go down to his darkened and unusually quiet room.  His head is throbbing again, and we're waiting for the acetaminophen to kick into action.  I rub his temple, watching again as his chest rises and falls.  

"Just believe, Nolan," I whisper, "Just keep believing."  

I lean in and kiss his chiseled and stubble-filled cheek, as he drifts off to sleep. 

Thanks to sweet Angie, and Robynn, my "word" embraces my life everyday. (Just a couple of blessings to come our way… more soon.) 

And in case, I needed a boost- Robynn added in a helping of "Grace," for good measure.

We're so thankful for all of you!  


  1. Our dear Nolan. How does man-boy process all this and remold hopes and dreams that are deferred? Big things are being chiseled into that heart and spirit but I'm still having mother-bear moments and wondering how the criminal who willfully did this to him is sleeping at night. What did HE learn? His coach? His parents? I wish there would be ownership and an apology so THAT young man could have some deep learning experiences as well instead of learning to do whatever you can get away with. Surely THAT'S not the lesson the hoped he would take away.

    You are there for him, Vicky, and he will take that love and care into his very bones and that is so healing. And we will pray that Gid restores the rest. I have a good friend whose daughter went through this at the Air Force Academy after a couple of diving accidents and it was incredibly rough to try and get through school while also having to give up diving. But she did and just a couple of years later she has graduated, married, and is fit enough to train as an Air Force pilot which she is doing now. Take heart, Mama, and tell Nolan prayers are with him and this too shall pass though it must feel incredibly slow to him. Love you, my grace-filled friend. I will keep believing for all these good things.

    1. Fat finger - small keyboard. Forgive me, Lord! "Gid" OF COURSE is "GOD!"

    2. Robynn- You and I are both on the same page. The young man who did this really needs to understand what it is he did so he too can learn and apologize.
      I always so appreciate your wise, thoughtful and heart-felt responses on Vicky's blog. :) They resonate with me.

    3. Linda, you are so kind. We both love a wonderful woman in our Vicky. Your words also encourage me and I love to read your responses. I feel like I know you. Bless you, Linda!

  2. so hard. perspective won't come for years, like Robynn shared. you gave him the best advice, and you're modeling what believing looks like. that's all you can do. God will accomplish everything He intends, and He is limitless in His abilities.

  3. my heart aches for you and your nolan….and tears slide down my face as i read your words….and as always, my prayers are being sent you way……xo

  4. Oh Vicky, I’m so sorry, and tears also slide down my face as I read this. Robynn said it all so well. I believe God has bigger and better plans for your brave warrior. And this mother-bear heart also struggles with the lack of consequences for the one who hit Nolan. He should be out for the season too at the very least. But, focusing on praying your young man will be feeling much better by the week-end. Praying extra for you also as you love, care and encourage him through this.

  5. I know how hard it is to see your child in pain. How we wish we could either take on it or take it away. I hope he is able to accept what has to be done in order for him to heal. God bless your family.

  6. I am sure this is incredibly disappointing for him (and the rest of you!). Praying that he continues to heal and that the time off is restful.

  7. Life can change in the blink of an eye and it's so hard to watch our children struggle. Thoughts and prayers.

  8. My dear sweet friend,
    My heart is breaking, as is yours. I am so glad Nolan could share his sadness and grief with you. It is so scary and hard to be side-lined and have a dream be taken away. While the greater learnings are profound, and life-long, the immediate hurt of missing out is excruciating.

    I hope the boys on Nolan's team play for Nolan. That this gives them a new sense of loyalty and caring for your boy-man. Perhaps they will learn that following the safety rules is more important than winning at any cost. I wonder if there is some way for the young man who hurt Nolan to get this lesson too? An apology at the very least?

    And I will keep your Nolan in my prayers 24/7 that the results of this concussion will be short lived and that he has a full recovery. Keeping you, Rick, Colton and your Mama in my prayers as well.

    Love you dear friend, to the moon and back. Always!

  9. Once again, no words to express how full my heart is. Your writing does that to me.

    Makes me remember when our son Thomas had a concussion. He was 17. Camped out with friends. Fell asleep driving home for church on Sunday morning. Hit a tree and totalled his truck. My husband found him on our road. Walking. Stunned. Face bloody. Couldn't remember anything. He came so close.... And getting well took a while. :(

    I'm so sorry.

  10. Oh Vicky... I feel terrible for your sweet Nolan. It is so hard to watch your child suffer. I will hold him in my prayers along with you and your Mom. It just seems like your plate has been so full for so long...

  11. Oh Vicky, how your mothers heart came out in this post! how I hurt for all of you and Nolan. and Yet how greatful I am...that you all KNOW the rest and healing that is required. I know this is so Hard hard on him and all of you. He will heal, he will get there.... but once again your family's plate is so very full. Lots of love and so many prayers!

  12. Getting better after a concussion takes time.....and he will heal and get better. It is incredibly hard to watch your child hurt.
    My thoughts are with you and with you and Rick.
    I've been thinking about your Superman this morning and what a rock he has been and continues to be. To see his wife, mother-in-law, and son endure sickness and pain must also take a tremendous toll on him. He is indeed strong beyond our knowing....I lift him up in my prayers as well as all of you, Vicky. Sending my love to your family.....

  13. So difficult. Not only does his body have to heal, but he has to deal with a whole whack of forgiving and letting go since this accident shouldn't have happened. I will be praying for his heart and mind, and for you guys as you parent him through this hard storm.

    You had mentioned in a post awhile back about how you were learning about essential oils. Could you go to the person who introduced them to you and ask them for some Frankincense? It is so helpful for supporting the body through times like this. Sandalwood is also good, and there is a blend I love that would also be excellent, but it's a different brand than what your friend uses. It wouldn't be contraindicated with the medical things you are doing, and would very likely be a great support. You could put it on his feet, back of neck over brainstem, and/or on temples. A drop a several times each day would be great. (disclosure...I teach about eos for a living, and have a good medical aromatherapy library, so that's where this is coming from)

  14. Prayers for healing and complete restoration for Nolan. He is a strong young man but obviously with a tender heart to lean in to you right now. I am glad you can walk with him and offer him your love an encouragement.

  15. Hugs and blessings to you and your little Man... Hope he is recovery well.

  16. April 6
    Checking back in to see how Nolan is doing. Sending you love....


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