I know that she does not want me to help her. Our friendship is based on paying attention to each other, so I know that being helped is not something she likes. If I do what I want to do, she’ll get mad and break both my arms, or at least, look at me very very sternly. So I stay away. I could tell her “I’m not helping you. I’m merely loving you, like the friend I am, and you are kindly letting me do that” but she’d break both my arms anyway. The thing is, it was hard to watch. She had taken the puck from a big scary player on the other team, skillfully moved it around the rink, shot it to a teammate who lost it to the other team’s player, then my friend took it back again, and was busy pushing back towards the goal and doing some very fancy puckwork when things went terrible wrong and she hit the ice hard, sliding about half way across the arena and slamming into the boards behind her own goal. Then there was what looked like convulsions but turned out to be her efforts to put her arm back into its rightful position.
It still hurts. She has no health care so there will be no MRI but a doctor friend looked at the shoulder and, well, says there needs to be an MRI. But the is alive, and in good humor, and not seriously injured like a high school student was that very day. In that case, the girl simply fell while turning and broke something important and lost feeling in her limbs. And just a few weeks back, as you know, a young high school boy was paralyzed in an ice hockey accident. My wife’s school fielded the team that he was playing against in that game, and I can report that the kids in her school are devastated by the event. All in all, it’s all pretty bad. Yes, these severe injuries are rare. I’m sure someone out there is thinking “more kids are injured or killed driving to and from hockey games than playing in hockey games, so we shouldn’t worry about it” which is of course asinine, true or not. If High School Ice Hockey is being played in a way that enhances the chance of serious permanent injury or death, then play it differently. Starting now. Which, apparently, is what we are doing with new rules implemented today for HS Hockey across the state. Perhaps the new rules will spread.