Ouch.

6 years ago

I hurt myself on Friday.  I was a year-round, three sport a year athlete as a youngster and have worked out fairly regularly all of my adulthood.  Amazingly this is my first sports-related injury ever, aside from those blows that landed squarely on the crotch of my ego.  My mother would say my body shook off pain like a dog shakes off water because I am “built like a brick shit house.”  In my life I have leaned more toward injuries related to doing things like driving cars and walking down stairs, activities that I deem very high risk and with good reason. 

Long story short, I went to throw a right punch (in a gym, not in the street) and hot, searing pain tore through my back from my right hip to my left hip and shoulder blade as if I had been shot with a bullet made of lava.  Stopped me dead in my tracks.  For one excruciatingly long minute, I couldn’t move.  I was telling my legs to move, they just wouldn’t.  I could hear my coach’s voice but it sounded very far away, even though he was holding on to me.  I can honestly say there has only been one other time in my life I have ever been so scared or so paralyzed. 

I lost track of the rest of that day and the day that followed.  I finally came to at some point yesterday.  I must have disassociated.  I can’t take any pain medication or muscle relaxers, so I can’t even blame it on a good old fashioned drug induced black out.  In no particular order, here are some thoughts and observations that have come to me since the fog lifted.

  1.  A really good emergency room doctor doesn’t even flinch when you yell “WHAT THE DUCK DID YOU JUST SAY?!?!” at him.  No, I didn’t say duck. 
  2.  Being physically unable to do things like put my own clothes on and pick up something I dropped on the floor is frustrating to a degree that defies description.  Saying “I can’t” is not really my thing and I have found it humbling and humiliating.  And then when I got whiney, I remembered that there are people who can’t do those things on their own all the time and that I should shut up. 
  3.  Needing to ask for help is about as comfortable for me to do as stick toothpicks under my fingernails. On purpose.
  4. I am at the age when medical professionals start to use the term “when you get to a certain age…..”  and that is a very hard pill to swallow.
  5. You use muscles you had no idea you use when you poop.  This becomes glaringly obvious when those muscles are broken. 
  6. You really do find out who your people truly are when you are down.  Surprising and a teensy heartbreaking.
  7. Trust your instincts.  If that little voice is telling you something, listen to it.  Mine was telling me not to go to the gym that day for a variety of reasons and I went anyway.  I have always believed in my instincts, just haven’t always listened. 
  8. ALWAYS WARM UP BEFORE EXERCISE and cool down and stretch after.   Yes I know it’s not the fun stuff but it matters.  A lot. 

 Do me a favor.  If you CAN move your ass today, move your ass today.  Before the choice is taken away from you for a minute, a week or Goddess forbid, forever. Don’t take the ability to be mobile for granted. 

 Yes, I know I’m not usually this serious, but I have found the biggest impact this has had on me is on my emotional well-being.  BUT. I’m sitting here dressed for work with an ice pack tucked into the butt of my underwear which I fully intend to wear out in public all day.

 I’m healing already.

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