Saturday, April 9, 2011

Injury Prone: The Time I Got a Hockey Injury Not Playing Hockey

Injury: My Shoulder's Really Frakin' Sore-itis
Sorry, I don't remember the medical term. If you know, enlighten me.

Basically, it was a similar injury that a lot of hockey players get when they are body-checked into the boards. The shoulder joint is impacted and smashed inward.

Nothing's broken or torn, but the possibility for sprain/strain still exists.

include waterworks-inducing pain whenever the arm is lifted to the side, out front, or, really, any movement of the joint at all. Let's not even talk about weight-bearing.

Treatment includes solid dose of Ibuprofen, regular rounds of icing, Kleenex for the tears, and immobility with the aid of a sling. Ambidextrous-ness helps as the arm is good for nothing during this recovery period.

Sport: You'd think Hockey, but no. It was downhill skiing.
I don't downhill ski. I feel this is one of those skills you need to learn as a child, because once you turn into an adult the idea of zooming down a mountain at any miles per hour with poor ability to stop just doesn't seem all that attractive.

But it seemed like a good idea at the time.

My friend's family has a cabin near Duluth, MN, and we spent our New Year's break during college hanging out, drinking some brewskis, and trying on some actual skis.

At Spirit Mountain.

Which later I was told is one of the hardest mountains in the area and the professional skiers and snowboarders of Minnesota sometimes practice there.


I spent the morning on the Bunny Hill. The day progressed nicely with my friend's sister experimenting on a snowboard, going down the bunny hill, biffing, and breaking her arm and getting a concussion.

Again, awesome.

Not to be deterred I manned up when it looked like we were about to head home, and I decided to try my first Green run of the day.


Almost immediately I fell, landing on my side (aka: smashed shoulder), and banging my head on the iced-over snow.

That's the thing about ski hills on sunny days.

It seems great, but the surface area turns from delightfully powdery to death-defyingly ice-crusted pretty quickly.

Needless to say, I walked down the rest of the hill with my friend so we could catch the chair lift back up to the chalet. On the way down Ski Patrol stopped by and asked us if we were alright.

My friend replied, "Yep, she fell so we're just taking it easy."
The Patrol Guy replied, "Hey, weren't you the one who's sister broke her arm and suffered a concussion?"

That's 3 Awesome's now for those of you playing at home.

The Prognosis:
The immediate injury was the concussion, which I didn't get checked out and I ignored the rest of the night. It was New Year's Eve and it wasn't my best Life Decision.

Always get your concussions checked out, kids.

I went into the doctor a week later when my shoulder started hurting.

You must know that I went to college at the University of Minnesota, meaning the doctors at this school are old hats at treating the D1 athletes, and especially the super star hockey players.

This led to my first doctor claiming I had no injury and that, basically, I should just suck it up. I'm pretty sure he even checked "Girl" on my chart instead of "Female" in the Sex category.

Three weeks later I was in so much pain I couldn't even shift the gears while driving. I saw a different doctor who took one look at me and my history, and then the following conversation ensued:

Doc: So you've had this injury for about 4 weeks now?
Me: Yep
Doc: And the other guy didn't give you pain meds?
Me: Nope
Doc: And he didn't give you an icing schedule?
Me: Nope
Doc: And he didn't give you a sling to immobilize it?
Me: Yes....ha, just kidding. Nope.

It's not what was said, but what was insinuated that's of interest in this dialogue.

And that's, basically, the end of my story. With New Doc's rehab tips I got better, yet still continued to have random problems throughout the next couple of years whenever I overworked that shoulder. Whatevs.

Likelihood of Happening While Running: 7%, there is that rogue, Wauwatosan Body Checking Bandit running around...

__________________________________________________________________ Mandi

Current Couch Potato | Aspiring Runner:

Completing my first half marathon to benefit the Crohn's & Colitis Foundation of America will be a community endeavor. Won't you help me change lives?

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