11.18.2010 – Getting ‘Back on the Horse’ After a Terrible Injury
FYI…Not my usual type of blog!
As my family, and any reader of this blog knows, last February I had a horrible ice skating accident. I broke my left humerus in half and spent 3 days in the hospital for surgery to put it back together. The following several months were filled with pain, adjustment, therapy, healing, and mental mending.
I love skating and I love hockey. It’s one of the few things that has actually stuck with me from childhood. So, now, I find myself at a crossroads. I want, desperately to skate and play hockey again. But to be completely honest, I’m terrified. Anytime I imagine stepping back onto the ice I have a mild panic attack. I think there’s several reasons beyond the obvious for my apprehension.
1) The obvious: I’m scared to death of injuring myself again. If my injury would have been the result of playing hockey or skating hard and wiping out, I don’t think I would be having the reservations that I am. But the reality is, I wasn’t really doing much when I fell. My daughter and I were about to finish skating for the day when we saw that the Zamboni was coming out to clean the ice, and we figured that we’d hang around for a couple of quick laps on the fresh sheet. Well, I didn’t even make it half way around. I went to move from going forward to backward (something I do all the time), caught the outside edge of my right skate and it flipped me through the air. I landed with all my weigh on my left arm with it somewhat behind me and the rest is history. So, the simplicity of what I was doing makes me worry about how easy it would be for me to repeat something like that and have another major injury.
2) A few weeks after my injury I came to find out about the long-term effects of using PPIs (Proton Pump Inhibitors). I’ve been taking products like Prilosec (and nexium, aciphex, etc) for 8 or 9 years now for acid reflux. They work like a charm and if I miss a dose the heartburn comes back within hours. However, I’ve found out that long-term use can cause bone density to drop. Is that why I broke my arm? I don’t know. I tried to ask my surgeon about this on my last visit, and he acknowledged that there are those issues, but I didn’t get anything clear from him about my own personal bone density. I don’t even know if he’d be able to tell. I probably would need a bone density scan to know for sure. All this being said, my wife tells me all the time that it was just a freak accident, but I still have this in the back of my head and I worry that something else will break for even a lesser impact.
3) Money! Yay healthcare. That little accident cost us about 3 grand! Obviously, I would hate to have to go through all of that again.
4) Probably the dumbest reason for second guessing getting back on the ice – Am I too old? I’m only 38, but have I already lost a bit of the coordination necessary to do this without injuring myself again? Do I have to accept the fact that this has passed me by and find some other athletic activity that’s lower impact to keep me entertained? Like I said, it’s a pretty stupid reason, but it’s there nonetheless.
One major reason in support of me getting back on the ice is my daughter. She was there when I broke my arm. She was probably more scared than I was. I think she was the reason I avoided going into shock – I was more concerned about her staying calm and not being scared than the injury itself. More importantly, though, I don’t want HER to be afraid to skate again or do anything else for that matter. She’s a horseback rider and we’ve always told her how important it is for her to ‘get back on the horse’ if she should fall off or have something scary happen. How can I not do that myself? I feel like I should be an example to her and find a way to get past my fears and ‘get back on the horse’ myself.
Sitting down and actually writing this out, I think, will be a help to me in pushing myself to get back to it. I need to address these issues in my head, and hopefully move past them.