New Scars

TAGS: injury, injury prevention, injuries, powerlifting, Elitefts Info Pages, barbell

Well, this is what’s going on…I’ve been pretty much confined to the house since the Pro Am. This the first week I’ve been to my gym since the meet. It hasn’t been the greatest month of my life—or year for that matter—but other people got it much worse so I ain’t bitchin’ too much. Well…maybe a little.

I went into the meet all f**ked up, but who hasn’t? I thought my ass/hammy situation would be the first to go but the knee/quad had been bothering me for eight months since right before the triceps buffoon incident. Basically, the entire left side was reaching geriatric levels. The squat had been going pretty good the entire cycle. The knee really acted up—mostly on the bench—so it stayed wrapped up most of the year. I still hit lots of PRs on the squat and bench for most of the cycle so I was optimistic going into the meet. The deadlift was sorry up until the last couple of weeks leading to the meet. I really thought I would squat and bench well as usual and be lucky to pull 600 lbs at the meet with the broke down ass. I had so much active release therapy (ART), cold laser, and massage work, I think I paid for a nice car at the local jackass car lot. Still, I continued on like the good little powerlifter that I am.

Going into the meet, I had reached a decision that this would be my last meet for awhile, regardless of my results. I wanted to focus on my gym and internet business and basically get healthy again (sorry bear fans) before I stepped back into the ring. Little did I know, the man upstairs already had this in his plan book. It would have been nice to know this upfront. But fuck, maybe I did know already somehow. I felt weird going into the meet. I knew my knee/quad was about 90 percent or slightly better.

We got to the meet site, and it was alright. A little tight but lots of equipment so what the hell? Not what I’m used to, but at least I knew the meet was put together by the right people. Warm ups were uneventful but went well, especially because there were only about four people using the monolift where I was at (me, Jackass, and Al Mehan). Everyone else was jammed up at the end like a bunch of jackals fighting for some leftover carcass. I took the last one at 980 lbs or something like that and went out. I took 1135 lbs first. Barry took me the same depth as everyone else, and it came up good but no love from anyone (three reds). Usually I get at least one damn light! I had decided no matter what, I was only doing one more attempt whether I got it or not. So I went straight to what I wanted—1205 lbs. Little did I know, it really was the end for quite some time…

The strange part was right before I was called up, I thought, “Fuck this. I don’t want to do it. Pack it up and try later.” But the little bastard in my head said, “Dude, come on. It’s the last time for awhile anyways.” Alright, little devil bastard in my head. Let’s GO!

I picked the weight up nice and solid and proceeded. About six inches down where the bar is, I felt something in my rear delt pop and roll. I thought, “Okay, everything else is good.” So I rolled on. I don’t know if I changed or shifted to the quad or not. The tape doesn’t really show anything wrong, just me right at depth. I felt and heard what sounded like a T-shirt or piece of paper being torn kind of like the Hulk would do when he ripped his shirt off I suppose. Then, I was flying through the air as the force of the bar smashed me like a spring and shot me out of a cannon like in the circus. I knew I was fucked, and I screamed like a little girl as I waited for the wave of pain to come. It didn’t so I had just cried wolf I suppose.

Everyone told me to stay put, but I wanted to get up. Lots of great people came to my aid. My thanks goes to all of the guys who helped me out. They flipped me over and took me to the back. The meet resumed, and I saw everyone moving a bench so that they could warm up for the meet. No one would let me move, and they cut my gear off. I was in my girl’s softball shorts because they’re great for getting your gear on quickly and they don’t cause your gear to bind up.

The ambulance was on the way. It was my first trip in the ambulance to tell you the truth and hopefully it was my last. It probably wasn’t though. The ride was as rough as a rookie is driving. My luck. They radioed in a bodybuilding accident to the hospital. I yelled, “Powerlifting damn it!” The average Joe has no clue. None of the hospitals wanted me so we just showed up at one of them. You could tell they were all pissed about it. The strange thing was that the emergency room doctor knew who I was and he knew what powerlifting was. It was very strange but encouraging for sure. They took a CT scan, but it was inconclusive because of all the swelling, blood, and fluid. This was six hours later, and they asked me if I wanted to wait for the orthopedist on call. I told them no and told them to get me a brace. That for sure would cost me 1000 bucks. I hobbled out of the hospital in my girl’s softball shorts and T-shirt. Nice look.

Back at the hotel, I got my last real shower for a month, though at the time I didn’t know it. We packed up and headed home. The only way that I could ride was with an ice pack under the leg brace. Ten hours later, we got home, and my quad was bigger than the ice pack. I looked like a Frankenstein experiment where they’ve attached another quad to my quad. I couldn’t work or train anyone so I stayed at the house on the couch with my leg propped up. I couldn’t see the doctor until Wednesday, but the news wasn’t good. He propped up my leg over his knee and told me to do a leg extension. I told my leg to do it but nothing happened. The doctor asked me to move it, but I couldn’t. This was the first time that I really got nervous.

He told me that it was the quad tendon and that it needed surgery. Great. I knew this already, but he wanted an MRI to look around for collateral damage. This was most uncomfortable and took 45 minutes of being stuck under what looked kinda like a George Foreman grill or giant coffee maker that hummed, rattled, and sounded like a jet taking off. This too was inconclusive because there was still too much fluid in the quad. Great, a grand wasted for sure.

Surgery was set for a week and half away. I bitched and they moved it up five days because I couldn’t stand sleeping on the couch anymore. I got there, and it was gloomy. I was in a wheelchair, and I already knew the outcome sort of. They wheeled me back earlier then expected, probably because the doctor was pissed that he had a 4:00 pm surgery instead of golf. They knocked me out in the OR this time. It was creepy being in there sober. I woke up and it was all done. I was ready to go home but they told me that they had lost my airway during surgery and wanted to keep me overnight. I found out that the quad tendon was shredded and the lateral quad was torn off as well. The doctor said it was a mess in there. However, he got a good sew through several layers and the fascia repair was good. He told the old lady that she had to tell me to stop powerlifting. She said, “You tell him!” The doctor left and later changed his tune. He told her that it would be a year before I could compete again.

I stayed the night with my wonderful Demeral pump. I could only press the button every ten minutes, but I probably pressed it every five minutes. I’m a dope fiend. One beep, you get dope. Two beeps, it’s too early. Please try again later!

I went home the next day and got thrown in the back of the minivan where the dogs ride. It was okay though because the pain was starting to set in. They got me home and threw me in the recliner chair. Little did I know, this would be my home for the next two weeks. I ate very little for the first five days except Demeral, Advil, and sleeping tablets. I lost 10 pounds at least and had stomach acid coming up my throat for a week. By day seven or eight, I was feeling better and taking less and less pain medicine.

I didn’t poop for three days. Luckily, the old lady was well-prepared and got me a poop chair because I couldn’t make it to the bathroom. You know you have a good woman when she’ll get you a poop chair and actually clean up after you. I don’t think many nurses will do that.

Once the swelling went down and the pain subsided enough, I was able to use the regular bathroom. About 200 bucks and three or four poops later, the poop chair was done. But for 200 bucks, I think we’ll keep it for a rainy day. Unfortunately, the rental store doesn’t take used poop chairs back so if anyone needs one out there, I’ll give you a good deal.

About eight days after the surgery, I got the courage to look under the splint. I peeked at it and saw the staples about halfway up my thigh. It will be a beautiful reminder for the rest of my life for not listening to myself. But shit, I’m a powerlifter. We don’t listen to anyone anyways about anything.

Lift, break, fix, lift, break, fix…you get the picture. Next stop…rehab.

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