|"Risk" indeed. You don't want to wake up in the ER wearing this wristband.|
I hadn't been able to skate much during the shut down so I emailed my coach to indicate that it would probably be good if I skated solo for a session or two before resuming lessons just to knock the rust off.
I can tell you all about the various skating elements I worked on up until "the lights went out" but there's a 15 or 20 second long section of my memory bank which was scrubbed clean. I doubt that I was doing anything heroic--probably I was just clumsy and tripped over my picks. Anyway, I "came to" on my back next to a small pool of blood. I knew the blood was mine. I was carted off the ice and into an ambulance for a short ride to the local health center ER. After an x-ray and a CAT scan the attending physician told me he had good news and bad news. The good news was that although I had managed to fracture the top of my right humerus, it didn't appear that I'd need surgery. The bad news, which he delivered while putting eight stitches in my head, was that I had a minor brain hemorrhage and that he was going to pass me on to Medstar Washington Hospital.
Medstar put me in a room in their neurological wing. The combination of aching body parts plus a chorus of beeping monitors did not add up to a restful night. The next morning a second CAT scan revealed that the hemorrhaging had stopped. I was provided with an anti-seizure medication, some pain pills and instructions to follow up with my primary care doctors and orthopedic specialists.
Now just to add an extra layer of complication to this tale, my wife had a plane ticket for Sweden, leaving that same afternoon. She was going home to help her mother, who had sold her apartment, with the packing up. She didn't like the idea of leaving me to my own recognizance but I reminded her that she had $1500 dollars invested in the ticket. She needed to go help her mom, and she could always deal with my carcass upon her return. Besides, our son is a registered nurse and our daughter is also in a position to help her old dad. And so, in the end, our son drove her to Dulles airport that afternoon and then collected me from Medstar on the rebound.
Enough time has passed that I can report that the stitches are out and my orthopedic surgeon (same one who patched me back together when I broke my right radius three years ago) concurs with the ER doctor's assessment that surgery will not be necessary. What is left is a six to eight week recovery period before I can return to the ice. I'm mildly annoyed with all of this because at my last lesson way back in June my coach told me that I was very close to being test ready for the three dances I've been working on for what seems like forever. Some of that progress will surely be lost by the time I return to skating. Also, unless I find someone who saw the fall I'll never know what caused it or how to avoid a repeat. Finally, from now on my non-skating bride will be nervous each time I grab my skates and head out the door.
On the plus side, unlike the episode with the broken radius, this fracture does not require a cast. Instead I alternate between a removable hard plastic splint and a soft arm sling. The downside is that the marginally supported fracture immediately lets me know when a given movement doesn't suit. This includes when I turn in my sleep. Currently I wake up with a sharp jab about every thirty minutes or so. Hopefully I'll be less of a night time whirling dervish by the time my wife returns or I may find myself relegated to the sofa!
Sorry to hear of your injuries. That brain hemorrhage sounds scary. Maybe you should wear a helmet when you go skating in future?ReplyDelete
Take care my friend!
Stick to the Moth boats.ReplyDelete
Thanks for the good wishes Tillerman. Helmets have mixed results within ice skating. Hockey players, none of whom wore helmets when I was a boy, now uniformly wear them. However, while Hockey players often hop on their skates, they don't indulge in rotational jumps or spins. The problem with helmet use in the figure skating disciplines is that they can be a distraction during jumps and spins and contribute to a loss of balance, which in turn could result in a bad fall.ReplyDelete
There are limited choices for figure skaters. I've been looking at a couple soft, foam lined hats: http://crasche.com/products; http://www.ribcap.ch/en/shop/ (mixed reviews) and also a high density foam donut marketed under the name of "ice halo" http://www.icehalo.com/ which has received mostly favorable reviews. I think an ice halo is in my future, at least during practice sessions or when attempting new skating elements.
I'm sorry to hear about your injury. Did someone take your your skates off for you? Or did you wear them in the ambulance?ReplyDelete
Thanks Babbette. Some one took them. I don't know whom. I also don't remember how my car keys got from my jacket pocket and into the hands of my daughter. I attended a skating club meeting this evening and another club member said that she didn't see me go down--she heard it, turned around and said it was a scary scene as I didn't move for the better part of a minute.Delete
Well, maybe they'll turn up in the rink manager's or the skating director's office, or some fellow skater will contact you about them. It won't hurt to call around. Maybe the club pres could send out an email for you to see if anyone knows.Delete
No worries Babbette. Whoever took them off made sure they found their way unto the hands of my wife/daughter. I just haven't put all the pieces of the event back into a completed puzzle and with my wife overseas I haven't had the presence of mind to ask her those kind of details during our few brief phone calls.Delete
I hope your recovery is speedy and easy!
Thanks Amy. Don't know if recovery will be any quicker than the last time but it is a little different. No cast this time.Delete
Wishes for a speedy recovery and return to the ice! Do get an Ice Halo. I always wear one for insurance. Why risk a head injury when it's so easy to wear the Ice Halo? Pardon the pun, but it's a no-brainier for me.ReplyDelete
Thanks. I've rec'd other positive remarks from ice halo users. Have you actually put yours to the test?ReplyDelete
Oh no!! This sounds so scary. Take good care of yourself. I'm sending positive thoughts your way!ReplyDelete
Thanks MER. I keep telling myself that it could have been worst. This summer skating and testing season is blown (probably will be off-ice until September) but I'll be able to use some of the money not spent on ice time /coaching on purchasing an ice halo.Delete
I wear an ice halo too. If I'm doing proper practice or a lesson, it is securely ON. If I'm just chatting & skating then it is not always on.ReplyDelete
Tested it a couple of times. The first was a face plant into the hockey glass. Fabulous outcome - no headache but a bruised nose & chin. Second time I was taken down by a beginner. Not so great as the fall backwards involved lifting my arms and dislodging the halo. Third time was a trip forwards on the ice where my knees took most of the damage before toppling onto my forehead. Again, no headache, just really bruised knees.
My daughters have one too but only wear them when doing jumps - in a lesson. I have accepted this as a fight I half-lost. They are better at tucking & curling, and rarely fall anyway. I am a lot more clumsy than they are.
Hoping your recovery is good and gentle.
Accordion3: Thanks for your assessment of the ice halo. I plan to get one.ReplyDelete
I wear d3o knee pads. One set was from Seku skate wear. The other set is made by Musto sailing:
I like the ones from Musto (they stay in place better than the SeKu pads) and have crash tested them. The d3o works as advertized. I don't skate without them. They are spendy but much cheaper than a smashed patella.
Oh the irony!Delete
I bought the Se Ku pants & pads partly because you liked the D3O pads so much. I have the hip & coccyx protectors and have tested them a few times. They are terrific!
Thanks for the link to the knee pads. I need new pads as my puppy found them and chewed them. Last time I checked the Se Ku website was closed and they were "taking a break" of unspecified length.
Take things gently on the ice when you return. I had whiplash after a dooring incident (I was cycling and was hit by a car door, the driver opened it without looking) and was really fearful of skating for many weeks. I was back on the bike before the blades. I was very apprehensive about doing spins with a neck injury.
Oh, ouch! My sympathies and wishes for a fast recovery. Having broken a fibula and seen my coach fracture her shoulder during a lesson, I can tell you that it could happen to anyone. So it most likely doesn't put you at risk for more injuries--unless you rush the recovery. Lots of positive thoughts helps healing! Take care.ReplyDelete
Thanks for the kind wishes, Jo. I don't think my right should will tolerate any rushing. Right now I couldn't lift my right arm high enough to check anything! Presently I'm trying to explore what i can and can't do in the lab. I can still glove up as long as I take my time. We have a student coming from a mid-western University the last week of the month. I'm supposed to teach him hands-on RT-PCR! I'll see this coming week whether or not I have the required range of motion required for that demo.ReplyDelete
Oh my goodness! I am so glad you are okay.ReplyDelete
I think an ice halo at minimum is a good idea for the future.
Did the 6-8 weeks time frame come about only because of your wrist? What did the neurologists say? (They might have assumed you weren't eager to get back to the ice if they didn't give you a time frame...)
Hi Jessim: Thanks for the good wishes. Actually, the wrist was not involved this time. I fractured the right humerus (the upper arm bone) at the knob where it joins the scapula and collar bone. The neurologists where concerned with my slight brain hemorrhage but released me the next day after a second cat scan showed that the bleeding had stopped. They gave me a 6 day supply of an anti- seizure drug (keppra) and turned me loose. The time frame came from the ER doctor (8 weeks) and from my orthopedic surgeon (a more optimistic 6 weeks). We'll see if I can hold my right arm, pain-free in 3-turn position at either of those recovery estimates and take it from there. Since I didn't need a surgical reduction I'm hoping that those estimates are fairly accurate.Delete
Oh no George! And you were already so careful, wearing a wrist guard and knee pads! I use a ForceField head band. I think it's token head protection compared to a helmet, but it's something that I will wear (most of the time). I think a full helmet is more useable than you might think for figure skating, though I don't use one myself. I know folks who use them post-concussion thinking it's the only way for them now. Best wishes for a fast recovery in both the neurologic and orthopedic realms and a smooth return to the ice.ReplyDelete
BTW I have 'tested' the head band with a minor head hit on a backward fall. I was a bit dizzy and nauseous that evening so I had a doctor visit the next day (the correct protocol would have been right then, but I didn't). There was no actual lump on my head. I passed the concussion tests and was told I could return to the ice after a few days if there was no headache (there was not).ReplyDelete
Mary: Thanks for the kind thoughts and feed back, re: ForceField. Right now I'm leaning towards the HD version of the ice halo but I'll investigate the ForceField head band as well. As for all the protective gear (I currently wear wrist guards, elbow pads, knee pads, hip and tail bone pads), I wonder if I'm merely transferring the energy to the next unprotected body part! Example, last time in the absence of any gear, I broke my radius. This time I had on all of the above listed gear and broke my humerus (do I need shoulder guards--or will that just move the energy of a fall on to my neck?). A friend sent me a photo of people playing (maybe attempting is a better word) soccer in what appeared to be huge, clear plastic bubbles which covered their bodies from the knees up. It gave to appearance of humans being eaten by very large jelly fish!ReplyDelete
Hi, George, I hope you are healing up nicely. I think you must be almost halfway to the six-week mark. No residual headaches, I hope. Sending good wishes!ReplyDelete
Thanks for your kind thoughts Jo. No headaches; just the constant nagging reminders from my should that I've a broken bone. Last week's x-ray suggested the the mending process was going down the correct pathway. I see a neurologist in early August for what I hope is a similar conformation that things are ok inside my skull. My long suffering wife is back from Sweden. She asked if I was going to hang up my skates. I told her "no"!ReplyDelete
Second sentence: the word "should" should read "shoulder"--a victim of one handed typing and an itchy "publish" finger...ReplyDelete