down for the count
august 19, 2005
there are some people who don't necessarily feel comfortable with showing their mug on my site. i am one of those people of course. but there are others and i surely do respect them for not wanting to be *known*. as i whipped out my camera today during lunch, PB, without hesitation grabbed for the marie callendar's menu and covered up any distinguishing marks on him, his watch and bandaid mainly. i had a good chuckle as i know how hard it is to piece together a person's face without only bits and pieces.
PB met me for lunch after my follow up appointment with the orthopedic surgeon yesterday. yeah, you read that right, orthopedic surgeon. i've learned the hard way you could say, that my zeal for kung fu training has its price.
about 4 weeks ago, i was training with a new kid (read: 17 year old kid) at the academy. he was new to our curriculum, he was new to our drills and he was new to using certain equipment. but the bottom line was that he was chickenshit. you would think that if you're new and you want to learn, you would make every effort to aquire the knowledge and pay fuckin attention the sifu teaching you. i soon found that some guys can't really handle a punch from a girl nor would they expect someone from the opposite sex to know how to punch hard & well. it was my unlucky day to get paired up with the knucklehead though.
^ image from web*md, colored in by me
we were working on drills that involved your partner holding up their focus gloves for you to punch into. it was a pretty simple thing unless you didn't know how to hold the gloves. we started off with simple jab combos and them moved into the jab hook combos. i think my initial first or second punch startled him so when i launched my third punch, the fucker stepped backwards and moved his gloves. my fist ended up not making contact with anything and my right shoulder hyper extended. i knew immediately that i had don't something to the shoulder but not knowing the extent of the damage. i pretty much wrote it off as a muscle tear - that came with the territory during each class really.
immediately that night and for the following 5-6 days, my shoulder swelled up and was in pretty excruciating pain when i lift my arm to shoulder level or above. but still, i thought it was a mere muscle tear that would heal on its own with time. by the 9th day, i decided to see my primary doctor, who then sent me to get an MRI. once he said MRI, i pretty much knew it was a bad deal.
a few days later, i was informed that i needed to see an orthopedic surgeon based on the results of the MRI. obviously, another BAD sign.
so i finally saw the orthopedic surgeon who looked at my MRI results as well as the film i brought. he then informed me that based on the MRI, it looked as if *my* acromion hooks downward (see red section in diagram above) into the tendon (yellow section in diagram). a typically normal acromion (aqua section in diagram) would lay flat connecting the clavicle/shoulder blades etc. but mine for some reason, hooks downward cutting into the tendon. even without inflammation to the tendon, the acromion is already too close to the tendon. with the inflammation, due to the knucklehead's crappy glove holding, the tendon is constantly swollen and rubbing against the bone. the bone thereby is consistently cutting into the tendon causing a tear.
it's been 4 weeks since my injury and i just returned back to the orthopedic surgeon for a follow up. he's given me muscle relaxers, pain relievers and also an anti-inflammatory. all of which help somewhat but doesn't cure the problem. i also started physical therapy this week in hopes of getting it bad to "normal". in a few weeks, we'll see how the progress with medication and physical therapy goes. but the surgeon has already forewarned me that surgery will most likely be necessary to shave off the downward hooked portion of the bone and then shave the rest down to create a bigger space between the bone and the tendon.
i. am. so. not. looking. forward. to. that.
just when i am getting a good hang of kung fu, this shit blows up in my face. but you know what? i'm feeling loca and have still be training but only on the left arm and on my footwork. my sifu was even cool enough to make everyone do special moves based on my injury. i know for a fact that if i stop training and just don't do anything until i heal, i will fall into this lazy ass mode and can never climb back into the swing of things again. i've come so far now, i really can't stop.
as gung ho as i may seem, i'm hurting pretty bad. and the only thing i have on my mind is 'when can i train at 100% again?'? luckily for me, my orthopedic surgeon has been doing my kind of kung fu for over 30 years and knows exactly what i can or cannot do and how this is going to impact my training.
p.s. it's amazing how many people PB and i know in common. thanks for the lunch! :)
currently listening to: rush, red barchetta