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My ER Experience

For all the crap i've done over the years and put my body through, i can say i have been blessed to never really have an injury - that is until a month ago when i separated my shoulder attempting Brazilian Jiu Jitsu (BJJ). 

It was a Monday.  I was just about to start a new workout week as i have taken the  prior week off for vacation. I felt bloaty from the shitty food i had eaten and did not like myself.  I was pumped.  I saw new personal records being made and a few big races to destroy.  Some time off to give your body a rest is mandatory, in my greatly and awesome opinion (imgaao).  And so I noticed the BJJ schedule was a Monday this week.  It was the start of my 5th class - and free trial - and I thought ok, i can do Monday BJJ and then start my heavy lifts on Tuesday.  nuh uh .. wrong answer.  Little did i know that i would be in an emergency room till wee hours of the morning and out of the gym and out of commission for at least 3 months.  Booooo.. 

This is what real people who do BJJ look like:


They are scary looking and have tattoos. I have neither.  

The way it happened is simple, i have pussy shoulders.  Not like in the female genital way or like in a pussy cat cute kinda way.  But no, pussy shoulders.   My opponent and I - who just so happens to be one of my closest friends and is also the biggest wise ass on the planet and my biggest competition and the same person who continues today to bust me about how weak i am any chance he gets  - were practicing take downs.  There was probably 5 minutes left of class.  He went in.  I stepped back.  Repeat for about a minute.  Suddenly, he got me.  I fell clumsily to the ground with my right arm out  - ya know the one arm that I rely on everything with. He fell on top of me and the arm.  CRUNCH CRUNCH CRUNCH.  3 crunches and i was out - TKO.  I yelled Stop stop stop and just sat there.  I knew something was wrong for sure but did not know what.  A dislocated shoulder?, i thought.  He got off me and everyone huddled around.  Tons of questions began coming my way. I felt slightly important for 15 seconds.  Finally, i tried to move it.  Surprisingly, i was able to move my arm, but it was tight. Oh so tight.  Something just didnt feel right.  It was then I went to touch my shoulder.  WHAT THE FUCK!!!!!   A giant bone was sticking out of my shoulder - not piercing the skin but just protruding out.  It was disgusting.  I was a mutant.  Coach was like "Dammmmmmmmmmm yo you need to go to ER now"... and so my story begins.. 

After some debate, my wife was the one to drive me to the ER.  It was about 8PM.  Our kids were being closely watched and monitored by my surprisingly-fast-to-get-to-the-house Mother-in-law (the kids are a whole other blog as you know for all my faithful readers).   She dropped me off to park and i walked in. 

I looked around the room.  It was packed.  I had no idea what a real ER looked like except in the movies.  I expected men of all different colors running into the room, clutching a friend or brother in their arms, limp and bleeding everywhere, as one of them shouted "Yo i need a DR.  Now!! What the fuck!!  I need a DR.  Yo, you speak English!!" as 2 women behind were trailing sobbing singing "Hang on Pooky. It will be ok".  Nope.  Did not see that.  Or some guy walking in calmly with a 9 inch nail sticking out of his head politely asking to see a DR.  Nope.  Not that either.  Or some guy with a very red and embarrassed face accompanied by another women with a red embarrassed face stating that he broke his penis during sex.  Nope.  Not that either. 

Instead, i saw the following:  A bunch of people just sitting around.  Thats it.  No phenomenal drug gang stories, gun shot parades,  embarrassing sex-gone-wrong party tricks.  Just people sitting around.  Obamacare at its finest.

1 lady next to me, who looked completely normal, just sat their and slept.  Maybe she was suffering from tiredness. I dont know.  Another man, with his entire family, had some sorta rash on his leg and thinks he may have suffered a stroke but was making jokes and did not seem to mind.  Hmm Okayy.  Another man, also had some sorta rash, and they seemed to know each other which made it even more weirder.  Some dude clearly needed to see a DR as he was a grown ass man laying on his Mom's lap, whom she was complaining about why its taking so long.  Some lady came in on a wheelchair with her right leg sticking out that had bandages around it that my wife bumped into when she came in from parking her car.  True story.  Another man may have had a viral contagion type disease that can kill all of NYC,  as he just sat their with a mask on his face.  There was only 1 seat open and of course it was next to him.  I decided to pace around the ER floor instead.   The rest of the people looked as healthy as can be.  Some laughing.  Some sleeping.  Most on their phone and some watching the Baby channel that was displaying on 1 of 2 TVs.  Yay. 

I waited there my friends for 8hrs.  To put that in perspective, I don't even get that much sleep. Imagine a work day and just standing around, sitting, moving up and down for no reason all while in agonizing pain.. Oh wait, this is what highway workers do.  (oh shit i am in trouble)  I was probably the only one that was in pain - or at least the only one wincing in pain.

Where were these people to come to my rescue:

I starting to complain around 1am.  Rose, my wife, just told me to calm down.  This just got me to complain more.  The selfish ass i am did not realize that she too had to sit there and do nothing but worry about me and hear me complain about how we could have just went to the Drs in the morning and i could have at least tried to sleep.  Keep in mind that this is the same woman that told me when i started to take BJJ, that i was going to get hurt.  Actually told me this each class and that i should stop.  The same woman that would be not just taking care of our 2 small daughters of 4 and 3 alone, but also taking care of her stupid ass 37yr old husband!  And all I can now say is she was dam right!  Stupid husband. 

When the Dr finally saw me at about 3:30am, after being moved from one room to another,  only to wait another 2 hours in each, I got an Xray and a Percocet.  Yes.  The entire time i had 0 pain relievers, no ice and a shitty sling that we made at the gym with my new White Belt that i had received the beginning of that class (yes.. i just got my first belt only to break myself 45 minutes later. I suck at life). I was finally seen and told my results:  "Separated shoulder most likely Grade 3 which means completely torn ligaments.  The bone that is popping out is my collar bone.  See a Dr for a followup as you may need surgery."  That pretty much sums it up.  I was on my way with a slightly better shitty hospital sling, a diagnosis but no prognosis and a Percocet.  I could have gotten Percocets much quicker --and for much cheaper (ER copay was 100 bucks).  I am just saying.

45 min prior to injury i received my first belt!  :-(

The interesting thing about Percocet is no matter how mad i tried to be, i could not keep my smile from forming. I felt like the Joker - Jack Nicholson version - where my lips kept creeping upwards along the sides. I tried to push them down to be mad.  It was not working.  So i left the hospital so happy to be alive.  Boooo

8hrs later on Percocet

Surgery was 2 weeks later.  Went well.  Pain sucked but 3 weeks post its much better.  Here i am typing this with my sling on and no real pain.  My first blog in a while.   

Morale of this story: 



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