Skater Interrupted

July 9th, 2013





I’m back….ish

3 months (13 weeks) on from my operation date.

On the weekend I was spectating the East Vic double header bouts and unfortunately witnessed another leg injury happen. There have been ALOT of similar injuries occurring this year and I’m not really sure why. Perhaps I’m only mentally noting them because I have been through the same thing but I just want the girls that suffer from them to know that it gets better.

I guess this would be a good time to summerise my experience after having the surgery to now, where I am back on skates and almost ready for my first scrimmage session.

Week 1-3 : Cast Party

The first 3 weeks were the lamest (literally). A cast on my leg made showering a pain, walking around was too hard and getting used to not being able to do things for myself was quite frustrating at times. On the other hand I got to give my whole body a break for a while, I got to catch up on all my shows and I got to spend some quality time stalking my animals.

I was working from home after just over a week but only doing half days due to having to keep my leg elevated.

Week 4-6 : Moon Boot Camp

Moon Boot Fuck Yeah! At the 3 week mark I got my moot boot on and could walk in it unaided straight way. This was the best thing ever. I was allowed to remove it at night to sleep, the feel of sheets on my leg was so amazing I almost cried tears of joy.

By week 4 I was back at work in the moot boot and moving around like a boss.

Week 7-8 : Operation Ankle Freedom 

Boot off and brutal looking xrays ! A massive highlight of getting the boot off was the fact I could drive again. I could drive to training to watch/nso which made me start to feel a little bit less stir crazy. Walking around was not pain free and I had a slight limp initially. Due to the fact I was used to bearing weight on one side I think my hips were slightly misaligned. My surgeon said I was good to go and could start walking up steps and skipping right away and that I could start skating in 2 weeks.

Weeks 9-12 : Return of the Mack

Brand new shiny Bonts and back to training, If only for warmup.

Skating is still tricky due to a combination of being back on wheels after 8 weeks and being in a completely new skate setup. The new Bonts should be much better for me in the long run. They feel so much more secure and light at the same time. I have fairly flat feet so the 265′s may have been a little too elevated, which would explain the pain across the front of the foot.

Now I am back on skates there are the obvious mental hurdles. Shying away from certain movements, Fear of jamming etc

I am slower to react, which is weird because in my head I am reacting at the right speed but my body is not following. I know it will all come back to me in time. I am very lucky to have the support and patience from the girls I skate with.

Personally for me there were a few internal struggles at this stage :

  • I’ll never get back to where I was.
  • People will always treat me like a crip.
  • Everyone will get better around me.
  • What if I injure myself again.

But those thoughts really were a fleeting thing. I learned early it’s much better to fill your head with motivational thoughts like :

  • You’ve done it once and you can do it again.
  • People getting better is just more motivation to improve.
  • You can injure yourself doing lots of things, 3 years was a pretty good run.
  • You look like a super tough bitch coming back after such an icky injury. *flex*
  • You are closer to becoming full robot than the other players.

While there were very few advantages to me crippling myself, I did get skinnier legs for a little bit. There is always a silver lining after all…

At the end of the day, If I didn’t have such a fantastic league to be a part of and wonderful people to skate with I would have just walked away. No question. Don’t get me wrong, my love for the sport and the competitiveness is extreme but I can’t enjoy the sport without the people.

Some Massive feels to:

  • My life partner in crime, Mitch for being patient and getting me stuff on demand.
  • My parents for running me to hospitals and being generally supportive.
  • Dani Darko for securing me a wheel chair to zoom around in.
  • Blondage, Crash Mandicoot, Mouldylocks, Sadie and Koffen Kandie for cooking such delicious food and delivering it to me.
  • Flux, Tristan, Misty, Chuck, Luke, Dotti, Neil and Wifey for coming around to monitor my mental stability.
  • Smurf for my delicious care package.
  • SSRD Red stars for the flowers.
  • Ardy and Vandal for their mental stimuli care package.
  • Mel Adjusted and Cookie for almost daily sms checkups.
  • Tina Sparkill (Slayer) for her advice and cripple talks.
  • Tahlia for the sweet egg sangys.
  • Poho for the sweet medical connections.
  • Paul and Sherry for giving rides to and from work.
  • SSRD League members who contributed to me getting some of my lost gear back.
  • Everyone on Facebook who tolerated my endless rambles and cat photos.
  • Anyone who has given me hugs, messages, emails and concerned/excited looks when I first put my skates back on.
  • Endone.

In other news…. alot happened when I was out of action including :

  • Charmers won not only one, but both home games against the Breakers and the Dollys. Both games were so close and very bitter sweet to watch but ultimately I was as happy as I would have been had I played. So proud of everyone. It was so good to see the Charmers smash their 4 game losing streak.
  • Sailor Mouth Sadie, one of the league founders and a mentor of mine from when I started at the league decided to retire. While totally understandable it still sucks balls… who will yell at me for not wearing a mouth guard now?
  • I was voted in as a co-captain with Cookie (butt)Crackhouse! Woot! First captain experience Given the Charmers have just come off 2 wins it’s going to be a challenge. I just want to do those purple wenches proud.
  • Sirens are kicking ass and taking names in the Vic/Tas Tournament. Again, very bitter sweet to watch but gives me extra motivation to get back to the top of my game and beyond.

I did my first full training session just before the 2 week break that my league is currently in the middle of. I am hoping to return to scrimmage on the first Tuesday back in a weeks time. I may or may not be ready to play in the next charmers bout in August, but if not that’s OK. It just gives me more time to recover.

I do still know I have along way to go to get back to where I was, but I’m excited to think about where I will be a year from now. I am already looking forward to going to The Great Southern Slam for the third time next year, whether I’m on a travel team or as a member of some challenge teams.

<3 Blitz

P.S If you have suffered an injury and want to vent about it or compare scars feel free to contact me via Facebook :)

 

A Good Day to Skate Hard

April 15th, 2013










Big big month since my last post. Played in a travel team game, Game of thrones season 3 started and I went and broke myself…

More on that later. Last month I got the honour of being able to play as a Siren against Western Australia Roller Derby in SSRD’s first official WFTDA Apprentice bout. As previously mentioned, I missed out going to WA 2 years ago due to a wedding so I was very keen to play this time around. I had heard the loveliest things about the girls from WARD and from everything I experienced, I can now officially attest to their loveliness.

Personally I did not have the best game, I was too penalty heavy but that didn’t stop me having a great ass time. SSRD won the bout in a hard fought game but my favourite part of the night was when WARD proposed to SSRD at the after party and we said YES.

So now SSRD are officially betrothed to WARD and I have been told the honeymoon is apparently already in the planning. I really like and respect WARD. They seem to have a very similar culture to South Sea and I’d definitely like to see this relationship continue forevers..

Personally I am looking forward to the next rematch, whichever state it is in. /end gush.

Broken..

With last Sunday night came the moment I think I knew had been coming since I started derby. I have seen people suffer injuries in the past and have always felt like it was going to be my turn soon enough. That time was unfortunately now.

The Literal Breakdown..(as brief as possible but still maybe a bit TLDR)

1. It was a scrimmage like any other. I was the jammer.
2. The whistle blew and I charged into the back of the pack, in doing so I lost my balance and slammed a foot backwards.
3. Upon landing the ankle completely dislocated and the tibia and fibula fractured. I picked my foot up in pain, looked down, saw the damage and began to fall to my other side to avoid landing on it.
4. Cue yells/other weird noises that I can’t even remember but am sure freaked some people out.

In the moments of confusion that always follow an injury on track, I look down to see my ankle facing the wrong way and a bone being pushed up into the skin on the inside. I knew immediately something had broken and could feel the creaking and cracking as I tried to move it into a position to avoid getting bumped around.

Before I knew it I had people around me telling me to breathe, putting clothes around me to keep me warm, asking me to remove my helmet and to stay calm. I’ll be honest the pain was bad, but not as bad as I think I was expecting. I was however waiting for the pain to get worse, which was probably the scariest thing for me. The ambulance had been called and all I could do was wait.

My immediate thoughts went to:

1. The fact I would not be able to skate in the upcoming bouts. Letting myself and the charmers down.
2. That fact I had literally less that 24 hours ago commented to someone that I’ve been pretty lucky with injury so far, touch wood… BUT THERE WAS NO WOOD !!

When the waaaambulance arrived they gave me the coveted green whistle straight away and tried to hook me up with morphine before they went about getting my skates off. The funniest and cutest thing was everyone’s shock and horror as they began to cut up my new compression pants, the secret to my limited success, to get access to my leg. The suggestions were made that a) they could be pulled over the ankle (eff no!) or b) they should be cut to the knee and used as shorts… either way they needed to be cut off completely at the hospital.. so bye bye blitzpants….

This is where things started to go a little hazy. I know at one point I started smoking the green whistle like a cigarette. My head was spinning pretty nicely… the pain was still there, but I just didn’t really care. Someone (I now know was tank) picked me up like I was nothing and plopped me onto the stretcher. Upon them wheeling me out to the ambo I put up a peace sign up as a homage to Sailor Mouth Sadie who did the exact same thing when she was injured playing in WA a couple of years ago.

Loaded up in the ambulance, we made our way to the emergency room… I was more than a little gutted they didn’t put the sirens on, if only for a few seconds…

Once at the hospital I waited for x-rays and was given a second green whistle (weeeeee). The x-rays came back. The summary they gave me was that ankles should sit in-between the 2 leg bones (tibia+fibula). My 2 leg bones were squished together on one side with fractures and the ankle was on the other side, presently detached. The doc then told me I need to have my leg reset under nitrous, that I would be awake, and that I would be “uncomfortable”… I won’t lie, this was the most terrifying part of the entire ordeal, possibly the most legitimately terrifying thing I have experienced in recent memory. I looked up at Mr. Blitz, held his hand and let a single tear roll down my face before they gave me the nitrous tube, which I greedily shoved into my mouth like I was at a hotdog eating competition. I took some extremely deep breaths and nodded when I thought I was ready as I drifted into a sound loop. It hurt like a bitch, but I was tripping balls so hard on the nitrous I passed out for about a minute before they brought me back.

After being reset I was sent for more x-rays and eventually sent upstairs at 6am to a proper bed to wait for the ortho guy to get in at around 8am.

I think this is the moment when everything started sinking in a bit. Everyone had gone home and I was left pondering the evening past in a hospital bed in a shared room of 6 semi sleeping strangers. A rush of emotions hit me all of a sudden, ranging from embarrassment at the sounds I made when I fell, to the complete vulnerability of not being able to move or do anything for myself, to intense loneliness all the way to deep appreciation for all the help I had gotten up to this point. I had a wee teary and then did my best to get a bit of sleep before everyone else woke up. No such luck… This was definitely my lowest moment so far and it only lasted about 15 mins so I think I’ve had it pretty good.

The ortho guy came at around 7:30 with an army of 17 interns and other specialists. They had a quick look and confirmed I need surgery and suggested I get bumped to private if I want the procedure done today. They asked if I would be happy with this and I said “whose leg do I need to break to make this happen? Oh just mine? In that case, make it so!…engage!….tea earl grey hot!”. I was packed up around 2 pm and moved to a private hospital nearby where I gowned up and pretty much went straight in for an enhancement procedure that included metal upgrades of some sweet screws and a plate. Achievement Unlocked : Part Robot.

One of the hardest things to cope with was that I had no sleep, no food and no water for a very very long time. I was also still in my sweaty stinky training clothes right up until an hour before the operation which made things uncomfortable for me and probably anyone within a 5 metre radius. My head hurt and all I wanted was to go home. After I got out of surgery I had a big drink of water, 2 rice crackers, my first cock and balls etched into my cast and eventually dozed into a deep drug induced sleep.

The next morning I was cornflake fueled/rested/hydrated and then homeward bound. I was quite ready to sit in my own bed and just do nothing for a long while.

It’s now been a week since the accident as I write this. A week that has gone by pretty quick thanks to some sweet Endone and lots of delicious handmade noms. Although I did only need to take the Endone for 2 days, and even then only to get to sleep in the evenings so the pain was never that bad after the operation. The downside to a week at home is that I’m starting to get a little stir crazy. I’m stalking my cats with my camera, photoshopping myself into game of thrones pictures and becoming a general facebook pest. I am however starting to work from home today and I’m also planning to get down and watch some training very soon to get some more signatures on my manky cast.

I would like to say a massive THANK YOU to everyone that has been so so so supportive of me. The visits, the food, the gifts, the get well wishes. It’s been overwhelming to say the least.

I would like to give an extra big shout out to the people that really took care of me the night it happened.

Flux Decapitator: for calling the ambos and sitting with me in hospital until 4am.
Cookie (bum)Crackhouse: for holding up my leg and riding in the ambulance with me and waiting until Mr.Blitz got to the hospital.
Admiral Snackbar: for helping hold my leggy even though he was very uncomfortable.
Jack of Hurts: for keeping me calm while waiting for the ambulance and drugs.
Battle Tank: for lifting my sorry arse onto the stretcher.
Garter Belter: for letting me lean on her, sweaty back and all.
Smurf and Destroy: for running my car back to flux’s house.
Titasaurus: for throwing jumpers and blankets around making me laugh.
Tristan (Mr. Flux Decapitator): for telling me to “walk it off”.

Immediate Lessons:

Private health insurance. It really is the best! I know it can be expensive but without it I would have been stuck with a shitty ankle for up to a week and would have needed to get it reset again…No Thanks! I got private health insurance especially for derby. It’s bitter sweet that it’s actually paying off.

Keep your emergency contacts up to date. I had an old number for my mum in the league books, and I left my phone at home, so the only way to contact Mr. Blitz was via facebook, thanks to a quick thinking Flux.

Keep your laces tight. Due to cramping, I have my skates quite loose to the point where they slip off sometimes. I’m not sure if having them tighter would have stopped the injury from happening but there is a good chance it could have been reduced.

So now we playing the waiting game for reals. 5 more weeks left in the cast/or replacement moon boot and then most likely at least 4-6 weeks of rehab before I will be ready to lace up again and that is being VERY optimistic.

I will return though. I had previously said that if I broke anything that would be it for derby and me, on a skating level at least. After now breaking something, I really don’t think I can leave it there. I was only just starting to become the skater I wanted to be. Having said that, I will probably never be satisfied, but I do honestly believe I still have along way to go and have a lot of things to still achieve in the derby world before concede.

I know this post may seem a little dramatic in parts. None of this is intended to scare anyone. I just wanted to write a quick summary of my own experience. I’m sure it’s not the same for everyone. If you can take anything away from it just know that yes, major injury sucks, but not enough to make me reconsider derby or to leave me with any major regrets, well besides jamming that one time, so it can’t be that bad right?

Recovery will be tough. I am trying to stay positive, which is working well so far, but at the same time I am not naive. I should not compare my recovery time frame to anyone else’s. I just need to make sure everything is 100% right with me before I return and not rush it, no matter how frustrating that may be. I’m sure the psychological battle of getting back on skates will be another matter entirely, but I will try and share my experiences the best i can.

Overall, for me, it was not as painful as I imagined it would be. The fear of the unknown is what gets you. If this happens to you, and you are part of a roller derby league, just know that you will be looked after better than you could ever have imagined.

So that is it from me for a little while. I will post again when my recovery has had some movement in the right direction. In the meantime, get some health insurance and tie your laces tight!

Oh and remember to come down to see the Cutthroat Charmers next bout versus old rivals the Dolly Rogers on the 11th of May: Hunger gamesObviously I will not be playing but feel free to come up and say hi and rub my cast for good luck, wishes or fertility blessings.

<3 clutzkrieg declutz.

 

Zero Dark Hurty (i’m just skating for a mate)

March 6th, 2013



It’s been one long hot summer.

Getting back into training was the first hurdle, and it was a big one. 4 weeks off is really hard to come back from, especially when you used the summer break to test out your eating endurance. It came with the added blow for me of being diagnosed with PCOS (defiant ovaries) which isn’t such a big deal but it does explain my most recent weight gain and weight loss struggles as it screws with your metabolism and hormones among other things. I need to lose weight in order to correct the situation which it seems has been made worse by weight gain that can be attributed to the PCOS in the first place. BLERGH. So the weight loss cycle begins again in 2013. With the health issue now being there I feel that I’ll be more strongly motivated to continue with proper diet and exercise.

Apart from getting my hefty butt slowly rolling on track again, this year has already had couple of big firsts.

I had my first bench coaching experience with the Blackheart Breakers, our newest home team, against the Dolly Rogers last month. I was nervous, more nervous than I usually am before a bout as a skater. I’ve generally been one of those skaters that allows others to work out the plan and then I just do my best to execute it. I’ve never considered being on the other side of the equation unless I was politely pushed into it. Mercifully the Breakers already had a lot of stuff worked out for themselves in terms of strategy. All I needed to do was communicate with the refs, stand around looking serious, wave my arms in the air at skaters and yell out onto the track using my outdoor voice. Would maybe consider doing it again in the future as a last resort.

Now I mentioned I was pretty nervous for bench coaching, but then came the day of scrimmage against VRDL last weekend. Yes VRDL, the top league in Australia. I still don’t believe it happened, until I remember how sore my hand is from falling over my laces, while jamming against the All Stars. You did read that correctly…Jamming *gasp* Against *gasp* The All Stars *flail*. The majority of the scrimmage against the All Stars is a blur, it was fast, furious and surprisingly a lot of fun, until the very last jam or “endgame” as I am now referring to it as, when the jammer panty was handed to me…

How it all (me) went down.

  1. Handed jammer panty, told everyone else has jammed, told to suck it up.
  2. Brain bleed.
  3. Whistle blows, run/hump into wall of All Stars, don’t manage to get through, trip over Rocky’s skates,  get up and get pushed out to the inside
  4. Accidentally come back in track in front of blocker that pushed me out
  5. CUT TRACK MAJOR *toot*
  6. Off to the box… almost relieved.
  7. Watch clock.
  8. 22 seconds left in the jam and am released.
  9. Skate towards back of pack
  10. Laces slip under wheels
  11. Arse over tit over dignity fall into the middle of nowhere onto hand.
  12. Pull myself off track to fix lace until jam ends.
  13. Sit around for next hour with a face like a smacked arse.

After licking my wounds, literally, we had a lunch break and came back to play the Queen Bees. We fared better in that game then we did the first, but It was still extremely tough. I would go as far to say the third toughest game I’ve been in. It even knocked my heart rate monitor strap off my chest and onto the track. The hardest game would have been the All Stars just hours earlier and the second being Sun State at TGSS.

Before the day began we all had a pretty good idea about how it was going to pan out. Not to sound defeatist, more realist, we were there to learn. We had all set mini goals and I’m pretty sure they were met. I hit some people out/down, forced some cuts and learned an absolute shitload about play styles and what I need to work on personally. A+++ experience. Mildly terrifying. Would do again.

It’s going to be a big 2013 by the looks of things. It’s my third year as a bouting skater and SSRD have signed up for the Victoria and Tasmania Regional Tournament which means a pool of 20 skaters will get to play quite a few bouts over the coming months. We are also hosting WARD (Western Australia) in a few weeks which will also be my first official bout of the year. I missed out playing them in Perth a few years ago due to a wedding so I’m keen to make up for it. Playing WARD also means we get a game under our belt to count towards our full WFTDA membership. Exciting times.

<3 blitz, currently aka clitz…