|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.
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.
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.
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.
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 games. Obviously 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.