In June 2015, I fell backwards during a routine Olympic weightlifting movement (hang clean at 295 lbs / 134 kg), with the weight of the barbell pinning my elbow to the ground and driving force down on an outstretched palm. All I needed to do to avoid this, is lift my elbows up instead of trying to push the bar away.
This is a serious injury and if you are reading this because you have done something similar - go to the emergency room! If you have already seen a doctor - follow my story from the beginning - Day 1 the day of the surgery. I hope you feel motivated by my recovery story, but also skeptical of whatever prognosis you have been given. There is a not a lot of research in this particular injury and each case is very unique.
Today I finished the 2017 Crossfit Open and am feeling like it is time for a victory beer with friends. But first, I thought I would reflect a bit on my progress and give those of you recovering from a perilunate dislocation wrist injury, some hope.
It has been a long journey and I am not always happy about my recovery. At times I even feel a bit depressed or angry. Sometime I feel like my athletic potential has been stripped away from me just as I was making huge progress. Other times, I feel grateful with how well my recovery has gone. The bottom line is, my wrist is sound (very stiff, but solid) but the attitude still needs a little work.
Right now, I feel very positive. At this time last year, I could not do the movements required to complete the Crossfit Open. This year I completed all 5 weeks without modification and with results that I should probably be happy with as a 33 year old athlete who works full time.
That is why I am going to stop contributing to this blog. It has served its purpose. While this is not a common injury, at least a dozen people have written me and thanked me for summarizing all of the research and posting on my progress. If this is a helpful resource for people - that is great! But, this injury is just an anchor now, dragging me down. Every word I write here now is a moment missed doing the things I love. Exploring New Zealand, hiking, biking, birding, being by the sea, Crossfit, visiting microbreweries, teaching, volunteering for search and rescue, and most of all - loving my family.
Injuries get you down. They hurt. They keep you from doing the things you enjoy doing. You work hard to beat them back. Then, hopefully, they subside into something you can forget about for a few minutes or hours. They make you think about life and really feel mortal. Grounded in reality. Most of all - they will make you feel thankful.
Thank you to everyone who has helped me get back to training and throwing weights around again. Now to begin training for the Masters...
L'Usine Crossfit - Sherbrooke Community
Dr. Nicholas Patenaude
Rascal Creek Physical Therapy
Dr. Rebecca Yu
Doug Bryant of Hand Rehab Wellington
Crossfit Central Wellington
All of my friends, family, and amazing partner in life - Alix