My online journal.

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Autumn of my discontent

Things have taken a strange turn for me lately. I traveled with the All-Stars out to the Pacific Northwest during the last weekend of August. Part of me wants to add more detail about the trip, because it was ... eventful ... but I'll cut to the end for now.

With only about 3 minutes left in the last game of the weekend, vs. Seattle's Rat City, I went in to jam. I cleared the pack just feet behind Missile America, Rat City's jammer. She's "normal derby size," I'm told -- easily 5'10" and strong. She looked at me over her left shoulder and cut HARD left to try to knock me out so she could go score some points. I realized this and dropped my right shoulder to counter her hit and, with luck, stay on my feet.

The pain as our shoulders met was instantaneous and excruciating. Something was horribly wrong with my shoulder, and I felt a second pop as I continued to skate around the track. She scored three quick points and called off the jam, and I immediately got some ice and attention from the trainer. It was going to be my last jam of the game anyway, which was a small mercy after a very disappointing three pitiful jams against Portland's Rose City two days earlier.

We flew home that night and in the morning I saw a doctor and got some x-rays. My right AC joint (the bony part of my shoulder that sticks up) is sprained or separated, but not broken or dislocated.

It's been three weeks. I have got most of my mobility back -- though it's still really stiff in the morning (particularly if I've exercised the night before) and though I can still feel some tightness most of the time, at least now I can wash my hair and do most household tasks without too much pain. Brushing my teeth and other small, vigorous, and/or repetitive activities in front of me -- those are still difficult. And putting weight on my right arm while it's behind me (like, to shift myself over on a couch, for example), still hurts.

I missed the first MNRG bout of the season, and I didn't go to Regionals with my team. These things were hugely disappointing. I've been going to practice, but not doing any contact or scrimmaging -- and unfortunately, 90% of practice is contact and scrimmaging. It is roller derby, after all.

I've been getting some physical therapy and I got a shoulder pad that I thought would help. Unfortunately it only protects against hits coming from the front. And in derby, I'm afraid that it's all the side-jostling that's really going to aggravate it. I took one side-shoulder hit at practice last night -- and it was a completely-incidental, not-even-hard one -- and the pain scared me enough not to want to try it again.

Now, it's only been 3 weeks. Six weeks will take me up to the next bout, on October 6. I'm not hopeful about skating then. It's absolutely killing me.

Yet life goes on. My baby sister Ellen got married last weekend at a lovely old barn in Illinois, and we had a wonderful time. We love her new husband, and we had a great trip. All my dance classes are starting up, too. I've had to cancel some due to low enrollment, but I think I'm teaching about 11 classes per week. I'm still editing the newspaper, and I'm working on a kids' version of Seussical. Lucy will be in a production of Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat, and she and Eddie are both playing soccer and piano.

So it's not like I don't have anything else going on. Ah, well. Maybe more tomorrow.