Saturday, August 27, 2011

Promising End of Week SoCal Swell

Get your guns ready (not really). Looks like a new SoCal swell is slated for the end of the week. Just in time for everyone to go back to school. :-P

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Post-Op report & the plates

Damn I feel like I got knocked on my a$$ since surgery. I have very little energy throughout the day, feel like always napping and sometimes a lil noxious. What's odd is that my shoulder feels almost fine. I keep passing out throughout the day and have to keep resorting to painkillers to see if this helps at all. I can't tell if it's the heat or my body working overtime to heal or a combination. My throat is still scratchy from the anesthesia I'm guessing. Could be that I caught something at one of the parties over the weekend on top of the surgery. Probably should have stayed home and rested until at least a few days. Every day I hope to feel a lil better and I think I've finally gotten back onto my normal sleep schedule.

I've been prescribed Tramadol & Hydrocodone but I'm trying to get off the pain killers as quick as possible since there's almost no pain in my shoulder.

For posterity here are the non-parasitic plate that were removed on Friday. I may use it as a pendant for a necklace but it's a lil too heavy and big so I'm trying to figure someway to fashion it to a wearable piece of jewelry. 

Thursday, June 30, 2011

2nd surgery time 070111 Noon

It's been I guess about 3 months and it's time to remove the plate from my shoulder. I've booked my final procedure for this Friday at noon.

I timed this just right with last weekend having one of the primo south swells of the summer and catching some of the best SoCal surf I've ever had at Trestles. As you can see from the pic there is hardly a scar just a fine pink line (as one of my friends called a "battle wound"). My amazing doctor said that the scar tissue left from this 2nd incision should be minor and not cause too much Frankensteinization. The only discomfort I now feel is from the plate especially in the morning. Its my body is trying to reject the foreign object.

I'll have to take another month off from anything deemed high risk because my clavicle is still susceptible to re-fracture due to the screw holes that were burred into the bone to hold the plate. A month of rehab, daily walks down to Trestles, focus on trading and just summer chillaxing.

"Can't Wait"

Sunday, April 24, 2011

Shoulder post first surf 04/23/11

It's been 5.5 weeks since surgery and I was determined to get out and surf around 6 weeks. I'd been vacillating back and forth since Friday but certain fears kept me from pulling the trigger. On Saturday I decided on testing it out in a short feeler surf session.

When I walked up to the beach in the morning it was super-crowded like ants from Lowers to Cottons and there were throngs of people on the beach too. I just resigned to not surfing that morning until a week-day when I wouldn't have to be watching over my injury as well as being frustrated in trying to catch waves.

Around 2PM I began to get restless watching the Rip Curl Pro at Bells and said I probably have 1-2 hours before Kelly Slater's quarterfinal heat. I grabbed the board, packed up my suit and headed down to the beach. When I came over the trail tracks I was surprised to see that the crowds had emptied out and the conditions were excellent with clean glassy (a lil high tide) 2-3" with overhead sets. I chose to surf the peaky Cottons.

I got suited and didn't notice any problems with my shoulder. When I got down to the water I could see more clearly how thick the swell was on this tide. It definitely looked more meaty. As I entered the water there was no signs of problems with paddling out and thought Wow this may be a great session. As soon as I made it out I paddled into a 2" wedge did 2 roundhouse cutbacks. The first I banked back into the whitewater which felt good and the second I decided to be more aggressive with and slid the tail but my forward foot slipped on the weak old wax job I had...

I caught a few more before a bomb set caught me a lil inside. The biggest of the sets broke right in front of me and that's when I began to notice that my shoulder was becoming sore and tired. I was not able to push down deep enough and got knocked off my board. As soon as the turbulence had passed I started swimming toward the surface. I noticed that my shoulder had been flung all around when I was caught in the rinse cycle and the soreness was really beginning to become noticeable.

After about 2 more waves I decided to throw in the towel and call it a day. I realized that my shoulder was still not ready and that hopefully this soreness wouldn't set me back in the recovery process. I caught a bomb set about 4" came cleanly off the bottom went straight back up into a nice backhand cuttie against the whitewater.

When I got back home around 4PM, I immediately applied a cold pack and watched Slater surf an out-of-sync quarterfinal heat. After 20 minutes I changed out to a hot pack and felt a lil better.

This morning I woke up and can feel the soreness and strain from the Saturday surf. Well at least I now know where my shoulder needs to be before I try that again.

Monday, April 18, 2011

Broken Clavicle Post-Op 4 Week Update 041311

After 4 weeks from my surgery my shoulder is feeling really good exceptionally good. As you can see from the pics below my left collarbone looks a little wonky. I think this is from the appearance of the plate on top of the bone. There is a light pinkish scar where the incision was made but hardly noticeable at this stage.

The great news is that my Doctor says I am very fortunate to be in the top 1% of surgical clavicle cases in terms of the recovery, surgery, healing, etc... I still do my rehab exercises daily and during my daily walks down to Trestles I take a ball to stretch my shoulder. In addition I have been using cold/heat pads at least 3 times a day for at least 20 minutes. I regularly massage the scar to break up scar tissue and to increase blood flow/circulation to the area. I would say I have about 95% mobility/flexibility with about .5 pain on a scale from 1-10. There is some residual soreness in my shoulder which the Doctor said is from the plate in my rotator cuff irritating the surrounding muscles. I am hopeful that my body will adapt until the plate is removed in 2 months and for all soreness to be gone so I can really focus on strength and flexibility.

This week I plan on hitting the water either swimming and/or surfing. I can do at least 20 full push-ups and mimic paddling fine and feel with a few more days hopefully only stiffness will remain.

Broken Clavicle Post-Op 3/30/11

Broken Clavicle 3/16/11

So... let's see recounting what exactly happened on this fateful fall & first broken bone in my life.

It was a gorgeous warm spring day on the Southside of the HB pier. I was not actually going to go out but my Dad told me at lunch that the water & waves looked fun. So I decided to get a nice head dip in before my 3PM dental cleaning appointment.

When I pulled up to the parking lot it looked like a clean day with a ton of people out. It was actually quite small 1-2.5" and sets were inconsistent. I was having a lackluster wave catching session with everyone and their mother grabbing every single wave. I tried sitting on the outside and the inside as the waves were weak.

After about an hour and a half I decided enough was enough and maybe I should go home and shower up before heading to the dentist. Well... on my way in I saw this small wave hugging the pier and thought I'd catch it in. As I paddled into it I knew I wasn't going to be able to scratch into it so I pulled back but felt the force of the back of wave suck me over the falls. I thought oh well this should tickle and didn't fight it. As soon I was sucked over I felt the immediate deceptive power of the wave and before I could do anything I felt my shoulder crack/smash against the bottom and heard a clean crack. From the force of the impact I knew this was really bad and as soon as I stood up in the shallow waist deep water I knew something was terribly wrong.

I tried moving my arm but almost unbearable pain had overwhelmed my entire shoulder and body. I kept trying to move my arm so I could paddle in but each motion was met with excruciating pain. I actually drifted through the pier holding onto my board with my right arm. Once on the northside I was pushed to the shore by a few waves on the head. While struggling in the shorebreak I thought for sure the lifeguards would come out to get me. But thankfully no one caused a commotion and I was able to make it onto the dry sand and slowly walked my way to my car clutching my left shoulder. The whole time I was thinking maybe my shoulder was dislocated and just needed to be pushed back in or reset. All the way I felt people were staring at me probably wondering why I was grimacing and cringing.

Once I made it to my car I looked at my reflection in the windows and saw this protrusion or lump coming from my suit. At that point I knew I was screwed thinking that something must be broken or misaligned. In either case I realized that the hospital was my next stop. I then tried to remove my wetsuit and for about 5-10 minutes wondered if I would be able to remove it myself there in the parking lot or if I should try to get to the hospital where I thought they would just cut it off. Amazingly and through an indescribable amount of pain I got it off.

Once in the car I called my Dad and told him that I was headed to the hospital. The entire left side of my body in pain made each second feel like an eternity. I thought about going to Hoag in Newport rather than HB Hospital because of the quality of service but decided on HB just in case anyone needed to visit or pick me up. At the hospital I was admitted really quickly. Once there I was given pain injection and that felt like they just lit my right calf on fire. Within 5 minutes of being injected my pain magically simmered down and never returned to the "unbearable" level again. The X-ray technician hinted that things were broken and were way beyond dislocation.

The ER doctor broke me the bad news and told me that almost all broken clavicle just go untreated and heal naturally. He told me that there was nothing that could be done about the broken collarbone. He prescribed me 2 pain medications (1 for sleeping & 1 for daily). I was given a follow-up to see Dr. Emile Wakim at Pacifica Orthopedics. I left with my arm in a sling. Luckily I'm right-handed so driving wasn't a problem.