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My Injury

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One of the questions that I am asked most is, “How were you hurt”? My simple response is that I was wrestling with a friend. Since I have the chance to write about it though, I’ll take the opportunity to go in depth a bit more and cover everything leading to that point and shortly after.

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During the fall of 2013 I was dealing with a lot. After my sister’s suicide I would binge drink occasionally. I thought that since it was once a week to every other week that it wasn’t a problem but it eventually led me to a DUI and an accident that totaled my car. Thankfully, I didn’t hit anyone else and was’t injured myself. Still, the legal issues and death added to the stress of the heavy load I already carried; starting a new position at work months before, trying to support my family while my wife stayed home with our two kids, adjusting to having our 10 month old, and trying to finish my practicum for my Masters to graduate in December. Looking back on it, I don’t even know how I was making the time and still being a father, husband, friend, family member, and making time to workout daily. I’m sure I was unaware of how ‘there’ I really was but I was trying.

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Things began to click as the year and Holiday’s rolled by. I was doing well at work, graduated with my Masters, had court stuff finalized, wasn’t drinking, and was really enjoying Crossfit which gave me a place to socialize while I was getting into great shape. I decided I earned and needed a break before I started this new chapter in life. With those intentions, I planned a trip with my old roommate to see some old college buddies in San Diego, California.

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January 14, 2014 was my last ‘normal’ day. I got up at 4:45am to make the 5:30 class at MBS Crossfit. Ironically, that class we were told of a fundraiser to be held that weekend for a Crossfitter that was paralyzed in a freak accident while competing days before. I remember thinking how bad that was for someone at that level of fitness and strength to have it taken away, and that I was sad I was going to be out of town missing that fundraiser. Work flew by which was nice and I was headed home to pack. The person I was traveling with lived near the airport so he was going to pick me up that night to make catching our 6am flight easier. I held my kids tight and put them to be as usual and kissed my wife goodbye. Little did I know I would never step foot into our home and see my belongings the same way again.

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My friend and I passed the night with some good fun and caught our early flight the next morning. Once we arrived we did the only reasonable thing to do having left Colorado on a winter day, head straight to the beach and enjoy the 70 degree weather. We got checked into our condo after getting some food and hung out until our other two friends got off work and headed our way to go out that night. The first of our friends stopped by and took us to the pier nearby to check out the sunset. Running around and a few pictures later, we headed back to meet our last friend and get ready for the night at the condo. Once all of us were together it was about what you would expect from a group of old college friends making jokes and talking about times past. One of the guys and myself have always kind of picked at each other and we pretty much got right into that same habit which turned into wrestling around, sounds like a bunch of adults right. Well, during our WWE event, he had caught my head between his legs at the end of the coach and was trying to get me to tap out. I was trying to pull my head out as hard as I could and was bent over but on my feet. I’m not sure if he went to adjust or slid off the couch more, but the extra pressure in addition to me stretching out my neck caused a crack and then a pop sound. Suddenly, my body went limp to the floor. I remember still feeling pressure and then a few seconds later two of the guys telling him to stop. I’m assuming that my limp body made them think I had passed out. They flipped me over and realized I was coherent but I could barely speak, the struggle to speak was because my lungs had also become a paralyzed muscle. They thought I was just playing around when I was saying “I can’t move” and went to help me up. Thankfully one of them was being cautious and jumped in to say, “if he’s saying he can’t move, don’t move him”, that probably saved the damage to my spinal cord from being worse. He came over and asked me what I couldn’t move and that was probably when I first became concerned because I couldn’t move anything below my neck. I had a few cases of sleep paralysis growing up (a sleeping disorder) and I tried a few of the tricks that would always snap me out of it. I tried to wiggle my toes, my fingers, turn over, and resorted to violently trying to move… nothing. They asked if I could feel anything as they grabbed my arm, hand, and leg; nothing, nothing, and then I sense of pressure from one of their grips. It was very mild but I could feel it. They gave me a second to see if that meant I was coming back around but eventually asked if they should call 911.

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It might seem like a delayed response to call 911 but really there was never a moment of panic. Visually, it didn’t look like anything traumatic happened, I was engaged and calm the whole time, and I wasn’t in pain so it never seemed as serious as it was. Everyone kept talking to me and making sure I was ok while we waited for help. I respect first responders but the medics first on scene were very rude and questioning me as if it were a joke; “so your telling us you can’t move and you were just wrestling around?”. I told them “yes, I can’t move”. “oh, but you can feel me grabbing your foot. Alright, if we have to take you in there’s no turning back, we’ll go ahead and cut your clothes off and will have to have an ambulance take you in”. This second guessing and back and forth went on for a few minutes before they finally went to get a board and got my head and neck immobilized with me strapped on. After I was carried and loaded into the ambulance things started to get fuzzy as if shock was setting in. I can recall being in the ambulance and maybe a few short flickers of being at the hospital but otherwise, I mentally wouldn’t surface from the shock and drugs for about a week and a half to begin to break down what was to come.

3 Comments

  1. Alejandro on February 24, 2016 at 8:12 pm

    Hi, I am martinpecadore , from instagram, I Have take a look to your web, and story, the hard events you Have gone through, and sincerously it amaze me how you Have deal with it, you are very tough, myself in The last 3 years Have passed through few traumatic events such as The lost of my father after a very hard desease , my health problem of my shoulders , that offcourse its Nothing comprared with other serious injuries as yours, but it has also changed my life, after many surgeries and still cant use my arms correctly and much pain.

    And Me with lot less than you, I Have lots of downs and depresiĆ³n moments, and its hard sometimes to deal and to continue pushing, I guees you know better than knownody what’s that, so reading you , whatching you, and how you fight and your mental attitude, inspires me, I only wanted to tell you that.

    You seem like a very nice person, I am glad to be following you, continue pushing, you Have gone so far, sure you will continue progressing

    Best Regards



    • sherow6_wp on February 25, 2016 at 12:04 am

      Sorry to hear about the tough times, hopefully things begin to smooth out. Like yourself, I’ve had my down moments and that is a large part of why I started my website. There was really no point for the website other than me to vent so I am glad it can have a purpose in other ways. No injury is alike but the feelings, hardships, and challenges are common and there are many others just like us working through things. Never hesitate to reach out and share anything you would like. Also, thank you for the kind words as well because it motivates me to work harder and write more.
      Best Regard – Sherown



  2. Alejandro on March 1, 2016 at 1:03 am

    Thanks for answering Sherown, and Thanks for your kind words as well, I am glad that I can empower you in some way to continue pushing , All my respect for you bro, Its great to know people as you , even that The circunstances that Have get us in touch are this ones.

    Will continue following your journey with much desire of watching great progress as youve done till today.

    Regards

    Alex



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