Right about now I would have been posting yet another before and after shot showing off my newly acquired six-pack abs, but unfortunately, on October 25th, I broke my leg and ankle playing baseball in what’d be best described as a freak accident.
I collided with a bigger and heavier teammate on a defensive play and shattered my leg in the process. Really tough luck, but all things considered, I was quite fortunate. I have medicare and a great level of private insurance and they took the blunt of the TEN THOUSAND DOLLAR hospital bill that ensued (including surgery and two nights at the hospital, each at at well over $1000). I didn’t have to pay for the ambulance either and received the best medical care available at Flinders Private after an emergency trip to Noarlunga Hospital where they took my first X-rays and immobilised my leg. A good friend then drove me to Flinders Hospital and once I was discharged, other good friends drove me home from the other side of town.
such an asshole me, I’ve got good people in my life.
I had what is known as a bimalleolar fracture, which means I broke my fibula and my medial malleolous (the part that connects the tibia with the ankle).
After a successful ORIF (open reduction and internal fixation) surgery performed by Dr. Shannon Sim from Adelaide Orthosports Clinic, I spent two more nights at Flinders Private and then I had to be sent home in the interest of public safety because the nurses couldn’t keep their hands off me.
Click here to watch a computer animated video of my surgery >
Apart from the costs mentioned above, it seems that subsequent costs aren’t necessarily covered as they’d fall under the “elective” category. Whether or not you can walk properly again is apparently “elective” . . . whereas patching up a broken leg is mandatory, so I am looking at a series of expenses now that I’m no longer under hospital care. For example, follow-up X-rays which cost $110, the $350 “boot” that replaced my cast, plus the taxi rides to the different clinics I have to go to regularly. Let’s not forget physiotherapy when the time comes. Hopefully my private insurance might pick up a healthy percentage of those bills, but for sure, I’m out of pocket for all transportation which can get very expensive very fast. My nearest bus station is about 1km from my house, so public transport is not an option . . . plus I cannot wait for a bus standing up, as in the CBD, there’s no guarantee there’ll be a bench to sit on.
RIP active lifestyle
Needless to say, I was devastated when this happened for many reasons. This
is was the strongest I’d been all my life and I felt great. The prospect of playing my favourite sports all year long, baseball in summer and hockey in winter, gave me a lot to look forward to. Now, while I’ll devote my body and mind to fully recover, I think hockey is out forever. It’s just not worth the risk of ending up disabled. Now, as far as baseball goes . . . it was really a freak accident. This sort of thing doesn’t happen often and CAN be avoided simply by playing in a much lower division where you don’t have to risk your life to make a play. I hope to make a comeback someday.
What about my fitness goals?
Well, these went out the window as well . . . and just as I was starting to get ripped. This, I hated. I really did. So much work and dedication this year to now watch my results dissolve before my eyes. It’s really depressing, but at the same time, I guess it gives me something to look forward to. I learned a lot about fitness during this period and I’m confident I can bounce back. My personal trainer was in a terrible car accident last year, and now, one year later, he’s squatting big weights again despite having busted his knee. I’m sure my leg will heal fine. I hope my ankle does too, because deadlifts and squats are the most complete exercises to build up strength, back and core.
Weightwise . . . well, I’ve cut my calories again to ensure I don’t gain weight during this period of inactivity. I’ve dropped some weight and am now at 67kg. I should be able to maintain this. After 4 weeks, though, whatever little muscle mass I had gained seems to have clocked out until the next shift starts. Fortunately, gaining weight is the easy part and working out hard isn’t something I dread any more. Not now that I know what to do.
One of the things I’ve strangely been thinking a lot about is what the regulars at the gym might be thinking. Not that I was a gym junkie or had a lot of friends there, but you know, I was going every day and had become a regular. Slowly but surely you start getting used to seeing the same hard workers every day to the point it feels like you’re in school with your classmates. So, just like when a classmate skips class for a while and you wonder what happened to them, even if you’re not necessarily friends, I often wonder if they think I just quit. Even though we weren’t “friends” per se, they had sort of become my secret support network. Seeing them there, sharing our efforts, and the vain hope that one day they noticed my gains kept me motivated. I miss that. I was sooo close.
Everyone heals at a different rate and it’s too early to make a prediction, but like I hinted earlier, I’m very fortunate and have no doubt that I’ll recover. I can say that now, but I’d be lying if I said I was this confident before when my injury was fresh.
Being an Australian citizen with medicare and a good level of private insurance, I received top medical care and will continue to do so. I have had and will continue to have out-of-pocket expenses, but in this country, I can afford it. Had this happened to me in the USA, Venezuela or Greece, I’d have been done for life, both physically and financially. Yes, I’m very fortunate despite what happened.
I was also in very good shape and was wearing an ankle brace when the accident happened, which probably saved me from a much worse fracture. My wife has a stable job and my employer has been extremely accommodating. My friends and coworkers have been there for me when I’ve needed them and I live in a lovely house with all the amenities and comforts I may wish for.
The surgeon said 6 weeks for the bones to heal, 3 months to walk, 6 to hopefully run again, and then, I might need a couple of months of recovery after I have the plates and screws removed, but it’s too soon to talk about that now. Recovery comes first.