Toronto Mike

Do Not Read: Old Man Bitching and Moaning Inside


This entry isn't for you.  This one is for me.  You can dive into the archives if you're looking for something to read.

I woke up this morning feeling fine.  At about 9:30, I took a stroll down the hall to the washroom.  About half way to my destination, I decided to reach down and pick up a shirt that was hanging on the railing.  That's when my back spasmed and in an instant it didn't just hurt to stand up, it hurt to breathe.

I've never been overcome with such back pain so suddenly doing nothing.  I played ball Wednesday night and Thursday night, but this was Sunday morning and I was fine until the spasm.  I managed to hold my breath and get myself on my back, where I lay motionless wondering how I was going to get through the day.  I downed two percocets left over from last year's separated shoulder and tried to understand what the hell just happened.

I eventually found the strength to lie in a hot bath, and the percs kicked in so that I could actually get outside and enjoy the BBQ I was hosting, but the back muscle I pulled is still aching.  If you think this is old man bitching and moaning, you ain't seen nothing yet.

About four weeks ago, playing hockey, a player fell awkwardly on my left arm.  Initially, I thought it was broken, and was very relieved when I realized it wasn't.  Although functional, my left arm has been in severe pain ever since.  It's pretty useless, actually, and every night I awaken at least once with pain in this arm from sleeping on it.  I'm still hoping it will eventually go back to normal.

I mentioned my separated left shoulder from last year.  I got that injury playing hockey, and I wake up every morning with pain in my left shoulder because of it.  I've now come to grips with the fact I'll probably have pain in my shoulder every morning for the rest of my life.  I'm just glad I can play hockey, baseball and volleyball again.

In 2007, I wanted to run a marathon.  I still remember the 19km run during which my body broke down.  Despite countless hours of physio therapy, including ART therapy and frequent visits to a renowned sports doctor, as well as x-rays, MRIs and a complete bone scan, I haven't been able to run more than 3km without unbearable pain since.  My right leg even starts getting tender with pain following back-to-back baseball games or really long walks.  I no longer want to run a marathon, but I would absolutely love to run a 5km race again.

For a long time following my torn ACL and broken leg injury incurred during a slo-pitch game in 2003, my left leg would buckle.  I actually took six months off of all strenuous physical activity because it was so unstable.  That was one of the worst six months of my life.

As a younger man, I remember the long road back from a serious leg fracture when I was in grade two, and a less serious injury to the opposite leg when I was in grade nine.  All of these injuries over my 3.5 decades of life, along with my terrible bio-mechanics and an inability to play sports without thinking it's game seven of the Stanley Cup finals have created the perfect storm for what plagues me daily.  I hurt all over.

If you're reading this entry, you're not very good at following instructions.  You weren't supposed to read this one.  This one is for me, an old man bitching and moaning.

Maybe it's the percocets talking, or maybe it's the back pain merging with the arm and shoulder pain, but I'm 35 years old and have the body of a 65 year old.  I'm Wendel Clark without the complete awesomeness.  I hurt in so many places so often, my entire existence is now managing the pain and maintaining my body so I can keep playing.  Because I need to compete.

After-all, It's game seven of the Stanley Cup finals.

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