I had originally started this blog post a week or two into my broken collarbone recovery. Whilst I started out with high hopes that I would finish the post and help others who may have been going through similar issues, it fell short. I gave up writing it after a couple of hours blankly staring at the screen.
Fast forward to August, 6 months after a broken collarbone. I feel like I have finally got my head around how to blog about the biggest injury I’ve had to date, and how it changed my life.
Where it all began
Laying in a wrestling ring crying isn’t out of the ordinary for me. The shooting pain I felt through my shoulder however was something new. Up until this point I had never broken a bone in my body. A broken collarbone was my first. I didn’t know the pain that it would bring and the mental and emotional exhaustion that was to follow. 6-8 weeks of frustrations and losing most of my independency was a hard pill to swallow. Though the pain medication helped, the lack of sleep, not being able to dress myself, bend down, sit comfortably, brush my hair, to train, to use a keyboard and mouse at the same time sent me into a spiral.
No one can prepare you for an accident, no one can prepare you for breaking a bone. You can be taught how to safely do an activity and how to best protect yourself, but these things can happen at any point. It’s so hard to not blame yourself in the long run for what happened. I replay that day over and over in my head and pick it apart. What I could have done to prevent it, things I could have changed. In reality it happened, it sucked and I had to take time off to recover. You cannot change the past no matter how much you want to.
Self Healing and Acceptance is a hard thing
Breaking my collarbone set in motion a chain that ultimately has made me a much stronger person, mentally, emotionally, and physically. It scared me senseless into making changes I wouldn’t have necessarily made before. To re-evaluate what was happening in my life personally and my own happiness. Sounds crazy but it’s true. You look at things a little differently. You watch how people treat you and you try to figure out what you are doing.
6-8 weeks felt like the longest recovery period ever. The exercises and physio hurt. The grating of the bone every time I moved and the pain every time I tried to do something was extremely frustrating. The constant mood swings, tears and breakdowns were too many to count. Though looking back at it all now the extended recovery period I was handed was a blessing in disguise. I didn’t rush the recovery. Throwing myself back into training wasn’t an option. Instead I listened to my body. I rehabbed it gently and often, building up the exercises, rotations and when it started hurting I stopped.
Take a Break
The fear of re-injury is still strong, even 6 months later. I have no plans of stepping back into a wrestling ring to wrestle. When it rains or is cold there is a gentle reminder that it happened and it still needs time to heal.
I am not sure of the purpose of this post. Maybe it’s more to get my feelings and thoughts written down to finally be at peace. I think more people associate broken bones or fractures with the physical pain rather than the mental and emotional. All I can suggest is to surround yourself with encouraging and helpful people, friends, and family members. DO NOT rush the recovery process! it is frustrating and it’s horrible, but it is not worth re-injuring yourself or causing more problems in the future. Talk often and never give up, have that cry, let the frustrations flow out, don’t bottle up those feelings.
Though your doctor and physio are able to advise, I found some of the following links helpful for exercises that helped strengthen the broken collarbone and for me helped me increase my independence.
You can check out some of my other posts about wrestling training and reffing here.