Unfortunately, along the way I broke my collarbone. During one of our games, I went into what should have been a regulation tackle, and had a ruck collapse on me. I took the weight of it through my shoulder, and snapped the left collarbone. I had taken some heavy hits already that weekend and gotten up from them, but when I went to get up from this one my left shoulder wouldn’t comply. And so it was off on a stretcher for a trip to the local ER.
Amazingly, for a guy my size who plays rugby, rides around on a bicycle in Texas traffic, and (mis)spent much of his youth riding skateboards downhill, this is one of the worst injuries I have ever had, and the first time I have broken anything. Unfortunately, there’s little that can be done for it, and surgery is a last resort option. So it’s just a case of wearing a sling for the next few weeks until it has healed. This may actually mean graduating with a sling on.
It’s not nearly as painful as expected, but it is a big inconvenience. The workload of the final part of the MA/MBA is tough to begin with, and everything was already planned out in terms of getting work done to meet deadlines. It will take some serious rearrangement and adaptation to get through things now. I am already grateful for those friends who have helped in making life easier, like driving me to the supermarket, or even just opening a door or a bottle of water for me.
Having the use of only one arm it tricky; it’s amazing what tasks you take for granted when you have two arms:
- Cooking – even preparing the simple student staple of pasta becomes a complex operation, and draining the water without losing all the food in the process is a delicate process.
- Dishes – it’s hard to hold something and scrub it with the same hand.
- Shaving – I’m glad I own an electric shaver; if I had a razor my face would have been completely cut up by now.
- Typing – this is probably the hardest one to deal with. People initially ask me whether I am left or right handed, and tell me it could have been worse. But the truth of the matter is that hardly anyone writes anymore. We all type. With two hands. The loss of productivity in this respect is crippling.
- Headphones – it’s more of a comical thing, but trying to put on my big noise cancelling headphones with only one hand looks a lot like a cat trying to fight its way out of a net. Erratic and exhausting.
- T-Shirts – too painful to put on or take off. Even when you work out the order of proceedings (bad arm, head, good arm), it’s a painful movement. Better to use button-ups.
- Singing – this was a surprise; but all the neck muscles that get activated when singing along pull on the shoulder, causing notes to be interrupted by sudden yelps of pain.
- Shoes – tying shoelaces (or neckties for that matter) is impossible. I’m hopelessly grateful for owning a pair of Blundstone 510 boots, the Australian equivalent of cowboy boots. No laces, just elastic slip ons that are versatile enough to go from the farm to formal events with just a polish. They’re also virtually indestructible. Without them I would have been barefoot all week.
Anyways, it’s time to get back to working on projects, typing as fast as I can to try and keep up with deadlines. I’m not going to let this get in the way of me graduating.