This entry is inspired by Karen Daniel and her perseverance through her physical challenges. I am proud to call you a friend, Karen.
In the summer of 2001, I was a complete idiot. I was arrogant and reckless on a level that should have gotten me killed. And one Sunday night in June it did, literally for about two minutes, I was out of my body. I had taken my then state of the art street bike and ridden it on one wheel down 31st Avenue towards West End to show a bunch of party goers that I could. What I hadn’t accounted for was the left hand turn and down hill approach to West End. At about 100 miles per hour, I slammed the front wheel of the GSXR 750 down in a panic, and that was it. A low-side crash into the curb and into the brick retaining wall at the top of the hill. An equally state of the art helmet and God’s grace are the only reasons I am able to tell this story today. The impact broke all of the ribs on my right side and my right scapula, completely destroyed my right arm with a massive compound fracture of the ulna, bone protruding, and a compound fracture of the lower humorous. The radial head was shattered. My arm was repaired the late Dr. Kenneth Johnson. He told me something sobering after the surgery. He said twenty years ago an injury like this would have resulted in amputation at the elbow. He had put my arm back together in such a way that it will probably never straighten all the way again, but this is the only way I’ll ever be able to pick up any weight with that arm.
Rehab was slow and painful, but I did get to a point where it was time to get back into life. Since then, I have had two additional surgeries to realign my wrist, and at this point my arm as a whole is as strong or stronger than it was before the accident. And that’s the point of this story. I now see Dr. Coogan at the TOA when there are concerns with the repairs, for instance the typical track record for a metal on bone joint replacement like mine is ten years, I’m at thirteen as of last month. The last time I saw Dr Coogan he told me that 99 percent of people with a radial head replacement can’t do one pull up, and if I can do more than that I should be careful.
Here’s the hook; I’ve got my special elbow. Karen has her double mastectomy. Ronnie has his knee issue, so does Christy. Tara has her shoulder thing, we all have some reason we “shouldn’t” CrossFit, but we all still do. That is what makes our community so great, we all have a reason “not to,” but we have so many more reasons “to.” That’s something special. You can’t buy it at GNC or on line, you simply have to live it. -John Scoutten 7-8-2014