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I broke my back... (Pt 1/3)

July 13th, sounds like a pretty unfortunate date already doesn't it.

Well I was going to training that night, the day it snowed in Canberra, it was freezing. We started our workout with warming up to then go for a new 1 rep max lift on the Olympic lifting movement the "Snatch". For those unfamiliar - see the photo below:

Well, I successfully performed the lift. Lifting up and squatting below 47.5kg total weight - yes it was a new 1RM!

But at this stage of the lift, I lost my balance, falling on my bum and having the barbell land on the top of my back. It all happened very quick, I let out a gasp, the barbell rolled away and everyone in the gym came running over. I was sure that the barbell had just grazed my lower back, but felt winded so tried to slow and control my breathing. Our coach, also a physio, came and told me to stay laying down, he patted down my legs and asked if I could feel my feet, I remember thinking to myself well this is silly of course I can feel my legs. The girls asked about an ambulance, again I was thinking that's a bit over cautious - I am ok. Then as I started to slow my breathing down, with thanks to Hubby telling me I was ok and to just breathe, I started to feel like my back was tight. A super tight back, that was aching and felt like it needed to be cracked for some slight relief. So, I let them know, I just need to crack my back, that my abs were now hurting from trying to control my breathing.

Carefully, I was log rolled onto my stomach so they could see what my back looked like. Then they saw "a speed bump" type swelling the whole way across my lower back - and said "we're going to call an ambulance".

I remained calm, thinking all would be ok, I could move my legs and arms so what would be so wrong that I had to remain to wait for the ambulance to arrive! We waited for what felt like an hour on the cold floor of the gym, the day it got to 8 degrees maximum.

So, I enjoy my first ever meeting with paramedics and ride to the hospital in an ambulance, talking the whole way to the paramedic about how I knew first aid from the Navy. Trying to make the green whistle thing work to its best ability.

We rolled into the hospital, then hubby arrived with some KFC, it was also state of origin night! We saw some Doctors, and I was wheeled away for X-ray about an hour later. Came back, Justin had finally found a way to watch the football on his phone - he was happy. I was happy. Just laying there still waiting to find out what was going on.

Then, the emergency room doctor came in, to let us know that I had a fracture in my L1. He looked at me like my dog had just died, we sat (and lie) there in somewhat shock to what had just been said. "Fractured?" "What does that mean?" He said he was sorry and couldn't say as he wasn't a back doctor, that the Neurosurgeon would be by shortly to explain.

The change in mood, the change in positivity hit rock bottom at that moment! I had broke my back.

9:30pm the Neurosurgeon came in and showed us the X-rays, I had a compression fracture, also called a chance fracture to my L1, I had completely split the bone in half. Then we started talking about what next, what to do and what was going to happen. I was told I must not get up as it was an unstable fracture - meaning quite literally I was actually in two pieces. He said surgery or a brace would be the options, that the duty Neurosurgeon would be by tomorrow morning to let us know our options. We questioned so many things, what would happen if I coughed or sneezed, was it going to change something dramatically?

So, it was time to call my parents to let them know what had happened. Then I had to go back to have CT scans to check surrounding muscles, ligaments and the sort. Luckily I had managed to only crush my spine, and saved my discs and ligaments - with some bruising but nothing too damaged. Well finally that was some good news! Then I was wheeled up to the Neuro Ward, by this time it was 1am. What a night! The emotion started flowing then, what a life changing event - not knowing what the next week, month or 6 weeks was going to involve.

Pt 2 to be continued...

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