Happy Anniversary.

To my clavicle (collarbone) getting snapped. HOO-FUCKING-RAY!

A year ago today I managed to break my collarbone by being a fucking idiot (something I’m adept at). How did you manage that I hear you ask, unless of course you already know the story. Well I’ll fucking tell you regardless.

Myself and a fellow blue belt were rolling, his name is Paul. Paul happens to have a slight advantage over me when it comes to grappling. It’s something to do with his 2 degree black belt in Judo, I think. So knowing this, it’s understandable that my attacks upon him would have to be either very technical, quick in the hope that I’ll catch him, or as powerful as I can muster up. His base is solid.

I’m not a powerful guy, and I don’t think myself all that technical (although I’m leaning more towards that now a year on), so a frenzied approach is all I had. Somehow, Paul was turtled up. He was clearly cowering from my grappling prowess, silly man. Picture this if you will, I was hip to hip on his left side with a seat-belt about to be locked up. From here, the sensible thing to do would be to take the back, but I’m sure it’s already been established that white and blue belts aren’t the most sensible of people. We do dumb shit.

Now I have no idea what crossed my mind here, being that I know chokes from the turtle, and I have a few chokes from the back, but no my mind wasn’t having any of that sensible, well though out shit. A firework went off in my brain, and it spelled out ‘BELLY DOWN ARMBAR’ in the sky. So with this, I scooped up his right arm tightly and dived.

At some point during that dive, I thought it would be sensible to try and roll with this armbar, using momentum pull him over and onto his back so I could finish up with a tight elbow splitter of an armbar. That wasn’t to be. What actually happened is I smashed my shoulder into the ground at a pretty decent force, and then freaked out at the pain I had caused myself. His base was unflinchable. Bastard.

I stood up and the reaction of others alerted me to what had happened. I thought I’d knocked my head. “Your collarbone is fucked.” someone said. I looked in the mirror, and that’s when the shock and pain started to properly set in. My arm felt heavier than it has ever felt. I was sat down whilst a couple of guys (Sloany and the aforementioned Paul) helped me control my breathing. Others watched on in horror, as I repeatedly said Jesus Christ. Once I was calm, and driven up to the hospital by another friend (Adam), who sat with me for hours whilst I waited to be seen. I had to stay in over night to await surgery. They did not like the position of the break. It looked dangerous, apparently.

I stayed the night in hospital, to be sent home the next day without surgery. The collarbone didn’t nick any arteries whilst I slept, so they thought fuck it, go home. We’ll get you surgery later. Fast forward to Thursday that week. The surgery lead to what is the worst fucking pain I have ever felt in my life. The 24 hours after the operation were what can only be described as hell.

When I woke up from the surgery, I was given a shitload of morphine (the feeling from that is delicious), but from there I wasn’t told I could have painkillers whenever I wanted. I was just left to my own devices to suffer. Sometimes a nurse would pop in, steal blood, inject something into my hand and give me a codeine tablet. Great, that’ll take the sting off my flesh being prized apart, bone placed back together and a plate being drilled onto the fucking bone before stuffing all that flesh back together and driving a needle through the hole you had to create to seal it up. No wait, no it fucking won’t. It’ll cure a headache. Barely.

There were a series of fuck-ups that had me clawing for the door of the hospital. I’m thankful that my girlfriend looked after me that day and didn’t take any of my incessant whining personally, because I was a fucking mess. As a non-drug user, taking a shitload of morphine one day, then none the next made me a bit of shivering agitated wreck. The shivering was something I wanted to stop, as it was jerking my newly attacked shoulder around like buggery. This was not pleasant. I couldn’t sleep comfortably, I had no appetite, and I was an irritable cunt until I woke up the next day, feeling fresher much fresher no longer craving that delicious morphine but still really fucking sore.

Now not being able to train for several months of last year was beyond shite. I felt lost. I quickly accepted that I was going to fall behind, so coming back to it all was frightening, and it wasn’t until I was dealt a fairly hefty throw onto my shoulder that I realised things were cool. That sounds a bit stupid really, but getting over the mental block after an injury is one of most important things you can do. I spent weeks afraid of rolling properly, of drilling certain techniques, etc but that blow cleared my head of fear. I’m now able to roll comfortably again, and whilst there’s still pain from time to time, I whinge about it a lot less. Luckily, I don’t feel I’ve lost any progress. At times I feel I’ve become stagnant, but that’s normal I’ve heard. This is a pretty wild sport, with so many branches to it, it’s hard to expect a consistent improvement.

I’m going to finish up this lovely anniversary piece with some pictures. Enjoy!

Before Surgery / After Surgery

Before Surgery / After Surgery


5 responses to “Happy Anniversary.

  1. HOLY Shit, that looks painful

  2. Just catching up here myself…

    All I have to say is Holy Shit. I bitch and moan when I pop a toe or catch a knee in the jaw, but those are nothing compared to this. Tell me that you at least have a cool scar to impress the ladies with?

    And I’ll totally concur with your morphine assessment. It is delicious. As a non-drug user myself, I was a little concerned with the elephant dosages I was given during my stay in the hospital. Getting weaned off that was almost as pleasant as the injuries themselves.

  3. So I’m sitting here in hospital in Sydney with a busted collarbone and I decide to Google judo collarbone break and you show up.
    Thanks for the article, didn’t Make me feel better but at least I know what’s going to happen.
    I also was trying to be a hero and tried to pull off a “soto makikomi” on my opponent tonight at judo class. Landed face first on my shoulder.
    I’m not sure what they’re going to tell me in the morning but I’ve seen natural healing collarbone s go really bad and I really wanna get this fixed so I can get back to training. I think I hope they operate and is just the initial pain then all goes well.

    Going to ask for morphine now.

    Thanks again for the article,

    • Glad I could help! It does get better. There’s a period of shiteness not long after the surgery, where you’ll feel completely fucking useless but once that passes and you start to rehab the movement in your arm, just focus on the mental aspect. Once you’re bionic (titaniumed up), it’s not going to happen again so you need to just get over falling on that spot.

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