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Three Lessons From a Crazy Person on Dealing With Injuries

I’m starting 2016 with hip surgery on Jan. 4, and will be required to be non-weight bearing for up to 12 weeks.  The procedure is to repair multiple tears in the hip labrum and arthritic spurs of the femoral head. It’s not a complete hip replacement. The rehab will be long and aggressive, but I expect to feel much better in the end.

In any case, I want to share 3 lessons I learned as a result of this event.

Lesson 1:  Always listen to your common-sense side when dealing with injuries.

Three years ago I injured my hip while doing a ridiculous gymnastics-based, ninja-style exercise in the gym. Had I listened to my “common sense,” I would have known better than to attempt an exercise in my 40s that most people in their 20s would be wise not to do.

Lesson 2: Always listen to your subconscious mind, or as Oprah describes it, the “whisper” in the back of your brain.  Listen closely, even if it’s very quiet.

At the time of the injury, my “subconscious mind” knew that I was seriously injured, but my conscious mind immediately went into a defensive posture, looking for ways to explain away or justify the searing pain signals that were telling me I had done something terribly wrong. The “pop” I felt in my hip was unlike the usual pop that athletes, or wannabe athletes like myself, are accustomed to feeling.  Did I immediately seek professional help and take the injury seriously? Of course not. I wish that I had. 

Lesson 3:  Be proactive, not reactive, in your health and elsewhere.

I’ve heard it said that psychiatrists eventually lose their minds, orthopedic surgeons eventually break something, and cardiologists eventually have heart attacks. I’d like to add that chiropractors eventually blow out their backs (or hip, as is my case).

If a patient had presented to me the way I walked into my office the day of the injury, I would have immediately sent them out for an MRI and a surgical consultation.  My willingness to overlook my obvious presentation and use my own professional skills to treat myself may have allowed me to get by for a few years, but the result may have been more damage to an already torn hip labrum.

So remember when dealing with injuries:

  1. Listen to your common-sense side.

  2. Listen to your subconscious mind.

  3. Be proactive, not reactive.

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