It all started innocently enough: a teammate and I headed out on a quick trip to the drugstore to pick up some multivitamins. All of a sudden: CRASH! Our truck was spun around, almost flipped over, and landed with a thud on the opposite corner of the intersection. A distracted driver, completely ignoring the red light, had t-boned her SUV into our car at 50 mph.
Our guardian angels definitely deserve a promotion: Had any little factor had been different—if we’d been in a smaller car, if the airbags hadn’t deployed, if we hadn’t been buckled in, if we had been a millisecond later crossing the intersection, if we had the windows open— one of us would *still* be in the hospital.
All things considered, my teammate and I are both extremely lucky to be [relatively] unbroken from our misadventure. The ER docs ruled out any immediate internal injuries or fractures; we were bruised and battered, to be sure, but we were able to walk out of the hospital with all limbs intact.
In the weeks since our accident, my biggest struggle has probably been *patience*, allowing my body the time it needs to heal and repair itself. There’s a certain protocol for returning to post-concussive activity, requiring both physical and mental rest until one is symptom-free. Every morning I would bound into the Sports Performance office to be evaluated, convinced that I my head was 100% recovered. Fifteen minutes later, I would leave dejected and in tears, distraught that I had once again failed to pass. (In hindsight, the sadness and mood swings were actually lingering symptoms of the concussion… looks like the Doc was right after all)
Mom was an absolute godsend during my medically-mandated break. I couldn’t work out, I couldn’t read, I couldn’t drive, I couldn’t stay awake… so Mom traveled down to San Diego to shuttle me to appointments, distract me from my doldrums, take me to the beach, and just soothe my anxiety with much-needed TLC.
The doctor *finally* cleared me for aerobic activity (hurray!), so now begins the slow process of re-integrating myself into training. The team’s workout schedule would be challenging even for a completely healthy athlete, so I have to be extremely careful about how I begin to train.
Again, *patience* will be a struggle—I’m willing and eager to get back into a boat, but my body still has its limitations. (As my PT often scolds me, “Jamie, this isn’t rowing soreness. Take it easy! You were HIT BY A TRUCK!”) I’m taking it one day at a time, and I’m confident that I can work my way back into top shape in the months to come.
I can’t tell you how much all of your emails, letters, and well-wishes have bolstered me up these past few weeks! This whole ordeal has been a struggle, both physically and emotionally, but your encouragement gives me a much-needed boost! Thank you thank you THANK YOU!