Saturday, February 1, 2014

Negative to Positive

Three days ago I was celebrating three-month anniversary of my climbing accident in which I broke my lover right leg. At first it was quite shocking and brutally painful. Then by the time I was in a hospital dominating feelings were fear and uncertainty. After two surgeries and almost two weeks spent in a hospital I was noticeably weaker, my stomach was wrecked by four different types of painkillers but slowly I was becoming myself, feeling happy. I think I avoided the stage of resignation and indifference. Instead I started planning, dreaming about what I can achieve, trying to distance a bit to myself and laugh about some things in a hospital which at first seems a bit depressing. I think I am quite lucky. It could be way worse (for example if the force would crush me knee or ankle) and I can not thank enough all of my friends for being there for me. Literally, everyday I had at least one visitors. I totally didn't expect that and I am really thankful for all the support. Now I think about that whole accident situation as a blessing. I am not saying it was enjoyable and I have some financial problems but in a way that was a lesson I needed. Let's start from the beginning though ...

After amazing long weekend in Ostrov with friends spent on highlining and climbing I came back to Berlin. On Monday I worked a bit doing rope access stuff and because I still had a lot of time I decide to do my standard training routine. I was extra motivated after climbing in Ostrov on a natural rock.

Route setting at Ostbloc together with Wölf

I got on my bike and charged my casual route to Ostbloc. I love pretty much everything about that place. I started with route setting with friends and put up new grays I couldn't do right away. That was a good sign and I was quite happy to project that thing later. Soon, my good friend Helmar arrived. I decided to warm up and then try my project again. I did few easier problems and decided to work a bit on the other gray problem put up by my buddy Werner. He's quite taller then me so it is always fun to climb with him and try to figure out beta for myself.

Training at Ostbloc
Home gym ...

It was a fun problem but on the last move from the triangle volume I was missing 2cm to even touch the top hold. I was too short but I love dynamics moves so I made my mind and tried it dynamically. To do the move you had to jump more to the side then up to quite a good top hold. On the last try I thought I got it, gripped as hard as I could but my hands slipped just when my body was swinging away from the wall. I fell out of control, under weird angle, spinning around and I couldn't stop it. Right when I hit the crashpad I heard really loud noise. I thought to myself that I broke the mattress outside material. My next thought was; "damn it, Jacob and Lutz will be pissed!" (Jacob and Lutz are the owners of Ostbloc). Then I saw all the girls screaming and running away. Pretty much everyone around twitched as something really bad happened. That was when I realized something is wrong. I wanted to stand up but I couldn't. I looked down. My right leg was totally fucked. Both tibia and fibula were completely broken. It wasn't straight anymore either. The bones poked through my skin on the inner side of my leg and were sticking out of my leg. The rest of the limb and a broken piece formed together 90 degrees angle with the toes pointing up in direction of my head. Seeing that triggered the pain instantly. I lied down on a crashpad and focused on staying calm and breathing. Mark, Helmar, Wölf and one more guy I don't know (he is apparently a doctor, I am really thankful for his professional help) took car of me. The pain was overwhelming but I was able to talk a bit. It was hard to focus. The cold compress on my forehead helped a lot and I didn't feel any nausea. The guys were joking around: "just think about something nice, what about some nice tits?!" I had no idea but the 'doctor guy' straightened my leg during first 2 minutes. The pain was so constant I didn't feel any difference. Fifteen minutes later the ambulance arrived. I got an iv and morphine injection before I was even moved onto a stretcher. I don't remember the way to the hospital so well, I was high on drugs, relieved from pain. Drifting away all I could think about was "I fucked up ... shit, what now?!" ...

I arrived in a hospital, called my father and tried to reach Jordan before the surgery. Waiting was way longer then I expected - apparently there was a guy after some heavy car accident and naturally he had to be take care of first. I had to time to worry if my insurance will cover everything, what's about work, slackline, climbing, my future ... At 2 a.m. I didn't have to worry anymore, after signing surgery papers the anesthesia shot was injected to my bloodstream and I fell into a dreamless land.

Iron Man 1.0

I woke up discovering weird structure sticking out of my leg. It had to stay there for next few days before next surgery. It was surprisingly heavy and awfully unpractical. I used to forget it is on banging against the toilet door frame. Now it is quite hilarious to think about it.

X-rays after injury, first and second surgery

Another surgery was noticeably longer but I was relieved to have my leg without metal sticking out of it. Although that time the metal was inside. I had an intramedullary rod pounded inside my tibia and fixed with three small screws at the top and bottom of my leg. I left the hospital knowing I will have to remove the small screws in a few months + I will have fourth surgery during which the inner rod will be removed completely. The bad news was I will have to wait for it another year and the good news I can be active with the rod inside my body.

The first two weeks after leaving the hospital were the worse. I never felt so week and challenged by the smallest things. I couldn't sleep and digest well. Carrying a cup of hot tea from the kitchen to my room was my personal mission impossible. Right after getting out of the hospital I stopped taking all the painkillers because of big problems with my stomach and it slowly got better but I also started to feel more mostly painful signals from my body.

I don't want to describe the rest of my injury and recovery details because it might be quite boring. All I have to say about it it learned me a lot of good things and I am amazed and overwhelmed by amount of love I experienced from my friends, family and people who support me.

I spent hours on my computer working on the articles, planning my goal, talking with friends, watching slackling and climbing videos and dreaming about running.

My first month activity ...

I have to say - I was going crazy without any physical activity. It definitely made me appreciate more the days I had and hopefully will have soon. I will cherish every moment on the line, taking next step on the mountain path, taking a walk with a friend ... man, I miss that so much.

After one month I was able to slowly start training and rehabilitating my body. I was so exited to do pull-ups, push-ups which normally seem kind of boring to me. I felt like a small kid which was allowed for some crazy trip on a bike. I got my second chance. I feel really motivated and I think that state was triggered by this accident. I never felt so motivated to get on with my life ... In a way I am thankful I broke my leg. It let me understand better myself, others, put amazing people on my path and showed me my friends in a new light.

Nowadays I can already walk a bit, yesterday I did my first 7a lead at the climbing gym at the end of my second week during second training cycle. I feel stronger and healthier everyday. The entry wound is almost healed and my broken leg feels stronger too. I think in time I will be able to realize climbing and slackline goals I put for myself.



I focused on a lot of different things too. I have time to learn German, read books. I studied a lot about training, nutrition with a great help from my personal trainer and nutritionist from SZTUKA ŻYWIENIA. I made some important decisions of what I want to do after I'm back on two feet and what might sound funny I miss my work. I did re-think some other aspects of my life and I am surprised I didn't take care of it before. It seems like I was just lazy avoiding some issues. I also decided to stop eating meat again but now I am going to do it responsible way. I think it will allow me to feel better physically and definitely will reduce the guilt.

After first training cycle - HUGE thanks to SZTUKA ŻYWIENIA, Dominika Zapotoczna as well as Zerwa climbing gym for letting me train!

I can't wait to get back home to Berlin, to be back on the line, but I am more patient and organized right now so I know I can wait the time needed. I am hoping that will be enough to evolve and my goal is definitely not to be as I good I was before - I want to be better person.

Peace & SlackOn!
Janek

1 comment:

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