Thursday, October 30, 2008

My 3 year battle with an injury and the infamous "Redneck" boulder.

A brief overview of the past 3 years...

I was at HP40 back in Fall/Winter 05/06' working on Redneck in the far left image. When I was topping out, a sharp/hot pain shot from my shoulder blade to the base of my skull. I immediately came down from the topout, never truly getting the send.
From that day forward, I had what seemed to be severe whiplash symptoms and the range of motion in my neck was very minimal. Returning home I went to an immediate care center where they gave me all the Western painkillers, anti-inflammatories & muscle relaxers I would need.
A month later when the drugs wore off, all the symptoms returned. Masking the problem never solves the issue.
I saw western doctors for about a year and a half and no one was able to resolve my pain.
1.5-2 years into my injury, I saw a holistic healer , Peter Moscow. Now for the first time since the initial injury I was feeling better. After some time, I also got treatment from neuromuscular therapist, Julie Harper who helped with the physical trauma my soft tissue had received.
In the fall of Nov.07, I was visiting a friend of mine in Albuquerque, NM and he suggested I see his Sports Injury Specialist, Dr. David Peer. Upon seeing him, he looked at my MRI. I had a C5/C6 disc bulge and a pinched nerve in that area which was causing the hot sensation.
I received traction treatment to alleviate the pressure of my disc as well as rehydrate them.
I was now able to climb sporadically on easy problems, like once every two weeks to build back the muscle, tendon, ligament tissue that I had lost in the past 2.5 years.

The middle image was taken in Fall 06' when I thought no one was around. I was still injured at this point and went down to HP40 to hang with old friends and shoot some images. At the point this image was taken, I still thought it was climbing related injury and not from my car accident, so I had gone to make amends with the force that injured me.

The image on the right was taken on Oct.19th, 2008 when I returned to HP40 for a photoshoot and lay to rest my problem demon.
3 years after my initial injury, I finally got to topout "Redneck."

Thank you... Mandy Rhoden for taking the most recent photo.


Wayfaring Wanderer said...

Our stories relate on so many different levels.....I am so happy to see that you are feeling tip-top! It seemed like a very long road. I'd like to share a little bit about my road....

I got in to a car accident in the summer of 06 while heading to Linville with Gearing and Dave. At the time I didn't have any problems. But in the beginning of October I got a crick in my neck while taking a test.....when the pain never subsided I started a series of doctor's visits. And in Jan 07 I found out that the problem had to deal with 3 ruptured discs in the cervical vertebra. Long story resolve was to have surgery to have the 3 discs removed (C3-C6)from my neck. And since I already had a congenital fusion of C2 & C3, it's almost as if the entire mid section on my next is fused.

I didn't think it would take so long for me to recover, but your story gives me hope that maybe one day I will not be living with daily pain. And get back on those rocks finally!!!

Dan Lubbers said...

Sorry it took me so long to respond.

It was a long road, but it could have been prevented with the right treatment earlier on. No one person has the right answer, so I would see many different specialists and take bits and pieces of each and apply that to your situation.
The first doctor I saw, told me I would probably never climb again. It seems as though Western "textbook" doctors are quick to judge the overall injury and not the "person specific" injury. Each one of us has a brain which in the right mindset is capable of almost anything.
The biggest thing I believe is that a positive mindset is crucial.
Mindset, emotion & time are all factors in the speed of recovery.

The last Western Doctor I saw, was a neurosurgeon who wanted to perform surgery on my C5/C6. This for me was only a last option.
Who knows where I'd be if I had gone through with that surgery? Each specialists is going to think their way is the "correct" way. It's up to the individual to decide what's best for their body. We only get one.

You most definitely will climb again. I believe it.
Search and find what's right for your soul and go with it.

Who knows...Maybe next time I'm in Boone, we'll be able to go on a boulder session together.