When you’re more beat up than your patients are

It’s not often, ok it is often, that I take a tumble on my mountain bike while riding on the weekends. When I first got into mountain bike racing I had just started my first week at a very illustrious sports medicine clinic in Santa Monica. The week before I was to start I took a massive header off a jump, landed on my face, and ended up with two black and blue eyes and a busted nose. Needless to say all the makeup in the world couldn’t cover my black and blue eyes… Nearly every patient my first week of work would look at me, and with little hesitation say, “I’m ok, are YOU ok??”.

I didn’t get fired, thankfully, and survived my first week. It was there that I learned about treating many sports related injuries, even my own. I treated NFL athletes, pro volleyball players, pro rugby and WNBA stars, some serious injuries and mostly sports related ones.

This year marks somewhere around my 9th year working in sports medicine as a physical therapist. I crashed on my mountain bike over the weekend, it was a harmless and avoidably stupid crash. I somehow managed to yet again ding my elbow- which is now about ten scars deep with scrapes. It only occurred to me on my way home from work tonight to actually check out the damage to my elbow. It hadn’t broken skin (this time) so I wasn’t particularly worryied about coming into patient contact with ugly scuzzy elbow. But I hadn’t really looked at the bruise since I fell. Lo and behold I had a massive bruise and golfball size bump on my elbow! Yikes! It reminded me of my first day at my old job, my black and blue eyes, I’m sure all my patients are still wondering who is the injured one, me or them. 

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