Tag Archives: Injury

Disaster at the Amazon Post Holiday Party!

19 Jan

Amazon doesn’t have a Christmas party because December is a really busy time, but in January they have a post holiday party. This year was our first one – we didn’t go last year because we were sick and James was so bummed because Imagine Dragons were playing. They also had casino games for charity and international buffets, so it sounded pretty cool.

This year’s party was held at the event center at CenturyLink Field. Each hall had different kinds of entertainment – pinball machines, foosball/air hockey/shuffleboard tables, dueling pianos, palm readers, karaoke, a band (Vampire Weekend), magicians, and a laser game (more on that later).

Here people were shooting marshmallows into buckets for charity – look at PeculiarPus finding love with a snowman!

It was surprisingly difficult. James was taking photos and captured my childlike glee.

There were also multiple stations where you could get food (unlimited) and drinks (2 per person). The food was varied and nothing really stood out as being particularly good or bad.

All of Seattle is football crazy at the moment, so of course they had 12th man cookies.

We also got to see an Amazon drone prototype.

We wandered around with friends for awhile and then we saw it: the laser game.

It was a corridor that you had to run through as fast as possible while avoiding the static green lasers. You pressed a big button at the start, then another one at the end when you finished to time how fast you went – every time you touched a laser it added 5 seconds to your time. You can’t see all the lasers in my photo but it was very intimidating standing at the start of the room (James said it was like being in a spy movie).

The fastest time was 1.62 seconds but most people were getting 15+ seconds with the occasional person getting 5 seconds. Mike went through and did this amazing flip in mid air that had everyone cheering! His time was something like 2.6 seconds.

The line wasn’t very long so you could go through multiple times and there was a big crowd of people watching. Here is James on his first run-through:

I failed pretty hard on my first go but on my second try managed to get 1.92 seconds!

I got too competitive and decided to go again. The second run looked a lot like the first (marginally slower – 2.3 seconds I think) but I cracked my chin on the concrete floor. =(

You can’t even tell the moment of impact in the video and I didn’t even notice except afterwards when randoms were coming up to congratulate me (James at the hospital later:  it was especially impressive because you went after a couple of really shit people) I realised that something warm and wet was dripping. I left this giant pool of blood on the ground so James, Mike and one of the staff took me to the first aid station.

James and Mike kept looking horrified, and eventually James took a photo to show me what they were seeing.

I have a second mouth!

James said it was even worse when the medics moved my chin cos it flapped open. There was a dull ache but it didn’t hurt that much. The first aid guys patched me up as best they could, took an accident report and called me a cab to go to the hospital (which took awhile because all the taxis kept rejecting them because they assumed we were drunk).

I figured we’d be waiting at the hospital all night (which was our experience at the Box Hill hospital when James had to get his appendix out) but it was actually really fast – we were in and out in under an hour.

They asked what happened, cleaned the wound, gave me a tetanus shot and stitched me up. Here I am hooked up to one of those machines you always see on TV.

Everyone at the hospital (Swedish in First Hill) was very nice. The doctor and nurses were friendly and joking around with me. One of the nurses let me check how the lines changed when I held my breath. =) They also gave me an ice pack for my knee. I was starting to ache and feeling pretty stupid at this point – I mean, I threw myself onto concrete for no real reason. That is not a smart thing to do.

But anyway, I got seven stitches and here is the final result (the doctor was very pleased with his work):

I have to get them taken out in 5 days. A friend said the hospital bill should be pretty cheap since we’ve already met our insurance deductible this year.

So yeah, that was the Amazon post holiday party. It was a bummer cos I couldn’t go snowboarding today (the Seahawks are playing for a place in the Superbowl so it would have been nice and empty at the snow).

Lying in bed last night I was feeling sore – my poor knee was super bruised – but popped a couple of ibuprofen and this morning I woke up feeling great. My chin doesn’t even hurt – I thought that when the adrenaline and painkillers wore off the stitches would be painful, but nope. So yeah, I have learned not to be competitive over stupid things. Actually I don’t even know if I’ve learned that; unless we get a massive hospital bill or the organisers got in trouble for my stupidity I’d say that the night was pretty fun. The cheering … the cheering!

(Also James took me to get consolation salmonella buns today)

Roid Kaye

28 Apr

I went and saw the physio again today, and he said that I haven’t improved as much as he would like. I’ve been stagnant for awhile now, and he said if there’s no improvement by Monday I’m going to have to get a corticosteroid injection. The steroids will reduce the inflammation in my shoulder, which will reduce how much it hurts, and I’ll be able to do more rehab exercises. Tim said that I will have to be careful to not injure my shoulder further, so I have a feeling that even if he lets me go back to BJJ I’ll be stuck doing drills.

But at least there is a light at the end of the tunnel. Which is good because I’m getting so sick of squats. After a 2 week break from squats (Tim’s orders) I’m back down to 60kg, though I’m gradually making my way back up. There is a 9 year old girl who weighs 40kg and squats 85kg. That is insanely depressing.

So yeah, fingers crossed for the steroid injection!

Things That Have Been Keeping Me Sane: (this week)

  • eBay
  • Game of Thrones
  • researching our future trip to Peru (looking at 2013 or 2014)
  • playing with the balcony garden
  • Castle
  • peanut brittle


13 Apr

It used to be that when I saw a guy and a girl jogging side by side I’d think “aww that’s nice, they’re exercising together”. And one day I commented on a jogging couple to James and he was like “when you see a guy and a girl running together you know the guy is slacking off”.

Now I can’t look at jogging couples without thinking that the guy is being slack. Stupid James, now it’s ruined.

But anyway, I’ve started running a bit these past few days – though sometimes I have to stop early because my arm starts aching. I hate running. But it’s one of the few exercises I’m allowed to do for the next 3 weeks. No BJJ, no deadlifts, no squats (Tim doesn’t want my arms supporting the weight on my back), no upper body, no nothing. My shoulder improved with rest, so no magical steroid injection, but for the next month I’m sitting around not doing anything. I tried filling the fitness void by baking, but that was just a double whammy – not exercising and eating terribly.

I’m trying to avoid shopping too much, since we have some big purchases in the near future ($1200 for my Aeron, and $2000 for a Miele dishwasher since our crappy Whirlpool is on its last legs).

I regret not buying a Miele right off the bat. The Whirlpool was $700 (or $900?) and we also spent about $500 fixing it a year ago. That’s $1200, not to mention the fact that we’re going to have to buy a Miele anyway. Buying cheap things is false economy. Unless it’s stuff you only use a couple of times, like evening dresses.

That’s how I’m trying to see training – doing upper body stuff and BJJ now would be like false training. I’m making the rotator cuff tear worse, and not fixing the underlying problem, which will just crop up again anyway. But if I take a couple of months, I can hopefully repair fully and rebuild my strength, and be better than I was before.

It just really sucks. One guy at the gym last night did like 100 “sit-ups” with the freaking ab-sizer. I was filled with irrational annoyance at the thought that he probably had a fully functional rotator cuff.

So yeah, I’m doing my rehab exercises and just trying to think of this as a rest week month.

Rotator Cuff Stuff

1 Apr

Well the ultrasound results came in, and it turns out I have a “small focal partial thickness tear in the supraspinatus tendon”. Booooo.

I emailed the results to Tim, and he said:

Well there could’ve been better news, but then again, luckily the news could’ve been much much worse.

So from here:

Quick Pros: 1. You will recover 100% 2. no invasive treatment required (surgery etc) 3. We’ve already began treatment/exercises for it as I suspected this was the injury initially
Quick Cons: 1. You will need to tone down/stop most upper body work 2. BJJ break for a while 3. Possible but unlikely need for cortisone injection

Boooo! I’ll learn more when I see him next.

The shoulder got better for a few weeks, then plateaued, and now it’s been getting noticeably worse.

I trained hard on it in the afternoon (before I got the news), but in the evening just stuck to drills with Meagan, the other cripple. I don’t want to take a break from BJJ! I’m just starting to hit my stride again. When I see Tim next week I will try to negotiate – maybe I’ll try and trade bench for BJJ. I guess I’ll stay off it until then, just in case. Oh, except for tonight – I’m going to roll with a few girls from other clubs, and it’s so infrequent that I want to make the most of it.

OMG … Still Injured!

7 Mar

This sucks so hard. My back has been pretty stiff for a few weeks now, and I must have injured it again on the weekend because I was in agony today. =( I don’t know what I could have done to cause it – I had gym on Friday (nailed my 62.5kg x 5 squat, and my 65kg x 5 deadlifts!), did an aerobics class late Saturday, and light gym on Sunday. I woke up at like 5am and couldn’t get back to sleep until 8am.

The muscles in my back keep spasming – it’s not painful or anything, but every so often I can feel my back kind of … flutter. Creepy.

I went to Mind Over Muscle for a massage. Matt wasn’t in today, but once Tim heard how desperate I was he offered to do the massage himself. During the massage he kept marveling at how stiff my back was. “Like a brick!” he said. =(

He wants me to rest it for at least a couple of days. But I keep reinjuring it, and he’s not sure about what’s causing this sudden onset of back crapness. It’s only a couple of weeks until the comp, and I am so frustrated at this run of injuries. I’m tossing up the idea of letting myself heal fully and then just focusing on the Pan Pacs. I mean, I love getting the opportunity to fight people my size, but I hate the idea of competing when I’m not ready (and continuing to injure myself to try and get ready), even though it’s just a silly white belt fight.

And since I’m injured and computer-bound, I’ve had a lot of time to browse the net. I love this leather jacket by Rick Owens but probably wouldn’t wear it enough to justify the fairly hefty price tag.

image from Net-A-Porter

image from Net-A-Porter

(oh dear God, those leggings.)

James: Do you want the jacket instead of the chair for your birthday?
Me: Nah, I’ll get more use out of the chair. Maybe for another present one day in the future.
James: Christmas?

Jamesy is so sweet. =D But no, I thought maybe I could save it up for an important birthday. Or maybe if we ever move to a cold climate.

Being injured is so shit. It makes me depressed, and when I’m sad I start shopping. I remember when Ben told me that I couldn’t do any lower body exercises for a few weeks I started crying a little (not like … sobbing, but I started tearing up). And I don’t think Tim could tell on the phone, but when I called a week ago to book a massage (this was after I got stacked in BJJ) I was also crying a little bit.

So much of my self-identity is wrapped up in being fit and strong and healthy, in being able to make my body do what I want it to (except cleans. Stupid technical lift) that when I’m injured I lapse into a bit of a funk. I’m sure I’ll feel better tomorrow – I managed to wheedle Tim into letting me go to the gym as long as I don’t do any lifts that target the lower back – but in the meantime … (imagine me looking at the computer screen and sighing pathetically).

At Least I’ll Always Have Squats

24 Feb


Injuries suck. I was doing my rotator cuff rehab wrong and (I think) that messed up my lower back. I don’t have much range of motion through my back now, and certain movements really hurt it.

Tonight at BJJ there was a near-scare. I was rolling with a big white belt, and not really attacking, letting him take the initiative, but he was putting his weight on me and doing that thing that white belts do where they just grab your wrists and won’t let go. So I escaped, re-guarded and started choking him. He was making that cool sound where you know the choke is on, but then he stacked me to escape and my back was like aaaarrrgh!

Normally I’m flexible enough that stacking isn’t a big deal, but since I can’t move my back properly at the moment it was painful and I ended up yelling out. And then Rob didn’t let me roll with him anymore. I hope the guy doesn’t feel like he injured me – it was my fault for trying to roll like I was at 100%. My neck is feeling pretty stiff now too – the way it does before it seizes up for a couple of days (dear neck jelly, please don’t be injured! I’m supposed to go crabbing this weekend!).

This is bad – this should be my prep time for the Vics, but I’m not spending it grappling like I should be.


In some good news though, I’m finally back up to a 62.5kg x 3 squat. After my final set (50kg x 8), Gregor, one of the gym instructors was like “great squats!” Then I heard him and Tom (enormous gym regular) arguing, and Tom was like “I can squat more than my bodyweight too!”  Gregor sort of gestured at me and was like “yeah, but with that depth?”

So, so pleased.

Yesterday I followed back squats with pistol squats where I jump out of the bottom. Well at the moment it’s a teeny tiny bunny hop, but eventually I’ll be leaping out of it.

I miss doing upper body work, but Tim the physio has promised me that with my new improved shoulder I’ll be able to lift more.


Diet is getting better. This is what I’m having for breakfast and lunch:

Mountain bread with smoked salmon, baby spinach, cucumber, carrot, and greek yoghurt. Omnomnom.

That looks less vegetably than it is – the smoked salmon is actually sitting on a big pile of spinach. Also you can see my oven mitt in the background. Hello oven mitt!


Injured (the sequel)

18 Feb

The neck is largely healed, though the physio doesn’t like that I injure it so much.

I finally had my shoulder looked at, and I can’t remember exactly what’s wrong with it – but basically some ligaments related to the rotator cuff aren’t strong enough. So when my right arm is above my head and there is any strain on it, it feels like it’s about to pop out of my shoulder. The physio said I actually have the same underlying problem as Meagan, but he said mine has presented itself in the form of massive shoulder instability.

My myotherapist said a similar thing – that on my right side my rhomboids aren’t pulling my scapula in properly. Nic, the physio-in-training at the gym has also commented on how my scapula will wing out during pull-ups.

I was chatting to Tom about it last night at BJJ, and he has the same problem as me, and was given the same exercises to do, but didn’t do them. Tsk!

It does seem like a fairly common injury – Ormi’s rotator cuff is busted too. James has hurt his rotator cuff in the past, but he actually tore it climbing, I don’t think he actually has any usual problems with it. His back is actually really strong relative to his chest (he weighs 78kg and benches 85kg for 5×5, which is an above average though not outstanding bench, but he does 5×5 pull-ups with an additional 27.5kg, which I’ve never seen anyone at our gym do. I’ve seen some people add 20kg, but they’re cheating pretty badly with their form.)

But anyway, doing (relatively) heavy weights is bad for the rotator cuff injury because it’s been putting the shoulder under more and more strain. My muscles are getting stronger so I can lift heavier weights, but my ligaments are still puny and weak, and can’t handle it. Just avoiding lifting will heal the injury, but if I don’t fix the underlying cause I’ll just keep re-injuring myself.

Things I Can’t Do

  • any overhead weightlifting (pull-ups, chin-ups, overhead squat, dumbbell snatch, etc)
  • be submitted in BJJ in any position with my arm above my head – so if someone gets my arm above my head that’s an automatic sub on me
  • any moves in BJJ where I pull people towards me

and he said he would prefer if I didn’t do push-ups, bench, and upright rows – though apparently they aren’t as terrible for me as the above list. I totally cheated and did some push-ups last night at BJJ. I should probably avoid them though, just in case.

I don’t know how I’m going to train properly in the run-up to the Vics if my neck and rotator cuff keep giving out on me. =( I get a good rhythm going and then bam! Injury. It sucks, I hate not being at 100%.


A bunch of rotator cuff exercises with the theraband. It takes forever because I have to activate my rhomboids, do the exercise slowly, then relax. 10x each arm, with 4 different exercises! The physio said that if after I relax it doesn’t feel much different, that means my rhomboids are too tired to hold everything in place, and I should stop.

Apparently if I do my exercises and get stronger, next week I graduate to rolling a ball on the wall.

I woke up this morning after doing my theraband stuff, and my right shoulder was aching so much – but the good kind of ache, like where you haven’t gone to the gym in awhile. So those exercises were hitting a muscle that I don’t normally work, which is awesome. It made ironing this morning a total bitch though.

Also, note to self: eating dinner before BJJ is a terrible idea. It gives me stomach cramps and makes me sadface on the walk home. Then I get inwardly ragey at the guy who takes the lift to level one, because really? Really?