Being Injured and The Recovery Process
Three years ago while on a boys trip to Rochester, NY, I was on the 10th tee and felt a sharp pain in my side on my downswing. Not thinking much of it, I hit another tee shot(first shot went OB right) and hit that one even further right. This time the pain was even more intense and didn't go away. I spent the remainder of the round as a cart spectator. I got back to the hotel, put some ice on it and called it a day. Little did I know that was the start of an eight month rehab process.
When I got back in town, I went back to bartending full-time and trying to play through the pain. I didn't realize how bad it was. There is no visible physical item, such as a cast, that people can see. So, when you tell people you are in pain, it's hard for them to imagine especially when they see you functioning at work. I can tell you that on a scale of 1-10, the pain was usually close to 8. It was tough to sleep. Work was a nightmare. Sometimes, I would walk away from the bar to go in the hallway just to help alleviate the pain. The last time I tried to play golf I shot 101.
One afternoon, my good friend/instructor(PGA Professional John Galyean) told me about this place called Dynamic Health & Pain Management(DHPM) on South Blvd. I went straight there with not a lot of hope. I was immediately welcomed and treated like family. Dr. Cox, Dr. Matz, Niko Miles, Mary Miles, Elizabeth Satterfield and the rest of the staff made me feel like I had come to the right place. I took a few x-rays, answered a questionnaire and was given a course of action. The major point for me was that I was told I would definitely get back on the course again. I just needed to follow the protocols and do my part. I am a little hard headed so there was a little adjustment period and a few choice words from Dr. Matz. Once the rehab started, I started back on the range after a few months. I think the first day I hit 15 golf balls before I felt a twinge. I took a few days off and the next time it was 25. I am not a patient person so this process was not making me happy. The mental rehab was much more difficult than the physical rehab. I was so afraid of a setback that I wouldn't fully commit to letting my swing go. The worst thing you can do as an athlete is try not to get hurt again. It took me almost two months to finally turn it loose and see what happens.
These days I'm back to playing/practicing everyday. I've played 36 holes quite a few times and have even driven 8 hours and played after some stretching. I have to maintain a level of fitness to keep my core strong. I don't go 100 percent all the time and have learned the art of practicing with a purpose. At 52, I can still do the things I did in my 20's. The issue is it takes a little more maintenance and recovery time. Man has to learn his limitations. I have to listen to my body and sometimes we don't get along. Even at my age, I'm still a work in progress. I don't wish injuries on anyone. If, however, you do get hurt, get immediate medical advice and listen to your doctor. Here's to great health for the remainder of 2016 and beyond.