The House of Pain
A little background. On January 24, 1998, I was
playing rugby (#8) for the Austin Huns. We were battling an old
rival from San Antonio, the Alamo City RFC. About 10 or 15 minutes
into the match, I was accidentally headbutted by one of my teammates.
I came off the field long enough to fill the gash with Vaseline
and tape it up to stop the bleeding, then I returned to play.
About 25-30 minutes into the match, we ran a #8
pick-up from a scrum in Alamo City territory. I took the ball
cleanly and broke around the scrum to find nothing between me
and the goal but 35 yards of open field. I charged. As I came
to the goal, an Alamo City player came to make the tackle. I put
the ball in my left hand so I could fend him off with my right.
He hit me - we were both at a full sprint - as I crossed the goal.
I put the ball down with my left hand to score the try as I went
Now it gets ugly. Somehow, our combined momentum
and impact drove my hand over the ball and into the turf. The
two bones in my left forearm, the ulna and radius, broke on impact,
right where they connect to the wrist. That would've been bad
enough, but then the bones decided to rip through the skin.
I spent the next 8 days in the hospital, where I
underwent 4 major surgeries (all under general anesthesia), including
skin grafts. My orthopedic surgeon, Dr. Bradley Adams, and my
plastic surgeon, Dr. David Mosier, are two of the best in Austin,
and I can't thank them enough. When the injury first occured,
the prognosis was for 6-8 months of pure recovery, followed by
12-18 months of rehab. To everyone's surprise, the bones were
completely healed within eight weeks, and the external fixator
(which you'll see soon enough) was removed on my birthday, March
17, 1998. Hardcore rehab work with Sharon Guebert ensued, and
I was discharged from therapy in early May of '98, in time for
my wedding. So, and I'm very proud of this, more or less full
recovery took less than four months. As of fall '98, the only
remaining effects of the injury are a scar in the shape of a Nike
swoosh, incipient arthritis in the wrist that tells me when the
weather's about to change, and a slightly reduced range of motion
in the wrist. No permanent nerve, ligament, or tendon damage.
All things considered, I call it a near-miracle.
The following pages have graphic and gory photographs
of my injury, starting with my arrival in the St. David's ER and
continuing through the stages of recovery. I'm serious - they're
sick. But a lot of people have asked to see them, so here they
If you're at all squeamish, or underage, or whatever,
Okay. If you're up for it, Click
Or you can check out my knee in the House
of Pain, Part 2.
Otherwise, get back to the Capitol of the Republic.