Sunday, January 25, 2009

blood sports

i love rugby. i used to play on a fairly low level, but when i injured my acromioclavicular joint i knew i needed to stop. it was fun but i was not willing to put my body on the line any more. it seemed too dangerous for me. recently i have reviewed this decision.

the first patient i touched on in a previous post. during a game of soccer the goal post fell on him and split his pancreas in two. the tail then slowly shrivelled up into a hard fibrotic mass. the story came to a happy ending when i removed that distal portion of the pancreas. by that time it was embedded in scar tissue and it was quite something to peel it off the renal vein behind it and the splenic vein above it. somehow everything went well. i was just left with a sense of how dangerous soccer can be.

the next patient was playing a game of snooker. i can only assume he was winning and by quite some margin because his opponent seemed to get annoyed at a stage during the game. i know this because he suddenly shot my patient. and he didn't shoot him once or twice. for good measure he put four bullets through him. he must have had an unassailable lead in their friendly game of snooker. unassailable by the standard rules anyway.

so, recently having treated two casualties of the blood sports of soccer and snooker, i realise rugby was really not that dangerous at all.

12 comments:

rlbates said...

No, an AC injury is nothing compared to a pancreatic or gun shot injury. I guess life is about perspective.

So will you begin playing rugby again?

Bongi said...

rlbates, although in the average game of rugby, even in south africa, it is unlikely to get four dollops of lead pass through your body, my old body would probably get a less significant injury none the less. i therefore will limit myself to the spectator version of the sport.

Jabulani said...

Around where I live, the blood sports are rabbit, fox and deer shooting. On reflection, rugby is definitely not as dangerous ;)

Jade said...

I've had a friend who's injured more muscles than he can name, has had a head and neck injury (with altered consciousness) and many other rugby related injuries but still plays rugby like mad. Oh. . .and he is a medical student so I say play on Bongi. Then again he is 22 so. . .maybe with people your own age. . . Lol! ;-)

Bongi said...

jade, if he has injured more muscles than he can name i suggest he spends more time studying anatomy.

Jade said...

Wow!! In my face. Spoken like a true (and not so amused) consultant. Pardon me :-(

Anonymous said...

I spent the first twenty years of my life afraid of getting hurt in sports. I never did anything if you could be hurt doing it.

In college you needed to take at least one sport class. The only one with any room left was co-ed rugby. (I am a girl). In the USA very few people play it I had no idea what it was about.

The first game I got hit in the face by some guys head. I ended up knocked out cold with a black eye and lose teeth. I was put back in the game as soon as I could stand. It was the best thing the ever happened to me. It was not bad at all.

I went right out and signed up for Martial Arts and boxing. I have enjoyed both for years.

Bongi said...

anonymous, i actually broke my nose twice in rugby at school. actually, strictly speaking, both times someone else broke it for me. anyway that was a few years before i finally gave it up.
it didn't have so much to do with fear of getting hurt but more with realising i'm getting old and therefore injury prone.

Patrick said...

Played my first vets rugby game at the Dubai Sevens in 2005. Someone commented that it was more of a gentlemans game. Right. I caught the first kickoff and was immediately tackled above the eyebrows. First point of contact was my head. Got up a few years later, everything was in black and white, then sepia, then color gradually faded back in. Being a forward, I only possessed a limited number of brain cells and kept playing - stupid, yes, but remember, I'm a forward. These days, I cheer from the sidelines.

Cheers,

Patrick

Jayne said...

My son still plays rugby, despite having his jaw broken in 2 places & several years later, having both shoulders operated on. It's a game of passion, but at 28 years old, his body is taking way too much strain. Thankfully he's only now called up when the team is short of a player.

Bongi said...

jayne, sounds good. just keep him away from dangerous sports like soccer and snooker.

anne said...

Hi Bongi, I played soccer regularly and earnestly since I was a kid. Some years ago I needed to revise my CV; I sent this to a very dear and old friend for proofreading. In the section of 'hobbies', she crossed out 'playing soccer' and entered 'rehabilitating soccer injuries' and 'orthopedic surgery'. At the time, I had recently had to have my ACL reconstructed after an unhappy triad injury---incurred while playing soccer. I had to admit that she had a point. That was my que to stop. The knee is perfect again, but I haven't played soccer since then. The only future trips to the operating room that I want to take are in the upright position. You're not the only one who came to his or her senses about risky sports.
Still, bullets! That wins the prize for blood sports. Almost every time I read your blog, I am amazed. best wishes