So a couple of adventurous guys and myself thought we would head out to West Virginia to battle the infamous Gauley River. It is a 105 mile river that merges with the New River to form the Kanawha River, which is a tributary of the Ohio River. The Gauley River is the most popular advanced whitewater site in the country. It was a 2 day trip that involved piercing through challenging rapids that ranged from class 3-5. According to the American Whitewater Association, each rapid is ranked by the character of the rapid in terms of how violent and harsh it is, distance, technical difficulty to maneuver, and finally the difficulty of swimming in it. In other words, the higher the class of rapid, the higher the chance of something bad happening to you.
Check out the reviews: http://www.tripadvisor.com/Attraction_Review-g59234-d3330369-Reviews-New_Gauley_River_Adventures-Lansing_West_Virginia.html
As you can see from the pictures, the river beat me up bad! I strongly recommend trying new sports and activities. Prior to this trip, my workouts were truly at its peak. Those of you who workout know what I am talking about. It is a point where lifts seem easier, body responds to the workouts, and each session is better than the previous. We all experience set backs and for me this really sucks! Quite honestly, my immediate thought was about how I cannot workout my upper body for several months. It really stinks.
So you are probably wondering what happened? Well, it was the second day of the trip, the last class 5 rapid, and a huge rapid pushed me off the raft. This was the second time I was knocked off the raft and for some random reason, I thought I could grab a hold of the rope that was lining the outside of the raft to propel myself back onto the raft. The river, with all of its tremendous might kept pushing me away from the raft. The bicep muscle could not withstand the force and "pop" went the distal tendon.
Down I went with the river. If you have not gone rafting, this is the point of the story where all I remember is waves crashing on my face and seeing rocks zoom by as I continued to go down the river. This is where the only thoughts that go through your head is "I hope I don't hit a rock head first!"
Luckily, I swam and navigated to the nearest raft and was lifted up onto safety by friendly strangers. I was surrounded by laughter and smiles as each patted me on the back. But, I could not smile. The pain was too intense.
Life must go on. Today, at the clinic, I saw a few patients, ate lunch where I bumped into people I know who asked the obvious question after seeing my left arm in a sling "what happened?" It certainly makes for a good story.
I must say though, my practice has spoiled me rotten. I cannot help but smirk when I have to fill out so many forms prior to seeing the doctor, go into the "second" waiting room only to get my vitals checked, then wait another 10 minutes before the doctor comes. The funny thing is, after all that, I was told I had to see another doctor since my muscle was so high up my arm after the tear. Ahh! Another visit, more forms, and more waiting!
Will keep you posted on my progress. Please feel free to share your injuries with extreme sports or any sports injury.
Injured, but always there for my patients,
- Dr. Ahmed
"He who studies medicine without books sails an uncharted sea, but he who studies medicine without patients does not go to sea at all."