The dump should have been harmless, except I used my left out-stretched arm to push off the ledge to keep us from going over. Well it didn't work and the instant the boat went over, the force pulled my body down below the locked arm against the rock. Yeah, guess what gave?! (if it worked I would have created a new whitewater technique - the low hand brace!) While floating/banging against rocks down the river, I knew there was something odd and painful regarding my shoulder, but my attention was focused on dodging rocks and getting to shore. Once I got out, I noticed my arm was still arched over somewhat awkwardly, so without thinking I pulled it over to only hear "pop!" "Oh, so my shoulder was dislocated!"
We only just started our paddle and I didn't want to end it now. My shoulder ached, but I could move it, so I decided to continue on when the guys asked if it was okay. As the day wore on, I was more and more aware of the pain and the fact that I was losing my range of motion. I was still having fun running massive class 3 rapids, dropping down big chutes and navigating through mini-canyons, but I was getting to my limits of pain tolerance. We finally stopped to discuss the few, if any options and I decided to take my first ever Advil. The guys told me to stop being a sissy and take it. I knew they were right. We had over 15kms still to go and the only way I could do it was to down the anti-inflammatory painkiller. Wow, did that ever work! There was still pain, but noticeably less so, enough for us to continue on.
If I wasn't already a hinderance, 3/4's of the way down, I also realized the keys to the car was in the truck at the put-in! (only me!!) After another pow-wow, we decided to just finish the trip and deal with it at the end. Fortunately as we crossed Hwy 7, we saw other canoeist loading up and they ever so kindly agreed to drive Jim back to the truck! (I've always believed that paddlers are great people!) What luck! So the trip ended on a high note for our Black river adventure. However, that's where the good news ended. The pain medication was gradually wearing off and by the end of the trip, I was in agony again. There was no way Rob and I could continue on the Skootamatta river for the next 2 days. So we called it off and headed home after a nice meal at a local joint in Madoc.
We all whole-heartedly agreed that we had an amazing time. The Black river certainly did deliver when it came to heart-pumping pure adrenline runs. It challenged us all to another level and pushed us to the limits. It is guaranteed that we will be back for more, whether on the Black, or the other half dozen rivers in the area. It was totally worth coming here! Thanks guys for making all happen!
Update: The following day I went to ER. Sleep the previous night was torture. The news was not good - they confirmed the shoulder was dislocated, but I also fractured a bone above the head of the humerus. (probably was when it was violently ripped out at the odd angle) Worse than that, the ER doc thinks for sure I tore the rotator cuff, - just great! I'm going to see a shoulder specialist next Monday to confirm so I'm crossing my fingers. Unfortunately I'm now out for 4-6 weeks! Arrggghhh!
Jim and Ben perfectly lined up for this huge drop!
This is really frustrating and I'm just furious, just when things were looking up. Now I have 2 trips and a whitewater weekend that will probably go down the drain! What luck! After just getting over the stress fracture in my leg, now this, - what the heck?! I don't usually believe in superstition, but if what they say happens in threes, I'm not looking forward to it! (hmmm, maybe I should take up scrap-booking for the rest of the year? - nah, the scissor will probably kill me!) Anyone want to see a movie?!
PS. My brother's wife's water broke!!!!