After spending the last nine months practicing with the Everett Explosion, I got my first opportunity to suit up for a professional basketball game last Friday at the Tacoma Dome. I didn’t get an opportunity to play, but I was looking forward to our next game. Unfortunately, in practice on Monday, I caught an elbow to the face. It happened to land right on a nerve ending and caused the right side of my face to go numb. Since I couldn’t feel how bad it was, I kept playing, and later in practice I managed to catch a second elbow on the same side of the face. At this point I knew I was done for the night, but my face was still pretty numb, so I couldn’t tell if it was anything serious.
As I was getting ready to leave, a teammate noticed that my face was starting to swell up, and he encouraged me to get it checked out right away. So I headed to the emergency room at Evergreen Hospital. After a couple hours I finally got to see a doctor. Ironically, it was the same doctor that I saw last year after taking an elbow to the throat. We had a good laugh, and he ordered a CAT scan. After a couple more hours we got the results from the CAT scan, and it turned out that I have multiple fractures on the right side of my face, there is a small chance that I might have permanent nerve damage, and I am supposed to see a plastic surgeon in two weeks.
Though this type of an injury doesn’t require me to end my basketball career, it has made me revisit my priorities. I have a beautiful wife, a great job as a Program Manager at Microsoft, and an exciting new business venture with COMC.com. So I promised Dr. Webster that the next time I saw him it wouldn’t be for a basketball injury.
I have no hard feelings and no regrets. I gave the professional basketball thing a shot, but after my third trip to the ER in three years due to a head injury from playing competitive basketball, it is time to hang up my competitive basketball shoes. With the extra time I hope to spend more time with my wife, stay on top of work responsibilities, and help COMC.com become a success.