Athletic development specialists dedicated to the art and science of excellence in movement

Kara's World Championship: Part III

Part I

Part II

The next morning, Friday, Kara was totally exhausted and feeling horrible as one would expect.  She got through a newspaper interview in a haze with the reporter at her bedside feeding her Jamba Juice between questions.   That is going to be one heck of a picture!   I told her the U of A football players won’t feel so tough after seeing her like that!  After the interview it was straight to the primary care doctor.

While Kara’s Dad went to the doctor with her I stopped by Dr. Amy Thomas’s office.   She is an eye doctor and a gem I found a couple years ago who had been working with Kara on improving her vision.   I noticed Kara had really been struggling that morning.   She was in full on protective mode, not moving her head and had less vision than normal.   Dr. Thomas gave me some exercises Kara could work on in bed. I arrived back to her house to find the primary care doctor had sent her to the ER. In the ER Kara received all new scans and images up to US standards.   She was released that evening and given pain medication.

Saturday, the 17th  I walked into Kara’s room around noon ready to get to work on some basic eye, breathing, neck exercises.   I had spent the morning coaching Better Than Ever, the running group at the Cancer Center and took a time out to dive at the pool.   When I walked in Kara looked horrible and was suffering horrible reactions from the pain medication.   The plan was immediately thrown in the trash can, literally as I rushed it to her bedside in case she threw up.   Food was out of the question at the point and the pressure of ice seemed too much for her shoulder.   This was rock bottom!   

I kept her company until her family came and went home feeling pretty defeated.   While I was gone her sisters gave her the first bath she had since the accident and the toxic combination of medications exited her system.   In the evening Allan and I walked in to an entire new Kara that looked and sounded so much better (we weren’t there with her view second half of the U of A football mess though!).

The 18th...Kara was starving and while her family attended a Baptism I kept her company and kept the food coming.   She had lost over 10 pounds since the accident and I had no problem abandoning the exercises for food. She was also able to use ice for the first time. A physical therapist friend had provided a homemade ice pack recipe that worked very well for her.  We were also able to really talk about the accident for the first time.   All of these are important things in the coaching role even if they are not part of any formal manual or menu of services.

On Monday, Kara finally received an orthopedic consult.   One of the best shoulder specialist in Tucson is Dr. Joel Thompson with Southwest Shoulder, Elbow, &  Hand.   Dr. Thompson is a cyclist himself and was in a crash a couple years ago where he broke his collar bone and scapula.   Who better to treat Kara!   He graciously gave up his lunch time to see her.   

In the waiting room Kara's arm started to burn and spasm. She really wanted ice. I text messaged another Pike athlete Christina, the orthopedic tech in the operating room, for ice if she was in a position to bring it over. Lo and behold and 10 minutes later Christina burst into the exam room with the ice to the surprise of Dr. Thompson.   It helps to have athletes in high places!   The good news was while the scapula was shattered and the collar bone was broken no surgery is needed. Kara just has to be very careful for the next 2 weeks.

We look forward to keeping everyone updated on Kara’s progress and helping her toward her goal of the Paralympic Games in 2012!   



What a courageous lady. If she is truly committed to 2012, there is no doubt in my mind that she will succeed. Best wishes Kara on a full recovery.

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