June 11, 2007

I wrote the following for my “Storm Front” article for “Fighting Spirit” Magazine, back in January, and it is being reproduced with permission from Uncooked Media Ltd.

Happy New Year everyone, I hope everyone had a wonderful holiday season. I had a wonderful time over the holidays but from what a lot of people tell me I was very lucky to have. If you haven’t heard by now I wrestled Christian in a match in Toronto December 3rd and got hurt. I didn’t realize I got hurt till nearly a week afterwards (I only thought I got stiffed) but as it turns out the injury was fairly serious and from what I gather now quite dangerous.

Early in the match I took a very stiff clothesline in the throat. It hurt like hell but you get stiffed all the time in wrestling so I just sucked it up and finished the match. By the time I left the building I was having difficult swallowing and my voice was getting worse and worse. Christian, Edge (he was off that weekend and in town), and I went out for dinner after the show but by this time I was unable to eat and barely able to talk. Christian offered to take me to the hospital to get checked out, but I figured I just bruised my windpipe or larynx and didn’t want to spend all night in the hospital waiting room.

The next day I flew home and had completely lost my voice. I could barely swallow but managed to get some food down. When I landed in Calgary I was right back on the road, as I promised my father in-law that I would help him with some construction up at the in-laws cabin. I didn’t get home till late on Tuesday and while feeling somewhat better was still in a fair bit of pain. It was another 2 days before I finally gave in and went to the doctor and it turns out I broke a bone in my throat, or rather Christian broke it for me.

There is a small Hyoid bone in your throat, which supports your tongue and is apparently almost never broken. Neither the radiologist nor my Doctor had ever heard of anyone breaking his or her Hyoid bone before. My doctor had to even look it up in his book of fractures to find out what to do about it; the only problem was it wasn’t even listed as a thing you can possibly fracture. My Doctor had to search on the medical Internet to find it.

From what I could tell from what he told me and what I found out myself with research is that most people with a fractured Hyoid bone are dead, which I guess is why they don’t bother listing treatment options, when your dead you don’t need treatment, do you? I also received numerous emails from people stating how lucky I was to be alive as from what they understand (and some of these people claim to be in the medical profession) most people who fracture their Hyoid bone die.

So with this seeming like such a serious injury I had to go see a specialist, who had a lot more knowledge about injuries like mine and gave me a much better understanding of what actually happened and how serious it was. It is true that most people with fracture Hyoids bones are dead but it isn’t really a fatal injury. The misunderstand lies in the fact that if you want to kill someone with a throat strike or by strangulation the hyoid bone will get broken in the process, so most of the times if you have a broken hyoid you are dead. The Doctor went on to say that he sees this injury occasionally mostly with hockey player who has taken a hockey puck in the throat. That gives you some kind of an idea of how hard Christian hit me. So the injury, while pretty serious, was not as lethal as originally suspected, but would take at least 6 – 8 weeks to heel and could have been much worse had the bone dislodged.

So with this being so serious I guess it raises the question, am I mad at Christian for this? The answer is no. This is a contact business and stuff happens. Only if a guy has a track record for carelessness or if he doesn’t show concern and check up on you afterwards is there or should there be heat over an injury. There is a pretty specific, unwritten; “injury protocol” to follow and Christian followed it to the letter.

If someone gets hurt in a match an apology is expected and required immediately after the match. You are also expected to offer any help and assistance you can after the match (taking them to the hospital, packing up or carrying their gear if need be, etc.). If no further assistance is required you generally apologize again when leaving the building or whenever you part ways for the evening. If the injury was at all serious you are also expected to call them and check up on them after the fact to make sure they are doing well. Other than that there isn’t much you can do, accidents happen and as long as you make an effort to show you are sorry and help out as much as you can, that’s all you can do.

I remember when I hurt my back working Mark Henry on RAW several years ago a lot of people expected me to be hot at him for it. Mark had me up in a bear hug and ran me into the turnbuckle. At the time the office was encouraging Mark to be intense and he got carried away and drove me into the turnbuckle way too high and a bit too hard. I was having lower back problems to begin with and this was the straw that broke the camels back so to speak and after the match I couldn’t walk and had to leave the building on crutches.

Mark could not have felt worse and went above and beyond to make it up to me. He must have apologized 15 – 20 times and offered to carry both me and my luggage out to the car after the show. Knowing Mark he would have been willing and able to carried my car to me if I asked him to. The next day I got a phone call at home from Mark and I know for a fact he didn’t even have my number, so he had to track it down to make the call. Mark was also the first person to ask how I was when I got back on the road and he even offered to fly my to Texas to see his doctor if I wanted. When I guy goes this far out of his way and feels that bad how can you possibly be mad?

Christian didn’t go to the lengths Mark Henry did, but no one knew how serious this injury was until it wasn’t that serious anymore. I think if any of us had a clue Christian would have dragged me to the Hospital and sat with me there all night without complaint. Actually that might have been fun; he would have felt guilty enough I could have ribbed him and made him read to me. Christian used to always rib me on the road about the amount that I read, so making him read to me would have been priceless.

Till next month, watch those Clotheslines!
Lance Storm