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  • Writer's pictureDrew Dotson

Oh my cornhole

I sustained an injury at the gym in 2009. I wasn’t doing anything crazy — just changing into workout attire. As I lowered my arm from above my head, I heard a snap, followed by intense pain in my collarbone region.


“Weird,” I thought.


After cautiously standing in the locker room for a minute or so, I tried to move my arm. Success! So, I went about my business as though nothing was amiss.


When I got in the car later that day, I reached up to adjust my rearview mirror. I let out an involuntary yelp, which confirmed something was indeed wrong with my collarbone. I looked up the nearest urgent care and headed straight there.


“Did I break my collarbone changing shirts?” I wondered.


The staff at urgent care took x-rays and confirmed they were negative.


“Just use your arm like normal,” the doctor assured.


The pain only intensified the following day. I noticed a protrusion where my collarbone and sternum joined, just below my neck. My right arm felt like it was dangling.


Curious for another opinion, I headed into my coworker’s office.


“Does my right arm look longer than my left arm?”


“Uh, yeah. By about two inches.” He continued typing away at his keyboard.

TWO INCHES?!


I returned to my desk and asked Google what to do. An orthopedist seemed like my best bet, and, in an American-healthcare-system miracle, a doctor could see me the next day.

 

“This seems like a subluxation of the sternoclavicular joint,” the doctor announced as he finished his examination.


In layperson terms, that translates to “Yeah, your collarbone’s not where it’s supposed to be.”


“This is a very uncommon injury,” he added. “You’re not a pitcher, are you?”


No, but I can get down on a pitcher of margaritas.


He recommended anti-inflammatory medication, prescribed some pain patches, and suggested I wear a sling for the next six weeks. Everyone loves an adult in a sling.


“I can’t even think of the last time I threw something,” I thought as I got in my car after the appointment. Then it hit me.


The day before the Snap Heard ‘Round the Locker Room, I’d been playing cornhole. Very aggressively. My underhand tosses were comically high and embarrassingly short of the board, so I decided to throw overhand.


Thus my cornhole injury — or, as I like to say, “When I hurt my cornhole.”


The pain persisted beyond six weeks, so I got occasional cortisone injections until it stopped bothering me as much. Random movements, like opening jars or loading laundry in a stacked dryer, continued to nag at me, but for the most part I just knew when rain was in the forecast.

 

My cornhole flared up again over the last several months. My best guess is that my new respiratory therapy vest — which is much more intense than the previous one — jostled my cornhole loose.


Once it became impossible to sleep comfortably, I went back to the doctor. He recommended another cortisone injection, which I got a few weeks ago.


I hope it does the trick.


I want my cornhole at its fullest potential.

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