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Broken Clavicle

My Sophomore year of High school while playing football against Blue Springs High School we found ourselves on our own 1 yard line desperately needing some yardage. Although we were winning there was a concern they could regain the ball or score a safety if they got to our QB. Coach called for a gutsy move, a quarterback sneak. As the center it was imperative that I made a hole so that we could get the ball a few yards out. Luckily the nose guard was a little gun shy from me laying him out most of the game so I felt confident we could make this happen.

We all kneeled down, the count began and I snapped the ball. The defense rushed in from the sides assuming we were going back for a pass or to hand off to the RB and with the help of the guards we punched a huge hole for our QB to run through. This unexpected success was followed up by the tight end blocking and before we knew it we were all hustling down the field in their wake. Being a lineman I wasn't able to keep up but we all ran none the less (coach would of insisted).

Around centerfield I found myself at least 10 yard behind the action but I could sense both teams running as fast as they could towards the ball. It was at this point I noticed in my peripheral vision a Blue Springs player approaching from the rear right side of me and before I could react he collided and I teetered over like an unstable Weeble Wobble. I landed at an odd angle on my left side and felt my arm giveaway underneath the pads.

Moments later I popped back up and the full effect of the hit was felt with a sharp pain coursing through my left side. I saw most of my team celebrating in the end zone while couple of my linemen friends helped me off the field. As I reached the sideline my coach who had been following the ball turned to me and excitedly slammed my shoulder pads yelling, "Nice job Hickman!" Apparently he had missed what happened to me but the grimace on my face made it apparent something was wrong.

My parents never went to my sporting events so I sat on the sideline till the end of the game (we won at least) when my grandma arrived to pick me up. I approached the car with coach and some friends in tow who all explained what happened to me. She drove me home and after some parental triage they agreed I needed to get an x-ray. The results from the ER were as expected, I had fractured my clavicle and would need surgery to repair it; my football season was over.

They gave me a brace and a few weeks later I had the surgery with a 6-8 weeks recover time. I continued to attend practices and did what I could with my one good arm attending physical therapy when I could get a ride. Sleeping in my bed was quite painful so I opted for the lazy boy that allowed me to remain mostly upright. The brace I was using was just a Velcro strap and I hated keeping my arm in one place for so long while sleeping so I would remove the strap and pop my arm out of place trying to sleep with my arm above my head. This would only work for short periods of time before the awkwardness and pain woke me up again and I would pop it back into the correct spot before dosing off again.

The recovery time ate into Wrestling too and I lost a lot of muscle mass making sports a challenge after that. Although my arm is healed back up now I still feel uncomfortable whenever I carry heavy items on my left side. Aside from the cool scar I can also feel the change in the weather when it begins to get cold. As luck would have it that was the only bone I ever broke (to date) but my dislike of Blue Springs was cemented that day.


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