Saturday, November 22, 2008


Against my better judgement I will write this post. It's personal but there are some lessons to be learned. Lessons like taking care of your SUP equipment because strange things can happen. Don't always trust people and what they tell you just because they think they know it all. Take care of your family because they are all that matter in the end. Like I stated in a past post. A blog or "the blog" was really for folks to share their personal life and all the cool fun stuff they do. It's really a kind of diary of your life. So what does this post have to do with SUP? Well it all started with an innocent paddle out in some mediocre waves on my new SUP board and my old carbon paddle. I ate shit and landed on the blade and it cut my lower leg to the bone. You know this story by now so I will fast forward. After I left the ER with a tendon stitched back on I was to return in 10 days to get the stitches out and I'm good to go. NOT!! Turns out the doc didn't notice that the real big tendon that runs along the ridge of my foot and up my leg was 100% severed. Gone. He didn't see it because it wasn't there. So yesterday was the day of the operation to re-connect it and by far the worst day of my life.....hands down. I'm not a religious man but if I'm wrong and there is a hell, I was there yesterday paying a visit. The details of my experience are deeply personal but since this is my diary I will air it out now. I have tried to tell my story to a few friends this morning and I can't seem to get it out. After being super pissed that my leg wasn't fixed right the first time I was now lying in the OP room three weeks later looking up at bright lights thinking to myself "this will soon be all over and I can go home". The doc will inject the juice and I will be off to la la land. OK, so I wake up in the recovery room sweating like a pig, my heart rate was over the top with lots of docs looking at me with strange eyes. Both my feet were still there so that was good. I did not feel right and I knew something was wrong. I felt no pain but I was as miserable as a human being can be. Painless yet physical and mental misery is a strange sensation that I have never felt before and I hope I never feel again. I felt so wrong that I wanted out of my body any way that I could. Turns out I was having some sort of bad reaction to the drugs that put me to sleep for the surgery. I didn't know what to do so I tried to suck it up and finally they let me go home. I get home and start throwing up all over the front yard and then into the back yard. I tried to lay down and the strange sensation of misery only got worse. I couldn't talk or walk and noises hurt my head like a hammer. I laid down on my bed and things got worse. All of a sudden the room went bright white like a big flash and my eyes started to roll back in my head. My body was going into convulsions and my heart was pounding out of my chest. I truly thought I was gone. My wife called 911 while my kids looked on. I managed to get one last look at them thinking it was the last. I told them in a soft voice to go in their room. Now there IS some humor in this because looking back up at my wife freaking out over the top of me while waiting for the ambulance all I could blurt out was "I'm sorry and I love you". Sorry!!?? Yup, sorry for all the pain and suffering I have put her through the past 20 years with my brushes with death. This time I truly thought it was the end for me. I was ready to go down. There is no way I can ever explain how bad that shit made me feel and what it was doing to my body. I just wanted it to go away. I needed the feeling to go away. I could not be in my own skin. Next thing I know I am being hauled out of my house by firemen and EMTs and into an ambulance. After getting to the hospital and getting injected with who knows what the feeling started to very slowly go away. Not much but a little. They got me back to somewhat of a reality at the ER and finally let me go home still feeling real real bad. I was now heading home for round two. I sat up all night as the drugs slowly started wearing off. I will never forget these past 24 hours in my life and I am happy to be alive. It is unbelievable what a bad drug trip administered by a doctor can do. I have been hurt every way possible in my life and have had dozens of operations but nothing has or ever will compare to this experience. Now I can get back to focusing on getting my tendon healed. I have an 8 inch cut up my leg with a major tendon stitched back together with wire stitches. I will be in a cast for over a month and will have to rehab for another couple of months. All this over a freaking paddle blade. Please be careful out there because it's so easy to get hurt and I don't want anyone to have to go through what I just did. I would not wish it on my worst enemy. Thanks for reading my story and I hope that in some way this post will help you think about what is most impotant in your life. It's not paddle boarding, that's for sure. Family first and everything else second. Which way hurts the most? I think I now know. OUT


John Ashley said...


Thanks for that story- you're right it's not all about surfing. I was totally engrossed by that piece and even called my wife over and read it to her.

I sincerely hope that your recovery goes well and have definitely taken your message to heart. I'm off to the auto parts store today and will re-cover all my blades.

Thanks again for sharing- that's the best blog piece I've read anywhere this year.

John Ashley

Jim Brewer said...

John-Thanks for your comment. I just might finally have to slow down a notch. Never thought I would say that. Take care.

srfnff said...


That's one helluva way to find out about an allergy you have to certain medications.

Like you said, life can change in an instant, and over the dumbest things too. And when it happens our priorities are either rearranged, or reaffirmed. It sounds like yours are in a pretty good place.

Three months off of SUP might seem harsh, but look at it this'll have so much more time to blog!

Keep up the good work, I always keep up with your blog 'cause you put out the good stuff. And my best wishes for a speedy and uneventful recovery.


ef said...

Holy cow, Jim, that's just too frightening for words. I feel for you. And for your wife and kids. A few years back, my girlfriend nearly died right in front of my eyes -- wedged between two submerged boulders, waves washing over her head -- and I believe in the aftermath it was more traumatic for me than for her. Everyone suffers in these situations. I wish you a speedy recovery.

Bob said...

That's right, family first...I've got the rest of my life to get where I'm going...

Glad you made it out okay.


Jim Brewer said...

Thanks for all the kind words. Ill be back. I might even drink a beer today. I know Im back in the groove when the beer cravings are back!! Football and a couple beers today. Sounds good and relaxing.

Andy said...

Jim, thanks the important perspective, and for sharing that harrowing experience. Best wishes for a complete and speedy recovery.

Andy Gere

Quickblade said...

Jim and Elizabeth Terrell are praying for an incredible recovery.
Your story has not left our hearts and I am sick everytime I think of it. Your blog is the best.
Please know we are thinking of you. Family is everything. EVERYTHING.
Elizabeth Terrell, Quickblade Inc.

Jim Brewer said...

Thanks Elizabeth.

Conditioning Specialists said...

Jim - I'm just glad your OK. Let me know what I can do to help. I'll shoot you an email later today. Keep your head up!