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5 Major Surgeries in 7 Years!

It all started in the spring of 2013. I was having another great day on Cypress Mountain. I strapped in at the top of Eagle Chair and was heading to the first hit, hopped to switch stance to do a little "cab" trick and caught an edge. I landed weird and all my weight rolled on my shoulder and my collar bone broke. I could feel it under my coat, so off to the Hospital I go. Driving home was kinda tricky, but I got there.

I initially broke my right collar bone when I was twelve..... I'll never forget the daily strap tightening. Back then, they put a strap on your body to pull your shoulders back to reset the collar bone to it's correct position. Every morning the strap was tightened..... And yep, it totally sucked!

Luckily I was able to see Dr. Lemaire right away and she gave me the option of leaving it, or reattaching it with a plate and 7 screws. Because it was the second time and my profession has me on my hands a lot...... I chose the surgery..... Dr. Lemaire agreed.

The recovery from this surgery was very mellow, but I learned a huge lesson about opiates!


The pill bottle said 1-2 oxycodone every 4 hours for pain. So every 4 hours I would take two throughout the first day.

By day two I was so nauseous, that I vomitted, and was starting to lose my breath.

I learned a big lesson there, and stopped them immediately!

It's really amazing that they give oxycodone to children as well..... Wow


Generally after a major surgery you stay pretty chill for the first 6 weeks. Those weeks went by quite easily and at 6 weeks I was back in a handstand...... And it felt really good.


Charged up from getting through this set back, I felt it was time to be more proactive with my knee pain.

Dr. Tarazi had me in for MRI's on both knees..... The results didn't surprise me!

Both knees had significant tears in them.

I was given the same advice...... Leave them and deal with the pain, or address the pain by surgery. He also said that there will always be nerve pain in the knees due to tears and scar tissue, but the acute pain can be addressed by the arthroscopic surgery.

So I opted to get my knees taken care of over the next two years!


The left knee was more damaged, so in 2014 I took care of that! I was amazed that the surgery was done with lasers and 3 tiny holes in the knee.

6 weeks later I was back to my full teaching schedule and working on my range of motion.

It really is incredible how my yoga practice allowed me to return so quickly. The yin classes speeded up the healing dramatically. When you sit at your "edge" for long periods of time.

Your "edge" changes to knew depths!

Having the left knee recover so well..... I addressed the right knee in 2015.

This recovery was a walk in the park, as the right tear was minimal compared to the left, and I had already gone through that.


Next on the menu was my left hip. In '97 I broke my left femur on a tree, on Whistler Mountain. "Rudy" Mike Nyhuis and I were in "V.D.Trees" having an incredible powder day!

This was my favourite run on Whistler when it snows. There's a section that has two big rollers, followed by a hard right turn, and a chute down a cliff line to tight trees. The first roller we would do a trick, and the second roller, was a setup for the chute. This day we some how approached the section deeper that usual. So I come bombing at the second roller, thinking it's the first, and I'm in the air when I realized it was too late. Hit the tree or off the cliff.....

I really don't know how I survived that one but I got lucky! Rudy helped me get my boot out of my binding and straightened my leg before getting help..... Crazy times!!

The evacuation by Helicopter was tricky. My leg was too long and they had to bend my foot back to fit me in the Heli! That kinda sucked.


Dr. Vaisler did the femur surgery. He said that I should get the bar removed from inside the femur before the 10 year mark. At 9 years I had an X-ray, and they said that too much bone had grown over the end of the femur, so the removal was not a good idea.


The impact of that collision did a lot to my left knee, but mostly my hip. Over the years the joint had worn down so much that my hip was bone on bone, and the muscles around my hip joint were seizing up!

All the yoga I was doing allowed my to keep up a strong practice, but when the hip joint wears right down, you have to address it.

My friend had his hip replaced by an amazing surgeon doing a new "Superpath" technique.

So I made an appointment with Dr. Kostamo. He had a great demeanour and I felt really comfortable choosing him as my surgeon. He said that because of the bar still in my femur, he would have to do a double surgery. He would first take out the bar and the screws near my knee.... Then he would do the "Superpath" procedure.

The surgery was kinda funny as I got spinal freezing and the Anesthesiologist asked me if I wanted, "The Magic Juice"..... I said, "Do I need it?.... He said, "No".... So I didn't bother.


So Dr. Kostamo is taking the bar out and I can hear everything..... They were talking about their kids Birthday Party, and all of a sudden he said, "O.k. let's do the hip replacement".....

I said, "Should I be hearing you guys?"

They laughed.... And I said, "I'll have The Magic Juice" for the replacement.


So I wake up from recovery, and they got me to get up and walk immediately!

I thought that was incredible, and a few hours later, after walking and doing a few stairs, I was going home.


The most humbling part of the recovery was the walker and elevated toilet seat.... Hahaha