Marc Bartley's Injury In His Own Words

Create: 09/13/2007 - 08:30
Marc Bartley talks about his injury at the Cincinnati Pro-Am, his training leading up to it, and the resulting surgery.

...I went into the meet all fucked up but who hasn't. I thought my ass/hammy situation would be the first to go but the knee/quad had been bothering me for 8 months since right before the tricep baffoon incident thing. Basically, the entire left side was reaching gereatric levels. The squat had been going pretty good the entire cycle. The knee really acted up mostly on the bench so it stayed wrapped up most of the year. I still hit lots of PRs on the squat and bench most of the cycle so I was optimistic going into the meet. The deadlift was sorry up until the last couple of weeks leading to the meet so I really thought I would squat and bench good,as usual and be lucky to pull 600 at the meet with the broke down ass. I had so much ART, cold laser and massage work , I think I paid for a nice car at the local jackass car lot.Still, I continued on like the good little powerlifter that I am. Going into the meet, I had reached a decision that this would be my last meet for awhile regardless as I wanted to focus on my gym and internet business and basically get heathly again(sorry bear fans) before I stepped back into the ring. Little did I know this was in the man upstair's planbook already. It would have been nice to know this upfront, but fuck maybe I did know already somehow. I felt weird going in to the meet. I knew my knee/quad was about 90% or slighty better. ...I took 1135 first.Barry took me the same depth as everyone else and it came up good but no love from anyone(3 reds)usually I get at least one damn light!I had decided no matter what I was only doing one more attempt whether I got it or not so I went straight to what I wanted 1205.Little did I know it really was the end for quite some time. The strange part was right before I was called up, I thought fuck this, I don't want to do it. Pack it up and try later but the little bastard in my head said, "Dude, come on, it's the last time for awhile anyways." Alright, little devil bastard in my head, let's GO! I picked the weight up nice and solid and proceeded. About 6 inches down, I feel something in my rear delt where the bar is pop and roll. I think okay everthing else is good so I rolled on. I don't know if I changed or shifted to the quad or not, the tape doesn't really show anything wrong but right at depth, I feel and hear what sounded like a tshirt or piece of paper being torn kinda like the Hulk would do when he ripped his shirt off I suppose. Then, I am flying through the air as the force of the bar has smashed me like spring and shot me out of a cannon like the circus. I know I am fucked and scream like a little girl as I wait for the wave of pain to come. It doesn't so I have just cried Wolf I suppose. Everyone tells me to stay put but I want to get up. Lots of great people come to my aid-thanks all you guys who helped out. They flip me over and take me to the back. The meet resumes and I see everyone moving a bench so they can warmup for the meet. Nobody will let me move and they cut the gear off. I am in my girl's softball shorts because they are great for getting your gear on quickly and not causing the gear to bind up. The ambulance is on the way, my first trip to tell the truth and hopefully my last,probablly not though. The ride is rough as a rookie is driving,,my luck. They radio a bodybuilding accident in to the hospital, I yell"Powerlifting damn it!" The average joe has no clue and all the hospitals don't want me so we just show up at one of them and you can see they are all pissed about it. The strange thing is that the ER Doc knows who I am and what powerlifting is-very strange but encouraging for sure. They take a cat scan but it is inconclusive because of all the swelling,blood and fluid. This is 6 hours later and they ask me if I want to wait for the orthopedist on call. I say no, get a brace that for sure will cost me a 1000 bucks and hobble out of the hospital in my girl's softball shorts and tshirt-nice look. I get my last did I know real shower for a month at the hotel,pack up and head home. The only way I can ride is with a ice pack under the leg brace. 10 hours later we get home and my quad is bigger then the ice pack. I look like a frankenstein experiment where they have attached another quad to my quad. I can't work or train anyone so I have to stay at the house on the couch with my leg propped up. I can't see the doc till wed but the news isn't good. He props my leg up over his knee and tells me to do a leg extension. I tell my leg to do it and nothing happens. The doc says move it but I can't. This is the first time I really get nervous. He tells me it the quad tendon and will need surgery. Great.I knew this already but he wants a MRI to look around for collateral damage. This is most uncomfrotable and takes 45 minutes being stuck under what looks kinda like a George Foreman grill or giant coffe make that hums, rattles and sounds like a jet taking off. This too is inconclusive as there is still too much fluid in the quad, great a grand wasted for sure. Surgery is set for a week and half off. I bitch and they move it up 5 days because I can't stand sleepinng the couch anymore. I get there, it's gloomy, I am in a wheelchair and I already know the outcome sort of. They wheel me back earlier then expected probablly because the doc is pissed he has a 4 o'clock surgery instead of playing golf. They knock me out in the OR this time.It is creepy being in there sober. I wake and it all done. I am ready to go home but they tell me they lost my airway during surgery and want to keep me overnight. I find out the quad tendon was shredded and the lateral quad was tore off as well. He said it was a mess in there but that he got a good sew through several layers and the fascia repair was good. He tells the old lady that she has to tell me to stop powerlifting. She says "You Tell Him!" The doc leaves and later changes his tune and tells her it will be a year before I can compete again. I stay the night with my wonderful Demeral pump.I can only press the button every ten minutes but I press it probablly every 5 minutes. I am a dope fiend. One beep, you get dope. Two beeps, it's too early, please try again later! ...About 8 days after the surgery, I get the courage to look under the splint.I peek at it and see the staples about half way up my thigh. It will be a beautiful reminder for the rest of my life for not listening to myself but shit I am a Powerlifter. We don't listen to anyone anyhow about anything anyway.


Submitted by AndyP (not verified) on
i feel for marc.i tore both my quad tendons back in march and as of this writting i am schedualed to have them redone(1 at a time)because the first operations did not take.

Submitted by MattDunkin (not verified) on
Best wishes for a speedy recovery,Marc.Keep your head up,bro.

Submitted by Michael (not verified) on
Marc, best wishes for a fast recovery. I could really sympathize with the negative attitude that some docs have for lifters. Back in the '80's, I suffered a pretty big pec tear on the right side, and the attitude you get from some of the docs really adds to the problem. I got a lecture on how I did this to myself, and how it was an injury that didn't have to happen. I got asked about 50 times if I was on 'roids, too, which made me as irritable as a pit bull after it's been kicked in the nuts. This whole time, I've got this enormous bruise snaking it's way down my side and down the inside of my arm, and all they could think to do was lecture me.

Submitted by Herb K (not verified) on
Marc Keep the funnies comin'... all this shit heals. My list.. compound fracture of right ankle - I'm still gonna lift 3 back surgeries - hell yes, I lift... It's what I do Right shoulder - how long before I bench..DR. "you can't" me "yeah right" we never listen, we heal pretty well...mostly all the time. and we lift.... its what we do. take care & get well.