Jim Bould, PT, DPT, ASTYM, SFMA, FDN
Let me start this story by saying that I have had more injuries than most people. Playing ten years of football, BMX racing/jumping, skateboarding and thirteen years of rugby will lead to a variety of injuries. I have broken every one of my fingers, at least once. I have dislocated both shoulders, fractured both patella, nose x3 (at least), I have hardware in both ankles and below the left knee. I have had more than three diagnosed concussions, fractured both wrists, bones in both feet and my back. I have had more than fifty staples and 300 stitches. To top it off, I have spent more than four years of my life on crutches or a scooter. And…I wouldn’t change any of it. Each injury and experience gives me a unique perspective in order to relate to my patients. Many of these injuries landed me in physical therapy which helps me better appreciate what my patients are feeling. Despite all of these injuries, there is one injury that cemented my drive to become a physical therapist….
It was a cold and rainy day in Melbourne, Australia during 2004. I was playing rugby for the Bulldogs and about halfway through the game I was tackled from behind. I heard a loud pop from the backside of my left leg and immediately had trouble walking. I tried to play through the pain, but ultimately had to sit out the rest of the game. By the time the game was over, my leg was a dark blue almost black. The AT/PT on staff helped me to the hospital. It turned out I had a 20cm/4.5cm/6.5cm tear in the hamstring and would more than likely require surgery to repair. Now, keep in mind, I was 20 years old living on the other side of the planet, away from my family and only my teammates there for support….yeah, I was a little scared. All I could think was that my career and all these wonderful opportunities were finished. I thought that I would never be able to play rugby again, walk normal, and I didn’t want surgery if I could help it. I was told I really couldn’t make things that much worse so, I opted for PT, instead of surgery, in hopes that my injury would get better. After a couple of days, my leg was feeling a bit better. After several months of PT and training, I was back playing on the pitch and was able to play one more game before returning home to North Carolina. I was so incredibly thankful for those who were there to help, encourage and lift me up when I feeling down and out. This was the first of many such experiences.
Like a lot of people, my initial career intensions were to pursue medical school and become a doctor. But, after spending time shadowing physicians, going through the PT experience as a patient, and making the connections and friendships I still have today; I decided to become a physical therapist. Today, I have been practicing for over ten years, the last two years with Cora. I love being a PT and continuously look forward to being a better clinician, a better person, and being able to help those scared, worried or wondering how they are ever going to recover. Because…..refer back to the first paragraph….it can be done!