My Arm Injury
In December of 2001 I was at the La Hacienda Rehabilitation Center in Hunt, Texas. This happened because after the towers were hit, (besides all the other stuff going on at the time internally with Megadeth) I numbed out, like most of us did. After five years of being sober, I started using pain medication. I lost control and went out to Texas to get cleaned up. While I was sobering up in Texas, on January 7th, 2002, I was sitting up in a chair at the hospital, and I fell asleep with my arm over the back of a chair I was in.
This cut off the circulation to the radial ulnar nerve, around the humerus, on the inside of my left bicep, compressing it. This is called Saturday Night Palsy. Many claim that I hurt my arm “shooting up”. People do not inject drugs in the inside of their arm above the elbow, into the bicep, so the shooting up bit is false.
The Doctor in Texas said that I was probably not going to be able to use my arm any more than 80%, “if I was lucky”. And he also said I “would probably not play again”.
This was not acceptable to me. So I went back from Texas to Scottsdale, Arizona, because I wanted to go to see my Doctor, Raj Singh, about my arm. After I got evaluated I returned to Texas to finish my treatment and started off on what took four months of grueling physical therapy at the Spire Institute in Scottsdale with Nathan Koch, acupuncture with Doctor Vance Inouye, chiropractic adjustments from Doctor William Tikey – the founder of Spire Institute, weight training for over a year, and loads of prayers.
Dr. Singh pronounced that I had completely recovered and that my arm was 100% healed after that time. Following this good news I started playing again and located a guitar teacher to help my re-learn my craft named Ric Flauding.
If there could possibly be any better news than this, it was that prior to injuring my arm, I had started to develop damage to my left hand from playing every night for two hours anyway, specifically in the little finger. The nerve injury, the time off from playing, the rehab (both La Ha and the physical therapy), and learning to play again has made me play much better.
I hope to have something for you to listen to soon, so that you can judge for yourself.
Dave Mustaine, Megadeth