Monday, March 7, 2011

A series of unfortunate events...

It all started with the ski day, Saturday, Feb. 26, 2011...

It was bound to be a near perfect day at Snowbird. More than 2 feet of new snow and still snowing. Tayler, Jacob, Andrea, Morgan, Tanner, Keaton, McKay and myself were anxious to get skiing after a long (due to traffic) drive up the canyon. Two runs in I crashed while knee deep in powder. Unfortunately, my bindings didn't release and I went down twisting, injuring my left knee and ankle. Still on my feet, head in the snow, butt in the air, all I could say was, "ow-ie, ow-ie, ow-ie". As I got myself settled in the snow I could tell I needed help and that I would not be able to get up and ski down. Andrea and the kids were ahead of me, but luckily a skier saw me go down and asked if I needed help. He caught up with Andrea and called for help. I was in a significant amount of pain so practiced my "birthing breathing" which helped. In my nose, out my mouth, I waited for help to arrive. Within minutes the shaking started, not because I was cold, but because I was going into shock. I kept concentrating on breathing.

About 10 min. passed before ski patrol arrived. They put my leg in a splint and me onto a sled. Unfortunately, the only way to help was down the mountain. It was a miserable ride. Only the soft powder spots gave me relief from the pain in my leg. After what seemed like an eternity we arrived at the base where helpers were ready to escort me via a gurney to the clinic.

Ah, the clinic. Upon arrival I had to tell my story and my demographics numerous times before finally getting into X-ray to see if I was broken. Unfortunately, I didn't get any meds before the X-ray tech started moving my leg for best results. PAIN!!! The x-rays showed a fracture in my left fibula near my ankle. My fantastic nurse, Matu, got an IV started and quickly administered morphine to ease the pain. Unfortunately my ski boot was still on and every time I thought of getting my foot out of the boot shock symptoms started coming back. Blood pressure rising, heart rate rising, shaking, etc. Matu assured me they could get it off pain free and since he was my new best friend (thanks to the effects of the morphine) I believed him. And they did!

More X-rays of both knee and ankle and the clinic staff could tell I needed to see an orthopedist for a more thorough exam and to determine if surgery was necessary. Fortunately I know one! I called Jenny and she called Gordon. He would see me later today. So, after 4 hours in the Snowbird Clinic, I left bandaged up and mostly pain free.

Unfortunately, Gordon couldn't look at the X-rays at his home. Jenny took me there that evening to see him. He said I could come to his office first thing on Monday to determine what to do.

Oh, I have three teenagers. What to do? Lexie was at home in Ely and somehow they boys needed to get home for school. After Monday's appointment Dr. Kimball determined that I needed surgery to patch me back together. Mike offered to drive Tayler and Jacob back to Ely and my good friend, Chris, offered to sleep at the house and fix dinner for the kids. Thankful. That's how I felt. So many coming to my aid. Everything was working out. I had my own nurse, Andrea, to take care of me.

Surgery was quickly scheduled for Tuesday, March 1st. After great efforts by my doctors staff my insurance company finally approved all aspects of the surgery. UGH! I really didn't need that stress on top of everything, but I am glad it all worked out. Surgery went well. I now have "hardware" in my leg, but my left knee was not as bad as it could have been. Yah!

So, now I am back home, on crutches and working on recovering. Unfortunately, I have to be off my left leg for the next 4 weeks. It's going to be a long March. Hopefully "in like a lion, out like a lamb" will apply.

I wouldn't wish this on anyone. It's a cramp in my style. I prefer to be the helper not the one needing help. It is physically and emotionally exhausting to do simple things like change my clothes, shower, brush my teeth or get something to eat, etc. My sisters, Andrea and Jenny, helped me all week while I was in Utah and my kids have been great the last few days to assist their crippled mom. Thanks to all! Words of encouragement from many friends and family have lifted my spirits. It is particularly comforting to know that there are many of you who have had similar injuries and have fully recovered. You are back to biking, hiking, skiing and running, so I know I will. Fortunately, I have your love, prayers and support. Thanks to all.

Pictures soon...

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