It is now Sunday, February 4th – Super Bowl Sunday. It has been a week and a day since I skied at Bristol Mountain – a nice family oriented slope less than an hour from here. However, I thought it might be interesting to take the term ‘breaking in new skis’ literally – after a ski mishap, I crashed and burned about halfway down Dipper, an intermediate slope. As I was falling, I have several distinct memories – one, as I looked down, I saw the tail of my right ski out in front of me. Two, I distinctly felt the hip joint pop out, then pop back in. And three, and most significant, I heard and felt a crack in my thigh.
As I fell, I hit my head on the slope, which was a bit icy under some fresh flakes. Hear my strong endorsement for helmets – this could have been much worse had I not been wearing one! They are NOT geeky, dorky, or uncool – as I’ll explain later, it may well have contributed to saving my life! Nevertheless, soapbox aside, I landed in a fetal position on my left side – as my wife skied up she helped lay my right leg on top of the lower left leg, and I lay there for a bit. If you were to ask me, I’d have said it took several hours for the Ski Patrol to show up – but Mrs Warlock assured me it was only about 5-7 minutes. The first two guys there were great – as were the others who showed up, but I mostly talked with the first two. They kept me calm, tied my legs together to keep them from sliding, and called in for a sled, a doctor, and an ambulance to be ready to take me in, since they knew right off this wasn’t a normal bump or sprain.
I spent very little time in the First Aid Station – the wagon came and took me off to the hospital within 10-15 minutes. Along the way, I heard a call for a woman who had hit her head on a brick wall while sledding and was having a hard time breathing. As I lay in the Emergency Department later, I heard she didn’t make it – furthering my belief in helmets. My heart goes out to her family – how seemingly innocent to find a hill to sled down, only to lose one’s life. The pure joy of sliding down a hill rudely interrupted – how dorky are helmets now?
At the hospital, radiology confirmed a hip fracture – a rare occurence of an in-line fracture of the trochanter (the square looking object across from the ball joint). The good news was that the bones remained in alignment, which led to the “I’m not sure if its good or bad news” that the repair of the fracture is not suitable for surgery. Instead, I am to (try) to keep all weight off this leg for 4-6 weeks. As I have quickly discovered, this may be easy for the surgeon to say, but almost impossible to do. My hands are killing me from the full weight of my body being carried on my crutches. My right thigh muscles are always cramped from trying to hold up the leg to keep from putting weight on it.
One week down – five more? This will not be fun…not only are we finally getting some good snow, I can now not even go out and do anything in it. Worse, the idea of trying to walk with crutches on it causes frightening visions of them flying into the air with me right behind.
So sorry – no hiking, skiing or snowshoeing reports for a while – just reading, sitting, and staring. I can’t wait to do what the Winter Warlock did best – put one foot in front of the other, and soon I’ll be walking across the floor.