Posts Tagged With: skiing

Some Good News…

For the last three days, as I’ve done my best to take it easy and keep weight off my leg with the fractured hip, the hip itself has started feeling a bit better. What has disturbed me is that there is a region from my mid-thigh to my calf that actually hurts more each day. When I wake up after even the briefest of rests, and try to bend the leg enough to get out of bed, it feels as if someone is trying to peel the flesh from my bones – in other words, it hurts like hell. So today I returned to the doctor to find out what this is, and how the hip is progressing…

First, the hip is doing well, and the x-rays even show some bone regeneration along the fracture point. Not enough to allow any weight to be put down yet, but enough to be encouraging that I may get thru this yet without surgery. As for the other leg pain problem, he suggested three possibilities (interestingly enough the same three I came up with while sitting here). One, a break in the lower part of my femur that was overlooked initially in the excitement about the hip – new films ruled this out. Two, a blood clot caused by my increasing age and lessening of motion to the limb. This, too, was thankfully ruled out after being sent for a venous ultrasound. This was the one that scared me the most. And finally, the possibility of ligament damage in the knee area caused by the trauma during the ski accident. This one he didn’t rule out (yet) because he said there’s no sense worrying about it until the hip is healed, then we can consider rehab and therapy for all the problems. Meanwhile – it still hurts…

But if I take from this the good part, the hip is healing and there are no clots, so all in all, I think it was a good omen for things to come.

Bearing down on my hometown now is a major winter storm, with up to a foot of snow expected. Man – the things I could do out in that, but not this year. Instead I will continue to ponder what might have been, and what will be come Spring, and hope that this Spring is even more recuperative for me this year than simply a bright new season – it must be a new beginning as I hope to get out and wander as much as I possibly can this summer. I have been using this time to catch up on reading, and to try to learn to paint in watercolors, something I have dabbled in before, but not successfully. So far I am encouraged, so maybe I’ll be able to paint during my hikes when I’m healed.

So to close, I thought I’d share a YouTube video I discovered last night, thanks to a list-serv posting from the Olean Hiking Group – it shows some crazy, skilled lads paddling some big water in Norway, and the tune that’s been overlaid is pretty funky, too. Enjoy – I watched it at least a half-dozen times last night!

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Stuck in Hell…

Hip FractureIt 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.

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