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Bad Injury - Seeking Input - Page 2

post #31 of 52
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by beyond View Post
 

 

Hmm. Interesting question. As I read the literature on mindfulness - the practice of which now appears to actually alter the density of various neural structures - I'm coming around to thinking that it's possible to increase our level of attentiveness and efficiency though practice. Or short of that, in the Red Queen world of aging, perhaps keep it where it was a while ago. Yoga may have the same effect. Jury's out. 

 

But that said, I just don't expect as much of myself in all but a couple of arenas as I did 20 years ago. I've dialed it back. I stay further away from trees, or rock walls, choose safer landing zones for dropping off a lip, start my turns on a course earlier (a good thing), but don't try to milk the last cm out of the line (a bad thing). I also call it a day sooner and go find a brew or latte, depending. :D (Ah, and another bit of research wisdom: Alcohol or dope at lunch, slower reaction times after lunch. Just saying'.:(

 

What's helped me most, oddly, is being an old guy with young kids. Too many real world responsibilities to take risks playing in the snow that I might have shrugged off back when. 

 

^^^^ These. My PT says that we compensate for injuries without ever even noticing it, develop altered biomechanics, changed strength ratios, the whole nine yards. And my broken nose and thumb came about from looking away from the snow gun for an instant, so weight went slightly back, so when I also encountered ice, my edges lost it, and bang!

Gold, both ideas. Thumbs Up I ski best when I'm consciously practicing something, as in a lesson. And IMO, focusing on say one's outside big toe to initiate every time is very similar to doing what meditation types call a "body scan," which starts (ironically) with the big toe. All about focusing on the essentials, ignoring the rest. 

 

Thanks for comments.  To be honest I really don't think about my age when I ski - I just go ski.  The only thing I consciously do different is quit earlier than I used to do. Also started Yoga last year and really like the results.  I guess I had better start dialing back a little but am thinking now that FOCUS is important to keep myself aware of what I am doing, dangers, trees etc. that I will encounter etc.

post #32 of 52
Quote:
Originally Posted by Pete No. Idaho View Post

 

Thanks for comments.  To be honest I really don't think about my age when I ski - I just go ski.  The only thing I consciously do different is quit earlier than I used to do. Also started Yoga last year and really like the results.  I guess I had better start dialing back a little but am thinking now that FOCUS is important to keep myself aware of what I am doing, dangers, trees etc. that I will encounter etc.

That's the problem--we old men like to forget our age, or prove that somehow we are an exception to the laws of nature, and try to do what we could do 30 years ago. I try to be conscious of not skiing too fast and to not ski lines with very high consequences because I realize that although I might feel very comfortable doing either. My reactions are not as fast as they were so I am more likely to crash if I hit an irregularity or a patch of ice, if I do crash I am more likely to be injured, and if I am injured recovery will be a lot slower and a lot less likely to be complete. Even so I'm sure I do a lot of stuff I probably shouldn't--while I see plenty other old guys on the slopes and rarely see them at the top of the lines I prefer. The male ego is responsible for a lot of the misery in the world, including ski injuries.

post #33 of 52
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by oldgoat View Post
 

That's the problem--we old men like to forget our age, or prove that somehow we are an exception to the laws of nature, and try to do what we could do 30 years ago. I try to be conscious of not skiing too fast and to not ski lines with very high consequences because I realize that although I might feel very comfortable doing either. My reactions are not as fast as they were so I am more likely to crash if I hit an irregularity or a patch of ice, if I do crash I am more likely to be injured, and if I am injured recovery will be a lot slower and a lot less likely to be complete. Even so I'm sure I do a lot of stuff I probably shouldn't--while I see plenty other old guys on the slopes and rarely see them at the top of the lines I prefer. The male ego is responsible for a lot of the misery in the world, including ski injuries.

 

Yep probably ought to admit.  Still loved skiing the chutes under Lincoln at Sugar Bowl.

post #34 of 52

Label this under sh*t happens?  You aren't too old or reckless or whatever, skiing is dangerous.  Just because you ski a run 300 times doesn't mean you won't eat sh*t on that 301st time.  I am very conscious of that when I ski, to the point it makes me tone it down mid-run sometimes.  I think if you don't have a little fear keeping you awake while skiing you are doing something wrong and setting yourself up for high consequence crashes but sometimes you can't prevent those no matter what you do.

post #35 of 52
On the keeping focus front, age may also be working against us? Call it mental fatigue?

Remember the days so long ago we cram all night before the exam? Do that at the age of 40 instead of 20, people realize they simply can't function by morning!

Older people had been known to momentarily lose focus of whatever they were doing, a lot more often than young people. And it often happens without them even realizing their laps (of mental focus)

Good to hear you're slowly recovering after all.
post #36 of 52
Quote:
Originally Posted by mogsie View Post
 

I too would go with the knee. When you get injured, you have a tendency to protect that knee when you get back on the slope. And that could have change the way you normally ski...

 

mosgie brings up an excellent point. If you damaged your knee earlier this season, did you ever reach a physical strength level where you could ski without protecting the weaker knee? Did you work on training the injured leg before skiing or did you trust your ski legs would simply return? This season I began to ski with pain in my right knee, later diagnosed as the start of osteoarthritis, and, I know it changed my skiing greatly. I never got to the point where I trusted my skiing legs, and, avoided situations that would stress my knee. My orthopedic doctor keeps stressing the need to strengthen hip and thigh muscles to protect the need. Something I really need to do to prepare for next season.

 

Being aware of the need to focus at a higher level is one thing, training the mind to focus completely on the task at hand is very difficult. We all like the concept of being unconsciously competent. 

post #37 of 52

Putting myself in your shoes,  I am thinking that if I hurt my knee just a few weeks back due to getting launched by something I didn't see... well even in perfect conditions I think I would have been a bit alert so to speak.  No clue what caused the wreck in those open trees, but I gotta think you actually would have been paying attention to where you were going.  If not  then maybe that is something to be concerned about in seasons to come?  

 

Pete's new skiing mantra - "Pay attention, pay attention..."

 

Hope you have a complete and speedy recovery,

post #38 of 52
Thread Starter 

Yep, defintely need a new mantra so I can get thru next season in one piece. Pay attention, focus etc. will be high on my list. Haven't skied since Feb 1st and to say I am missing my favorite time of the year would be a gross understatement.

 

Rather being doing this:

 

 

 

 

Bud Van.

post #39 of 52
Heal well Pete!
post #40 of 52
Well, if you buy a travel ski pass for next season and get to new mountains, I expect you'll naturally focus and pay attention more. That ski season on the road seems almost like a safety measure for you now. Try that one on your wife!
post #41 of 52
Quote:
Originally Posted by Pete No. Idaho View Post

Very well put but your better description makes me worry a little.  Would being more aware of where I am and what I am doing suffice or are you recommending something further.  I think being more aware/focused onwhat I am doing will help but is there more?

Arguably, skiing relies on being less "aware" as awareness and hesitation may go hand in hand. Some 90% of our brain functioning is the hard wiring in the subconscious, and skiing generally takes a long time to hardwire.

PBS has been producing some great NOVA episodes about brain functioning. In one, they show a young kid stacking and unstacking plastic cups at mind boggling speed, something he'd been practicing for years. They demonstrated that it was the subconscious hardwiring in control - no amount of "focus" could come close to that level of performance.

I felt like you had a sense of this in your posts so figured I'd mention it. I'm coming at it from the direction of a almost 46 year old brain working on the hardwiring (6th season). Complementary sports like mountain biking are exceptional for the tactical downhill brain, but I'll stop short of the recommendation because those injuries tend to be worse than skiing. Nonetheless shocking how much the one advances the other, because the downhill brain doesn't have an offseason.
post #42 of 52
I think we can discuss the "causes" forever. But, the one controllable factor here was speed, and it's speed that caused the injuries to be severe. They haven't invented ski jackets with the right kind of air bags yet to save us from the consequences. Maybe the next designer or college student that comes on here looking for ideas should be told we need this.
post #43 of 52
Quote:
Originally Posted by NayBreak View Post


Arguably, skiing relies on being less "aware" as awareness and hesitation may go hand in hand. Some 90% of our brain functioning is the hard wiring in the subconscious, and skiing generally takes a long time to hardwire.

PBS has been producing some great NOVA episodes about brain functioning. In one, they show a young kid stacking and unstacking plastic cups at mind boggling speed, something he'd been practicing for years. They demonstrated that it was the subconscious hardwiring in control - no amount of "focus" could come close to that level of performance.

I felt like you had a sense of this in your posts so figured I'd mention it. I'm coming at it from the direction of a almost 46 year old brain working on the hardwiring (6th season). Complementary sports like mountain biking are exceptional for the tactical downhill brain, but I'll stop short of the recommendation because those injuries tend to be worse than skiing. Nonetheless shocking how much the one advances the other, because the downhill brain doesn't have an offseason.

Nay.  The physical act of skiing is one where you can turn off and tune in and be in the moment and all that meaning if you are skiing well you are not thinking about all the many aspects that are debated ad infinitum in the instruction forum here.  However, that is different than being aware of your surroundings - be here now.

post #44 of 52

The whole "if you have to think about it you're too slow" thing is true up to a point - you're still observing and processing subconsciously/instinctively i.e. it's an active process, you're just not superficially aware of it.  The point being, just like everything else, as we age, that process begins to degrade and be less reliable.  My autopilot scares the crap out of me now -when I was younger I was able to pretty much take it for granted and not have a heart attack after realizing I just got from point A to B without thinking about it.

 

I would also say that, even when functioning at optimal levels, one's autopilot still needs a focused input, subconscious or otherwise. In fact, one of the reasons it starts to fail us in our later years in a decrease in the ability to focus.

post #45 of 52
First my wishes for a speedy and full recovery to Pete.

All good ideas mentioned relating to the cause. I totally agree about the autopilot thing. It's not just true for skiing - I broke my ankle at the robust age of 30 by just not watching the steps on the way down, missed the last step thinking I was all the way down, and, bam, there I was headed for x-rays.

I have to ask just out of curiosity whether there was a helmet involved in the second crash? I ask because I am re-evaluating my own view on helmets after an eye injury - I don't think a helmet would have helped with my fall, but it seems like it might have in yours with the tree. On the other hand, I know I've avoided a couple of those "run down from behind" crashes based on the sound of danger approaching plus checking my six.

A couple things about the injury you describe - I know you said you've been in for a scan already, but in the case of my injury, they had to order one without contrast to be able to see haemorrhaging inside the tissue / sinus. There are all kinds of major nerves that apparently run through the cheek and the eye socket. In my case, the nerve that goes under the eyeball had some trauma, but instead of pain in the eye, it affected the whole side of my face. The whole cheek, upper lip and the top teeth still have reduced sensation. For me it was instantaneous with the fall. I suspect given your delayed symptoms, some of the haemorrhaging from your injury pinched pinched a nerve. That could even explain the loss of vision if it involved your optic nerve. There is a type of fracture as well where the muscle sinks down through the crack in the bones into the sinus area and you lose the ability to move your eye. Hopefully your doc has checked for any of that and discussed your options for surgery if that's going on.

Be wary of taking anything like Asprin or Ibuprofen that promotes bleeding. Unfortunately that pretty much leaves just ice and elevation. A bit late now but advice that perhaps others reading this can profit from.
post #46 of 52
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by vickieh View Post

Well, if you buy a travel ski pass for next season and get to new mountains, I expect you'll naturally focus and pay attention more. That ski season on the road seems almost like a safety measure for you now. Try that one on your wife!

 

You know I have already thought of this, makes sense to me BUT have not mentioned to wife because I do stupid things (i.e. trees) but I am not dumb and that would be dumb.

Quote:
Originally Posted by NayBreak View Post


Arguably, skiing relies on being less "aware" as awareness and hesitation may go hand in hand. Some 90% of our brain functioning is the hard wiring in the subconscious, and skiing generally takes a long time to hardwire.

PBS has been producing some great NOVA episodes about brain functioning. In one, they show a young kid stacking and unstacking plastic cups at mind boggling speed, something he'd been practicing for years. They demonstrated that it was the subconscious hardwiring in control - no amount of "focus" could come close to that level of performance.

I felt like you had a sense of this in your posts so figured I'd mention it. I'm coming at it from the direction of a almost 46 year old brain working on the hardwiring (6th season). Complementary sports like mountain biking are exceptional for the tactical downhill brain, but I'll stop short of the recommendation because those injuries tend to be worse than skiing. Nonetheless shocking how much the one advances the other, because the downhill brain doesn't have an offseason.

 

Haven't see the NOVA stuff on brains.  Good show.  Some of the comments etc. on focus and awareness have yes in part inferred that I must ski more defensively in the future.  After giving this a lot of thought I think would give up skiing before I could ski defensively all the time.  Have never thought of my autopilot skiing as hardwiring but makes sense.  Am thinking more and more that there is probably a fine line between autopilot skiing and aware focused skiing that is no defensive in nature.  In my mind it is possible to do both actually doing it out on the hillk could be another proposition.

 

uote:

Originally Posted by sibhusky View Post

I think we can discuss the "causes" forever. But, the one controllable factor here was speed, and it's speed that caused the injuries to be severe. They haven't invented ski jackets with the right kind of air bags yet to save us from the consequences. Maybe the next designer or college student that comes on here looking for ideas should be told we need this.

 

A definite yes here.  Won't know till next year but can I focus and be aware of my surroundings etc. and ski slower but not slow and still enjoy myself?  I think the answer is yes but only time will tell.

Quote:
Originally Posted by crank View Post
 

Nay.  The physical act of skiing is one where you can turn off and tune in and be in the moment and all that meaning if you are skiing well you are not thinking about all the many aspects that are debated ad infinitum in the instruction forum here.  However, that is different than being aware of your surroundings - be here now.

Crank, I am one of those guys who just skis and don't think a lot - if a all - usually just do it.  The only except isw sometimes I will go out and want to work on somehing and then will think technique etc. but normally just out there skiing.  "being aware of your surroundings....", sound easy but I don't know.  This will take some brain training to be able to beaware and not ski defensively.  

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Paul Lutes View Post
 

The whole "if you have to think about it you're too slow" thing is true up to a point - you're still observing and processing subconsciously/instinctively i.e. it's an active process, you're just not superficially aware of it.  The point being, just like everything else, as we age, that process begins to degrade and be less reliable.  My autopilot scares the crap out of me now -when I was younger I was able to pretty much take it for granted and not have a heart attack after realizing I just got from point A to B without thinking about it.

 

I would also say that, even when functioning at optimal levels, one's autopilot still needs a focused input, subconscious or otherwise. In fact, one of the reasons it starts to fail us in our later years in a decrease in the ability to focus.

Good points and apply I am sure.  Probably I will just have to test out and adjust what works for me.  I think that as long as I can be aware of the separation between autopilot and focus awareness I might be ok.

 

 

Thanks everyone, gives me some different avenues of approaching this problem.

post #47 of 52

Until and only if your memory returns, best bet is that you looked too far behind you looking for the ladies.   Could happen to a 13 year old.  Don't worry about it; just remember not to look too far behind you when you are skiing frontwards. 

Good luck with the doctors.

How are you now?

post #48 of 52
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ghost View Post
 

Until and only if your memory returns, best bet is that you looked too far behind you looking for the ladies.   Could happen to a 13 year old.  Don't worry about it; just remember not to look too far behind you when you are skiing frontwards. 

Good luck with the doctors.

How are you now?

 

 

I hope you're right Ghost that would eliminate a lot of conjecture on my part but then again how do you eliminate looking at pretty women ?

 

Face paralysis not too good, broken wrist coming along.

post #49 of 52

Hi Pete, so sorry to hear about your injury and I wish you a speedy recovery. I had a similar crash 2 years ago. It was actually during a powder chase trip that I did after ours got cancelled by the warm weather. Visibility was poor and I was skiing in unfamiliar terrain at Snowbasin. I don't recall the crash at all and probably briefly lost consciousness. I started forming memories about 5 hours after the fall in the ER in Ogden. I don't remember the sled ride, ambulance ride, x-rays, and the cat scan. Pretty bad concussion and tore my labrum. I had lasting effects from the concussion including headaches, irritability/mood changes, poor sleep, and short term memory loss. All of which seem to be better now. After looking at pictures of the area I crashed and even going back to the exact site this year it seems I didn't see a knoll that rolled over on to a cat track. I probably nose dived into it slamming my shoulder and head. My take-away lessons are follow closer to those who know the mountain especially in poor viz. I'm not sure if you have any take-away lessons from your crash except that it was most likely a total fluke ie. ski catching a shrub or rock etc etc.

 

In regards to your facial paralysis, does it involve your eyebrow? Can you lift your eyebrow up to create wrinkles in your forehead? If not, then it is likely a facial nerve laceration and there are surgeons that can perform facial nerve repair. There are also tests like EMG that can see if your nerve is completely severed or partially. If its a partial then it could regenerate within a years time. Are you having any problems from the concussion?

 

Good luck with everything and sorry again.

post #50 of 52

I tend to doubt that an experienced skier is going to ignore a highly developed instinct to not look away from their line in any type of terrain demanding similar attention, especially due to skiing with others which is a very common scenario. If memory does not exist moments prior to an unexpected violent incident, that is a non-voluntary, subconscious neural acknowledgement that is a coping mechanism in response to trauma. One possibility that could have occurred just before the incident is having been the victim of a rogue face shot. While it is a fine margin between the snow being sticky enough to abnormally adhere to the goggles and snow that is dry enough to produce regular face shots, that margin does exist.

post #51 of 52
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by agreen View Post
 

Hi Pete, so sorry to hear about your injury and I wish you a speedy recovery. I had a similar crash 2 years ago. It was actually during a powder chase trip that I did after ours got cancelled by the warm weather. Visibility was poor and I was skiing in unfamiliar terrain at Snowbasin. I don't recall the crash at all and probably briefly lost consciousness. I started forming memories about 5 hours after the fall in the ER in Ogden. I don't remember the sled ride, ambulance ride, x-rays, and the cat scan. Pretty bad concussion and tore my labrum. I had lasting effects from the concussion including headaches, irritability/mood changes, poor sleep, and short term memory loss. All of which seem to be better now. After looking at pictures of the area I crashed and even going back to the exact site this year it seems I didn't see a knoll that rolled over on to a cat track. I probably nose dived into it slamming my shoulder and head. My take-away lessons are follow closer to those who know the mountain especially in poor viz. I'm not sure if you have any take-away lessons from your crash except that it was most likely a total fluke ie. ski catching a shrub or rock etc etc.

 

In regards to your facial paralysis, does it involve your eyebrow? Can you lift your eyebrow up to create wrinkles in your forehead? If not, then it is likely a facial nerve laceration and there are surgeons that can perform facial nerve repair. There are also tests like EMG that can see if your nerve is completely severed or partially. If its a partial then it could regenerate within a years time. Are you having any problems from the concussion?

 

Good luck with everything and sorry again.

 

Thanks agreen. Local doctors are at odds with what caused, have all the symptoms of Bells Palsy but started 3 weeks after impact.  I have thre doctor who treated me at the ER not researching an appointment with a neur face doctor at Harborview in Seattle.  Should get some info tommorrow. He's a skier too and we had a good discussion yesterday up at Silver Mt.   No I wasn't skiing just went up to watch the pond skimming and see some friends. I had some level 9.6 headaches for weeks but they're gone now. Glad you recovered.

post #52 of 52
It was great seeing you get out and enjoying the day, Pete.
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