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From Vail Snopro.... I'm Back!!!!!!

post #1 of 58
Thread Starter 
To the entire EpicSki Comunity-

Allow me to start by offering my truly heartfelt thanks to all the thoughts and good wishes offered by everybody over the past few days since that uncompleted left turn.... They really meant a lot to me.

I would really like to send special thanks to Tsavo ( Katie Perrey), KLKaye (Kiersten), and cgeib (Chris Geib) for their help and friendship during those first hours after the accident, and for sitting with me the day after. I'm really sorry that Chris had to hear what I'm told came out of my mouth while under sedation as 6, yes! 6, people attempted to remove the boot from my foot. Thankfully, they had used an amazing drug on me which completely erased my memory of that particular experience.... "Better living, through pharmaceuticals" (my new motto!)

Well, I am now home in Avon, resting quite comfortably. The past 4 days were pretty trying on my psyche, attempting to maintain a positive attitude while watching it positively DUMPING snow non-stop for the past few days. Almost 30" of new has fallen here in Vail since Friday. Opening day coming up should be one of the best in recent history!

As mentioned in the good wishes thread started by Bong (thanks for coming by!), it was a pretty nasty break. Compound, boot top and partial spiral. The tibia was fractured in 3 places, and the fibula in 2 places. I now have a 20" titanium rod running the full length of the tibia, with a few screws attaching it to the bone at either end.
Now it will be a contest between Tom Burch and myself, to see which of us will set off more metal detectors in airport security!

The Orthopod (Rick Cunningham) did an AWESOME job on me during the initial surgery done Friday about 4pm. He reckoned the reduction of the fractures fell into the top 15% of his best work. Despite the jagged bone ends, which had sliced through 2 veins, they fit right back together like a jig saw puzzle. Because of that, I have experienced extremely little pain. In fact, since the surgery on Friday afternoon, I have used nothing but 2x350mg Tylenol every 6 hrs or so to take the edge off the ache. But I have also had hours with absolutely no pain at all. I consider myself to be incredibly lucky in that regard.

The surgery performed yesterday at about 3pm was to confirm no infection had set in, and to close the leg up. After about 45 minutes on the operating table, I was given a clean bill of health. You might imagine how relieved I was to hear in post op that I would being heading home the next day(today). Most amazing is the fact they are not even going to put a cast on me! Right now I have a splint with ace bandages wrapped around it. In about 10-12 days, I go back in for an evaluation, and if it looks good, I'll be getting a completely removable splint/boot.

I will be non-weight bearing for the next 6 weeks, followed by 4-6 weeks of intense PT. That will focus mainly on regaining range of motion in my knee and ankle. The earliest any suggestion of a ski boot is mid-late March. If I feel it's a safe thing to consider, I might... but if the spring thaws/ freezes have begun, I think I'll likely just wait it out. There is far to much risk in pushing to hard, too soon. Next season won't be that long away.

Vail Resorts has tentatively offered me indoor work with the ski school for the season. To keep working with my peers and to keep my mind occupied is probably some of the best medicine. I know that I will still have some mental and emotional issues to deal with over the next several weeks as the season winds up, but I'll get through them. But for right now, I'm focusing exclusively on the physical healing.

In closing, I would like to thank everyone in the EpicSki Community for their well wishes and thoughts for my recovery. I wish you all a long, safe, snow-filled season with fantastic experiences. I'll be dreaming of each and every turn you all make.... Maybe one of you will finish that left turn for me?

Best wishes to you all,
Ric Reiter
post #2 of 58
Good to hear from you, Rick! Once you're done with PT, let me know if you need any post-rehab ideas. Hope to stop by and say "Hi" at some point! In the meantime, think lovely thoughts!
post #3 of 58
Ric, welcome home!

It's good to hear you're doing so well! Something tells me we may see you around here a bit more...

I thought of you often today, as I was at Copper again and skied Ptarmigan a number of times. I wish you fast healing, wisdom in your rehab, and a return to snow timed perfectly. You'll continue to be in my thoughts and prayers...
post #4 of 58
Carpe Diem!
post #5 of 58

Can’t believe it.. All our prayers are with you, so I know you will be fine.
Just do what the doctors tell you do. Take the time to heal. It will pay off later.

My very best heal quickly wishes to you…

post #6 of 58

You do know thats a classic "snowblade in the bumps" injury don't ya??


Heal fast!

post #7 of 58
Never mind him, he's had a few too many this evening!

Now's the time to write that book or try some one legged 'disabled skiing'. How about giving one of those nifty ski chairs a go, you know, the SitNSki? See what it's all about? You could get good at it if you can get ahold of one! You can be down, but not out!

Good luck, and a speedy recovery. Without pain, you're way ahead of the game.
post #8 of 58
Glad to hear you're home and doing well. Best wishes and keep that positive attitude!!

post #9 of 58
Boy, that's one manly ski injury! Take that PT seriously.
post #10 of 58

Glad to hear you made it back home and are doing well. My family and I wish you only the best while you're on the mend.

I'm also glad to hear that you'll still be involved with the Vail Ski School during your recovery. That's where you belong.

BTW, get working on that rehab so you'll be ready when I hit Vail in early April.
post #11 of 58
Ric, It's an amazing hospital isn't it. And, a marvel what kind of surgeons they have there. The nurses, the staff the whole place. I know I'm grateful for what they did for my Son Daryl. I know how hard it is to spend a season away from the sport you love and have given so much to. At our age time goes by so fast it'll all seem like a dream when next year comes around. Heal quickly.
post #12 of 58
Welcome back Ric. I'm glad to hear all is going well and you are pain free. I will think of you often as I remind myself to "trust my edges".
Heal well.
post #13 of 58

Just heard about your unfortunate accident. I was down in Santa Fe ;ast weekend on an arts and crafts tour with a friend.

Hobble over the pass to MA some Tuesday night.

Heal well and fast.

What are all the Level 3 candidates going to do without you there to evaluate their pivot slips? On second thought, sure one didn't pay a snow snake to get you?

post #14 of 58
Sounds like you are already on the road to recovery, especially the mental attitude part. Glad to hear that the surgery went so well.
post #15 of 58
good to hear you are home and resting comfortably.

I would ask the doc if you can start range of motion right away (knee at least) When I broke my femur in May 2004, the ortho told me if there is little or no pain, go ahead and start ROM as best you can. I suspect it helped in my rehab greatly..

Good luck and heal fast. The sooner you get to start weight bearing the faster the bone will heal and the less muscle loss there will be.

post #16 of 58
drink LOTS of milk!!!!
My chihuahua had a similar injury, broke her back leg in several spots, and had to have the leg removed, so imagine that. Her bones were too thin for any rods.

You'll have to post lots of ski stuff to keep your hand in. It's great to hear there's minimal pain, and that you got a talented surgeon.

Drink yer milk and do yer physio.
post #17 of 58
Great to hear you're back, Ric.
Heal fast!
post #18 of 58
Bloody hell Ric. What are you up too!

Bustin yourself up at your age sucks the big one.

All the best with the recovery.

A season in the office is gonna be mentally worse than the injury.

Good luck. Stay sane.

post #19 of 58
Heal fast and forget the chihuahua, Ric.
post #20 of 58
But there's nothing wrong with milk. Here's wishing you a speedy recovery.
post #21 of 58

Sorry to hear about the your bad break (pun only partially intended), but glad to hear the pieces went back together so well and that the pain is so minimal.

Do take whatever time it takes to heal properly. I had a SS Director and Eastern Examiner end his skiing career because he wouldn't stay off the leg and let it heal, and it never ended up healing correctly. He had a similar break to his tib/fib as well as a bunch of other injuries in a near-death accident. Take the indoor work and maybe work on your adaptive technique.

Good luck and heal fast.
post #22 of 58
i want to add my hopes for a quick and easy recovery.
post #23 of 58
Ric, my thoughts and wishes for your recovery. Please keep us updated on your progress. Also let us know where to find you at Vail so we can stop in.
post #24 of 58
Ric, it's good to hear from you! We wish you a speedy and full recovery. We'll see you in April... and maybe we'll actually have that drink together this time.

post #25 of 58
Heal quickly.
post #26 of 58
Great news, but you know Ric I just can not imagine you going down and breaking something...it's just stunning to me! Get back soonest
post #27 of 58
VSP, whenever I hear of ski injuries in this forum (all too often I'm afraid) I get that "there but for the grace of God go I" feeling. Now your job is to take care and make an inspiring recovery, which will raise your status around here from elite to supreme.
Best wishes.
post #28 of 58
Let me add my best wishes for a fast recovery. But don't risk anything to make a few turns this season. In the worst case you can wait till summer and go to South America to have some fun.
post #29 of 58
Hey Ric, wishing you the best and a full pain free return to skiing!

Hope you can head over to Snowbird for ESA this year to say hi and have dinner one evening?!! How soon til you can fly your plane? I will pick you up in Salt lake!..
post #30 of 58

Check out airboards! (just teasing)

Hope you can find a good PT in Vail. The best ones have reserved parking spots .... IN HELL! I think my last guy was trained by the Viet Cong.
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