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the mountain speaks (version 2.0)

post #1 of 18
Thread Starter 
It's 4 am... my leg is killing me and I can't sleep, so while I'm waiting for my painkillers to work, I guess now's the time to give you the gory details...

It was 11:30 am on Monday, and I was standing at the top of the Saddleback lift at The Canyons. My flight back to NY was at 2, so I decided to call it a season, and head back to the airport. When I got to the Red Pine Lodge, I asked an attendant if downloading was the only way back to the base, and he said that I could take the Lookout lift to the top of Doc's Run, a pleasant intermediate trail, and glide down from there. The snow would be a bit sticky toward the bottom, but since the few people skiing that day were on the upper mountain, it would be virtually trackless. So I decided to get in one last victory lap to close out a great 2001-02 season: 29 ski days, noticable improvement in certain areas, and lots of newfound knowledge and friends from hanging out on epicski.

While on the lift, I congratulated myself on yet another near perfect ski trip... in fact, I couldn't believe my luck: one day at Deer Valley, one day at Snowbasin, and 1.5 days at The Canyons (all comped thanks to Super Bears Bob Mc, Ydnar and the nice volunteer I met in the parking lot of Snowbasin), excellent weather, and no
organizational snafus of any kind.

The attendant was right... even though it was almost noon, virtually no one had skied back to the base, and I was able to carve some nice arcs through the groomed slush. As I zipped over the last crest (only 500 yards from the base), I tried to make an easy left turn... but about halfway through, my outside right ski grabbed really hard onn something and my entire body went sideways (down the fall line) directly over my right leg. This produced a loud, sickening CRRACKK, and the realization that I wasn't going to make my 2 pm flight.

I had to wait more than five minutes before someone came down the hill. During that time, while writhing in agony on my chest, I attempted to put weight on my right knee, but there was nothing there: my entire right leg was hanging like a rubber band.
After being ambulanced back to SLC, they operated and put a big metal plate and three screws into my broken femur (severed two inches below the hip socket).

So that's what happened. Guess that'll teach me to stop taking victory laps.
post #2 of 18
Damn man, that sucks, what a freak accident. Are you going to be able to be back on it by next season?? I hope so cuz i hate seeing weird accidents take skiers out like that. I saw one girl this year tear her acl from tipping over wong while slipping one of our slalom courses... can happen anywhere i guess. Take it easy, i hope all goes well with your leg, it sounds like a pretty serious break. Good luck.
post #3 of 18
Sorry to hear about your recent accident. Unfortunetly, my family has had some experience with fractured femurs after my six year old son was plowed into at Snowmass.
Some points:
1)Make sure you have adequate pain control. This is a very painful injury and morphine is certainly reasonable in the early days. Your rehab will be much quicker with good pain control. Do not worry about addiction as this has been a historically overstated risk. 2) Find yourelf a good Orthopod. If you are in NYC I would suggest either Columbia or Hospital for Special Surgery. 3) Start physical therapy ASAP and find someone you like and trust. Your Orthopod will likely have some thoughts on this. Make sure they are convenient as you will be seeing him/her often. 4) Odds are you will make a full recovery, however, the road ahead will still have its share of frustrations. Take it easy on yourself. Feel better.
post #4 of 18
Why and how it happened is beside the point - things do happen. The point is that a friend is in pain and badly injured - so jamesdeluxe, take care of yourself, tend to your pain control and rehab, and by all means, keep in touch here. You've certainly had a salutary impact on MY ski season, [img]smile.gif[/img] and I selfishly want to keep you cooking! Not to mention empathy for a friend. Let us know when there is anything a fellow Bear might do to help. Say . . . have you ever considered writing a monologue in which you vividly describe the experience, and then perform the monologue on stage, then get that recorded and rake in a few bucks for the CD? Just wondered
post #5 of 18
James So sorry that your Utah trip ended this way.I enjoyed skiing with you. Take care of yourself get healed and Hope to see you back in Utah next season.
post #6 of 18
Get well soon, James so the rest of us can look forward to skiing with you [img]smile.gif[/img]

BTW, my cousin used morephine when she tore up her knee and like the doc said, she had no problem with addiction. It did allow her to get some much needed rest though so it was a blessing for her. I think doctors r so afraid of malpractice lawsuits that you really have to push them in this area.

Take care
post #7 of 18
James sorry to here of your injury , take the time to let it heal good and then take your rehab very serious. I broke the same bone about 20 yrs. ago playing hockey around this time of the year and played the next season and was also back on skis in the fall. Don't be afraid to use it once it's healed enough to start exercising , the phsycological thing can be the hardest part of rehab . And like Oboe stated take advantage of the people on this site , theres a wealth of knoledge here so use it . Good luck.

<FONT COLOR="#800080" SIZE="1">[ April 13, 2002 10:06 PM: Message edited 1 time, by Leeroy ]</font>
post #8 of 18
Yes Oboe! James' post had a definite Spaulding Grey quality to it, don't ya' think?

JD, in case you did not get my email, my sympathies. I have been enjoying your "ski travelogue" so much this season. Its sad to hear that it ended on a down note.

As Retinadoc has mentioned, check out the Hospital for Special Surgeons. I know that you have a very active lifestyle, so find a Physical Therapist that specializes in rehab for sport.

In most cases, its "better" for lack of a more appropriate word to break a bone, than to tear a ligament. I ran the NYC Marathon 3 years in a row, about 4 years after fracturing my tibial plateau in a car accident.

But keep in mind, even though the bone heals, you will probably experience some balance problems on the side that your leg was broken. So after PT, a post rehab program will be crucial.

Please get better! You have been a wondeful participant, and we want to keep hearing from you next season.

Our thoughts are with you!
post #9 of 18

What a bummer-I hope your rehab goes well.

It seems the jinx is in-yesterday one of our senior instructors (who had signed out for the season and was just free skiing with friends) suffered a fracture of the right femur when two friends collided as they came to a stop and one fell onto him. He had surgery last night in Vail.

To add to the misery, at the end of last season he suffered a tib/fib fracture of his other leg. At least that occured in a lesson so workmans comp came into play.

The snow is so sloppy now an extra measure of care is definietly in order.

Again, best wishes on your rehab.
post #10 of 18
JD: Promise us you will do everything to be ready for the 2002-2003 season! I hope your recovery goes well.

And I think you should plan on taking a victory lap as a reward for your efforts!
post #11 of 18
James - That's gotta hurt.

I'm not the expert lots of the others here are, but I feel for you.

Take care, and best of luck with the healing and rehab. You should be in great shape for next season!
post #12 of 18

I don't think I want to hear another word form the mountain!

I wish you a speedy recovery and I have no doubt that you will be OK for next season.
post #13 of 18

I feel for you. Pain is universal, and thankfully all things must pass.

May the worst be brief, and the recovery speedy. Just say "yes" to drugs.
post #14 of 18
Sorry to hear about your unfortunate mishap. Wishing you a speedy recovery and hope you have a full rebount to skiing. [img]smile.gif[/img]

post #15 of 18
Wow. Take care and our prayers for a speedy recovery.

What a bummer...
post #16 of 18
My sympathies! You've sure got my wishes for a full and speedy recovery. Stick to your recovery plan and get back next year.

A friend and I were at Alta this weekend, the snow was wet and heavy at the bottom; really easy to catch an edge. We had a 4:40 flight and were ready to take "One last run" but we agreed "Nope, too tired" Had a beer instead.

Hang-in, I may be tough at times but persevere. Regards.
post #17 of 18

James, bummer mate that sure would (does) hurt. You are a lucky boy as on hill femur breaks are very dangerous due to the close by major artery and the possibility of it being damaged by the bone break.

Take all the drugs the docs give (morph is excellent ) because if the drugs knock you out, you sleep and when you sleep, you heal and that is the end game.

Take care, rest up and see you carving next season.

Oz [img]smile.gif[/img]
post #18 of 18
James -

I have been away for a few days, and am just now catching up with the board. I am so sorry to hear about both yours, and Sugar's injuries!

I suffered open/compound tib/fib fractures 2 seasons ago (while skiing), which resulted in several surgeries and much hardware (a 13" rod and 3 cross locking screws in my tibia, and a 5" plate with 6 screws on my fibula) being implanted into my bones. I can very much empathize with much of what you have/are experiencing!

My best advice is to be as aggressive as you possibly can tolerate (and are allowed by your OS) once you begin physiotherapy, and try not to get too frustrated if things take longer than you think they should.

During the course of my injury and rehab, I have found some informative links, which you may find helpful, and will be happy to pass them along to you if you should want them, just PM me.

I hope that you are not currently experiencing too much pain. Keep up with the pain meds!

I hope that your healing goes well!
Take care!
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