Originally Posted by Cirquerider
Life has to seem a bit different now huh? Its funny how the things that matter most, family and skiing, sort of merged into your subconscious at a moment like that. So you collapsed on the mountain, or were you able to interact with patrol? Those Squaw patrol guys are awesome to have pulled this off. You must have some important unfinished business, because, you aren't supposed to be here.
The collapse was very gradual. At first I felt dizzy and tingly and told my group to go on without me. Fortunately, one buddy hung back and when he saw me leaning on my poles, came back toward me. Within a few minutes I acually said to myself, "I really don't want a heart attack now", and went down to the snow kicking and screaming. One of the patrol leaned down close to my face and said:" I want you to describe your pain, on a scale of one to ten." I began shouting "ten, ten, ten" for all I could, like it was my lifeline.
Then the doc arrived, the racer, Travis Ganong's dad, Dr Ganong, and he got down close to me and I heard him say: "With that much pain, we have to think aneurysm." That was the moment that everything shifted into high gear, not a heart attack, a burst aneurysm, much, much worse. There was a chopper in the air nearby; they called it in, above my shouted protestations: "no just sled me down, I'm OK". One of my last concious thoughts as they are dealing with a snag of the stretcher clamps in the chopper, slamming the door several times trying to shut it and the stretcher was in the way, pulled it out, tried again, slam, slam, I said: "what do you do with the normal guys?" meaning people of average height. Ha, my last concious thought was a joke at my stature, at my expense. Pretty good.
At night when I couldn't sleep in the hospital, I would re-play that patrol rescue in my mind, and I cried (in happiness and gratitude)for hours thinking of how hard they were trying, seeing Lori pulling on a long rope to get me away from the rollover and Tom joining her on the rope, skating in deep windbuff, how desperately they wanted this to work, how perfectly and swiftly they did their job. I just saw them recently on a visit the day they were closing down their headquarters, and again when I was skiing on Memorial Day weekend, hiking for the top of Headwall, and they were so stoked:."I bet you never thought you'd see him out here again" said one; "How great is that to see him out skiing again" said another. And doctor Ganong: "DAVID! I never thought you'd make it."
Edited by davluri - 7/2/10 at 6:55pm