Friday, March 13, 2009

The "leg incedent"

I have received a strange anonymous comment asking to hear about "the leg event". Now, readers, as strange an "event" as this may seem you need not be dubious as to its appropriate-ness.

As some of you may know, our family delights in the winter sport of skiing. I personally, while still detesting the cold, the snow, and much of the elements that make skiing possible (for instance the bent-knee boots, etc) greatly enjoy barreling down a hill at full speed and coming to an abrupt stop near a lift, ready to do it again. However, I am a more cautious skier, as I have some fear of heights and an even greater fear of falling and hurting myself. Since I had not skied in 2 years, I was rather cautious, doing all of the green slopes, and only three of the blue I had been on previously (I had been to that mountain in 2005).

The second time we went skiing, the 1st of February, I was more confident, and definitely ready to tackle the harder slopes. I did a couple greens behind the little kids, and watched Caleb most of the morning. He went up the Terrain Park with Daddy eventually, and I glided off for some solo speed-runs. I went up twice, having great fun, and doing different slopes from my norm. The third run, and my second one on a rather twisty-turny blue, I felt that I was going too fast. I began doing S-curves to slow down, only I mis-calculated the trail. At one turn to the left, the slope fell steeply, but the right side sloped gradually. I realized this and had the classical "split-second" to make a decision. I turned sharply to the right. Due to my boots being a bit looser than they were previously (they gave me a bruise on my calf that lasted a couple weeks), the fact that the snow piled up along the edge of the slope, and that I was going too fast to turn as sharply as I needed to, I went off the edge of the steep part (I estimate 65-70 degrees across about 100 feet) sideways, and fell down until I hit the snow and began rolling. When my weight and crossed skis finally dug into the snow...I wasn’t sure what hurt most, and I just hoped no one plowed into me.

An expert skier nearly did, but he then took off his skis immediately, and tried to help me. I was still in a daze, and didn’t want to move....but he was pulling me trying to get me out from the middle of the slope and under the hill (you cannot see down the slope until you are going over it, and then it is hard to stop). As I stood groggily to my feet, a brash snowboarder whooshed passed, and was cursed out by the good-Samaritan skier. I worked my limbs, and found that except for an acute pain in my left calf, I was in working order, and I could walk fine. I figured that I strained it a bit, and that I would be FINE. I told the skier that, and he finally begrudged not calling the ski patrol and took my skis down to where the slope went back to 30ish degrees, and curved gently. I then had only to walk down to them, with my poles for support. I began my descent presently, and had only a little difficulty in making sure that I didn’t slide, and that my boots were firmly on the snow. About 4/5ths of the way down, I stepped firmly on my left foot, and it gave way suddenly with a distinct, little "pop". It sent fire up and down my leg as well, and I could not move for some time. I decided to slide down the decreasing angle (about 45-50 degrees, now) to my skis, and work it from there.

Anyone who has sat down on a hill near a lift knows that all this time, the certain people who actually have hearts (and not one snowboarder) ask you if you need help, if you are ok, what happened, etc, etc, etc, etc. I once sat down and made a snowman at Shawnee, and got so annoyed with the well wishers, that I abandoned him. This time, as I didn’t have skis, and was going slowly, I had obviously had trouble. I was mostly able to point to my skis down the hill and people would let me off.

When I finally got to my skis (after sliding past and having to kneel, and crawl back UP the hill to them), I took off my scarf and gloves, and ate some candy, and prepared to re-embark on the lovely day full of skiing. (the day WAS lovely! The first time, the snow was icy, and things were NOT as nice as they could be. This time, the snow was soft and powder-y and the sun was not turning it into ice....although it was warm enough)

About the time I put all my accessories back on, Daddy and Caleb and the girls came up the lift, and were probably quite surprised to see me in such a position. They came down to me, and laughed at me a bit, then helped me get my skis in position. Being that the slope curved to the right, and my skis were all the way on the right side of the slope, my right leg was down-mountain, and every skier knows that you put on your down-mountain ski first. That went on with no problem, so I set up the other. Somehow, my knee would not maneuver so they had to force the boot into the ski, but I could not bring enough pressure on my heel to snap the boot in place. The girls were dispatched to the ski patrol and Daddy and Caleb sat it out with me.

If you think I got a cool ride on a snowmobile, you are wrong. I though that too, and I was wrong. The only option was a toboggan with one person gliding, and another holding strings from behind. I decided to try to ski down, as my leg was once again, feeling fine. The Ski Patrol helped me get my skis in place, and they forced my boot to lock into the ski. Once it locked, I felt fine, and I moved my legs to see how it felt. It felt fine...I was good!

I skied forward, horizontally across the mountain, only to have my left knee suddenly give way and hear a distinctive "pop"! This time, instead of fire, my entire leg felt like it was being twisted into a pretzel shape, and tears jumped into my eyes and I couldn’t help letting the pain out by crying. I told the Ski Patrol about the "pop" and they became suddenly serious and grave. They called for the toboggan, and hurried me to the Emergency station. I would post pictures, but I was wearing rather tight pants under my snowpants, since I didn’t expect to show them to anyone. However, the pictures are not those I would show online.

I was given a leg-splint, which went up my whole leg, and told to have it examined ASAP, because it could be serious, and told not to ski for some time. I then had to hop back to the lodge with crutches (that needed to be returned), and was abandoned as everyone else went out to get their money’s worth of skiing. I listened to music, called grandparents and friends, slept, and cleaned up after all the mess that people leave!

There. That, dear readers, is the "leg event".


Anonymous said...

Wow! That really sounds wild! Do you have any pictures of the tobaggan ride? We'd love to see them!

Diyarniger said...

Did you get an immediate exam? As a person with a slight degree of medical knowledge, that "popping" was serious and needed prompt attention. Since it happened a couple times it was evidently getting worse.

Warbler said...

The Ski patrol told me to. no, I could not have gotten an immediate exam as we were 3 hours from home and at the top of a ski lodge.

I did get it examined, but the lady (after prodding and poking which hurt it badly) said since I wasn't in tears it wasn't that serious. And it hasn't been.....suprisingly....