The Accident

2-16-2018

I'm winded and frustrated. My body doesn't feel like mine. My life doesn't feel like mine. 

I'm now 6 days out from surgery and 2 1/2 weeks away from the accident. 

Skiing still has my heart, but with a newfound respect, and at this point fear, of what the mountain is capable of. Oh man, I was going fast. It felt so good to go so fast.. until I was tumbling, crashing, flailing to a stop. Dazed. Confused. My skis, and helmet, far up the mountain from me, somewhere along the line of trajectory of the fall. My head was fine, thank the lord, but my knee throbbed and throbbed. What. The. Fuck. was all I could muster.

Two guys brought me my gear, yard sale-d on the steep slope. "Are you okay?! Girl, you were BALLIN'!" 

So fast. Too fast.

I knew something was wrong, just not what or how bad. Teary eyed, but as strong willed as ever, I painfully, very very painfully, pushed my ski boots back into their bindings and limped my way down the rest of the run in utter disbelief I could withstand such pain. I just could NOT bring myself to be transported by one of those damn toboggans. 

Brooks should be waiting for me, he'll take care of this, surely he'd be down by now although I was to be the one waiting at the lift line since I chose left and blue while the boys went right and black. I had done those black trails all last week, but this time I chose the "easy" way, because I didn't want to be so technical. I wanted to blast my music and race the wind, be the wind. I was going fast. Too fast.

Brooks was there, waiting, unknowing. 

Panic, concern, confusion as I heaved and cried what had happened. We loaded the lift, slowed down as Brooks had motioned and requested.

The tears, the pain, so much pain, on that ski lift while we both grappled with what had just transpired.

We'll get to the lodge... The Outpost...and then figure out what to do. We were far back on the back bowls of Keystone. 

Once unloaded from that first lift, we found we needed to take a small run down to the lodge. Crying, crying, crying as I tried to ski down. Brooks unsuccessfully attempted to convince me to let him carry me down. The sweet, overly optimistic man has done nothing but stand by my side since.

We finally limped me into the lodge and down to a chair. Ski pants down to reveal my bright lavender leggings (of course) and a huge, swollen right knee. The injury was obvious; something was definitely wrong.

Two gondolas rides and far too much attention later, I was finally down to the main lodge. After waiting at the Urgent Care for awhile, we decided to just head to home and deal with it with the doctors in Fort Collins. 

The Accident: 2/16/18 (Friday) 

1st Appointment: 2/19/18 (Monday)

I was told I had torn my ACL. Devastating. Tears, beyond tears, that I couldn't hold back in front of the doctor, due to the unfathomable realization that my happy, active life as I know it was gone. I cried for my broken dreams of running my first half marathon I had planned for March in Moab. I cried for the loss of yoga, both recreationally and professionally. I had just landed my first teaching job at my dream studio, and this injury took that away from me as they pulled me from the schedule. I cried for the impact of my thriving bartending and serving job at one of the nicest restaurants in town, the restaurant that terminated me due to over 3 weeks of not being able to work. I cried for my dog, who loves to run and play with me. I cried for my past. I cried for the moment. and I cried for my future. I hadn't quite put it together that my ski season was also over, and when the doctor mentioned that, I let out a nice string of cuss words right in his face. My poor mother was shocked. 

MRI: 2/22/18 (Thursday night)

The Dr. called me Friday, "I can't believe I was wrong. Your ACL is intact, but there's a compression fracture on the anterior, lateral aspect of the weight bearing tibia plateau, about 7-8mm." 

Surgery or no surgery?

This was the dire question discussed and analyzed by, at the end of it all, a total of seven doctors. Four in Fort Collins said no surgery, let's let it heal and see how it's doing in 4 weeks.

But Uncle Scott, an anesthesiologist in Steamboat, took the MRI with him and two orthopedic surgeons said, get another opinion, we think surgery. 

So we went to Wade Smith in Denver, supposedly the crème de la crème of this specific injury. He said surgery, and I trusted him, his caring PA, and his competant staff. That was on a Friday and surgery was scheduled for the following Monday. 

Leaving it to "hopefully heal on its own" didn't ring true for my mother or me. I plan to use this knee a lot in the future: running, hiking, skiing, and all the other activities I currently, and will always, love. 

So, now's recovery. I have 6 weeks post surgery absolutely non weight bearing while my bone (now moved back to its original height), the addition of cadaveric bone to fill the gap, and a shiny plate to hold it all together, heals. Please heal.

My leg is wrapped from thigh to toes, tightly, holding all the swelling and inflammation in. My mobility is at an all time low, and my moral is ever changing. 

Sometimes it rises, like the lift transporting you to the top of the mountains, with a vantage point of hope, awe, and wonder overlooking the world, but often I find myself tumbling down to the trenches of pain, suffering, sadness, mostly sadness, that I can no longer do the things I love. I can barely leave the house, fuck I can't even shit on my own thanks to the build up of narcotics in my system numbing the pain. No one wants to talk about that uncomfortable, and thankfully for us comical, moment where a couple has to go to the store to buy a suppository for the other and support them while they "online shop" in the bathroom for the next hour. 

I feel grief at the loss of the life I was living. I am still myself, but my life is forever changed. I know looking back on it later I'll be able to see clearly all the lessons, growth, and opportunity inherently in every struggle and tribulation.

 

This is a strange season of my life, but in the meantime I'm working on being gentle. Gentle to myself, gentle to my leg, gentle to all the selfless and loving caretakers supporting me. 

I want to give myself the space to feel. Feeling all the feels. Mad that this happened, sad it's going to take so long to recover, happy my head is okay, grateful for the love and care I'm receiving. 

Be gentle, be kind, be light. 

RACHAELINOR YOGA