WARNING: THERE ARE SOME PHOTOS THAT MAY BE TOO GRAPHIC FOR YOUR VIEWING. XRAYS OF DISLOCATED SHOULDER AND FRACTURED ANKLE ARE INCLUDED. Also, this post is going to be very photo heavy.
Believe me, I had my share of struggles to make it from Warden station to Downsview. From turnstiles to carrying everything and making it in the bus without hitting someone or dropping something. I’ve also used the elevators for the first time at the subway stations. Indeed a good workout.
I’m a taurus. I saw this as a clear sign to be extra cautious, plus it WAS Friday the 13th. Do I believe in superstitions? Maybe this one. Many many years ago, I ended up in a hospital on a Friday the 13th. I was also suppose to be born Friday the 13th, but I came a day late. The number 14 is also unlucky in the Chinese culture, so..I was screwed either way.
To be as efficient and compact as possible. We all take out our equipment from our board bags and individually load into the two cars. Car 1: 2 people + 7 boards. Car 2: 5 people.
Arrival in Collingwood. Pre-snowboarding meal consisted of McDonald’s.
JH and I, geared up upon reaching the chalet at Blue Mountain.
We all practiced a few runs on Happy Valley. I guess being my first (as well as JH’s) run of the season, there’s a bit of rustiness that can’t be helped. Everyone including JH decided to move gradually to the South base, other side of the mountain. As much as I wanted to follow suit, I wasn’t mentally ready. I secretly saw myself have a big fall over and over again in my head. Concussion #2? I think not! I’m not as young as I once was. I’m not physically as strong as I could be, since I generally start a “snowboarding preparation” workout in November. I assured everyone I would be fine on my own, and I continued to board another 3 times on the same slope. I got my wish, fresh powder. There were also many advanced boarders and less traffic so I was pretty safe. I felt good. Didn’t fall at all on Happy Valley. It was nice to have a sense of familiarity.
My small bladder beckons me! And I had a small snack to energize myself.
What a beautiful sight! I, too, moved towards the South base. I didn’t bother looking at the maps, I knew now I was comfortable and confident to tackle any hill. Not because I’m amazing, but because there’s this indescribable feeling that you’re one with the mountain. Silly? A little, but it’s there..you feel it, your turns are sharp and fluid, your board glides ever so easily over the snow and everything you do is exactly how you wanted it. Snowboarding is very much about the body and mind, you cannot do one without the other. When you’re a beginner, that’s what you work towards, bringing what your mind wants to do for your body to execute. I had a pretty amazing run. It got a little icy in certain parts but I was so amped up to push myself a little more the next day. I finally met up with everyone around 9:30pm, we all did a few more runs together. I felt a little tired and didn’t want to force myself to follow their lead, so I made the decision to head back to Happy Valley as it lead to our car. I watched everyone descend down, and finally JH takes a look at me and heads down too. I quickly made up my mind that it would be more trouble to find them later and I followed him. About 10 metres away I see him take a fall.
He had landed face forward but when I approached him, he was on his back. It’s strange for any snowboarder to lay unmoving after a fall. Your first instinct is to get up as fast as you can. Especially for him, this was very odd. I immediately knew something was wrong. I removed his goggles as asked if he was okay. The first thing he told me was to remove his left foot from the binding. Though he was as calm as can be, I could tell he was trying to mentally block out the immense amount of pain that was slowly consuming him. I had a mini panic attack.
Me: Do you want me to get someone?
JH: No, not yet. Just stay here with me.
Me: Okay, I’m not going anywhere.
**passage of time, about 3 minutes later, a skier goes by, JH had not been able to move either his shoulder or ankle thus far as hard as he tried**
Skier: Is he okay?
Me: We think he dislocated his shoulder and twisted his ankle.
Skier: I’ll get people to come up then?
Me: Yes please. Thank you!
**10-15 mins later**
Snowmobile got to us. And then the ski patrol.
He was carefully hoisted into the toboggan and slowly transported down the slope. That’s him there, supporting his own right arm. The ski patrol team had a look at him when we reached the bottom and the ambulance was called.
The Collingwood General Hospital. Seriously, nicest people I’ve ever met, including paramedics, doctor, nurses, interns.
I believe we got to the hospital around 11:30pm, not much traffic so he was immediately admitted while I registered him. When I finally saw him, he was having morphine and gravol injected intravenously to prep him for x-rays and to pop shoulder back in its place. Around 1am was when he got his x-rays done and proceeded to be sedated and his shoulder was popped back in. I was called by the nurse to see him.
Me: Hello! How are you feeling?
JH: *opening his eyes* Ani, you just woke me up.
Nurse: She’s suppose to! We have to make sure the sedative is wearing off.
JH: Oh? I thought I was still trying to fall asleep.
Nurse: Nope, you’re all done.
JH: You’re done? My shoulder’s in back in place? No wonder it’s feeling a lot better. That was amazing. (regarding to the fact he had no idea what happened)
I was allowed to keep him company as he rested his eyes. He had another set of x-rays done around 2am to make sure his shoulder was properly in it’s socket and to see if his fracture on the ankle traveled any further. We got out of the hospital around 3:30am.
We came home to a hearty meal. Yay. So good. Pizza, sheppard’s pie and garlic bread. After getting some food and calming down from the frenzy, we finally got to bed at 5am.
Breakfast was also made for us! Didn’t get much sleep that night. In a house of 20, it is hard to sleep any earlier than 12am and hard to sleep past 10am. Due to the fact JH had limited mobility with his injuries I spent Saturday at the chalet, just to make sure he was able to get whatever he needed.
My lovely cousin, KL, playing Saboteur with us. When I wasn’t entertaining JH or being his crutch to walk around with, I was Cinderella. Cleaning up a full sink after people’s breakfasts or last night’s drinking games. I managed to sneak a tiny hour nap in, sleeping only 4 hours the night before. JH had many mini naps throughout the day. I felt only a little worn out and as though I went snowboarding myself. Then, I headed up stairs to the kitchen to commence on cooking the pasta for dinner. It all took a toll on me. I’ve always been very maternal but this, THIS was the ultimate test of loyalty, understanding and patience. There were points when I wanted to burst into tears, just because I had no more to give, no more of me for people to take. I had absolutely given everything I had that day. JH was my one priority and everyone else, I’m sorry. No more.
Nachos were also on the menu.
Bacon every single day, ohmygosh.
My cousin helped me prepare JH’s breakfast.
Bye bye Blue!