The snow conditions were perfect and there weren't many people out skiing on a Monday. At around 11:00 we skied down to the children's area to watch Lexi ski. While down at the bottom, I called Ryan. He and Jennifer were having lunch at the lodge. I was anxious to meet up with them and hear about their class. The easiest way to get down to the lodge was to go back up the lift and ski down.
When we got off the lift, Bill asked me if I would be okay going down a certain run. It would be fine. I had been skiing steep runs that day and there was no one on that freshly groomed white hill but me. I had it all to myself. I am a careful skier, ski at an even pace and stay in control. But, I was anxious to see Jennifer and I wanted to get down fast, so I picked up my speed, stumbled and lost my balance. I knew that I was going to fall, that I would have the wind knocked out of me, get up, put my skis back on and continue skiing. But, this time when I fell, the binding on my left ski didn't release and the ski stayed on. I flipped over and over again, about 5 to 6 times and was wondering when I was going to stop. When I finally came to a stop, my upper leg flopped over to the side and I knew it was broken.
Bill had skied on ahead of me and didn't know that I was injured. I was all alone in excruciating pain and fear. I knew that I had to scream for help and hoped that someone would hear me. Fortunately, someone did hear my cry. Two people showed up to help me and they happened to be ICU nurses, a man and a woman. What are the chances of that on that quiet day? They knew to not move me and were very comforting. The woman was able to reach into my jacket and get my phone. She called Bill and told him to get the Ski Patrol.
When the ski patrol arrived, my head was facing down hill and they had to turn me around. My leg hurt so bad to be moved. They asked me if anything else hurt, my head, my back but I told them that nothing else had hit the ground.The lady nurse was so comforting and was able to speak for me when the paramedics were hurting me. Holding my head she told me that my leg had to be put into traction and that it was going to hurt. She told me to go to my happy place and scream if I had to. At that moment I let out the loudest scream ever. The paramedics had placed a metal bar up against my leg, turned a crank and pulled my bones apart. It was torture and all I could do was scream. It hurt so bad. They had to do this because of the jagged overlapping bones that could do damage to the major artery in my leg. Next they slid a board under me and put me on a sled. The ski patrol skied down hill while pulling me behind. He had to go down the steep hill, and fast.
When I got to the bottom, Bill, Jennifer and Ryan were waiting for me in the medical center. An x-ray was taken and then I was put me into a waiting ambulance. On the way to the hospital they gave me Morphine to ease the pain. I was taken to Barton Memorial Hospital, which is the best Orthopedic Hospital in the country and where Olympic athletes go.
When I arrived in the OR, I still had on my ski boot and asked them to remove it when I was put out. I was concerned about the pain that I would feel when they pulled that tight boot off. But, amazingly, they slid it off like butter. I guess they are quite experienced at this. And, then they took me in for surgery.
The break in my femur was a lot worse than they thought. It was broken in two pieces and the piece in the middle had broken off and wedged in sideways. They had to open up my leg on the side and reposition the bone. Then they went through the knee and put a rod in the bone. The rod is held in place by two screws in the knee and one at the top of my bone. I have 31 staples on the outside of my leg, upper leg and knee. I had lost so much blood from the broken bone, that I was severely anemic and my blood pressure had dropped to 60/30. Fortunately, I was able to avoid a blood transfusion.
While I was in the hospital, I couldn't stop thinking about God's hand in all of this. I wondered about the the two people he had sent to me. Were they angels in human form? And, was something so much worse suppose to happen, like paralysis but instead He took my leg? Why didn't anything else hit the ground. Why didn't the ski come off with all of that tumbling? Is it a miracle that Bill had skied on ahead of me instead of staying with me and possibly moving me? If he had, I might have died if the broken bones had sliced open the artery. I couldn't stop praising God in the hospital for breaking my leg.
I had the best care and was there for five days and have had to learn to walk with a walker.