(Last Updated On: February 19, 2009)
On Sunday, my season was cut short.
I was skiing with a bunch of rippin chix today. We were all lined up to take a bit of air. I took it, landed, but landed a bit off, and fell. I think it was in the fall when I felt my bones that meet to form my knee go in opposite directions and then snap back. At any rate, I sat there for a moment. “Are you okay?” The girls shouted. “Um no I think I just blew my knee out.” “Are you serious?” “Um, yeah.” The girls came down to meet me. I called Frank and left a message on his phone, “Um, so I think I just blew my knee out. Give me a call when you get this message”. Despite really being able to stand on my knee (it felt really unstable) I was able to make my way off of the steeps (from Hard Slab to Easy Way Out). At that point, I didn’t feel like side-slipping down groomed runs on President’s Weekend. So, I told them to get a sled.
I sent the girls on their way, but Mark (KEEN rep) stayed with me until patrol came, then taking the opportunity to snap these pictures.
“Yeah guys we’re gonna need a sled.”
The patrollers tucking me into the sled.
Sydney more worried than I was, asking me if I was going to be okay 🙂
Tucked in the sled, ready to go. Even when my season’s done, I still smile for the camera 🙂
They took me to a doctor at the bottom of the hill where Frank was waiting for me. Xrays show no broken bones. They did lateral stability test on me and couldn’t tell exactly what was going on with my knee. But, I couldn’t relax when they did the test, which means my muscles were probably tightening and leading to false stable results (which was the same case when I tore the ACL on my other knee 12 yrs ago). I had a gut feeling- and my gut feeling my ACL was blown.
In the mean time I took it upon myself to take advantage of the fact that I live in a ski town- in close proximity to many a person who’s had the same injury. I borrowed braces and ice packs from my friends Alison and Carrie Jo. They sent me out the door of the clinic with crutches, but I got better ones from my friend Dawn.
On Tuesday, Dr. Beim checked out my knee and confirmed the fact that my ACL was no longer attached to my bones. I have already begun physical therapy, and I should be having surgery in 3-4 weeks (still waiting for Beim’s scheduler to call me).
I am doing my best to stay positive. I mean, people get torn ACL’s all the time. It sucks, but it could be so much worse. A skier died yesterday at Mt. Baker when he hit a tree. A Gunnison kid playing hockey is now in a coma. But, I still have my life, and my brain is working just fine. My knee will be almost the same in a few months. And in a few years, this will seem like just a blink in my life.
But, it’s hard to have all of your season’s plans, goals, and dreams ripped out from right in front of you in an instant. Having 51 ski days under my belt I was well on track to a 100+ year. I was skiing so strong. I was skinning so strong. I was getting myself set up to do some really big things this spring with ski mountaineering. And now, that won’t happen. My first season ever in a ski town, and I will be spending half of it on the couch. So, it’s frustrating.
Right now I’m just trying to focus on the road to recovery. I am working on getting my knee ready for surgery by keeping it strong and limber and getting the swelling down.
I’m not looking forward to the surgery itself. Last time around it was so sucky – puking all over the place and pain like I couldn’t believe. But ACL reconstruction has come a long way. My former surgery was done with a pateller tendon grapht- they literally cut a piece of tissue right out of the middle of my pateller tendon and made it into my new ACL. My recovery focused more on healing the tendon and incision/scarring near it than the actual ACL. Now, the typical procedure involves an allograft- taking connective tissue from a cadaver. It’s much less invasive and a quicker recovery.
So, by the time mountain bike season comes around, I should be ready to go. And in the fall, a ski trip to South America might be in order 🙂 Until then, it’s a life of couch-sitting and recovery for me!