Feb 18, 2011

The Gift of a Decade.

It's been 3,652 days since President's Day 2001. GW Bush had been in office almost four weeks & the MPRB was planning to close the skating rinks after the evening skate. I rushed over to skate one last time for the season. Hockey stick in hand, I was involved in a friendly, pick-up game when, making a routine turn behind the net, I fell, perhaps my skate stuck in a short crack.

I knew immediately as I was going down,
"I broke my leg!" I said, as I fell.

"You did not!" replied of the skater next to me, as he looked down at me on the ice.

He continued, "I'll call 911!" seeing at a glance that something was not right with the configuration of my bones. The game stopped while players became caregivers, propping up my leg, bringing me water & my cell phone. I called Mary, had my Handspring PDA (like a Palm Pilot!) delivered, & within ten minutes I was being transferred from the ice to a stretcher. Soon, I was in the back of an ambulance, the EMT said, "I'm going to take off your skate, this could hurt." As he firmly grab both parts of my leg I could feel the two parts of the broken bone grind against each tour under my skin. Simultaneously, the other EMT injected Morphine into my arm. A warm, clam, relaxing wave washed over me. "Pain?!? What pain?"

I had surgery the next evening. A titanium rod, four screws, a pulmonary embolism, three months of rat poison, & countless hours of rehab later, I was able to skate an in-line marathon in June of 2001. I still have a file of the event:

I was lucky to out of work and living in MInnesota, the State Dept. of Health & Human services helped us pay the $37,000 bill. They also negotiated it down to about $7,200. (wish I had negotiating skills like that.)

The gift in this episode? Well, ten years on I'm fitter, thinner, healthier, & this morning when I slipped on the ice and felt my left leg bend awkwardly beneath the full weight of my body, I sensed the titanium protecting me from another catastrophic fracture.

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