The pain was indescribable. I have never broken a bone before. My foot just kind of dangled off the bottom of my leg. Bones were nearly piercing the skin. It was a disgusting site. When Steve came back to me, his words were "it doesn't look good."
We did not have a cell phone, but were only 100m off Gilson Rd. Steve said he would carry me there and get the van. In hind sight, this was stupid. Steve has a hulk of an upper body and does squats with small cars. Carrying me piggy back was no problem for him. My foot dangling on my leg was a whole 'nother issue.
He laid me down by the road and went to get his van nearby. Passerby's stopped. One guy called 911 and made me talk to them to explain why I didn't need an ambulance in between F-bombs. I convinced 911 I would get to hospital shortly. The wise man called 911 again and said I needed an ambulance. That clearly turned out to be the right thing to do.
They got me into the ambulance before starting a IV. I was writhing in so much pain, I kept ejecting the IV from my hand. They went to the elbow with greater success. They started with 5mg of morphine. Other than an initial flushing feeling, it did nothing for the pain. Another 5mg. Maybe made a minor dent in pain. In ER, they gave me another 5mg. I was able to stop screaming by that point, but my voice was already trashed.
I got Xrays, which hopefully no women or children were within two floors of. It friggin hurt. I think I was up to 26mg of morphine at this point. The deal with morphine is it doesn't kill the pain, it's supposed to make you not bothered by it. It took a while for the orthopedist to show up. His name is Dr. Heaps. He told me I had three fractures, two needing metal work. It was going to be a while before I got into surgery. He said he needed to get my ankle to look more like an ankle in the mean time. He said "this is going to hurt."
Ankle was pretty much FUBAR.
Fibula fracture closer to my knee did not need surgery.
Like the calf muscle definition?
What ensued for the next 10 minutes will give me nightmares for years to come. He proceeded to set my ankle. Being on the other side of a closed door was no match for my wife. She had to flee the area. I never screamed so hard. Dr. Heaps was pulling, twisting and pushing bones back into place. All I could feel is bone to bone grinding. I thought surely I was going to black out. This hurt 1000x more than breaking my ankle and getting carried out of the woods.
I went down to surgery around 4:30pm. I'm normally terrified of being put under, the only other time was when I had tonsils out at 7. This time, I couldn't wait.
When I came back around, the pain was gone, but I was wicked doped up too. I guess it went well. Back in my room at 10pm, I got to see the pre- and post-op Xrays. Looked like things pulled back together nicely. I don't think I was on pain meds overnight. I had no pain as long as I didn't move. I actually slept bits in between the hourly nurse checks.
One titanium plate, 6 screws, two threaded pins put 'er back
They made me take two percocet in the morning. The nurses said trust us, you want it for later when they get you out of bed. This stuff made me wicked nauseous. I could not eat my breakfast. Still, my pain was minimal.
So as I type at 1:30pm Monday afternoon, I've been up on crutches briefly. I hope to go home later today. Getting up was not nearly as painful as I feared. A two story house is going to be challenging. Have to keep leg elevated above heart for a week. Then stitches come out and I get some kind of boot cast put on. Could be in that for up to 10 weeks. Both of our cars are manuals. That means no driving for six weeks.
Here's the grim damage for this season. My pre-paid, non-refundable trip to Italy is gone. Colorado trip with Leadville is gone. I'm registered for many other races already. I think the tally is in $6000-7000 range. I feel badly for Brett Rutledge, my Italian travel partner. Anybody want to go in my stead? We can work out an extraordinary deal.
I wonder if Fat Doug is going to be revived? I see some serious challenges ahead. I knew sooner or later my number would come up. Didn't expect it to be such a freak thing, riding a beginner trail at 8mph.