Most of the day was pretty uneventful. I went alone, so just listened to music on my ipod and mostly stuck to the green slopes. I did ok, but for some reason had a really hard time getting off the lift. Especially when the ski instructors asked me to ride up with the "Rosebuds" (very small children on skis). It does not do great things for your self-esteem to ride up a ski lift sitting in-between a 5 year old and a 6 year old, watch them zoom off gracefully upon reaching the top, and promptly fall flat on your face. Oh well, it probably made those kids' day. It really was a perfect day to go - sunny, clear, not too cold or windy, and the snow was great. By the end of the day I was getting bored and wanted to do a couple of longer runs before going home. So I hopped on the lift to the top of the mountain, to the blue slopes. What I didn't realize was that in addition to being a little bored, I was also very tired. And not paying much attention to what I was doing. Anyway, shortly after I started the run I was shifting from the heel edge to the toe edge of the board and lost my balance. As Jonathan later said, I apparently tend to hurt myself in the most unimpressive ways. I mean, when people ask me how I hurt my leg I say "snowboarding," and they act all impressed, like I was doing a flip off a half-pipe or something. When really, I basically just fell over while going very slowly in a straight line. Lame. All of a sudden I found myself on my face (again), with the board bending my feet up at a very sharp angle towards my shins, and excruciating pain shooting up my feet throughout my entire body. That's when I started screaming. When I'm hurt, I scream. I don't cry or cuss, I just scream. I think it freaks people out. This nice lady on skis came over after I stopped screaming and tried to help. Our conversation went something like this:
Nice Lady: "Are you ok??"
Me: "Um, I don't know yet." (breathing heavily and starting to shake)
"Is there anything I can do?"
"Oh, just give me a minute. I need to get my board off." (For some reason, I thought that if I got the board off, my feet would be ok. I got it off, and they felt worse).
"Do you think you can get back down the mountain, or should I get one of the first aid guys?"
"Just a minute. I think I can do it. I just need to rest first." (meanwhile both feet were swelling up at an astonishing rate)
"Well, I'll stay with you til you're ready and then help you get down the easiest way, ok?"
After a few minutes of sitting there trying to convince myself that I was fine and it was just a sprain, I strapped the board back on and stood up. And immediately fell over. And maybe screamed a little bit more.
"I (pant, pant) don't think I can do it."
Nice Lady then flagged down one of the first aid guys, who in my opinion had very little medical knowledge. His name was Hans, or Lars, or something, and he had a thick German accent.
Hans: "What happened?"
Me: "I hurt my ankles."
"Um, I think both of them."
"So, the right ankle?"
"No, both ankles."
He asked me a few more questions, then started talking into his walkie-talkie. "I have a 24-year old female with a sprained right ankle at the top of the Northwest Magnum. I need a sled."
I really did not want to ride the sled down the mountain, but didn't exactly have a choice at this point. Another first aid guy drove up in a snowmobile carting a sled and the 2 of them got me into it and mummy-wrapped me in velcro straps. First Aid Guy # 2 started pulling me behind him on his skis, while Hans took my board down on the snowmobile, and everyone else on the mountain stared. So in addition to being in terrible pain, I was claustrophobic and self-conscious, and also a little bit in shock I think. After I got over the fact that everyone was staring at me, all I could really think was, "Get down mountain, get home, get in bed, prop up feet, then everything will be ok."
to be continued...