Friday, October 19, 2012

A Triggered Memory

    The other day a local newspaper photographer came to our skating group to take pictures. I have met this photographer many times and can say that he is and excellent photo journalist. 

    Talking to him the other day reminded me of the first time I met him. I was doing a Christmas bird count in Dec. of 91.  I slipped on an icy down slope piece of trail. I reached back to break my fall and my hand landed on dirt. I felt a sudden severe pain in my wrist and I knew something had broken. I sat up and just about passed out because of the pain. I took my glove off to see what things looked like. That gave me a tremendous jolt. I tried the old test to see if things moved to find out if a bone is broken. Things moved...sort of. I thought maybe if I move the wrist to another position it might not hurt so much and I could walk home. I got up. Things really went in circles. I grabbed the railing and tried to get back up the slope. Extreme pain. I was blacking out and thought I would fall. I leaned on the rail or over it. 

     At that point I saw a runner go by me. I hollered and the runner turned around to see what I wanted. The runner was the photographer who I saw the other day. Jeff helped me up a steep bank to a large apartment. Jeff had a great deal of first aid training so I appreciated his assistance.

     I phoned my daughter to come and get me. She took me to emergency and I sent her home as I knew I would be there for quite a while. I told her , "Don't tell Mom."  Xrays were taken and  an orthopaedic surgeon was called. was called. He decided that surgery was needed but he couldn't use anesthetic because I had eaten. Finally about 3 PM my wife came racing in just as I was being taken  for surgery. She became alarmed because I was at emergency for so long.

   The surgical process they used was called closed reduction. They have imaging technology which allows the orthopaedic surgeon to see the bone pieces and manipulate them into place without opening up the wrist. The ulna had four fractures and the  radius had three fractures . When I later saw an xray the whole thing looked like crushed ice. 

   I was amazed at how much pain I had. I was used to seeing kids come to school with a cast and it seemed like a lark.

   I was teased endlessly about breaking my wrist while "bird watching." People remarked that, they didn't know bird watching was a dangerous activity. The students teased me about being in a tree and watching birds. Bird jokes were flying around through the air continuously.. 

   So that Christmas I had the worst of memories and the best of humor.