I imagine you wonder where I’ve been

January 14, 2010 § 8 Comments

This is a tricky post to write. I’m trying to make it so that it’s not a long drawn out mess as well as a wall of text, but I’m having a hard time pairing things down. So I apologize for the length of this post. I also apologize for its weight, as it’s a rather heavy topic to write about. I apologize for it not being warcraft related at all, but rather being a direct account of my real life events.  Those with weak constitutions should be wary of reading past the cut, where I describe what happened (it’s a little graphic) and how I’m feeling about it (there’s a bit of cursing).

The super short version is that I was in a bad skiing accident two weeks ago, and suffered a severe head injury.  I’m currently still recovering; although I’m doing quite well I’m told.  So now I’m working on getting back into a routine and seeing if I can’t work up the energy to start posting again.

On a beautiful January day, I was out skiing with friends.  It was perfect weather for it, plus there was a nice layer of fresh powder on the mountain.  I grew up in Utah so I’ve been skiing since I was a little kid.  I was particularly excited this day because it was my girlfriends first time ever going skiing so my friends and I were looking forward to teaching her the tricks of the trade.  She did fantastic by the way.  One of the best beginners we’d ever seen (and one of my friends is on the ski patrol and has taught a lot of people).

The day was winding down and we needed to leave soon, but decided to get one last run in.  I’d spent all day with my lady on the bunny hill having a wonderful time, but she told me I should go on this last run on a more challenging run with my friends.

This is where things get a little bit fuzzy.  I remember going up the ski lift, and the four of us starting down the hill.  And I remember getting about two thirds of the way down.  And then I have a vague memory of swerving to avoid someone who had fallen down, and then another vague memory of being loaded into the toboggan, and then pretty much nothing until the next day.

According to my friend (who, thank God, was on ski patrol), I had taken a little side path and didn’t make the turn all the way, and ended up slamming straight into a tree.  When they happened upon me I was unconscious and bleeding from my nose and ears.  After two or three minutes I finally came to.  They performed their little ‘head-injury checklist’ and I was doing fairly well.  I was conscious, and alert, I knew the day and date, my name, my allergies, I was even cracking jokes.  I was compliant (I let them hold me still and didn’t fight them holding my head or when the put me in the toboggan.

Turns out this fooled them into thinking that all I had done was rung my bell really good.  Nevertheless they followed their training and took me down the mountain fast as they could to get me in the ambulance.  Good thing too because towards the bottom of the hill I started crashing.  First I started seizing.  Then I started getting combative (ripping off the spinal collar, undoing the restraints, etc).  Then I lost consciousness again.

This graduated me from an ambulance ride to a life-flight helicopter ride.  I made it to the hospital in time for them to discover I had a hematoma, and it was getting bigger.  They rushed me into surgery where they made a ten inch incision in my scalp (following my hairline), and then corked my skull much like you would a pumpkin so that they could get at the bleeding.

I’m going to skip ahead in the story a little hear to say that I am perfectly fine now.  They got out all the bleeding, plated my head with some titanium and stapled me up.  My recovery has been amazingly fast.  All the scrapes I had have already healed, and the incision is all closed up and 95% of the swelling has gone.  So, no worries, I’m doing fine, and there should be no lasting damage.  Just a slap of titanium and a stylish head wound.

But anyway, I came to the next day, in the evening.  It was so weird.  I understood what they were telling me, and understood that there had been an accident and that I was in the hospital.  But it was all so surreal.  It really felt like a dream that I was going to wake up from eventually and everything would be normal.  Like maybe I had dozed off during lunch and when I woke up we’d still be at the ski resort, getting ready to head home.

The hospital stay was terribly frustrating.  I kept trying to pull the spinal collar off because it was so damn uncomfortable.  I had to keep it on until the did an X-ray.  But I had to be standing up for it, so I had to be awake for it.  But every time I was awake, they weren’t ready to do it.  So I was getting really pissed and just kept ripping it off.  They even put my hands in restraints, which I promptly busted out of, and then ripped off the fucking collar again.  Eventually they did the X-ray and I got my collar off.  I even got my catheter removed (thank God and all that is holy), and they moved me to recovery.

About this time they confirmed that I have no health insurance.  That was the end of my hospital stay.  Don’t get me wrong, it’s not like they kicked me out or anything, but they suggested since I was doing so well and since my folks live close by, that it would be ok for me to go home, and this way I wouldn’t rack up even more medical expenses I can’t afford.

It’s such a damn head trip.  Having chunks of my memory gone…even after people told me what happened, I still can’t recall any memories.  It’s like my brain reset itself.  I mean, it’s not like I had to reteach myself how to walk or eat, or who the people in my life are. But it did take me a little while to remember what I’d been up to the last few weeks, and what my plans were for the future; what I’d planned to do in the coming weeks/months.  It’s very, very weird.

So that’s my story.  A little graphic and intense I know, but I really needed to get the story out of me, and share it.  It’s been very cathartic.

I’ve a couple of warcraft + brain injury stories to share also, but I’ll wait on those in case there are people who decided to skip this post.

Also, it should be noted that I’m not looking for pity, empathy, sympathy, well wishing, etc and so forth.  I just wanted to share my story.  Maybe bring some hope to anyone that might go through something similar.  Because I nearly died, and I made it through.  Miracles can, and do happen.  Thank God for it.

“[Insert a more somber sign off phrase here]”


§ 8 Responses to I imagine you wonder where I’ve been

  • Shintar says:

    Wow, what a story! Myself, I had just thought that you simply hadn’t felt like blogging for a while, I have to admit. :p

    Only very tangentially related, but your post reminded me of the one time I got so drunk with some friends that I couldn’t remember anything that had happened on that evening afterwards. They told me that I had done all kinds of stupid things, and the loss of that memory disturbed me so much that it also ended up being the last time I ever got drunk. Being unable to remember something that you feel you should remember (that is to say, not stuff like what you had for lunch three weeks ago) is a special kind of unsettling.

    • thistlefizz says:

      It’s true. I mean, it would be one thing if I had been unconscious the entire time, but the fact that I was awake, and responding, hell, even cracking jokes–and I don’t remember it? It’s just crazy weird.

  • Larisa says:

    Oh those “last runs” … It’s alway when it happens, isn’t it? You’re not looking for sympathy but how could I possibly just turn my back to what I just read? I’m not made of stone,you know!
    Thank you for sharing. You were coming along so fina as a wow blogger – I had the feeling that you would become one of those who stay around and not just quit after a couple of months. So I was wondering a little if I maybe had misjudged you.
    Thank god you’re alive and that you after the circumstances are doing well.
    All the best and many hugs from your fellow blogger

    • thistlefizz says:

      Well, I mean, I’m not saying people should ignore their human instincts to sympathize, I just wanted to get across that this post wasn’t just a big whoe-is-me whine-fest.

      And don’t worry, I really enjoy blogging so I’m not gonna fade quietly into the night. Although it may be a bit before I’m back up to my full 5 days a week posting schedule.

      Thank you for your well wishes and hugs!

  • Magma says:

    That’s some story. Get well soon mate.

  • Anea says:

    As Larisa said, it’s those last runs that always get you. I’m really glad that you’re ok and recovery has been going well.

    It is a bit trippy when you can’t remember things that happened, isn’t it? I can sympathize. And thanks for sharing the story. Best luck to 100% recovered!

  • Tapelia says:

    That’s an intense story – wishing you a very speedy rest-of-recovery!

  • crankyhealer says:

    I think after getting the cranial screw-top, you deserve a little pity party. Holy crap! Hopefully you’ll be back to your old cranky self soon.

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